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

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Jayson Cohen
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1151 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 3:36 am
Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Bedrock Vineyard Heritage opens with fantastic perfume: ripe peach, sliced blueberries, warm red cherries, underbrush, violet and dried tangerine peel with nuances of crushed stone, dried hollyhock and exotic spices. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with singularly perfumed fruit layers, with a chewy frame and wicked freshness, finishing long and evolving. Wow! Just a pup, give this another year or two in bottle and drink it over the next 10-15 years.
Had no clue what a hollyhock was.

Google told me it was was a flower, but more interesting, it’s a flower that emits no aroma. No perfume. No nuances.

Now, I’m no gardner, so would not know that for sure, but that beside is the point.
Maybe the magic happens when you dry the hollyhock. Just like the magic that happens when you crush an otherwise aromaless stone.

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

#1152 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 22nd, 2020, 7:58 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 5:44 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 9:31 am
Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 3:58 pm
Let's take this one step further, people. There is *no* chocolate in any Bordeaux wine! There is not a single Bordeaux producer who mixes cacao powder or any other product of the cacao bean or even any artificial chocolate flavoring into their must or their wine before bottling! Amazingly, "chocolate" is just a *metaphor*, that is a familiar but imperfect analogy used to attempt to communicate a subjective impression of a wine flavor to a reader.

By general agreement, the "chocolate" metaphor can be at least reasonably useful in describing vinous flavors, in no small part because the range of experiences of chocolate is so vast (from extremely bitter to extremely sweet, light to intense, fruity to earthy, etc.) that people can generally find some purchase for the metaphor in how they experience certain wines. It is my contention, however, that the "black forest cake" metaphor, which unambiguously describes an extremely sweet, thick, fudgey, and confected dessert is not useful in describing what should be Bordeaux flavors, and if someone thinks it is this makes me believe either that the wine is bad or I don't trust their palate.

Jeff, I hope this explanation helps you to better understand what you are doing when writing wine tasting notes.
In the old days, I would have written some sarcastic response to your post. But as I've aged. Like my wine, I have mellowed and want to thank you for your explanation about experiencing chocolate in wine.

Until now, I often wondered if they actually placed chunks of Valhrona into the vats. Now, I know they only add cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and plums. And what about all those fresh flowers, herbs, forest floor and truffles I find in wine? Do they add those into the blend as well?

Of course, that leaves me wondering as to which Cuban Cigars they include, my favorite being Cohiba Behikes! And what about licorice, tobacco, smoke, vanilla, leather, soy, salt, rocks, stones etc? How do they find the time to source all those ingredients? This also explains why they have so many vats in their cellars these days! Clearly they are all on the conspiracy saying each vat was for specific parcels. Now, thanks to you, I know the truth!

Thank you for filling me in. You really should write a book... "There is no F'ing Chocolate in Your Wine!" However, until your book comes out, I will simply continue using chocolate as a descriptor when that is the sensation I find in the wine.

Yes, good thing I have mellowed with age :D
And, when the descriptors you use seem fanciful and over the top, someone here will quote you and put your note in this thread. That is the way it works. I assume that you will not use the term hollyhock???
Jeffois is safe. I just did a word search on his site. No Hollyhock nuance. He knows I’d roast him, right Jeff? [snort.gif]

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1153 Post by John Morris » August 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 3:36 am
Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Bedrock Vineyard Heritage opens with fantastic perfume: ripe peach, sliced blueberries, warm red cherries, underbrush, violet and dried tangerine peel with nuances of crushed stone, dried hollyhock and exotic spices. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with singularly perfumed fruit layers, with a chewy frame and wicked freshness, finishing long and evolving. Wow! Just a pup, give this another year or two in bottle and drink it over the next 10-15 years.
Had no clue what a hollyhock was.

Google told me it was was a flower, but more interesting, it’s a flower that emits no aroma. No perfume. No nuances.

Now, I’m no gardner, so would not know that for sure, but that beside is the point.
Maybe the magic happens when you dry the hollyhock. Just like the magic that happens when you crush an otherwise aromaless stone.
And I see that we are now differentiating fruit by temperature.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1154 Post by crickey » August 22nd, 2020, 8:25 am

My google says it smells like marshmallow root (marshmallow root is sometimes called hock or hollyhock), which has similar uses (teas, soaps, creams) and a light, "non-descript," but "distinct" aroma and flavor. That's not none. It is possible that Erin has confused the oils in the soaps and creams with the herb. Or it's possible she can identify hollyhock.

On "crushed stones," I think there was a discussion on this board (perhaps on this thread), that crushing rock can release trapped gases, which is what we smell.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1155 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 22nd, 2020, 8:29 am

John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 3:36 am


Had no clue what a hollyhock was.

Google told me it was was a flower, but more interesting, it’s a flower that emits no aroma. No perfume. No nuances.

Now, I’m no gardner, so would not know that for sure, but that beside is the point.
Maybe the magic happens when you dry the hollyhock. Just like the magic that happens when you crush an otherwise aromaless stone.
And I see that we are now differentiating fruit by temperature.
Actually that I can understand clearly. Fruit changes aromatically when cooked and we all have experience with that. We have bigger fish to fry as your thread here has pointed out so well.

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

#1156 Post by John Morris » August 22nd, 2020, 8:31 am

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 10:06 am
Without wishing to continue the Great Black Forest Cake war of 2020, my point was very simple, and relevant to this thread in general -- description of flavors in wine is a metaphorical / stylistic exercise, not an objective scientific identification, and IMO when someone chooses to favorably describe a Bordeaux by analogy to a very sweet, rich, chocolate dessert that indicates either that their palate does not match mine, or that the wine is extremely non-traditional to the point of being a dessert wine, or both. I think this is a valid viewpoint regardless of whether I have tasted en primeur.
There may be no chocolate, but in cabernet wines, it's not uncommon to pick up aromas and flavors that are the same as chocolate. I assume that's because wine is enormously complex chemically and cabernet probably shares some aroma compounds with chocolate. Wine doesn't literally contain vanilla, for instance, but it does pick up vanillin -- which gives vanilla beans their aroma and flavor -- from oak barrels. Likewise, it can pick up buttery and creamy aromas from lactones created during malolactic fermentation and/or from barrels.

I wouldn't call that a metaphor -- it's using a descriptor tied to the foods where we most commonly encounter these smells and tastes. The taste of chocolate or butter are not metaphors, they're a common experience. And who the hell knows their organic chemistry well enough to use the chemical names!

