It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

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John Morris
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#751 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2019, 8:51 am

crickey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:54 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:28 pm
David Glasser wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Most of the notes criticized in this thread fail to convey a comprehensible description precisely because they are trying too hard to convey infectious enthusiasm. At which they mostly also fail.
Or they're trying to be quoted in shelf-talkers to built the publication's brand, which they can capitalize on through sponsored events, or whatever. That's the only explanation I can see for every review ending with "Don't miss it!" or the like. Parker, to his credit, always seemed to be writing to wine buyers, while many "critics" today write as if they're in the PR and marketing departments of wineries.

Which raises another question: When was the last time Galloni or LPB said that a wine sucked? I guess Galloni dissed one vintage at Giacosa, didn't he?
I was exaggerating for effect, but I think you are missing the forest for the trees. The point of Asimov's article is that tasting notes a la Parker (it was sort of a valedictory article on Parker's retirement) are not useful, and that wine writing should try to create enthusiasm rather than try to describe a wine.

Asking when LPB or Galloni dissed a wine is a little unfair, as they don't generally publish bad reviews. The lowest score I found in a quick search from LPB was a 79. In Galloni's 2018 Bordeaux review, the lowest score was 78-80. That's why it was when in Josh Raynolds recent review of Oregon Pinots, there were two 55-pointers and a 56-pointer. One of them: "Unnervingly thick and slimy in texture, with stewed dark fruit flavors that don't let up. I imagine that this is what berry-flavored Jeppson's Malort® would taste like. Takes Pinot Noir to another level. On the plus side, it is probably indestructible." It had a drinking window of 2050-2095. Other than the WTF reviews, the next lowest was an 87.
I just read Asimov's piece this morning. He seems to be saying that there's no point in critics rating wines in order to help consumers make their own decisions; that writers should just encourage people to learn for themselves. While the latter may be worthwhile goal, I wouldn't abandon the idea of (competent) professional reviews with ratings or points.

I don't subscribe to any of these reviewers, so I only get the positive notes that retailers use. I'd love to read those LPB and Galloni notes for wines under 80.

And I love that Raynolds note! That's actually helpful. And certainly not dull or blathery.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#752 Post by K John Joseph » June 19th, 2019, 9:06 am

John Morris wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 8:51 am

I just read Asimov's piece this morning. He seems to be saying that there's no point in critics rating wines in order to help consumers make their own decisions; that writers should just encourage people to learn for themselves.
I strongly disagree with this, as most consumers have very limited dollars allocated to wines, but want to drink good wines. Finding a great value is a big win for a consumer, and a critic's note might be the best mean of connecting a consumer's limited funds with a great find. But there is obviously context that requires consideration. That's the style of the wine v the consumer's personal preferences. But it's easier to learn about your own preferences when you are drinking quality wines of different styles. Much moreso than drinking a good wine of a style you don't prefer v. a poor wine of a style you do prefer. Too easy to get lost in the woods. And while that's a journey that I think most of us have taken, most consumers aren't trying thousands of bottles of wine, lusting after a particular thing or experience like our nut job asses are prone to do.

Asimov's "go try em yourself" is probably fine for most of us who can do our own research and see winemakers and regions and vineyard information and cooperage and have a decent idea of what we're going to find. And most of us already have dozens of producers to fall back on and hundreds of wines to drink if that one weird Italian we'd never heard of doesn't end up being to our liking. I just think it's applicable to only a very small group of consumers.

In other words, the critic's note with a description and score is NOT dead at retail.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#753 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 19th, 2019, 9:14 am

crickey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:54 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:28 pm
David Glasser wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Most of the notes criticized in this thread fail to convey a comprehensible description precisely because they are trying too hard to convey infectious enthusiasm. At which they mostly also fail.
Or they're trying to be quoted in shelf-talkers to built the publication's brand, which they can capitalize on through sponsored events, or whatever. That's the only explanation I can see for every review ending with "Don't miss it!" or the like. Parker, to his credit, always seemed to be writing to wine buyers, while many "critics" today write as if they're in the PR and marketing departments of wineries.

