Thursday, December 1, 2011

Preposterous Pundit Pontification of the Month (Silly Wine Review of the Month) Part Two

The white show is all A.N.'s this month. Her honorable (?) mention manages to describe a gewurztraminer (98 points) as having, "hints of vanilla, iodine, espresso and bourbon." Glad those flavors aren't in my glass.
White winner: A.N. reviewing Henri Schoenheitz Gewurztraminer Alsace Holder Selection de Grains Nobles 2005 $61/500ml 94 points
"Refined and focused, with exotic cardamom, incense, myrrh and cumin notes accenting flavors of pear gelee, quine paste, candied lychee, smoky mineral and tarragon." The rest of the review actually makes sense and does not read like someone trying to show off the depth and breadth of their culinary knowledge. Myrrh? Really? Couldn't you save that for December?
Another sweep in the red category by J.M. Impressive efforts throughout with inspired wackiness like "singed iron" which he featured in three reviews (one is our winner) and "The long, supple finish just lets the fruit smolder." Nothing I like better in a wine than burning metal and scorched fruit.
Red Winner: J.M. reviewing Chateau de St.-Cosme Gigondas Le Poste 2009 $69 96 points.
"Broad and deep, delivering gorgeous perfumy black tea and warm anise notes up front, followed by dense flavors of bittersweet cocoa, roasted fig, hoisin sauce and smoked alder wood. The long, fleshy finish has great cut, with a singed iron note hanging on." If it was anything but warm anise I bet he might have dropped it below 93 points. The specificity of alder wood won the day.
My gripe with these sorts of reviews centers on the insane amalgam conjured up and imagined in a glass. I adore St.-Cosme and agree with J.M. that they make the "most compelling Gigondas."
However, too many reviews seem more focused on the microscopic when most consumers may not even want a magnifying glass report. We're getting full soil analyses when we just want the lay of the land.
Since these sorts of reviews often make casual wine drinkers feel inadequate and I rail against the snob factor unfortunately inherent in much of the wine world, I plan to continue tilting at windmills. Please pass these along, maybe someone will actually listen and put a halt to the blather.

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