If you call a wine "voluptuous" or "vivacious," that's metaphoric.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1157 Post by crickey » August 22nd, 2020, 8:34 am

There are several examples in that note of what we might term false precision. Hollyhock is one: can someone really pick that out from other dried flowers that have a weak aroma? The main one for me is "sliced blueberries." Really? Does slicing add anything that couldn't have been said with just "blueberries"? Was it an attempt to indicate intensity?
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1158 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 22nd, 2020, 8:52 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:29 am
John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am


Maybe the magic happens when you dry the hollyhock. Just like the magic that happens when you crush an otherwise aromaless stone.
And I see that we are now differentiating fruit by temperature.
Actually that I can understand clearly. Fruit changes aromatically when cooked and we all have experience with that. We have bigger fish to fry as your thread here has pointed out so well.
I completely get the temperature reference and the note to crush stones. I have used them before. I just had never heard of hollyhock. I did a search on eBob and Leve, and this website, and did not see anyone use that before. It’s terribly obscure to me.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1159 Post by John Morris » August 22nd, 2020, 9:10 am

I fully understand cooked fruit (e.g., jam or pie). But merely warm?
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1160 Post by John Morris » August 22nd, 2020, 9:12 am

crickey wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:34 am
There are several examples in that note of what we might term false precision. Hollyhock is one: can someone really pick that out from other dried flowers that have a weak aroma? The main one for me is "sliced blueberries." Really? Does slicing add anything that couldn't have been said with just "blueberries"? Was it an attempt to indicate intensity?
I'm with you. But wait for the blowback from your post. I was taken to task for making fun of Molesworthy's many different singed woods. I was told that they were easily distinguishable! Who knew?

(I have to say that, if I were paid critic, it would be very tempting to throw in references to hollyhock flowers or singed alder or the like, because the risk of anyone saying the wine didn't show those things is close to nil.)
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1161 Post by Jeff Leve » August 22nd, 2020, 10:05 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 7:58 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 5:44 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 9:31 am


In the old days, I would have written some sarcastic response to your post. But as I've aged. Like my wine, I have mellowed and want to thank you for your explanation about experiencing chocolate in wine.

Until now, I often wondered if they actually placed chunks of Valhrona into the vats. Now, I know they only add cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and plums. And what about all those fresh flowers, herbs, forest floor and truffles I find in wine? Do they add those into the blend as well?

Of course, that leaves me wondering as to which Cuban Cigars they include, my favorite being Cohiba Behikes! And what about licorice, tobacco, smoke, vanilla, leather, soy, salt, rocks, stones etc? How do they find the time to source all those ingredients? This also explains why they have so many vats in their cellars these days! Clearly they are all on the conspiracy saying each vat was for specific parcels. Now, thanks to you, I know the truth!

Thank you for filling me in. You really should write a book... "There is no F'ing Chocolate in Your Wine!" However, until your book comes out, I will simply continue using chocolate as a descriptor when that is the sensation I find in the wine.

Yes, good thing I have mellowed with age :D
And, when the descriptors you use seem fanciful and over the top, someone here will quote you and put your note in this thread. That is the way it works. I assume that you will not use the term hollyhock???
Jeffois is safe. I just did a word search on his site. No Hollyhock nuance. He knows I’d roast him, right Jeff? [snort.gif]
I had to look up a hollyhock. So, no, you won’t see it as a descriptor, because I didn’t know what it was.

But in all fairness, it’s a flower and if you’re a perfume nose, or if you have an impeccable sense memory, perhaps you know its aromatics. Purple, red and white flowers each have a different aroma. I do use lilacs, violets, white flowers and roses as descriptions. But that’s as far as my nose or sense memory goes.

Funny story. I forget the wine, but I said it smells of Persian Mulberries. A poster said BS! I replied I just bought some that day at the farmers mkt and they a distinctive boysenberry/blueberry almost over ripe pungency.

It’s the prancing and dancing that’s a bit fanciful. But writing thousands of notes makes you long for new ways to say the same thing.

As for the chocolate, it is a common aromatic in wines. I find it more often in Merlot than Cab, but it’s there. It cones from the fruit but you can get it from some toasted barrels.

I use Cuban Cigars as a descriptor. I think it’s a cleaner, fresher, more complex and pure aroma than simply tobacco leaves who are more green and leafy.

Numerous aromas are quite distinctive if you’re familiar with them. I only use the descriptors that are in my world. I like burning wood. And I know many woods, cherry, apple and others are distinctive. But I don’t get to experience them, so I don’t use them. Other smoky scents, like BBQ, campfire embers, fireplace are I wheelhouse.

OK, back to watering my non-hollyhock filled garden.
Last edited by Jeff Leve on August 22nd, 2020, 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1162 Post by crickey » August 22nd, 2020, 10:10 am

John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 9:12 am
crickey wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:34 am
There are several examples in that note of what we might term false precision. Hollyhock is one: can someone really pick that out from other dried flowers that have a weak aroma? The main one for me is "sliced blueberries." Really? Does slicing add anything that couldn't have been said with just "blueberries"? Was it an attempt to indicate intensity?
I'm with you. But wait for the blowback from your post. I was taken to task for making fun of Molesworth's many different singed woods. I was told that they were easily distinguishable! Who knew?
You are pointing out one of the dangers of this thread. Who knew indeed: not you! Are obscure references really obscure? By making fun of someone who knows something one doesn't, one may only reveal one's ignorance and exhibit a certain self-satisfaction with it. By pointing out a precision that may not be there, is one pointing to a pretension by the writer or a lack of sensitivity on one's own part? For example, look at this note by William Kelley in a recent tasting of Selosse Substance:

"Wafting from the glass with a deep and kaleidoscopically complex bouquet of candied peel, citrus oil, toasted nuts, vin jaune, fenugreek, confit lemons, golden orchard fruit and frangipane, it's full-bodied, rich and enveloping, with an extravagantly textural attack that segues into an ample, mouth-filling core that cascades over the palate with layer after layer of ripe fruit and sapid nuance, enlivened by an ultra-refined pinpoint mousse."