Which raises another question: When was the last time Galloni or LPB said that a wine sucked? I guess Galloni dissed one vintage at Giacosa, didn't he?
I was exaggerating for effect, but I think you are missing the forest for the trees. The point of Asimov's article is that tasting notes a la Parker (it was sort of a valedictory article on Parker's retirement) are not useful, and that wine writing should try to create enthusiasm rather than try to describe a wine.
If that is indeed his point, it's so off track to be laughable. Like him or not - and from about 1999 onward I increasingly did not and ended my subscription - but Parker's writings helped a generation of wine aficionados develop, evolve and understand wine better in America than his predecessors. The camp of critics we have now - leaving aside some really excellent ones, including John Gilman and William Kelley - are unfettered hype-machines on steroids, writing silly, contradictory and laudatory notes that sometimes don't really even tell you what the wine actually tastes like and whether it is red or white or fuchsia. Many notes highlighted above use words, metaphors and oblique references that leave one scratching his or her head, unless of course, you like cheerleaders over substantive commentators. I would not call Parker a literary genius, or even a copyright editor extraordinaire, but his earlier-generation writing was pretty clear to me. And if he failed in enthusiasm, why were his notes, shelf-talkers, magazine, books, etc., touted over most others, including even now.

Do you agree with Asimov?

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#754 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2019, 9:29 am

Robert - I think we're arguing about things Asimov didn't say. I didn't read him as saying the critic's role is to be enthusiastic. He just sees his role as an instructor, guiding consumers to their own wisdom. As I said above, I think that's fine, but I still welcome reviewers who tell me that, in their informed opinion, wine X is a little better than Y, because of reasons W and Z.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#755 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am

I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#756 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2019, 11:59 am

No, I think it's another way of saying pixelated.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#757 Post by Yao C » June 19th, 2019, 6:01 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am
I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
Bravo, good find. Here's the whole note, which should be slowly and patiently savored like fine aged Parmigiano:

"And so from P1 methuselah to P2, which for Geoffroy ‘goes beyond Champagne’. P2, he continues, must be ‘deeper, richer, longer…better than P1' - otherwise why release it? Well, they haven't yet, although it's pencilled in for later in 2019. Here we have drive, vinosity and incredible length. The sweet and savoury balance indulges with a seductive embrace. Gustav Klimt in a glass maybe. Outstanding."

I'm surprised that any wine critic with even an ounce of self respect would begin their note by republishing the winemaker's own observations. So much for editorial independence [cheers.gif]
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#758 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 19th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am
I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
More like Prince Albert. In a can.

Knock knock.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#759 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 19th, 2019, 6:14 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:59 am
No, I think it's another way of saying pixelated.
What would be the point?

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#760 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 19th, 2019, 6:54 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 6:13 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am
I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
More like Prince Albert. In a can.

Knock knock.
LOL I forgot the old joke
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#761 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 19th, 2019, 8:24 pm

Yao C wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 6:01 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am
I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
Bravo, good find. Here's the whole note, which should be slowly and patiently savored like fine aged Parmigiano:

"And so from P1 methuselah to P2, which for Geoffroy ‘goes beyond Champagne’. P2, he continues, must be ‘deeper, richer, longer…better than P1' - otherwise why release it? Well, they haven't yet, although it's pencilled in for later in 2019. Here we have drive, vinosity and incredible length. The sweet and savoury balance indulges with a seductive embrace. Gustav Klimt in a glass maybe. Outstanding."

I'm surprised that any wine critic with even an ounce of self respect would begin their note by republishing the winemaker's own observations. So much for editorial independence [cheers.gif]
It's called reporting. You talk to people and then you quote them on stuff. And the Klimt line is great!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#762 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 20th, 2019, 4:11 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 8:24 pm
Yao C wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 6:01 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:47 am
I just got an email quoting Decanter on the 2002 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut: "Gustav Klimt in a glass."

