It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

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Jeff Leve
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1001 Post by Jeff Leve » June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am
Not to pick in my friend, Leve, but alas, I must.

This is no longer Figeac:
Beautifully dark, almost purple/garnet in color, the wine gets you going with its nose of flowers, blackberry, dark plums, spice, smoke, vanilla, cherries, licorice and tobacco leaf. As good as that is, when the wine hits your palate, the show starts with its majestic textures. Voluptuous, opulent and silky, the wine seeks attention, but it's not loud, it's discreet. Classic and yet, voluminous, the flamboyant palate-coating finish, with its multiple layers of fruit stays with you for close to 60 seconds. The wine was made from a classic blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot reaching 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... on/figeac/
He will say it is a much better wine than ever before. Certainly scores out that way among the critics. But, I ask you, does it sound like the once-classic Figeac or Rolland's work on the Ovid Hexameter?
Finally... I have been feeling left out. I am willing to take a beating here and be pilloried. Though I like my Haut Brion notes. You will probably have more fun with my 2019 La Conseillante comment.

But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1002 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 15th, 2020, 2:19 pm

I find zero faults in your note. I read them often; we both love the same region. I trust you to report what the wine tastes like, and always find your notes relatively accurate. My commentary was more about Figeac and where it had gone. And I’m both too young and too poor to have consumed, then or now now, Figeac from the 1940s and 1950s. That’s only for Hollywood types like you!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1003 Post by John Morris » June 15th, 2020, 2:48 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am
Not to pick in my friend, Leve, but alas, I must.

This is no longer Figeac:
Beautifully dark, almost purple/garnet in color, the wine gets you going with its nose of flowers, blackberry, dark plums, spice, smoke, vanilla, cherries, licorice and tobacco leaf. As good as that is, when the wine hits your palate, the show starts with its majestic textures. Voluptuous, opulent and silky, the wine seeks attention, but it's not loud, it's discreet. Classic and yet, voluminous, the flamboyant palate-coating finish, with its multiple layers of fruit stays with you for close to 60 seconds. The wine was made from a classic blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot reaching 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... on/figeac/
He will say it is a much better wine than ever before. Certainly scores out that way among the critics. But, I ask you, does it sound like the once-classic Figeac or Rolland's work on the Ovid Hexameter?
Finally... I have been feeling left out. I am willing to take a beating here and be pilloried. Though I like my Haut Brion notes. You will probably have more fun with my 2019 La Conseillante comment.

But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Just let us know when you feel like being beaten up, Jeff. The problem is, your notes actually convey what the wine is like, with a minimum of BS. Not much to work with there. [thumbs-up.gif]

But as long as you're asking.... My one quarrel is with measuring a wine's length in seconds. That is the ultimate in subjectivity and inconsistency, because it depends on your saliva, which depends how much tannin and what foods, if any, you've taken in. So it won't even be consistent minute to minute or hour to hour.

There ... feel better for a little criticism. [cheers.gif]
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Re: It's critic bingo! ("vertical in feel")

#1004 Post by Craig G » June 15th, 2020, 2:56 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 2:44 pm
My advice to these folks? Don't try to get poetic if you're devoid of literary talent.
I think you meant to say “devoided.”
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1005 Post by John Morris » June 15th, 2020, 3:11 pm

I avoid "devoided."
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated." - Pete Townsend

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1006 Post by Jeff Leve » June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 2:48 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am
Not to pick in my friend, Leve, but alas, I must.

This is no longer Figeac:



He will say it is a much better wine than ever before. Certainly scores out that way among the critics. But, I ask you, does it sound like the once-classic Figeac or Rolland's work on the Ovid Hexameter?
Finally... I have been feeling left out. I am willing to take a beating here and be pilloried. Though I like my Haut Brion notes. You will probably have more fun with my 2019 La Conseillante comment.

But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Just let us know when you feel like being beaten up, Jeff. The problem is, your notes actually convey what the wine is like, with a minimum of BS. Not much to work with there. [thumbs-up.gif]

But as long as you're asking.... My one quarrel is with measuring a wine's length in seconds. That is the ultimate in subjectivity and inconsistency, because it depends on your saliva, which depends how much tannin and what foods, if any, you've taken in. So it won't even be consistent minute to minute or hour to hour.

There ... feel better for a little criticism. [cheers.gif]
Yes, I am wanting a bit more of a beating. I want to be drawn and quartered like the others! :)

However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.


A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1007 Post by John Morris » June 15th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.
But it isn't just food. The more young, tannic wine you drink, the more the protein in your saliva reacts with the tannins, drying your mouth. The first sip of a young red wine won't have the same length of finish that the fifth or tenth will. It's just faux precision to describe a good finish in seconds.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/
That's a little over the top, but I just chuckle at your enthusiasm. (Have you been reading Lyle Fass e-mails?)

I'm not against colorful writing, just bad colorful writing and (a separate matter) utter blather that doesn't tell me the first thing about the wine other than the writer loves it. What I pick on in this thread is the appallingly poor writing of some critics.
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated." - Pete Townsend

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1008 Post by Jeff Leve » June 15th, 2020, 4:47 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:31 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.
But it isn't just food. The more young, tannic wine you drink, the more the protein in your saliva reacts with the tannins, drying your mouth. The first sip of a young red wine won't have the same length of finish that the fifth or tenth will. It's just faux precision to describe a good finish in seconds.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/
That's a little over the top, but I just chuckle at your enthusiasm. (Have you been reading Lyle Fass e-mails?)