In one note, there are toasted nuts, walnuts (vin jaune) and almonds (frangipane, which I did have to look up). How many kinds of nuts are there in this one champagne? I know the difference in the nuts, but I also know I would never pick up three different variations of nuts in one wine. False precision or my failure? Dare I make fun of it? Speaking of frangipane, in the next Selosse note, he identifies "almond paste." What difference is being conveyed by almond paste vs. frangipane? A rich creaminess is the first wine vs. the second?
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1163 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 22nd, 2020, 10:10 am

John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 9:10 am
I fully understand cooked fruit (e.g., jam or pie). But merely warm?
I think so. Warm fruit can taste different than cold fruit. Same fruit out of the fridge versus room temp.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1164 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 22nd, 2020, 11:09 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 10:10 am
John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 9:10 am
I fully understand cooked fruit (e.g., jam or pie). But merely warm?
I think so. Warm fruit can taste different than cold fruit. Same fruit out of the fridge versus room temp.
Hmm. Not so sure and now I see John’s point. I think what most people call a (red) cherry aroma is there when uncooked versus the changes that occur as it cooks, but cold cherries to warm/room temp does not seem like a meaningful distinction to me. The same aromas that are there just get stronger with warning to room temp.

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

#1165 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » August 22nd, 2020, 11:13 am

John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 8:31 am
Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 10:06 am
Without wishing to continue the Great Black Forest Cake war of 2020, my point was very simple, and relevant to this thread in general -- description of flavors in wine is a metaphorical / stylistic exercise, not an objective scientific identification, and IMO when someone chooses to favorably describe a Bordeaux by analogy to a very sweet, rich, chocolate dessert that indicates either that their palate does not match mine, or that the wine is extremely non-traditional to the point of being a dessert wine, or both. I think this is a valid viewpoint regardless of whether I have tasted en primeur.
There may be no chocolate, but in cabernet wines, it's not uncommon to pick up aromas and flavors that are the same as chocolate. I assume that's because wine is enormously complex chemically and cabernet probably shares some aroma compounds with chocolate. Wine doesn't literally contain vanilla, for instance, but it does pick up vanillin -- which gives vanilla beans their aroma and flavor -- from oak barrels. Likewise, it can pick up buttery and creamy aromas from lactones created during malolactic fermentation and/or from barrels.

I wouldn't call that a metaphor -- it's using a descriptor tied to the foods where we most commonly encounter these smells and tastes. The taste of chocolate or butter are not metaphors, they're a common experience. And who the hell knows their organic chemistry well enough to use the chemical names!

If you call a wine "voluptuous" or "vivacious," that's metaphoric.
Likening wine to chocolate in a tasting note is a metaphor, it is in no way literally true that there is chocolate in the wine. Just because two different physical things contain some of the same chemical constituents does not mean that a comparison between them is not metaphorical. If you said, "his tanned skin was like leather", the comparison between skin and leather would be metaphorical even though leather actually is itself a dried animal skin product with many many more similarities to human skin than wine has to to chocolate. (Also, just because something is a common experience, or refers to physical things and not concepts, doesn't mean it's not a metaphor -- metaphors are most effective when referring to common physical experiences!)

Per Google the ester ethyl heptanoate occurs naturally in grape wines, apple, tangerine peel, grape, pineapple, strawberry, peas, hops beer, apricot, Vitis labrusca, cheeses, butter, milk, beer, cognac, brandy, whiskey, rum, cocoa, filberts, olive, passion fruit, plums, corn oil and nectarines, and is also used in the manufacture of artificial flavors/essences/scents of raspberry, gooseberry, grape, cherry, apricot, currant, bourbon, and more. Even though ethyl heptanoate is shared across many natural fruits and artificial flavors, it is no sense literally true that there are apricots in your beer, or peas in your butter, or 1990 Chateau Lafite in your artificially flavored cherry popsicle, or cherry popsicle in your Lafite.

No doubt the shared esters are a big reason that wine can produce scents or flavors *reminscent* of all these other things and more, but the adjectives you choose to describe the wine to among all the vast universe of different things it could remind you of are metaphorical. They are "a figure of speech in which a word is applied to an object to which it is not literally applicable". The metaphor is accessible to others because wine *really is* reminscent of a lot of other things, for reasons rooted in objective organic chemistry, but this is why metaphors in general work well -- because they hit on an experience that others can have also. Heavily tanned human skin really can be reminscent of leather and the reason for that is certain objective physical similarities. But the description is still a metaphor. Wine writing attempts to describe olfactory/taste perceptions in metaphorical terms, just like a lot of poetry attempts to describe visual perceptions in metaphorical terms.

The reason I'm being a bit pedantic here is that I think the weird belief that the wine somehow "contains" all these different substances, that an especially trained and sensitive nose could somehow "objectively" find singed alder wood in wine where a normal mortal could not, is a big enabler of these insanely overwrought and hyper-adjectivized tasting notes.

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

#1166 Post by John Morris » August 22nd, 2020, 11:23 am

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 11:13 am
The reason I'm being a bit pedantic here is that I think the weird belief that the wine somehow "contains" all these different substances, that an especially trained and sensitive nose could somehow "objectively" find singed alder wood in wine where a normal mortal could not, is a big enabler of these insanely overwrought and hyper-adjectivized tasting notes.
It's not a "weird belief" about the contents of the wine. No one interprets these notes as implying that there are apricots or chocolate in the wine.

If you're smelling the same compound that is in chocolate or butter or vanilla or cherries, I don't think that's a metaphor. At most it's a shorthand for the same smell/taste.

I do entirely agree with you, though, that many of these notes go overboard with obscure sensory references and silly differentiations (e.g., cut blueberries).

(I don't know if you followed the exchange about marmalades, prompted by a Jancis Robinson note. The descriptor was meaningless to Americans, but turned out to be very familiar and meaningful to Brits.)
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Re: It's critic bingo! ('19 Haut Brion threatens to "go atomic")

#1167 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » August 22nd, 2020, 11:38 am

John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 11:23 am
Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 11:13 am
The reason I'm being a bit pedantic here is that I think the weird belief that the wine somehow "contains" all these different substances, that an especially trained and sensitive nose could somehow "objectively" find singed alder wood in wine where a normal mortal could not, is a big enabler of these insanely overwrought and hyper-adjectivized tasting notes.
It's not a "weird belief" about the contents of the wine. No one interprets these notes as implying that there are apricots or chocolate in the wine.

If you're smelling the same compound that is in chocolate or butter or vanilla or cherries, I don't think that's a metaphor. At most it's a shorthand for the same smell/taste.

I do entirely agree with you, though, that many of these notes go overboard with obscure sensory references and silly differentiations (e.g., cut blueberries).

(I don't know if you followed the exchange about marmalades, prompted by a Jancis Robinson note. The descriptor was meaningless to Americans, but turned out to be very familiar and meaningful to Brits.)
The bolded part is where we disagree. Just because there is a chemical compound shared between two things does not mean that you are tasting or smelling the "same thing" when you experience them, because smell or taste is a holistic experience determined by all constituents of the substance at once. Sharing chemical compounds is a reason why one could remind you of the other but you are not tasting the same thing, and noting what it reminds you of is still a literary metaphor.

