Blankbottle Limbic 2015
One of the most original and inventive wine producers I’ve come across is Pieter Walser of Blankbottle in Stellenbosch, South Africa but this is his zaniest concept yet.
It’s a wine whose exact blend was determined by his brain patterns while he was tasting 21 different blending components, an experiment which followed a chance encounter with a neurologist on a plane*. (The blend was 49% chenin blanc, 17% clairette blanche, 13% viognier 13% pinot gris and 9% vermentino)
He then made another wine called Orbitofrontal Cortex following his normal procedure of choosing the from the same samples himself and came up with 34% grenache blanc, 17% fernao pires, 17% chenin blanc, 13% verdelho 11% clairette blanche and 8% semillon.
The two wines are fascinatingly different. The Limbic, which he refers to as a ‘neuro’ wine is very clean and precise - a taut, mineral white that would be great with seafood and salads. The Orbitofrontal Cortex is more Rhone-ish - much fuller and weightier and would be better suited to white meats such as roast chicken or veal. While delicious now I think it probably needs another year or so to show at its best.
Interestingly the Limbic took just a day to blend (you can see the process on YouTube) while the Orbitofrontal Cortex took a week.
If you want to compare them you can currently buy both from his importer, Swig for £22.50 each. But be quick - after last week’s brilliant Wines of South Africa tasting I’m guessing there won’t be much around.
*There’s a more detailed account of their encounter on the Blankbottle website. And if you want to know more about the role of the brain’s limbic system, something I must confess I was completely unaware of, you can find it here.
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