I'm not against colorful writing, just bad colorful writing and (a separate matter) utter blather that doesn't tell me the first thing about the wine other than the writer loves it. What I pick on in this thread is the appallingly poor writing of some critics.
For me, that is far too much exactitude. My point, which I hope was illustrated correctly was, that the finish is extraordinarily long. To drive home the point, as I think that's an important metric for quality, I timed the finish.

A writer should be able to convey three things to readers with tasting notes.

What to expect in character and style.

The appropriate amount of enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for a wine.

How that wine ranks according to the writer, vis a vis its peers.

FWIW, I have no idea what going atomic means. But I get the black forest cake, chocolate and cherries. I just never eat black forest cake and do not particularly like it, so it does not occur to me to use it as a descriptor.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1009 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 15th, 2020, 5:35 pm

Jeffois was right on the 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion! I concede. So must Alfert buy 2017 and 2018? After that, surely the wine outlives me!

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

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Re: It's critic bingo! (This is no longer Figeac)

#1010 Post by David Strange » June 15th, 2020, 6:18 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am

This is no longer Figeac:
Beautifully dark, almost purple/garnet in color,... 14.1% alcohol...
I realise this isn't the point of the thread, but that is not the Figeac I recognise either.

Being only 46, I have somewhat limited experience of Claret from the 30s and 40s, many of them have been English bottlings (so have Christ alone knows what as their constituents) and very few have made it under my now defunct alcoholimeter. However, it strikes me that very few of them have been 14% or more. Indeed only one I've been able to measure has been above 14% - Haut Brion 34 (and that level has been consistent across a couple of bottles).

I rather feel that people who describe a wine of 14.5% as 'classic Chateau X', must have some strange new meaning of the word 'classic' of which I am unaware.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1011 Post by John Morris » June 15th, 2020, 7:27 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:47 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:31 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.
But it isn't just food. The more young, tannic wine you drink, the more the protein in your saliva reacts with the tannins, drying your mouth. The first sip of a young red wine won't have the same length of finish that the fifth or tenth will. It's just faux precision to describe a good finish in seconds.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/
That's a little over the top, but I just chuckle at your enthusiasm. (Have you been reading Lyle Fass e-mails?)

I'm not against colorful writing, just bad colorful writing and (a separate matter) utter blather that doesn't tell me the first thing about the wine other than the writer loves it. What I pick on in this thread is the appallingly poor writing of some critics.
For me, that is far too much exactitude. My point, which I hope was illustrated correctly was, that the finish is extraordinarily long. To drive home the point, as I think that's an important metric for quality, I timed the finish.
I'm confused. What's too much exactitude? What goes into the perception of the length of a finish?

What I'm saying is that there's no consistency to the time in seconds of a finish, even for an individual taster, because it's dependent on the taster's mouth at that moment. Saying a wine has a long finish or persistence is fine. Timing finishes is silly and meaningless. Parker started doing it and then lots of people copied him.
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:47 pm
A writer should be able to convey three things to readers with tasting notes.

What to expect in character and style.

The appropriate amount of enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for a wine.

How that wine ranks according to the writer, vis a vis its peers.

FWIW, I have no idea what going atomic means. But I get the black forest cake, chocolate and cherries. I just never eat black forest cake and do not particularly like it, so it does not occur to me to use it as a descriptor.
I agree with you on all points.

I don't have a problem with Black Forest cake as a descriptor. What's funny is that she encounters it in such a high proportion of Bordeauxs. Like Alfert, I don't think that's traditional, but I get what she's describing. From a writing standpoint, however, it's an unusual a descriptor, and she uses it over and over, so it's become a writing tick.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1012 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » June 15th, 2020, 8:39 pm

Sorry, but good Bordeaux tastes absolutely nothing like Black Forest cake. Maybe one of those Chocovine chocolate-infused reds that get sold around Valentine’s Day might have some notes of Black Forest cake but decent Bordeaux doesn’t

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1013 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 16th, 2020, 8:34 am

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:39 pm
Sorry, but good Bordeaux tastes absolutely nothing like Black Forest cake. Maybe one of those Chocovine chocolate-infused reds that get sold around Valentine’s Day might have some notes of Black Forest cake but decent Bordeaux doesn’t
This, so many times this.

I can accept is a young Vintage Port tastes like a cherry-chocolate dessert, but there's something really wrong if that comes into mind when drinking Bordeaux.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (This is no longer Figeac)

#1014 Post by William Kelley » June 16th, 2020, 10:12 am

David Strange wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 6:18 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am

This is no longer Figeac:
Beautifully dark, almost purple/garnet in color,... 14.1% alcohol...
I realise this isn't the point of the thread, but that is not the Figeac I recognise either.

Being only 46, I have somewhat limited experience of Claret from the 30s and 40s, many of them have been English bottlings (so have Christ alone knows what as their constituents) and very few have made it under my now defunct alcoholimeter. However, it strikes me that very few of them have been 14% or more. Indeed only one I've been able to measure has been above 14% - Haut Brion 34 (and that level has been consistent across a couple of bottles).

I rather feel that people who describe a wine of 14.5% as 'classic Chateau X', must have some strange new meaning of the word 'classic' of which I am unaware.
Haut Brion 1934 is 13.1% alcohol!
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1015 Post by Jim Brennan » June 16th, 2020, 10:33 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm
But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Yeah, never in known history has someone with a financial interest in the Chateau drawn a parallel between a recent vintage and one of those vaunted vintages of old, doing so safe in the assurance that no one can really challenge that bullshit for obvious reasons.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (This is no longer Figeac)

#1016 Post by David Strange » June 16th, 2020, 10:41 am

William Kelley wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 10:12 am
David Strange wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 6:18 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:38 am

This is no longer Figeac:


I realise this isn't the point of the thread, but that is not the Figeac I recognise either.