Extremely obscure references are bad metaphors and bad writing because they just flaunt the critics sophistication rather than usefully appealing to a shared experience that would illuminate what the wine might taste like for the reader. On that I think we all agree.

However, if one's mental model is that wine descriptions are somehow about objective detection of shared chemical compounds then maybe a really obscure reference shows that the critic has a more advanced "chemical compound detector" built into their nose than you do. After all, I'm sure there are some obscure chemical compounds shared between singed alder wood and California cabernet. That's what I mean by saying that denying the metaphorical nature of wine writing can serve to mystify bad writing.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1168 Post by David Glasser » August 22nd, 2020, 3:04 pm

I think it's fine to use chocolate or blueberry or honeysuckle, etc. to describe a wine that has aromas or flavors which remind you of those things. No one thinks the wine actually has chocolate in it. It facilitates communication.

Where I lose patience is with the obscure descriptors. Leaving false precision alone, even if a wine does have aromas reminiscent of some rare fruit or flower or wood that the critic is familiar with, using it as a descriptor is of no benefit to readers who have no knowledge of it. It can be difficult to define how obscure is too obscure, since consumers of critics' notes can have a wide range of experiences. But in general obscurity does not serve the reader. It only serves the writer, either by inflating their ego or lessening the drudgery of having to come up with adjectives to describe hundreds or thousands of wines. And while we can look up Persian mulberries or singed alder, if we've never smelled or tasted them the best we can do is to get an approximation, assuming the definition we find uses a more familiar smell or taste for reference.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1169 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 22nd, 2020, 3:30 pm

David Glasser wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 3:04 pm
And while we can look up Persian mulberries or singed alder, if we've never smelled or tasted them the best we can do is to get an approximation, assuming the definition we find uses a more familiar smell or taste for reference.
This hits the nail on the head but I’d say it even stronger. If the point of a very specific descriptor like Persian mulberries or singed alder is to convey a distinct aromatic impression, the reader can’t possibly relate to that specificity by looking it up in a book. The reader has to have that aromatic experience in common with the writer for the descriptor to truly convey meaning. As a result, for most readers the subtlety the writer seems to convey is useless. Most readers will read these as mulberry (if they know mulberry) and burnt wood.

The common ground between useful and useless descriptive precision is not easy to define. But I think Persian mulberries and singed alder fall in the latter camp whereas a distinction between say pink and white grapefruit would fall in the former. The battleground of interest in my view is somewhere in between.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1170 Post by Paul @bbott » August 23rd, 2020, 6:19 am

The mulberry reference for me is quite distinct, the black version having dark fruit, earthy overtones and an intense sweet and sour balance, it makes my favourite jam. For me the chocolate reference is as much about a texture as a flavour, I would normally associate it with a fairly dusty /grainy tannic structure that dries the tongue in the same way as a square of chocolate - as if that means anything to anyone else.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1171 Post by John Morris » August 23rd, 2020, 7:58 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 11:09 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 10:10 am
John Morris wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 9:10 am
I fully understand cooked fruit (e.g., jam or pie). But merely warm?
I think so. Warm fruit can taste different than cold fruit. Same fruit out of the fridge versus room temp.
Hmm. Not so sure and now I see John’s point. I think what most people call a (red) cherry aroma is there when uncooked versus the changes that occur as it cooks, but cold cherries to warm/room temp does not seem like a meaningful distinction to me. The same aromas that are there just get stronger with warning to room temp.
Exactly! It's just like a wine, which doesn't have much aroma straight out of the refrigerator at 40F because there isn't much evaporation of aromas. But the aromas aren't different at 68F, just more intense.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1172 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 23rd, 2020, 8:03 am

Sorry for the pedantry, but isn’t “more intense” a “difference”?

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1173 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 23rd, 2020, 8:35 am

Paul @bbott wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 6:19 am
The mulberry reference for me is quite distinct, the black version having dark fruit, earthy overtones and an intense sweet and sour balance, it makes my favourite jam. For me the chocolate reference is as much about a texture as a flavour, I would normally associate it with a fairly dusty /grainy tannic structure that dries the tongue in the same way as a square of chocolate - as if that means anything to anyone else.
I think mulberry is distinct too. I get it in Magdelaine as the consistent fruit signature. Also a bit in D&R’s Shake Ridge Mourvedre.

But I have no separate context for Persian mulberry. And I’m guessing neither do 99.5%+ of wine drinkers.

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1174 Post by David Glasser » August 23rd, 2020, 4:27 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 8:35 am
Paul @bbott wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 6:19 am
The mulberry reference for me is quite distinct, the black version having dark fruit, earthy overtones and an intense sweet and sour balance, it makes my favourite jam. For me the chocolate reference is as much about a texture as a flavour, I would normally associate it with a fairly dusty /grainy tannic structure that dries the tongue in the same way as a square of chocolate - as if that means anything to anyone else.
I think mulberry is distinct too. I get it in Magdelaine as the consistent fruit signature. Also a bit in D&R’s Shake Ridge Mourvedre.

But I have no separate context for Persian mulberry. And I’m guessing neither do 99.5%+ of wine drinkers.
+1

I can close my eyes and taste the mulberries we picked and ate off of the bushes at my grandparents' on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid. That’s where my mind goes when I read "Persian mulberries." If in fact Persian mulberries taste or smell significantly different than the ones I remember (I have no idea if they do), then the use of that term is misleading to me. My fault for being ignorant? The critic's fault for being too obscure?

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Re: It's critic bingo! (striding confidently when not prancing)

#1175 Post by John Morris » August 23rd, 2020, 5:27 pm

I agree.

I guess that means we should stick to descriptors like “Bavarian chocolate cake.”
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1176 Post by John Morris » August 30th, 2020, 3:15 pm

Once again, Vinous takes the lead.

"Unctuosity"?
2017 Montevertine Rosso di Toscano
"Shockingly dense and dark, the 2017 Montevertine possesses off the charts textural richness and unctuosity. A freak of nature in a vintage with tiny yields, the 2017 aturates the palate with intense, plush fruit, silky tannins and mind-blowing concentration. Raspberry jam, white flowers, lavender and spice are some of the notes that build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. The 2017 is shaping up to be an epic Montevertine and a huge overachiever. Interestingly, today the Montevertine shows sweeter tannins and a touch less alcohol than the Pergole Torte. I can't wait to taste it from bottle." -- Antonio Galloni
Blecch. "Unctuosity" is in the dictionary, but why not just say it's unctuous. Or, since you've said it has "off-the-charts richness" (without the pretty-much-necessary hyphens), why use any derivative of "unctuous" at all, since it means rich or oily?