Well, ok then. Is that like Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?
Bravo, good find. Here's the whole note, which should be slowly and patiently savored like fine aged Parmigiano:

"And so from P1 methuselah to P2, which for Geoffroy ‘goes beyond Champagne’. P2, he continues, must be ‘deeper, richer, longer…better than P1' - otherwise why release it? Well, they haven't yet, although it's pencilled in for later in 2019. Here we have drive, vinosity and incredible length. The sweet and savoury balance indulges with a seductive embrace. Gustav Klimt in a glass maybe. Outstanding."

I'm surprised that any wine critic with even an ounce of self respect would begin their note by republishing the winemaker's own observations. So much for editorial independence [cheers.gif]
It's called reporting. You talk to people and then you quote them on stuff. And the Klimt line is great!
I don't know about Klimt; I got more Egon Schiele. Maybe if I had decanted
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#763 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 20th, 2019, 7:49 am

I also don't see the particular point of Klimt vs. any other artist, so in that sense, it was just showing off. Still, I'd prefer such impressionistic metaphors to all the foolish phrases reported on here, which are so much empty verbiage. Impressionistic metaphors are hit or miss, but that's better than miss or miss.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#764 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 20th, 2019, 9:34 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 7:49 am
I also don't see the particular point of Klimt vs. any other artist, so in that sense, it was just showing off. Still, I'd prefer such impressionistic metaphors to all the foolish phrases reported on here, which are so much empty verbiage. Impressionistic metaphors are hit or miss, but that's better than miss or miss.
You don't see how a golden, fizzy champagne might be evocative of something like this?
Image

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#765 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 9:46 am

Exactly!

Personally, I much prefer wines in the Klimt style to those emulating Shiele:
Image
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#766 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 20th, 2019, 9:48 am

We all know Alfert prefers wine that evokes this


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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#767 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 10:06 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 9:48 am
We all know Alfert prefers wine that evokes this


Image
Exactly!

Quaint country wine, light and bright. Tranquil, serene. Makes my wanna don my smokers robe and slippers.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#768 Post by Jeff Leve » June 20th, 2019, 10:10 am

I think Klimt is silly, elitist metaphor. However, for those not familiar with his work, Klimt used real gold in his paint, bringing a unique shimmering quality to his work.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#769 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 10:30 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:10 am
I think Klimt is silly, elitist metaphor.
To you, perhaps, but probably not to the average Decanter reader.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#770 Post by Jeff Leve » June 20th, 2019, 10:44 am

John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:30 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:10 am
I think Klimt is silly, elitist metaphor.
To you, perhaps, but probably not to the average Decanter reader.
Hmmm... Maybe. Does it work for you?

To me, not everyone knows Klimt. And I think one needs to have seen the paintings in person so understand their shimmering quality, which makes it elitist to me. Wine descriptors need to be semi-universal to work, so they speak to a reasonable segment of the potential readers.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#771 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 11:06 am

Both of you are right. It is both a silly, fantastic and elitist metaphor. I love it. But Jeff is right about the audience, how many readers will actually connect the dots? If we are being consistent in this thread point, that's a poor wine tasting note, as much as I would love to love it. Johnny, I'm not even sure you knew that Klimt was a pointillist, hence my word-play with your reference to pixelated. I wonder, then, what the author of that note meant. One could draw differing interpretations, but I would surmise that Keith is imminently correct here.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#772 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am

Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#773 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am

I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#774 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 11:27 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
#nerds

I had Farrah Fawcet. But, I also didn't go to Columbia or Harvard.

Image

Worked great with tasting notes for beer. And still does.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#775 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 20th, 2019, 11:33 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am
I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.
There is indeed something a bit off-kilter about finding a tasting note on Dom Perignon Oenotheque insufficiently populist.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#776 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 11:57 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:44 am
John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:30 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 10:10 am
I think Klimt is silly, elitist metaphor.
To you, perhaps, but probably not to the average Decanter reader.
Hmmm... Maybe. Does it work for you?

