Most pretentious tasting note descriptor ever?

I know that poking fun at flowery tasting note descriptors is low-hanging fruit, but my god, John Gilman seems to take the cake with this stuff. I really like the guy’s palate, but the tasting notes I see republished at places like Wine Library often leave my jaw dropped. Today, however, I saw the ultimate absurdity in a rave review for a 2011 Fleurie.
Among a million other scents and flavors, JG describes the Vissoux Fleurie Les Garants as having “incipient notes of gamebird.”
My. God.
That’s incredible. I feel like he lost a bet with someone who made him include that phrase. Just try even saying it without a monacle in.
(Sounds like a killer wine, fwiw)

I bet my Labrador Retriever would love the smell of that wine!

I generally like his descriptions/perceptions and take his meanings well. When I read his about initial impression of game birds, I am reminded of sitting around a table and cleaning 30 or 40 doves or quail. These is no smell/perception like it and it translates to me, blood, game, etc. that surely comes through in certain wines. If he doesn’t mean this then I would be at a loss as well. Maybe he will chime in and let us know.

So that tasting note phrase meant he walked somewhere in the vicinity of said cleaning table, and got a brief whiff of that occurrence.

Now THAT’S attention to detail!

ONe of the major Brit Crits once caught holy hell for saying that some brett laden Rhone bottle “reeked of the diapers of a colicky Bangladeshi immigrant baby”.

He caught hell from the French winemaker? Fairly clear description, seems to me. Much more than say, “white flowers”.

Imagine that!

No, from politically correct Brits.

So you’re using ‘politically correct’ to mean ‘objecting to stupid racist remarks’?

Which means that they were actually correct…not just politically.


Bob, I suspect you’re referring to Auberon Waugh’s description of a wine as “a bunch of dead chrysanthemums on the grave of a stillborn West Indian Baby,” which I think even those opposed to political correctness might offensive.

I confess I thought it was funny until Oliver informed me that Waugh had a history as a reactionary with a racist streak.

If he also used the Bangladeshi baby line, then that reinforces Oliver’s point.

I thought it was Harry Waugh, so maybe it runs in the family. And it was definitely about a diaper…

I might add that I found all the jokes about the Blade Runner murder case to be MORE offensive on many levels but, this being Berserkers, I just let it go.

I’ve thought about this every now and then, and I’d have to say that the most pretentious tasting note phrase ever is:

“en magnum”

Not only is it apparently vitally important to inform the reader that your bottle is TWICE AS BIG, but you have to do it in French!! “From a magnum” or “out of magnum” is for the little people!

Pain grille is in that category, too.

Didn’t know they were politically correct. If they give their students assignments like this one at a London girl’s school, one has to wonder. Similar to what a NY teacher did this week.

Isn’t this a contradiction?

Knowing that a wine was from magnum isn’t relevant? If it’s a young wine I suppose, otherwise seems like it is. (Also, I’d rank ‘en’ vs ‘in’ pretty low on the pretentious scale, but that’s just me).

You don’t see incipient used much but seems perfect for tasting notes. I always assumed the gamebirds was a reference to cooked not raw birds. John Gilman uses this descriptor with burgs a lot, and a subtle aroma/taste of cooked quail or squab/etc (esp when the wines have some age) makes sense to me…more sense than raw bird blood/guts does :slight_smile:

You don’t saying “in magnum” in French is pointless pretentious? It brings to mind Rodney Dangerfield: “Pretentious? Moi?”

FYI, I don’t think Keith had an issue with disclosing it was from a magnum – just the French affectation.

I didn’t see the Blade Runner “jokes.” Oh, darn. I mean, really, what could be funnier than a guy putting four bullets into his girlfriend (whether intentionally or accidentally)? Still trying to figure out how you could possibly work such “jokes” into a wine thread. I’m glad I missed out on the “fun.”