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BIRDS OF A FEATHER…

Posted By John Tilson On February 23, 2011 @ 1:52 pm In Underground Wine Line | No Comments

OK, here’s your twofer – along with the big numbers from the big numbers wine critics comes the big wine descriptions. If you thought some of the numbers were amazing, have you paid attention to the wine descriptions? Please, for the edification of your palate and enrichment of your mind, allow me to offer you a few actual comments from big numbers critics on big numbers wines.

Here’s one of those stop watch 100 point descriptions. Describing Chateau Latour 2000, this big numbers critic says: “…electrifies every taste bud in your mouth…and a finish that lasts for minutes…” Minutes no less! I guess once you get all your taste buds electrified, it must really make an impression!!

But, not to be outdone in the stop watch derby, another big numbers critic in describing a Comtes Lafon 1999 Montrachet concluded “… with a persistence I could taste for the rest of the day….” Wow! Now that is impressive. I wonder if he was fasting?

But, this critic didn’t stop there. How about this one describing JF Mugnier 1993 Musigny: “…still quite tight with flavors that are so precise that they seem to etch themselves into your palate before joining with a seamless finish that I can still taste two months later….” Unreal! Maybe it is the etched palate that is keeping things stuck there for two months? Or does this guy have something against tooth paste?

How about this description of 1994 Clos Erasmus: “…Try to imagine a hypothetical blend of Petrus, l’Evangile, Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape, and Napa’s 1993 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon….” Well, can you imagine? Imagine what? It must be the 1993 Colgin that really seals the deal here.

For you nature lovers, how about this description of Trimbach 1989 Riesling Clos Ste. Hune Vendange Tardive: “…Imagine a mountain stream rushing over pebbles between  banks of flowers and wild herbs….” Yes. Just imagine that. Maybe, you will see Big Foot too! And then you will really know that it is the Trimbach 1989 Riesling Clos Ste. Hune Vendange Tardive that is in your glass!!

Describing 2005 Chateau Bellevue, this critic said: “…a wine for true connoisseurs…a huge perfume of camphor, charcoal, graphite, blackberries, cassis, raspberries, and a liquor of rocks-like component…” Really? Only TRUE connoisseurs should drink this. All UNTRUE connoisseurs should not even attempt to drink this. Those poor folks just will not be able to fathom the rock liquor!

How about this note on Marc Colin 1995 Montrachet: “…you can only hold onto your seat through this gustatory roller-coaster…” Is that all you can do? Then how do you hold your glass and drink the wine?

Robert Groffier 1996 Chambertin Clos de Beze is described as: “…big, dense, and muscular…it displays smoke, blackberry, cassis, stones, beef blood, and Asian spices…” That should make this one real easy to recognize. Beef blood and stones are a dead give away!

Describing Joseph Roty 2005 Charmes Chambertin Tres Vieilles Vignes, this big numbers critic concludes: “…a dark and rising tide of minerals and carnal flavors meets the fruit and spice in a thunderous finish…” No kidding. I wonder if anyone was hurt?

Here’s one that is described as having “…teeth staining extract levels…” Now this should be a cinch to guess. Is it Kistler Vineyards 1994 Pinot Noir Cuvee Catherine, Petrus 1995, Guigal 2003 Cote Rotie La Mouline, Clarendon Hills 1998 Astralis, or Dutch Boy NV Black Lacquer. Well, if you guessed the last one you are wrong and really should consider giving up drinking. If you guessed Petrus 1995 you would be right. Actually, I told you that this one was easy. It has to be the notorious, extracted, teeth staining Petrus 1995. The others are just light weights!

Finally for my last offering of the day, let’s see if you can guess this 100 point wine: “…extraordinary aromatics of balsam wood, dried Provence herbs, pepper, roasting juices, and over-ripe prune, cherry and blackberry liquor…” Is it a Cult Cabernet, a Garagiste Bordeaux, a Chateauneuf du Pape, or an Australian Syrah? Well, I’m sure all of you got this one right. Of course, it’s the Henri Bonneau 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins. The balsam wood, roasting juices, and over-ripe prune truly make this 100 point wine instantly recognizable.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, an assortment of profound wine descriptions from some of the leading big numbers critics. Don’t they enrich your life and contribute immensely to your knowledge and enjoyment of wine? Well, actually not for me. But, I do think they are pretty funny. And I marvel at the minds, if not the palates, that come up with this stuff!

In Vino Veritas,

John Tilson


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