Wednesday, September 16, 2015



Just try to name the grape variety and area of origin, and give some indication of the age and quality of the wine. Wise tasters will not risk their credibility by having a stab at anything more specific, such as the producer or vineyard, unless he or she is 100 percent sure. In the Master of Wine examination, marks are given for correct rationale, even if the conclusion that is drawn is wrong, while it has been known for a candidate to name the wine in precise detail but, because of defective reasoning, to receive no score at all. Wine tasting is not a matter of guessing. It is about deduction, and getting it wrong should be encouraged because that is the only way to learn.

This Distinctive Yellow-Gold Color
Retains Its Intensity To The Rim.
Various Possibilities: A Sweet Wine,
A Full-Bodied Dry Wine, A Mature
Wine, Or Something Obscure Like
Retsina. If None Of These, It Could
Be A Gewürztraminer.
Gewürztraminer! Full, Rich, And
Spicy, The Aroma Hits You Between
The Eyes And The First Instinct Is To
Think Of Alsace. Usually You Will
Be Right, But Bear In Mind The
Possibility Of A Top Grower In The
Rheinpfalz Or Austria. If The Aroma
Were Muted, It Might Be Italian; If
Exotic, Californian Or Australian.
This, However, Seems To Be A Classic
Example Of A Ripe Alsace Vintage Of
Perhaps 4 Years Of Age.
A Rich-Flavored Wine; Full, Fat, And
Fruity With Well-Developed Spice And
A Soft, Succulent Finish. Evidently
Made From Very Ripe Grapes.
Grape Variety Gewürztraminer
Region Alsace
Age About 4 To 5 Years Old
Comment Very Good Quality
Stunning Color, More Distinctive Even
Than The Gewürztraminer, The Old
Gold Immediately Suggests A
Full, Rich, And Probably Very Sweet
Wine. Sauternes Springs To Mind,
But Austria, Or Even An Oddity From
Australia Are Also Possible.
This Has The Amazingly Full, Rich, And
Opulent Nose Of A Botrytized Wine.
Anyone Who Dislikes Sweet Wine
Should Smell A Wine Like This Before
Giving Up On It Altogether. A Touch
Of Creamy-Spicy Oak Rules Out
Austria And Its Maturity, Probably
Between 10 And 15 Years, Probably
Disposes Of Australia.
Everything Is Here From Peaches,
Pineapple, And Cream To The
Honeyed Aromatics Of A Fairly Mature
Wine. Only A Classic Sauternes Can
Have Such Intense Flavors, Yet
Possess Such Great Finesse.
Grape Variety Mostly Sémillon
Region Sauternes
Age About 15 Years Old
Comment Premier Cru, Great Vintage
The Orange-Pink Of This Wine Almost
Certainly Pins It To Provence Or
Tavel, Although, If The Orange Hue
Is Not Indicative Of The Style And
Vinification Of The Wine, It Could
Be Almost Any Over-The-Hill Rosé.
Put The Dunce’s Hat On And Stand
In The Corner! The High-Toned Pinot
Noir Aroma Dismisses The Firm
Conviction Of A Tavel Or Provence
Rosé. But What Is It? It Is Not
Oxidized, So It Cannot Be An
Otherwise Obvious Wine That Has
Gone Over. Is The Orange Hue A Clue
To Its Origin? More Information Is
Needed; Must Taste The Wine.
Definitely Burgundian, But With
A Very Distinctive, Piquant Pinot
Noir Taste. At Its Peak Now, But
Certainly Not On The Way Down. By
Eliminating What It Cannot Be, Only
Rosé De Marsannay Fits The Bill.
Grape Variety Pinot Noir
Region Burgundy
Age 4 To 5 Years Old
Comment Medium Quality
This Sparkling Wine Has An
Attractive, Lively, Lemon-Yellow Color.
Not Young, But Not Old, Its Mousse
Is Evident, But Its Power And Size Of
Bubble Cannot Be Assessed Without
Tasting It. Its Star-Bright Limpidity Just
Makes It Look Like A Fine Wine.
Its Quality Is Immediately Evident,
With The Autolytic Characteristics Of
A Wine With Several Years On Its First
Cork (In Contact With Its Lees Prior
To Disgorgement), Which Eliminates
Every Possibility Other Than A Fine
Champagne. It Has The Zippy Tang
Of Ripe Chardonnay Grapes. This
Must Be A Champagne Blanc De
Blancs With A High Proportion Of
Wine From The Côte Des Blancs.
A Gently Persistent Mousse Of Ultrafine
Bubbles. The Fresh, Lively Flavor
Has A Long Finish But Needs Five
Years More To Reach Perfection.
Grape Variety Chardonnay
Region Champagne
Age About 5 Years Old
Comment Top Quality


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