Being only 46, I have somewhat limited experience of Claret from the 30s and 40s, many of them have been English bottlings (so have Christ alone knows what as their constituents) and very few have made it under my now defunct alcoholimeter. However, it strikes me that very few of them have been 14% or more. Indeed only one I've been able to measure has been above 14% - Haut Brion 34 (and that level has been consistent across a couple of bottles).

I rather feel that people who describe a wine of 14.5% as 'classic Chateau X', must have some strange new meaning of the word 'classic' of which I am unaware.
Haut Brion 1934 is 13.1% alcohol!

Good! I am very pleased to learn that. I had English bottlings that could easily have been 'improved'.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1017 Post by Jeff Leve » June 16th, 2020, 11:30 am

Jim Brennan wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 10:33 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm
But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Yeah, never in known history has someone with a financial interest in the Chateau drawn a parallel between a recent vintage and one of those vaunted vintages of old, doing so safe in the assurance that no one can really challenge that bullshit for obvious reasons.
Says someone who has never met the owner, or tasted those wines. I've met the owner, who is truly a one of a kind person, and perhaps the last of her generation still working at the property. She always calls it like she sees it. I have also tasted multiple vintages of Figeac from the '40s and '50s, and I agree with her without hesitation.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1018 Post by Brandon R » June 16th, 2020, 11:37 am

I've tried to hold off on commenting in this thread, but just can't resist. How are so many so insistent on being annoyed by a person's descriptors and prose in a tasting note on a wine? This stuff is decidedly subjective and one person's black forest cake is another person's cocoa-powder-dusted cherry. What's the big deal? So what if someone goes a little over-the-top in writing about his/her experience while tasting a wine?!? I imagine any of us would have a tough time writing perfectly about every wine after tasting thousands of wines over many years. Taking someone writing, "The aromas crawl from the glass..." literally and challenging them with, "So, a wine can LITERALLY crawl?" seems just silly. Give it a rest. Don't read them if you don't like them. Sheesh.

Okay, rant over. Cheers, Everyone.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1019 Post by Jeff Leve » June 16th, 2020, 12:01 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 7:27 pm

I'm confused. What's too much exactitude? What goes into the perception of the length of a finish?
I was referring to how wine and finishes change with food or another stimulus. For me, one of the key points in a quality assessment is the length of the finish.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1020 Post by Jeff Leve » June 16th, 2020, 12:05 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 8:34 am
Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:39 pm
Sorry, but good Bordeaux tastes absolutely nothing like Black Forest cake. Maybe one of those Chocovine chocolate-infused reds that get sold around Valentine’s Day might have some notes of Black Forest cake but decent Bordeaux doesn’t
This, so many times this.

I can accept is a young Vintage Port tastes like a cherry-chocolate dessert, but there's something really wrong if that comes into mind when drinking Bordeaux.
Marcus and Otto... May I ask you guys, how many barrel samples of young Bordeaux do you taste each year? I think I taste a fair amount every year and I can easily say, chocolate and cherry are quite common descriptors at this stage of the game. Especially with Merlot in the blend. Those characteristics fade with age.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1021 Post by Jim Brennan » June 16th, 2020, 12:18 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:30 am
Jim Brennan wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 10:33 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm
But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Yeah, never in known history has someone with a financial interest in the Chateau drawn a parallel between a recent vintage and one of those vaunted vintages of old, doing so safe in the assurance that no one can really challenge that bullshit for obvious reasons.
Says someone who has never met the owner, or tasted those wines. I've met the owner, who is truly a one of a kind person, and perhaps the last of her generation still working at the property. She always calls it like she sees it. I have also tasted multiple vintages of Figeac from the '40s and '50s, and I agree with her without hesitation.
Jeff, do you honestly think there are more than 6 people here who don't see through your logical fallacy (aka bullshit)? Feel free to cite the "disinterested" authority of someone with a vested interest to sell the wine as justification for your opinion. Oh but right, you personally met her and can vouch? Mmmmm.... so how did that steadfast praise for John Fox work out?

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1022 Post by Lee Barnard » June 16th, 2020, 12:19 pm

Brandon R wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:37 am
I've tried to hold off on commenting in this thread, but just can't resist. How are so many so insistent on being annoyed by a person's descriptors and prose in a tasting note on a wine? This stuff is decidedly subjective and one person's black forest cake is another person's cocoa-powder-dusted cherry. What's the big deal? So what if someone goes a little over-the-top in writing about his/her experience while tasting a wine?!? I imagine any of us would have a tough time writing perfectly about every wine after tasting thousands of wines over many years. Taking someone writing, "The aromas crawl from the glass..." literally and challenging them with, "So, a wine can LITERALLY crawl?" seems just silly. Give it a rest. Don't read them if you don't like them. Sheesh.