To me, not everyone knows Klimt. And I think one needs to have seen the paintings in person so understand their shimmering quality, which makes it elitist to me. Wine descriptors need to be semi-universal to work, so they speak to a reasonable segment of the potential readers.
I actually felt that that metaphor conveyed something to me about the wine. But I'm lucky enough to live walking distance from the Neue Gallerie here in NYC, and its Klimts. (You're completely right that posters do not begin to do them justice!)

My point was that this was written by Brits for a primarily British audience. And among well-educated people in Britain (presumably the Decanter demographic), there's an expectation that one will know something about high culture -- art, music, history. Having lived there, and having British friends, it can be quite intimidating to an American!

At the very least, a Brit reading that would feel that they should know Klimt, even if they don't. They would feel it was their failing, not the writer's.

I guess I wouldn't use it for an American wine audience. Certainly not for Berserkers. neener
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#777 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
Freshman girls' dorm rooms.*

Guys who are now well into middle age had Farrah Fawcet.

*The ratio was a little different at Berkeley. I'd estimate that 3 out of 5 girls there had a Bouguereau poster -- usually the one with the broken pitcher -- because the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco had a large collection. My roommate was an art history major and explained the lost-virginity symbolism in those. I'm pretty sure that was lost on the poster owners. These were the soft porn of the French bourgeoisie.

Image

Image
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#778 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 20th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:33 am
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am
I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.
There is indeed something a bit off-kilter about finding a tasting note on Dom Perignon Oenotheque insufficiently populist.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#779 Post by Jeff Leve » June 20th, 2019, 2:08 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am
I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.

I don’t thinking drinking First Growths on special occasions, especially when they were bought years ago at yesterday’s low prices is elitist. I think it makes me lucky to have cool wine to share.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#780 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 2:12 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
Freshman girls' dorm rooms.*

Guys who are now well into middle age had Farrah Fawcet.

*The ratio was a little different at Berkeley. I'd estimate that 3 out of 5 girls there had a Bouguereau poster -- usually the one with the broken pitcher -- because the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco had a large collection. My roommate was an art history major and explained the lost-virginity symbolism in those. I'm pretty sure that was lost on the poster owners. These were the soft porn of the French bourgeoisie.

Image

Image
John is she drinking out of amphora? So trendy these days...

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#781 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Yup. No sulfur additions, and slightly cloudy, I'd guess.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#782 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 2:52 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 2:35 pm
Yup. No sulfur additions, and slightly cloudy, I'd guess.
Perhaps we start an Edward Bulwer-Lytton competition for the worst opening line to a tasting note, for starters:

“It was a dark and cloudy wine...bred for the great unwashed masses....”

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#783 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 20th, 2019, 3:14 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
Freshman girls' dorm rooms.*

Guys who are now well into middle age had Farrah Fawcet.
Farrah Fawcett is more like deep into middle age, heading toward AARP territory. That famous poster was from 1976. By the time I went to college starting in the late 80s, teenage boys had moved on.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#784 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2019, 3:24 pm

I'll leave it to Mr. Alfert to explain his choice of dorm room poster.
"I'm a Frisbeetarian. We worship frisbees. We believe when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can't get it down." – Jim Stafford

"The Internet has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of instances in which humor must be explained." - me, 2019

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#785 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 20th, 2019, 4:49 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 3:14 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
Freshman girls' dorm rooms.*

Guys who are now well into middle age had Farrah Fawcet.
Farrah Fawcett is more like deep into middle age, heading toward AARP territory. That famous poster was from 1976. By the time I went to college starting in the late 80s, teenage boys had moved on.
I’m Cuban. We start early. I was a very mature 11 year old. Sorry you were such a late bloomer . . .