Perhaps it's a setup for Steve Tanzer's "florality" and "suavity" (see below).
2015 DeLille Cellars Doyenne
“Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Aromas of blackberry and blueberry are lifted by strong lavender florality. A juicy, spicy midweight with terrific peppery precision and lift to its dark berry and floral flavors. This wonderfully stylish wine boasts uncanny inner-mouth perfume and energy. Finishes quite firm and long but not austere, with dusty, fine-grained tannins and noteworthy suavity. A new high-water mark for this bottling.” Steve Tanzer, 94
1. “Florality.” Is there any lavender scent that isn’t floral?
2. Is this a midweight wine, or does he mean it's spicy in the mid-palate?
3. How does pepperiness give a wine precision?
4. "Inner-mouth perfume and energy"?? Perfume is something you get only on the nose.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1177 Post by crickey » August 30th, 2020, 3:43 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:15 pm
Once again, Vinous takes the lead.

"Unctuosity"?
2017 Montevertine Rosso di Toscano
"Shockingly dense and dark, the 2017 Montevertine possesses off the charts textural richness and unctuosity. A freak of nature in a vintage with tiny yields, the 2017 aturates the palate with intense, plush fruit, silky tannins and mind-blowing concentration. Raspberry jam, white flowers, lavender and spice are some of the notes that build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. The 2017 is shaping up to be an epic Montevertine and a huge overachiever. Interestingly, today the Montevertine shows sweeter tannins and a touch less alcohol than the Pergole Torte. I can't wait to taste it from bottle." -- Antonio Galloni
Blecch. "Unctuosity" is in the dictionary, but why not just say it's unctuous. Or, since you've said it has "off-the-charts richness" (without the pretty-much-necessary hyphens), why use any derivative of "unctuous" at all, since it means rich or oily?

Perhaps it's a setup for Steve Tanzer's "florality" and "suavity" (see below).
2015 DeLille Cellars Doyenne
“Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Aromas of blackberry and blueberry are lifted by strong lavender florality. A juicy, spicy midweight with terrific peppery precision and lift to its dark berry and floral flavors. This wonderfully stylish wine boasts uncanny inner-mouth perfume and energy. Finishes quite firm and long but not austere, with dusty, fine-grained tannins and noteworthy suavity. A new high-water mark for this bottling.” Steve Tanzer, 94
1. “Florality.” Is there any lavender scent that isn’t floral?
2. Is this a midweight wine, or does he mean it's spicy in the mid-palate?
3. How does pepperiness give a wine precision?
4. "Inner-mouth perfume and energy"?? Perfume is something you get only on the nose.
There's many florals that aren't lavender; it's functionally as a perfectly ordinary adjective. Now, if you had stressed the goofiness of "florality," I would have stood behind you.

"Inner-mouth perfume" is at least better than Galloni's "inner perfume." I suspect Tanzer means retronasal.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1178 Post by John Morris » August 30th, 2020, 4:28 pm

But this is "strong lavender florality." What other kind of florality could it be if not lavenderity?
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1179 Post by Christian Obermanns » August 30th, 2020, 6:14 pm

In a word, impressive.

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

#1180 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 30th, 2020, 7:30 pm

“Inner-mouth perfume” is an expression Tanzer has been using for close to 3 decades. It does mean retro nasal but I actually think in a user-friendly wine geek way that tries to avoid the clinical. I’m good with it and even use it on occasion.

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

#1181 Post by John Morris » August 30th, 2020, 7:36 pm

Plainly, I need to bone up on Tanzer speak.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1182 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » August 30th, 2020, 8:07 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:15 pm
Once again, Vinous takes the lead.

"Unctuosity"?
2017 Montevertine Rosso di Toscano
"Shockingly dense and dark, the 2017 Montevertine possesses off the charts textural richness and unctuosity. A freak of nature in a vintage with tiny yields, the 2017 saturates the palate with intense, plush fruit, silky tannins and mind-blowing concentration. Raspberry jam, white flowers, lavender and spice are some of the notes that build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. The 2017 is shaping up to be an epic Montevertine and a huge overachiever. Interestingly, today the Montevertine shows sweeter tannins and a touch less alcohol than the Pergole Torte. I can't wait to taste it from bottle." -- Antonio Galloni
"unctuosity" is awkward. But this note is a better example of what I think of as the rise of the "hyper-superlative" in wine writeups. Wine 'critics', having run out of mere terms of praise, elevated to superlatives (the highest level of quality, the "best ever from this estate", etc.). Now, in their quest to be ultimate hype-masters, even superlatives are falling short, and they are having to resort to "hyper-superlatives". These are terms meant to indicate the wine is so amazing, so incredible, so beyond the bounds of previous human experience, that any merely linguistic praise falls short of the electrifying experience the critic had when they raised the glass to their lips.

I count no less than five hyper-superlatives in this review:

"shockingly"
"off the charts"
"freak of nature"
"mind-blowing"
"epic"

I leave out mere terms of praise, such as "rich", "intense", "crescendo", "huge overachiever", etc. as these, unlike hyper-superlatives, merely state the wine is incredibly good but fall short of communicating that it so transcends the boundaries of nature and human sensory perception that it detonated the critics nervous system and blew his brain out of his ears.

Unforunately, there are only a limited number of hyper-superlatives to go around, meaning that even though they indicate a totally unprecedented vinous experience they often have to be re-used, as the writer struggles to dial up the fantastic-ness to an even higher level. E.g. Lisa Perotti-Brown on the 2017, 2018, 2019 vintages of Pavie:

2017 Pavie: "the palate packs a powerful punch, laden with electric layers of energetic black and blue fruits. All this decadent fruit is supported by fantastic freshness and very, very ripe, velvety tannins, finishing with epic length"

2018 Pavie: "WOW—the palate explodes with waves of black fruit preserves, exotic spices and savory chocolate, framed by very firm, super ripe, velvety tannins and an electric backbone of freshness, finishing with epic length and energy. Amazing, singular wine—it could only be Pavie."

2019 Pavie: "the constrained flavor layers are just waiting to explode; it's framed by firm, exquisitely ripe, rounded tannins and this vineyard's signature freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors, this could only be Pavie."