Okay, rant over. Cheers, Everyone.
For me, poking fun at aroma descriptors is just in good fun. What I don’t like about many writers is they give you a bunch of aromas and a ton of nonsense marketing speak. The aromas will change over time anyway - I want notes on structure, extraction, (over)ripeness, wood, etc. It is why although I don’t align with Leve’s palate (and thus tend to disagree on scores), I actually find his notes very helpful because they are generally more than just aromas and marketing.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1023 Post by Jeff Leve » June 16th, 2020, 12:54 pm

Jim Brennan wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:18 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:30 am
Jim Brennan wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 10:33 am


Yeah, never in known history has someone with a financial interest in the Chateau drawn a parallel between a recent vintage and one of those vaunted vintages of old, doing so safe in the assurance that no one can really challenge that bullshit for obvious reasons.
Says someone who has never met the owner, or tasted those wines. I've met the owner, who is truly a one of a kind person, and perhaps the last of her generation still working at the property. She always calls it like she sees it. I have also tasted multiple vintages of Figeac from the '40s and '50s, and I agree with her without hesitation.
Jeff, do you honestly think there are more than 6 people here who don't see through your logical fallacy (aka bullshit)? Feel free to cite the "disinterested" authority of someone with a vested interest to sell the wine as justification for your opinion. Oh but right, you personally met her and can vouch? Mmmmm.... so how did that steadfast praise for John Fox work out?
Experience matters. Knowing people matters. Having actually tasted a wine matters. And even though I have tasted those wines, I know her well enough to know she is one of the most honest, genuine people I have ever met. So, not only do I concur based on actually having tasted the wine, she is an incredible resource.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1024 Post by Troy Stark » June 16th, 2020, 1:46 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:05 pm
Marcus and Otto... May I ask you guys, how many barrel samples of young Bordeaux do you taste each year? I think I taste a fair amount every year and I can easily say, chocolate and cherry are quite common descriptors at this stage of the game. Especially with Merlot in the blend. Those characteristics fade with age.
I haven't barrel sampled Bordeaux, but my anecdotal experience confirms that young Merlot definitely can present chocolate and cherry notes, or even chocolate covered cherry notes!
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1025 Post by Charlie Carnes » June 16th, 2020, 2:46 pm

Brandon R wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:37 am
I've tried to hold off on commenting in this thread, but just can't resist. How are so many so insistent on being annoyed by a person's descriptors and prose in a tasting note on a wine? This stuff is decidedly subjective and one person's black forest cake is another person's cocoa-powder-dusted cherry. What's the big deal? So what if someone goes a little over-the-top in writing about his/her experience while tasting a wine?!? I imagine any of us would have a tough time writing perfectly about every wine after tasting thousands of wines over many years. Taking someone writing, "The aromas crawl from the glass..." literally and challenging them with, "So, a wine can LITERALLY crawl?" seems just silly. Give it a rest. Don't read them if you don't like them. Sheesh.

Okay, rant over. Cheers, Everyone.
For me, I love language and the infinite multitude of inputs which can be used to describe fermented grape juice. It's an exercise in synesthesia, and seriously, this stuff can pretty emotional and moving when it hits us just right. We use the entire lexicon and all forms of grammar, we mix metaphors, we write like knights of old, we use terms like vanguard and petrichor, we change tenses in single sentences, etc. I think we're all guilty of a little critic bingo! (Well, I certainly am!)

With that being said, "critics", or any "professional" taster is open game, and I believe they deserve to be called out when they have bouts of verbal bingorrhea. I do believe most of the ribbing back and forth here are in good humor, and generally not meant to cut, if you will.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1026 Post by Brandon R » June 16th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Charlie Carnes wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 2:46 pm
Brandon R wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:37 am
I've tried to hold off on commenting in this thread, but just can't resist. How are so many so insistent on being annoyed by a person's descriptors and prose in a tasting note on a wine? This stuff is decidedly subjective and one person's black forest cake is another person's cocoa-powder-dusted cherry. What's the big deal? So what if someone goes a little over-the-top in writing about his/her experience while tasting a wine?!? I imagine any of us would have a tough time writing perfectly about every wine after tasting thousands of wines over many years. Taking someone writing, "The aromas crawl from the glass..." literally and challenging them with, "So, a wine can LITERALLY crawl?" seems just silly. Give it a rest. Don't read them if you don't like them. Sheesh.

Okay, rant over. Cheers, Everyone.
For me, I love language and the infinite multitude of inputs which can be used to describe fermented grape juice. It's an exercise in synesthesia, and seriously, this stuff can pretty emotional and moving when it hits us just right. We use the entire lexicon and all forms of grammar, we mix metaphors, we write like knights of old, we use terms like vanguard and petrichor, we change tenses in single sentences, etc. I think we're all guilty of a little critic bingo! (Well, I certainly am!)

With that being said, "critics", or any "professional" taster is open game, and I believe they deserve to be called out when they have bouts of verbal bingorrhea. I do believe most of the ribbing back and forth here are in good humor, and generally not meant to cut, if you will.
Well put, Charlie, thank you.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1027 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 16th, 2020, 4:55 pm

The real Country Squire hath spoken!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1028 Post by John Morris » June 16th, 2020, 6:53 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:01 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 7:27 pm

I'm confused. What's too much exactitude? What goes into the perception of the length of a finish?
I was referring to how wine and finishes change with food or another stimulus. For me, one of the key points in a quality assessment is the length of the finish.
And I’m saying that measuring is in seconds is BS because the measured time varies with each individual and the wine and/or food they’ve had before the sip that’s timed.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1029 Post by John Morris » June 16th, 2020, 6:54 pm

Lee Barnard wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Brandon R wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:37 am
I've tried to hold off on commenting in this thread, but just can't resist. How are so many so insistent on being annoyed by a person's descriptors and prose in a tasting note on a wine? This stuff is decidedly subjective and one person's black forest cake is another person's cocoa-powder-dusted cherry. What's the big deal? So what if someone goes a little over-the-top in writing about his/her experience while tasting a wine?!? I imagine any of us would have a tough time writing perfectly about every wine after tasting thousands of wines over many years. Taking someone writing, "The aromas crawl from the glass..." literally and challenging them with, "So, a wine can LITERALLY crawl?" seems just silly. Give it a rest. Don't read them if you don't like them. Sheesh.

