jamie goode's wine blog: Some questions from Bordeaux

Friday, January 23, 2009

Some questions from Bordeaux

Currently sitting in the last session of the Lallemand Tour. We're in Bordeaux today, holding our meeting in the HQ of the syndicat of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur.

Last night we dined well at a lovely restaurant in St Emilion. Even in driving rain, it's still quite a beautiful town. Two of the wines we had divided opinions. Both were Fronsacs from the 2001 vintage. One was edgier, more lively, a bit grippier, fresher and with some lovely semi-funky dark fruit notes. The other was lighter, simpler and fruitier. I preferred the first, which was really interesting; some others preferred the latter. Is there a universal standard for wine? Are we both right? But there are cases when there is right and wrong in wine judging, aren't there? It's no good saying 'anything goes', and not all opinions are equally valid, surely?

The wines were decanted. I was sitting next to Jean-Michel Salmon, a noted wine scientist. He confirmed what I suspected: decanting at table doesn't allow time for oxygen to have an effect on the wine. So what does it do?

Pictured is Mickael Moisseeff, an expert in smells, giving his talk. He's a very interesting person, with some wonderfully colourful stories to tell. His talk is very participatory, with lots of aromas to smell. Jean-Michel is also in the picture - it makes Mickael look like a giant.


At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Andy B said...


Some interesting questions here. I have thought about these questions often as a "user" of opinions on wine.

There clearly are some right and wrongs in wine - a corked wine is never "right" surely? However it does not follow that a "faulty" wine is always bad. Opinion seems divided to me on Musar for example. I know some who dismiss it as faulty whilst others enjoy its individuality.

Are these opinions equally valid? Yes probably, after all perception and taste are subjective. Even experienced tasters can have different opinions on the same wine from one day to the next, although they probably won't admit it!

Personally I think this is a great thing. Diversity in wine is one of the fundamental reasons why it is such a fascinating subject.

A better question would be should all opinions be equally regarded?


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