Metaphors of explosions are common forms of the hyper-superlative impulse. Here, having established the wine as "epic" and "electric", she needs to move beyond that. So she elevates from a "powerful punch" to a veritable explosion, and then in 2019 achieves a metaphorical breakthrough by moving beyond the by now common image of the wine exploding in your face to the more suspenseful image of the wine "quaking" and about to detonate.
Last edited by Marcu$ Stanley on August 30th, 2020, 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

#1183 Post by Nick Christie » August 30th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 8:07 pm
"The constrained flavor layers are just waiting to explode; it's framed by firm, exquisitely ripe, rounded [redacted] and this vineyard's signature freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors...."
Image

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

#1184 Post by John Morris » August 31st, 2020, 8:51 pm

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 8:07 pm
John Morris wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:15 pm
Once again, Vinous takes the lead.

"Unctuosity"?
2017 Montevertine Rosso di Toscano
"Shockingly dense and dark, the 2017 Montevertine possesses off the charts textural richness and unctuosity. A freak of nature in a vintage with tiny yields, the 2017 saturates the palate with intense, plush fruit, silky tannins and mind-blowing concentration. Raspberry jam, white flowers, lavender and spice are some of the notes that build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. The 2017 is shaping up to be an epic Montevertine and a huge overachiever. Interestingly, today the Montevertine shows sweeter tannins and a touch less alcohol than the Pergole Torte. I can't wait to taste it from bottle." -- Antonio Galloni
"unctuosity" is awkward. But this note is a better example of what I think of as the rise of the "hyper-superlative" in wine writeups. Wine 'critics', having run out of mere terms of praise, elevated to superlatives (the highest level of quality, the "best ever from this estate", etc.). Now, in their quest to be ultimate hype-masters, even superlatives are falling short, and they are having to resort to "hyper-superlatives". These are terms meant to indicate the wine is so amazing, so incredible, so beyond the bounds of previous human experience, that any merely linguistic praise falls short of the electrifying experience the critic had when they raised the glass to their lips.

I count no less than five hyper-superlatives in this review:

"shockingly"
"off the charts"
"freak of nature"
"mind-blowing"
"epic"

I leave out mere terms of praise, such as "rich", "intense", "crescendo", "huge overachiever", etc. as these, unlike hyper-superlatives, merely state the wine is incredibly good but fall short of communicating that it so transcends the boundaries of nature and human sensory perception that it detonated the critics nervous system and blew his brain out of his ears.

Unforunately, there are only a limited number of hyper-superlatives to go around, meaning that even though they indicate a totally unprecedented vinous experience they often have to be re-used, as the writer struggles to dial up the fantastic-ness to an even higher level. E.g. Lisa Perotti-Brown on the 2017, 2018, 2019 vintages of Pavie:

2017 Pavie: "the palate packs a powerful punch, laden with electric layers of energetic black and blue fruits. All this decadent fruit is supported by fantastic freshness and very, very ripe, velvety tannins, finishing with epic length"

2018 Pavie: "WOW—the palate explodes with waves of black fruit preserves, exotic spices and savory chocolate, framed by very firm, super ripe, velvety tannins and an electric backbone of freshness, finishing with epic length and energy. Amazing, singular wine—it could only be Pavie."

2019 Pavie: "the constrained flavor layers are just waiting to explode; it's framed by firm, exquisitely ripe, rounded tannins and this vineyard's signature freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors, this could only be Pavie."

Metaphors of explosions are common forms of the hyper-superlative impulse. Here, having established the wine as "epic" and "electric", she needs to move beyond that. So she elevates from a "powerful punch" to a veritable explosion, and then in 2019 achieves a metaphorical breakthrough by moving beyond the by now common image of the wine exploding in your face to the more suspenseful image of the wine "quaking" and about to detonate.
These are gems!

All that electricity. I hope she’s checked to make sure that her circuits are grounded. [wow.gif]

“Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors.” Now I can head to bed and laugh myself to sleep.
[rofl.gif]
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1185 Post by John Morris » September 2nd, 2020, 10:35 am

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 8:07 pm
.... But this note is a better example of what I think of as the rise of the "hyper-superlative" in wine writeups. Wine 'critics', having run out of mere terms of praise, elevated to superlatives (the highest level of quality, the "best ever from this estate", etc.). Now, in their quest to be ultimate hype-masters, even superlatives are falling short, and they are having to resort to "hyper-superlatives". These are terms meant to indicate the wine is so amazing, so incredible, so beyond the bounds of previous human experience, that any merely linguistic praise falls short of the electrifying experience the critic had when they raised the glass to their lips.
So true. As if we needed further evidence, here is another Perotti-Brown note overstuffed with superlatives (so much huffing and puffing!) and a bingo card of cliches ("pixelated tannins" has been revived!). 100 points, of course.
The opaque purple-black colored 2016 Cumulus Vineyard No. 10 is a breathtaking WOW wine, from start to finish. It strides confidently out of the glass with bold, profound scents of preserved plums, blackberry coulis, blueberry pie and dried lavender, giving way to notes of espresso, spice cake, crushed stones, black truffles and beef drippings, plus a lifted waft of kirsch intertwined with red roses. The full-bodied palate is built like a skyscraper, featuring a solid line of firm, perfectly ripe, densely pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, taking all those complex dark fruit, earth and floral layers to a very long finish. Quite frankly, this is a monumental achievement for the Krankls—a formidable culmination creation that is simply without peers
All those berries and spice cake along with kirsch sounds brings to mind -- you guessed it! -- Black Forest cake! We're missing only chocolate.

Preserved plums, blackberry coulis, blueberry pie (can you say overripe fruit?) and beef drippings does sound like it's "without peers." It also sounds revolting.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1186 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 2nd, 2020, 11:25 am

The only wine I recall that I might describe as pixelated was the pixelated retronasal palate impression of 70 Figeac from a perfect bottle in August 2014. For good reason and in the best way possible. But I don’t understand what pixelated tannins are.

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

#1187 Post by John Morris » September 2nd, 2020, 2:05 pm

I'm disappointed in you, Jayson. Evidently, you haven't committed the entire thread to memory. There was an extended discussion of pixelated and pixilated tannins above 16 months ago:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139826&p=2719665

I think the upshot was that pixilated tannins may make more sense than pixelated ones.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1188 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 2nd, 2020, 2:32 pm

John Morris wrote:
September 2nd, 2020, 2:05 pm
I'm disappointed in you, Jayson. Evidently, you haven't committed the entire thread to memory. There was an extended discussion of pixelated and pixilated tannins above 16 months ago:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139826&p=2719665

I think the upshot was that pixilated tannins may make more sense than pixelated ones.
Does this mean I don’t get a piece of Black Forest Cake after dinner? :(

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

#1189 Post by GregT » September 3rd, 2020, 7:31 pm

As far as chocolate goes, I was interested in that long before I discovered wine. When I was 19 I spent the summer in Europe looking for the best chocolate truffles and learning about good chocolate.