Okay, rant over. Cheers, Everyone.
For me, poking fun at aroma descriptors is just in good fun. What I don’t like about many writers is they give you a bunch of aromas and a ton of nonsense marketing speak. The aromas will change over time anyway - I want notes on structure, extraction, (over)ripeness, wood, etc. It is why although I don’t align with Leve’s palate (and thus tend to disagree on scores), I actually find his notes very helpful because they are generally more than just aromas and marketing.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1030 Post by John Morris » June 16th, 2020, 6:56 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:05 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 8:34 am
Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 8:39 pm
Sorry, but good Bordeaux tastes absolutely nothing like Black Forest cake. Maybe one of those Chocovine chocolate-infused reds that get sold around Valentine’s Day might have some notes of Black Forest cake but decent Bordeaux doesn’t
This, so many times this.

I can accept is a young Vintage Port tastes like a cherry-chocolate dessert, but there's something really wrong if that comes into mind when drinking Bordeaux.
Marcus and Otto... May I ask you guys, how many barrel samples of young Bordeaux do you taste each year? I think I taste a fair amount every year and I can easily say, chocolate and cherry are quite common descriptors at this stage of the game. Especially with Merlot in the blend. Those characteristics fade with age.
I don’t think they/we are denying that a lot of Bordeaux smells and tastes like Black Forest cake today. We’re just saying that it didn’t used to.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1031 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 17th, 2020, 2:56 am

John Morris wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 6:56 pm
I don’t think they/we are denying that a lot of Bordeaux smells and tastes like Black Forest cake today. We’re just saying that it didn’t used to.
Exactly this. I'm not saying it didn't smell like it, it just doesn't sound something like I've ever had from any barrel sample, no matter how much cherry fruit and unintegrated mocha oak there was in the wine.

Describing a wine aroma with "Black Forest cake" or any other rich dessert sounds as alluring as describing it as "chocolate blueberry milkshake". That is certainly a descriptor I've used every now and then - and never as a compliment.

And John, if I've understood correctly, no Bordeaux has been described as tasting like Black Forest cake (fortunately!) - all the descriptions have been only on the nose of the wine.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1032 Post by Andy Sc » June 17th, 2020, 4:01 am

John Morris wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 6:53 pm
And I’m saying that measuring is in seconds is BS because the measured time varies with each individual and the wine and/or food they’ve had before the sip that’s timed.
Your still on the wrong track, John.

Jeff is measuring his own perception of length of a wine, not some magical absolute number which is true for everybody in any situation at any point in time. For me as a consumer that information is highly informative as I can compare it to Jeff's other notes (tasted under the same conditions), with Jeff's notes on other vintages and how they compare to what I experienced with the same wines. Hence, that information allows me to draw my own conclusions. In addition, by adding that number, Jeff strongly emphazises that the wine has a very long finish, which on its own is a very helpful information. Of course the length of a wine is subjective and dependent on what, how, when, etc you drink it but you, John, are basically implying that wine writing is somehow a objective science when in fact it is 100% subjective, trying to give some kind of impression of a wine and some kind of guidance on what to buy.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1033 Post by David Strange » June 17th, 2020, 4:26 am

Andy Sc wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 4:01 am
John Morris wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 6:53 pm
And I’m saying that measuring is in seconds is BS because the measured time varies with each individual and the wine and/or food they’ve had before the sip that’s timed.
Your still on the wrong track, John.

Jeff is measuring his own perception of length of a wine, not some magical absolute number which is true for everybody in any situation at any point in time. For me as a consumer that information is highly informative as I can compare it to Jeff's other notes (tasted under the same conditions), with Jeff's notes on other vintages and how they compare to what I experienced with the same wines. Hence, that information allows me to draw my own conclusions. In addition, by adding that number, Jeff strongly emphazises that the wine has a very long finish, which on its own is a very helpful information. Of course the length of a wine is subjective and dependent on what, how, when, etc you drink it but you, John, are basically implying that wine writing is somehow a objective science when in fact it is 100% subjective, trying to give some kind of impression of a wine and some kind of guidance on what to buy.
100% subjective, so any objective measure like 60 seconds is effectively meaningless.

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D
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1034 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 17th, 2020, 4:34 am

Andy Sc wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 4:01 am
John Morris wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 6:53 pm
And I’m saying that measuring is in seconds is BS because the measured time varies with each individual and the wine and/or food they’ve had before the sip that’s timed.
Your still on the wrong track, John.

Jeff is measuring his own perception of length of a wine, not some magical absolute number which is true for everybody in any situation at any point in time. For me as a consumer that information is highly informative as I can compare it to Jeff's other notes (tasted under the same conditions), with Jeff's notes on other vintages and how they compare to what I experienced with the same wines. Hence, that information allows me to draw my own conclusions. In addition, by adding that number, Jeff strongly emphazises that the wine has a very long finish, which on its own is a very helpful information. Of course the length of a wine is subjective and dependent on what, how, when, etc you drink it but you, John, are basically implying that wine writing is somehow a objective science when in fact it is 100% subjective, trying to give some kind of impression of a wine and some kind of guidance on what to buy.
But the problem is that even if you sip the wine as say "it has a finish of X seconds" (which, to me, sounds pretty ridiculous, to be honest) and then taste it again, its finish might be entirely different in length now.