[wow.gif]

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#786 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 20th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:27 am
Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:15 am
Elitist? There is a Klimt poster in 1 out of every 5 freshman dorm rooms.
#nerds

I had Farrah Fawcet. But, I also didn't go to Columbia or Harvard.

Image

Worked great with tasting notes for beer. And still does.
Looks like it was a bit chilly in your dorm room.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#787 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 21st, 2019, 12:03 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 4:49 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 3:14 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm


Freshman girls' dorm rooms.*

Guys who are now well into middle age had Farrah Fawcet.
Farrah Fawcett is more like deep into middle age, heading toward AARP territory. That famous poster was from 1976. By the time I went to college starting in the late 80s, teenage boys had moved on.
I’m Cuban. We start early. I was a very mature 11 year old. Sorry you were such a late bloomer . . .

[wow.gif]
You misunderstood. I used to watch Charlie’s Angels every week as a 6-year old.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#788 Post by Charlie Carnes » July 25th, 2019, 8:19 am

I was just offered a magnum or "Pure Hedonism" from a local retailer... As if a bottle of pure hedonism just won't do the trick...
2015 Valandraud-- LPB finishes her note with, "This big-boned, voluptuous, Rubenesque beauty will blow hedonists' minds!"

Maybe it is a comparison to the great Reuben sandwich, which could be a hedonist's dream, or she meant to say Rubensesque!
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#789 Post by Charlie Carnes » July 25th, 2019, 8:21 am

Oh and btw, that pic of Farrah will never go out of style!
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#790 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 25th, 2019, 9:11 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am
I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.

I don’t thinking drinking First Growths on special occasions, especially when they were bought years ago at yesterday’s low prices is elitist. I think it makes me lucky to have cool wine to share.
I'm happy for your good fortune, but it you don't think buying and collecting first growths is elitist, you need to get out and about more. Or maybe you should just own your elitism more easily.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#791 Post by Jeff Leve » July 25th, 2019, 9:35 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 9:11 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 11:22 am
I take Keith's point both about Klimt and about elitism. People who drink 1st growth bordeaux should not accuse others of elitism. They live in one of the largest glass houses on the block.

I don’t thinking drinking First Growths on special occasions, especially when they were bought years ago at yesterday’s low prices is elitist. I think it makes me lucky to have cool wine to share.
I'm happy for your good fortune, but it you don't think buying and collecting first growths is elitist, you need to get out and about more. Or maybe you should just own your elitism more easily.
First Growths are of course expensive. And so are many of the world's best wine. But the ability to afford expensive goods does not make someone elitist. If for example, that was all someone ever drank, that would make it and them elitist. But for special occasions that is hardly elitist.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#792 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 25th, 2019, 10:14 am

Actually, the ability to afford expensive goods priced only to be obtainable by the wealthy and the willingness to buy such good is a completely sufficient cause of elitism, though not a necessary one. There is also intellectual elitism, of course. In either case, the activity is either available to or appeals to only a small, privileged group, and that is elitist.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#793 Post by GregT » July 25th, 2019, 11:38 am

Not necessarily. The fact that something appeals to a small group doesn't make it elitist at all. There are many sick disgusting things that appeal to a very small number of people. Although I don't know - maybe there's a very fine line between "sick and disgusting" and "elitist". . .

Anyway, I find myself agreeing with Jeff here. That note is more or less pointless to anyone who doesn't know Klimt. A number of Decanter readers might, but who knows if that's even the case these days - I know some Americans who subscribe and I'm willing to bet they wouldn't have a clue.

Americans like simple and easy to understand. Gobs of fruit. Good guys and bad guys. Dangerous monsters in movies. It's exactly why Parker used the 100 point system - everyone gets it. More importantly, it's a shorthand way of saying you hated (79), liked (91), or really really really liked (96) a wine.

I'm willing to bet that no human being ever ran out to buy a wine because it had gregarious pie qualities. Or was Klimt-like, which can mean any number of things. People who will respond to a wine writer will buy a wine because someone wrote that it was great and gave it 94 points.