And much as I really dislike much of the verbiage highlighted in this thread, you really can find chocolate notes in wine sometimes. That's especially true with Amarone, but I've found it elsewhere too. It makes sense since we can develop taste memories of various compounds and molecules and they're sometimes found in very different things.

Black forest cake? That's different. It's supposed to be a chocolate sponge, not too sweet, with whipped cream and cherries and a very specific liquor, from which it gets its name. The Schwarzwälder Kirsch or Kirschwasser, which is supposed to be used, is made from the sour cherries grown in the Black Forest, hence the name. In fact, the cake actually has protected status these days, kind of like Champagne or Parmigiano Reggiano, and cannot be called Black Forest in Germany if it doesn't use the proper Kirschwasser. So if a writer is using that as a description, the wine would probably have a pretty alcoholic kick.

Eric Guido, as a chef, is the only critic I would trust to use food metaphors properly. As to hollyhocks, they are related to and sometimes sold as mallow. And they're edible. Supposed to be good for suppressing coughs too. So maybe the author of that particular note had eaten some.

Or maybe whoever wrote the note is a witch.

After all, witches know about herbs and such.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1190 Post by Andy Sc » September 3rd, 2020, 11:12 pm

I don't really get all the fuzz here about the black forest cake or any other aroma descriptors. These aroma perceptions are all so subjective to the level that I don't really care about them. What I care about in a critic or any note is information on the character of a wine, ripeness level, freshness level of the fruit, complexity level, precision, roundness, structure and texture,..., context and how a wine compares to other vintages of the same wine or vs a vintage or other wines. That tells you something about the wine, not some random aroma descriptors. Who cares about aroma descriptors...?

Some guys here care a hell lot about these aroma descriptors for saying all the time they don't care about critics at all. Petty.

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

#1191 Post by John Morris » September 11th, 2020, 9:10 pm

Andy Sc wrote:
September 3rd, 2020, 11:12 pm
I don't really get all the fuzz here about the black forest cake or any other aroma descriptors. These aroma perceptions are all so subjective to the level that I don't really care about them. What I care about in a critic or any note is information on the character of a wine, ripeness level, freshness level of the fruit, complexity level, precision, roundness, structure and texture,..., context and how a wine compares to other vintages of the same wine or vs a vintage or other wines. That tells you something about the wine, not some random aroma descriptors. Who cares about aroma descriptors...?

Some guys here care a hell lot about these aroma descriptors for saying all the time they don't care about critics at all. Petty.

[rant ends] [dance-clap.gif]
I agree with you. The flavor descriptors are most often meaningless because they don't correlate with my impressions or those of other critics.

The thing about the Black Forest cake thing is that she uses it over and over and over in reviewing Bordeauxs.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1192 Post by John Morris » September 11th, 2020, 9:12 pm

Triply nuanced!
"The 2016 Chianti Rùfina Vigneto Bucerchiale is a real standout. A wine of vertical explosiveness and energy, the 2016 Bucerchiale is deep, wonderfully defined and full of nuance. Macerated cherry, kirsch, sweet tobacco, licorice, menthol, chocolate and spice abound in this super-expressive, nuanced Chianti Rùfina. Expressive savory notes add the closing shades of nuance. This is a such a gorgeous and complete wine." - Vinous, 93 points
Vertical explosiveness?
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1193 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 13th, 2020, 9:37 am

John Morris wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 9:12 pm
Triply nuanced!
"The 2016 Chianti Rùfina Vigneto Bucerchiale is a real standout. A wine of vertical explosiveness and energy, the 2016 Bucerchiale is deep, wonderfully defined and full of nuance. Macerated cherry, kirsch, sweet tobacco, licorice, menthol, chocolate and spice abound in this super-expressive, nuanced Chianti Rùfina. Expressive savory notes add the closing shades of nuance. This is a such a gorgeous and complete wine." - Vinous, 93 points
Vertical explosiveness?
John, say hypothetically some nerdy guy here explored the etymology of the word “nuance,” might we learn that use of the phrasing “shades of nuance” is terribly redundant? I will leave aside that just using the word “nuance” three times in one short note sorta undermining the very concept of nuance. I will also leave aside the query, whether “super-expressive, nuanced” is a contradiction in itself.

Gosh what a horrid note.

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Jim Stewart
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1194 Post by Jim Stewart » September 13th, 2020, 9:57 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 9:37 am
John Morris wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 9:12 pm
Triply nuanced!
"The 2016 Chianti Rùfina Vigneto Bucerchiale is a real standout. A wine of vertical explosiveness and energy, the 2016 Bucerchiale is deep, wonderfully defined and full of nuance. Macerated cherry, kirsch, sweet tobacco, licorice, menthol, chocolate and spice abound in this super-expressive, nuanced Chianti Rùfina. Expressive savory notes add the closing shades of nuance. This is a such a gorgeous and complete wine." - Vinous, 93 points
Vertical explosiveness?
John, say hypothetically some nerdy guy here explored the etymology of the word “nuance,” might we learn that use of the phrasing “shades of nuance” is terribly redundant? I will leave aside that just using the word “nuance” three times in one short note sorta undermining the very concept of nuance. I will also leave aside the query, whether “super-expressive, nuanced” is a contradiction in itself.

Gosh what a horrid note.
I tried repeating the word "nuance" a few times out loud. I concluded that the word "nuance" may be a form of onomatopoeia, and that the author of the tasting note may have been going for that (nuanced) effect.

PS No f'in way I'm a nerd!
Age merely shows what children we remain.
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Re: It's critic bingo! (Dept. of Neologisms)