It sounds pretty ridiculous giving such an exact number for the length of the aftertaste.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1035 Post by Andy Sc » June 17th, 2020, 4:46 am

I see that you're focusing on the exact number of seconds instead of focusing of the meaning of it, i.e. very, very, very long finish, much longer than the other wines tasted under the same conditions. Critizing it for the measurement in seconds (when this tells you just that it was longer than the others) or for the reason that the next time it might be (likely is) different, shows that you're reading the critics notes wrong.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1036 Post by David Strange » June 17th, 2020, 4:57 am

Andy Sc wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 4:46 am
I see that you're focusing on the exact number of seconds instead of focusing of the meaning of it, i.e. very, very, very long finish, much longer than the other wines tasted under the same conditions. Critizing it for the measurement in seconds (when this tells you just that it was longer than the others) or for the reason that the next time it might be (likely is) different, shows that you're reading the critics notes wrong.
Well, if you think that 60 seconds means very... very long in whatever particular circumstances the taster is going through his 1 to N samples, what should I write when I drink half a bottle of German Riesling before lunch and I can still taste it when lunch is served 15 minutes later? Does that mean it is better than the contrived Claret with a sixty second finish. It is subjective, after all, and I'd just be describing the length of the finish in the circumstances that I tried it... Wouldn't saying something like 'impressively long finish' suggest less objectivity and focus more on the character of the wine in the (unknowable) circumstances it was tasted in? Saying '60 second finish' is simply risable.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1037 Post by Troy Stark » June 17th, 2020, 5:31 am

I agree that it's a little disingenuous to describe the finish of a wine in finite terms of time. Isn't it sufficient to say the finish is "short" or "clipped" or "sufficient" or "bitter" or "incredibly long and saturated"? Something a little less precise but containing the same mean?

I don't know, maybe I just need to change how I interpret a note that says "finish lasts well over a minute" to simply be the equivalent of "very long finish"?
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1038 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 17th, 2020, 7:00 am

Troy Stark wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 5:31 am
I agree that it's a little disingenuous to describe the finish of a wine in finite terms of time. Isn't it sufficient to say the finish is "short" or "clipped" or "sufficient" or "bitter" or "incredibly long and saturated"? Something a little less precise but containing the same mean?

I don't know, maybe I just need to change how I interpret a note that says "finish lasts well over a minute" to simply be the equivalent of "very long finish"?
I’d like to see a note that says something more interesting like: “That finish stayed with me like a wart on a toad.” Or “the finish was so long, my hair turned grey.” Most of the other ideas that flashed through my head (in 60 seconds this morning) were not appropriate. But the possibilities are endless . . . like the finish in the 2012 Schaefer GD Auslese I love so much.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1039 Post by Andy Sc » June 17th, 2020, 7:03 am

Troy Stark wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 5:31 am
I don't know, maybe I just need to change how I interpret a note that says "finish lasts well over a minute" to simply be the equivalent of "very long finish"?
That's what I try to tell the other guys here... it's not meant to be an exact time descriptor, it's just a term used to describe that the finish is extremely long and impressive. Focusing on the 60 or 50 seconds is just not what the critic wanted to tell you. Some critics (not really Jeff) have even some more nuanced descriptors like 20, 40 or 60 seconds which I interpret like great finish (20s), even greater finish (40s) and extremely superb finish (60s). As a reader I expect that with this wine I have a good chance to experience a great finish. I don't expect it to have a length of certain amount of time.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1040 Post by Jim Brennan » June 17th, 2020, 7:07 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:54 pm
Jim Brennan wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 12:18 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 11:30 am


Says someone who has never met the owner, or tasted those wines. I've met the owner, who is truly a one of a kind person, and perhaps the last of her generation still working at the property. She always calls it like she sees it. I have also tasted multiple vintages of Figeac from the '40s and '50s, and I agree with her without hesitation.
Jeff, do you honestly think there are more than 6 people here who don't see through your logical fallacy (aka bullshit)? Feel free to cite the "disinterested" authority of someone with a vested interest to sell the wine as justification for your opinion. Oh but right, you personally met her and can vouch? Mmmmm.... so how did that steadfast praise for John Fox work out?

Experience matters. Knowing people matters. Having actually tasted a wine matters. And even though I have tasted those wines, I know her well enough to know she is one of the most honest, genuine people I have ever met. So, not only do I concur based on actually having tasted the wine, she is an incredible resource.
So you're on the record saying that you believe that Manoncourt remembers wines she drank over 50 years ago in their youth well enough to make the allusion to modern Figeac today, and in no way would she allow her public statements to be affected by her imperative to sell the wines. Impressive.

I'd also note that although you've tasted the wines, you've not done so with Figeac from the 1940s and 1950s in their youth, so your assertion here is simply that you're taking on faith the word of someone who has a vested interest to sell the wines. Fair enough, and well aligned with your schtick.

We are gratified in the trust you express for her opinion. I wonder if she appreciates being in the company of Fox, Kapon, and Rudy?
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1041 Post by Paul McCourt » June 17th, 2020, 7:10 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 2:48 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 1:28 pm


Finally... I have been feeling left out. I am willing to take a beating here and be pilloried. Though I like my Haut Brion notes. You will probably have more fun with my 2019 La Conseillante comment.

But with Figeac, are you finding fault in my note? Or just my conclusion? FWIW, I imagine this is what the great old Figeac's were really like in their youth in the '50s, '40s, etc. That is what Madame Manancourt told me. She should know.
Just let us know when you feel like being beaten up, Jeff. The problem is, your notes actually convey what the wine is like, with a minimum of BS. Not much to work with there. [thumbs-up.gif]

But as long as you're asking.... My one quarrel is with measuring a wine's length in seconds. That is the ultimate in subjectivity and inconsistency, because it depends on your saliva, which depends how much tannin and what foods, if any, you've taken in. So it won't even be consistent minute to minute or hour to hour.