As for writers encouraging people to learn for themselves, that also applies to writers. If they write about wine, they should actually learn something about it rather than parrot what they've been taught or told, and maybe they should learn a little about their craft, which is the whole point of this thread. Asimov himself loves to recycle his own articles about a paradigm shift and "the pendulum" swinging back to some place it's never actually been.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#794 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 25th, 2019, 11:59 am

Long before the elite referred to a supposed intellectual elite, it referred to a privileged class, and although cultural distinctions attached to that class (one of which was a taste for expensive wine), the significant distinction was wealth (or, in England, wealth held for more than one generation at least). In fact, drinking first growth wines is far more a mark of belonging to that elite, than knowing Klimt's paintings. I know that American know-nothingism leads to an association of elitism with people who like art not created for mass consumption, and I'm fine with that sub-definition, but it shouldn't lead people to fool themselves into thinking that all they have to do, if they are wealthy and indulge in the pleasures available to them as a result of their wealth, in order to avoid the horrible fate of being a member of an elite, is to act ill-educated.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#795 Post by John Morris » August 16th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Back to the topic at hand, here's a great example of why flavor descriptors are pretty useless in reviews. There is virtually no overlap in the flavors the seven critics used to describe this wine. There are a few terms that come up more than once -- "plum," "black currant," "wet earth," "leather," "licorice" -- but only in two of the seven notes. Some describe this wine as red-fruited, some as dark-fruited.

Note, too, the divergent views on where the wine is -- whether it's accessible or needs a lot of time.
2014 Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse

An utterly spellbinding wine, the 2014 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is also one of the unqualified successes of the vintage. Beams of tannin give the 2014 its ample, broad feel. Inky red cherry, blueberry, smoke, leather and tobacco fill out the wine's big frame effortlessly. Layers of intense fruit meld into a huge spine of tannin in a vertical, massively structured Saint-Émilion. So many 2014s are charming and accessible, but this is not one of them. Readers will have to be patient. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

Licorice, sweet oak, thyme, flowers, plum and assorted pit fruit [peaches? apricots?] make an entrance. On the palate, the wine has a polish to the tannins, sweetness to the fruit and a stony refinement in the finish. This is a vintage of Beausejour to drink young, while waiting for the 09, 10, 12, 15 and 16 to come around. Very fine for the vintage. - Wine Cellar Insider (Jeff Leve)

This is one of the best examples of this wine that I have tasted, reaching the same heights as some of the biggest names in this vintage, and barely a step down from 2016 - great stuff from these guys this year. It's firm, bright, intense and deep, with salinity, grip and a lovely seam of freshness. It has a really excellent, juicy character and good persistency, with notes of liquorice and dark chocolate. - Decanter

While I wasn’t able to taste the 2015, the 2014 Château Beausejour Duffau-Lagarrosse is fabulous stuff and well worth seeking out. Made from close to 100% Merlot (there’s a splash of Cabernet Franc) and offering classic notes of damp earth, tobacco leaf, blackcurrants, and beautiful minerality, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a terrific core of fruit, and more texture and opulence than most in the vintage. It will keep for 20-25 years. - Jeb Dunnuck

This is full of muscular graphite and tobacco notes, holding sway over a core of slightly exotic mulled fig and warm black currant sauce. A ganache edge lines the finish, but a pure fruit detail echoes longest. This will be exceptional when the elements meld fully. Best from 2022 through 2035. 1,335 cases made. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

So layered with a lovely richness of chocolate, wet earth and spices, not to mention plum character. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Needs five to six years to open, but it’s a structured and beautiful wine already. - James Suckling

Tasted blind. Lively, well-balanced and well-behaved nose. Thick and confident. Lots of length but a bit Oxford marmalade-like. Overall satisfying though. Youthful. - Jancis Robinson
"I'm a Frisbeetarian. We worship frisbees. We believe when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can't get it down." – Jim Stafford

"The Internet has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of instances in which humor must be explained." - me, 2019

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