#1195 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 13th, 2020, 3:37 pm

By the way, for those playing along at home, "closing shades of nuance" gets its own square on the bingo card, separate from the unmodified nuance.
99 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “Like Tignanello, the 2016 Solaia is a wine of extraordinary nuance and finesse. Super-ripe blackberry, plum jam, espresso, menthol, licorice and sweet spice build as the sublime 2016 shows off its personality and breeding. The 2016 somehow manages to be incredibly deep and also light on its feet. Sweet floral and spice notes add the closing shades of nuance to an exotic, beguilingly beautiful Solaia endowed with an eternal finish and mind-blowing beauty. The 2016 is an epic Solaia. That's all there is to it.” 08/19
Antonio Galloni 96 points! "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant, plush and silky, like the 2012, but with a little more of everything. Dark cherry, plum, licorice, leather and espresso are all nicely lifted by the natural freshness of the year. At present, the 2016 is a bit shy, but it undoubtedly has a very bright future. Floral, perfumed notes add the closing shades of nuance. Spottswoode's Cabernet is quite gracious in 2016, not to mention incredibly delicious."
Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media: "The 2013 Barbaresco Pajè will leave readers weak at the knees with its stunning aromatics. Spicebox, cedar, tobacco, licorice and menthol speak to the essence of Pajè. A wine of depth and pedigree, the 2013 has a lot to offer. Orange peel, cinnamon, rose petal and mint add the closing shades of nuance in a deceptively medium-bodied Barbaresco that has plenty of backing structure and tannic clout to age well for many years to come."
Tasted from magnum, the 1996 Barolo is absolutely stunning. Vibrant and wonderfully alive, the 1996 exudes class. Time has gently softened the 1996 tannins, rendering the 1996 super-expressive today. Balsamic, mentholated notes, along with scents of tobacco and dried stone fruit continue to open up with time in the glass. The 1996 is still firm and quite powerful, but not as austere as many wines are in this vintage. Tar, licorice and scorched earth add the closing shades of nuance in an impeccably balanced, vivid Barolo that captures the personality of the vintage at its best.
A classic Stags Leap Cabernet, the 2014 exudes richness, power and depth. Graphite, crème de cassis, lavender, violets, chocolate and sweet spices infuse this beautifully expressive, sculpted Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate, inky black fruits and a dollop of new oak add the closing shades of nuance. The tannins need time to siften, but there is plenty to look forward to. The 2014 is gorgeous. It’s as simple as that. – Antonio Galloni, Oct. 2016
Ridge's 2013 Zinfandel Paso Robles, from the Benito Dusi Ranch, exudes Paso warmth and richness. Unquestionably racy and overt, the 2013 offers striking depth and intensity, with a slightly roasted, sweet quality to the fruit. Sweet tobacco, cedar and dried herbs add closing shades of nuance, but the 2013 remains quite opulent in style. Still, all the elements are in the right place. The 2013 could use a few years to soften. It will be appreciated most by readers who enjoy intense, super-ripe Zinfandels. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

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

#1196 Post by John Morris » September 13th, 2020, 3:51 pm

I'm not sure it's even fair to allow his reviews to be used for bingo purposes. Everyone is like a shotgun blast against the bingo board, sure to hit any number of squares.
Keith Levenberg wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:37 pm
By the way, for those playing along at home, "closing shades of nuance" gets its own square on the bingo card, separate from the unmodified nuance.
99 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “Like Tignanello, the 2016 Solaia is a wine of extraordinary nuance and finesse. Super-ripe blackberry, plum jam, espresso, menthol, licorice and sweet spice build as the sublime 2016 shows off its personality and breeding. The 2016 somehow manages to be incredibly deep and also light on its feet. Sweet floral and spice notes add the closing shades of nuance to an exotic, beguilingly beautiful Solaia endowed with an eternal finish and mind-blowing beauty. The 2016 is an epic Solaia. That's all there is to it.” 08/19
Antonio Galloni 96 points! "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant, plush and silky, like the 2012, but with a little more of everything. Dark cherry, plum, licorice, leather and espresso are all nicely lifted by the natural freshness of the year. At present, the 2016 is a bit shy, but it undoubtedly has a very bright future. Floral, perfumed notes add the closing shades of nuance. Spottswoode's Cabernet is quite gracious in 2016, not to mention incredibly delicious."
Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media: "The 2013 Barbaresco Pajè will leave readers weak at the knees with its stunning aromatics. Spicebox, cedar, tobacco, licorice and menthol speak to the essence of Pajè. A wine of depth and pedigree, the 2013 has a lot to offer. Orange peel, cinnamon, rose petal and mint add the closing shades of nuance in a deceptively medium-bodied Barbaresco that has plenty of backing structure and tannic clout to age well for many years to come."
Tasted from magnum, the 1996 Barolo is absolutely stunning. Vibrant and wonderfully alive, the 1996 exudes class. Time has gently softened the 1996 tannins, rendering the 1996 super-expressive today. Balsamic, mentholated notes, along with scents of tobacco and dried stone fruit continue to open up with time in the glass. The 1996 is still firm and quite powerful, but not as austere as many wines are in this vintage. Tar, licorice and scorched earth add the closing shades of nuance in an impeccably balanced, vivid Barolo that captures the personality of the vintage at its best.
A classic Stags Leap Cabernet, the 2014 exudes richness, power and depth. Graphite, crème de cassis, lavender, violets, chocolate and sweet spices infuse this beautifully expressive, sculpted Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate, inky black fruits and a dollop of new oak add the closing shades of nuance. The tannins need time to siften, but there is plenty to look forward to. The 2014 is gorgeous. It’s as simple as that. – Antonio Galloni, Oct. 2016
Ridge's 2013 Zinfandel Paso Robles, from the Benito Dusi Ranch, exudes Paso warmth and richness. Unquestionably racy and overt, the 2013 offers striking depth and intensity, with a slightly roasted, sweet quality to the fruit. Sweet tobacco, cedar and dried herbs add closing shades of nuance, but the 2013 remains quite opulent in style. Still, all the elements are in the right place. The 2013 could use a few years to soften. It will be appreciated most by readers who enjoy intense, super-ripe Zinfandels. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

"I'm not slurring my words. I'm speaking cursive."

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

#1197 Post by GregT » September 13th, 2020, 4:09 pm

Shades of nuance?

[wow.gif]

My fifth grade teacher would be horrified.

But it has me wondering.

Does nuance stay with the wine as it ages or does it settle to the bottom of the bottle?
G . T a t a r

[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

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

#1198 Post by John Morris » September 13th, 2020, 4:37 pm

Depends on the wine's pedigree and breeding.
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

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

#1199 Post by John Morris » September 16th, 2020, 2:29 pm

With all the adulterated and smoke-tainted appeal going around, it's good to know that Sandhi's wines have pure appeal.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “Sandhi's 2017 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is translucent and wonderfully expressive, not to mention full of pure appeal. Orchard fruit, citrus peel and floral notes are sculpted with lovely energy and persistence. Poised and impeccable in its balance, the Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay has a lot to recommend it. Then again, most of the fruit is sourced from Domaine de la Côte, so the quality level here is not entirely surprising.”
Last edited by John Morris on September 16th, 2020, 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

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

#1200 Post by Oliver McCrum » September 16th, 2020, 5:10 pm

Closing Shades of Nuance was a band in the '70s.
Oliver McCrum
Oliver McCrum Wines

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