There ... feel better for a little criticism. [cheers.gif]
Yes, I am wanting a bit more of a beating. I want to be drawn and quartered like the others! :)

However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.


A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/
I have zero problem with your notes and am happy to read them.

That said, I am on the fence about grabbing these this year, and these notes make me want to pass.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1042 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 17th, 2020, 7:19 am

I'm like you, Paul. I think Jeff's note on the Conseillante is fun, and if you read his notes, occasionally he does that, presumably, to communicate his exuberance for a wine. It's like when I tease him about "liquid sex". What I like about Jeff's notes is that I can tell which wines will work for me, versus which, like this one, likely will not. I just read Neal Martin's report on the 2019s, and while I like his musings, sometimes I have a hard time discerning the modern from the classic. In this recent report, he specifically highlighted as over-performers for the vintage: Clinet, Poyferre and Smith Haut Lafite. I look at Jeff as more of a commentator than a critic, and as a commentator, I guess he gets more of a free pass and liberality. The paid critics, well, that's fair game to have at them, just like they have at the wine!

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1043 Post by Paul McCourt » June 17th, 2020, 7:33 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:19 am
I'm like you, Paul. I think Jeff's note on the Conseillante is fun, and if you read his notes, occasionally he does that, presumably, to communicate his exuberance for a wine. It's like when I tease him about "liquid sex". What I like about Jeff's notes is that I can tell which wines will work for me, versus which, like this one, likely will not. I just read Neal Martin's report on the 2019s, and while I like his musings, sometimes I have a hard time discerning the modern from the classic. In this recent report, he specifically highlighted as over-performers for the vintage: Clinet, Poyferre and Smith Haut Lafite. I look at Jeff as more of a commentator than a critic, and as a commentator, I guess he gets more of a free pass and liberality. The paid critics, well, that's fair game to have at them, just like they have at the wine!
Jeff takes a lot of undeserved beatings, in my opinion. Nobody is perfect, and he puts out a lot of content to pick at. I appreciate the notes and information, and form my own personal opinion as to how I value them - which doesn't have to translate into criticizing him.

BTW, what did Neal say about the SHL?
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1044 Post by John Morris » June 17th, 2020, 7:45 am

Andy Sc wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:03 am
Troy Stark wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 5:31 am
I don't know, maybe I just need to change how I interpret a note that says "finish lasts well over a minute" to simply be the equivalent of "very long finish"?
That's what I try to tell the other guys here... it's not meant to be an exact time descriptor, it's just a term used to describe that the finish is extremely long and impressive. Focusing on the 60 or 50 seconds is just not what the critic wanted to tell you. Some critics (not really Jeff) have even some more nuanced descriptors like 20, 40 or 60 seconds which I interpret like great finish (20s), even greater finish (40s) and extremely superb finish (60s). As a reader I expect that with this wine I have a good chance to experience a great finish. I don't expect it to have a length of certain amount of time.
The problem is that people write 60 seconds, and 45 and 50 seconds, as if this were measurable, like alcohol. Jeff said he actually timed it! So this isn’t a metaphor. It’s faux scientific wine assessment. And when I read that stuff, I think some is fooling themselves.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1045 Post by John Morris » June 17th, 2020, 7:49 am

Paul McCourt wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:33 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:19 am
I'm like you, Paul. I think Jeff's note on the Conseillante is fun, and if you read his notes, occasionally he does that, presumably, to communicate his exuberance for a wine. It's like when I tease him about "liquid sex". What I like about Jeff's notes is that I can tell which wines will work for me, versus which, like this one, likely will not. I just read Neal Martin's report on the 2019s, and while I like his musings, sometimes I have a hard time discerning the modern from the classic. In this recent report, he specifically highlighted as over-performers for the vintage: Clinet, Poyferre and Smith Haut Lafite. I look at Jeff as more of a commentator than a critic, and as a commentator, I guess he gets more of a free pass and liberality. The paid critics, well, that's fair game to have at them, just like they have at the wine!
Jeff takes a lot of undeserved beatings, in my opinion. Nobody is perfect, and he puts out a lot of content to pick at. I appreciate the notes and information, and form my own personal opinion as to how I value them - which doesn't have to translate into criticizing him.

BTW, what did Neal say about the SHL?
You and Alfert and I are saying the same thing about the value off Jeff’s site and notes. My palate doesn’t correlate well with Jeff’s, but I still find his notes useful. My only quarrel with Jeff here is with his measurement in seconds of the finish.
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1046 Post by Andy Sc » June 17th, 2020, 8:39 am

John Morris wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:45 am
The problem is that people write 60 seconds, and 45 and 50 seconds, as if this were measurable, like alcohol. Jeff said he actually timed it! So this isn’t a metaphor. It’s faux scientific wine assessment. And when I read that stuff, I think some is fooling themselves.
Still, what he wants to tell the reader is, it's a damn long finish - nothing else. He wrote "close to 50/60 seconds" or "more than 50/60 seconds" 8x in almost 600 Bdx 2019 notes. In all the other notes no seconds measurements are mentioned. In no note a precise amount of seconds is mentioned either. So he clearly wants the reader to tell that in these particular wines the finish is extremely impressive, not that it is XYZ seconds long. If so, he would have mentioned it in all its notes (or in more than 8 out of 600). When a reader of that note thinks that somebody tried to be scientific here, where no scientific accuracy is possible (as it is highly subjective) - like you do - it clearly shows that you interpret the writing wrong. (Whether he actually measured it for these eight wines or not is not really relevant).
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1047 Post by Jeff Leve » June 17th, 2020, 9:03 am

Paul McCourt wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:10 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm
John Morris wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 2:48 pm


Just let us know when you feel like being beaten up, Jeff. The problem is, your notes actually convey what the wine is like, with a minimum of BS. Not much to work with there. [thumbs-up.gif]

But as long as you're asking.... My one quarrel is with measuring a wine's length in seconds. That is the ultimate in subjectivity and inconsistency, because it depends on your saliva, which depends how much tannin and what foods, if any, you've taken in. So it won't even be consistent minute to minute or hour to hour.

