50 wine producers from Cahors, each with three wines. It was a tough morning today… To taste a large number of wines in a short period of time can be straining. Is straining. Some people say that you can not taste more than a handful of wines at the time to do them justice. They say for instance that trade tastings with 100 or more wines are pointless. We don’t agree.
It is all a question of what your objective is with the tasting. If you want to analyse the minute details of each wine and describe all the nuances then, of course, it takes time and you can not do many. But in many situations it is doubtful if there is any point to long and detailed descriptions of wines. Describing many different fruits and spices that apparently can be found in the wine. Some of which you might hardly have heard of and much less know how they smell or taste. How does sandalwood smell? Or not-quite ripe mirabelle plums? You tell me!
So today I had some 150 cahors wines to taste in little over two hours. I admit, I did not manage all of them. Perhaps half (including a quick lunch). I decided from the start that I would not be taking detailed notes. Instead I asked myself “what do I want to get out of this tasting?”
Well, I wanted to identify those wines, or perhaps rather those wine producers that I liked and that I would like to recommend to you, you who read the BKWine Brief and BKWine Magazine. I think I might serve you better by giving you a few suggestions for good producers to try rather than giving you pages of how the wines tasted. What I think is black cherries, minerals, or cedar wood might not be what you think it is. (Without wanting to become too relativist!)
So what I tried to do was to focus on a few important parameters: fruit, tannins, acidity, balance, elegance, length, body (power) are perhaps the main. In addition I wanted to judge the “style” in some vague categories: modern / international, traditional / classic, elegant fruity, to lay down, to drink young etc.
Working like that it is quite easy to wade through a large number of wines rather quickly even if after a while your nose and taste buds get a bit “tired”.
When I get the time I hope to put together a list of my selection, the wines and producers I particularly liked. And I hope that a few good names will serve you better than lines of adjectives.
In just a few days time we will be leaving for south America, Argentina and Chile, for this year’s first wine tour. I am sure that during the two weeks that we will be there we will taste well over 150 wines! It will be really exciting and fun to go there. You will no doubt be able to read more about it in our travel blog sooner or later.
We have also just finalised most of the wine tour schedule for the autumn. Apulia (Puglia) at the very southernmost tip of Italy is a new destination. A wonderful place to travel to! Alsace is back after a few years’ absence. And there will be several classics: Bordeaux, Champagne, Tuscany, Amarone / Valpolicella, Rhone, Languedoc (staying in a chateau), Piedmont (with truffles) and the Douro Valley. Will be a busy autumn!
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief!
This post is also available in: Swedish