There ... feel better for a little criticism. [cheers.gif]
Yes, I am wanting a bit more of a beating. I want to be drawn and quartered like the others! :)

However, I must argue with you on my minor beating. Of course, the timing in a finish is subjective. Everything about a tasting note, especially its conclusion is subjective. Also, all tasting notes, at least from me are written without food, as food completely changes the experience and unless the reader was seated at the table with me, having the same meal, that cannot be duplicated.


A gift for you. Though I admit, I am not the most fanciful writer. Though I like to have fun with the notes and hopefully impart my enthusiasm when warranted.

2019 La Conseillante - Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart-stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, "Holy F..K!" Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... seillante/
I have zero problem with your notes and am happy to read them.

That said, I am on the fence about grabbing these this year, and these notes make me want to pass.
Regardless of how you feel about my judgment, (score) on a wine, I am hoping my notes read well-enough so that if you buy, you know what you are getting. I taste the wines and write about them with the purpose of helping everyone find the best wines for the money in the style they like. And the reverse is also true, making sure folks do not purchase wines they will not enjoy. So, if it is not a wine you think will not like want, by all means, pass. :)
Last edited by Jeff Leve on June 17th, 2020, 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1048 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 17th, 2020, 9:05 am

Andy Sc wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 8:39 am
John Morris wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:45 am
The problem is that people write 60 seconds, and 45 and 50 seconds, as if this were measurable, like alcohol. Jeff said he actually timed it! So this isn’t a metaphor. It’s faux scientific wine assessment. And when I read that stuff, I think some is fooling themselves.
Still, what he wants to tell the reader is, it's a damn long finish - nothing else. He wrote "close to 50/60 seconds" or "more than 50/60 seconds" 8x in almost 600 Bdx 2019 notes. In all the other notes no seconds measurements are mentioned. In no note a precise amount of seconds is mentioned either. So he clearly wants the reader to tell that in these particular wines the finish is extremely impressive, not that it is XYZ seconds long. If so, he would have mentioned it in all its notes (or in more than 8 out of 600). When a reader of that note thinks that somebody tried to be scientific here, where no scientific accuracy is possible (as it is highly subjective) - like you do - it clearly shows that you interpret the writing wrong. (Whether he actually measured it for these eight wines or not is not really relevant).
It still doesn't change the fact it sounds plain silly to so many readers.

"Exceptionally long finish!" -> Okay then!

"A finish that lasts for 50 seconds!" -> ...is this guy serious?

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1049 Post by Jeff Leve » June 17th, 2020, 9:05 am

Troy Stark wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 5:31 am
I agree that it's a little disingenuous to describe the finish of a wine in finite terms of time. Isn't it sufficient to say the finish is "short" or "clipped" or "sufficient" or "bitter" or "incredibly long and saturated"? Something a little less precise but containing the same mean?

I don't know, maybe I just need to change how I interpret a note that says "finish lasts well over a minute" to simply be the equivalent of "very long finish"?
As the note writer being discussed here, no. neener But you can and should interrupt that sense of timing as you like. The bottom line is, if you value length in a finish, you get the point, regardless of you agreeing with the method or not.

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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1050 Post by Jeff Leve » June 17th, 2020, 9:14 am

Paul McCourt wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:33 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:19 am
I'm like you, Paul. I think Jeff's note on the Conseillante is fun, and if you read his notes, occasionally he does that, presumably, to communicate his exuberance for a wine. It's like when I tease him about "liquid sex". What I like about Jeff's notes is that I can tell which wines will work for me, versus which, like this one, likely will not. I just read Neal Martin's report on the 2019s, and while I like his musings, sometimes I have a hard time discerning the modern from the classic. In this recent report, he specifically highlighted as over-performers for the vintage: Clinet, Poyferre and Smith Haut Lafite. I look at Jeff as more of a commentator than a critic, and as a commentator, I guess he gets more of a free pass and liberality. The paid critics, well, that's fair game to have at them, just like they have at the wine!
Jeff takes a lot of undeserved beatings, in my opinion. Nobody is perfect, and he puts out a lot of content to pick at. I appreciate the notes and information, and form my own personal opinion as to how I value them - which doesn't have to translate into criticizing him.
Thank you Paul. I am a big-boy and have no problem with criticism from anyone here. It is all part of the game. For those that date back far enough to recall the good old days, I have never been shy about presenting a view. That being said, over the years, like the wines I prefer, I have aged and mellowed and avoid arguing.

I am in a privileged position to be able to taste so many wines and report on them. I have no issues with anyone that does not agree. What I like about most of the people in this thread is that while we do not agree most of the time, they are honest about their views and can apply logic, even if it is faulty. I maintain hopes Alfret will come around. He did man up and take a flyer on Les Carmes Haut Brion 2016, and he knows it is a beauty.

BTW, what did Neal say about the SHL?

Neal who? F That! Go read my site. flirtysmile

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