January 02 2014

1997 Cantina Vignaioli

I don't think that most descriptions of wine are very good.  The general wine description is simply a bunch of tastes and smells.  Since most of the descriptors are similes, the overall description is simply a these-are-a-few-of-the-things-that-occurred-to-me sort of description.  But the way that we experience things is not just as a bunch of desciptors but as some kind of unity.  What a good wine description needs is story or poetry, for it's in terms of narrative and organized metaphor that we come face to face with reality.  I'd like to try to practice the kind of wine description that I think is on the right track.

Here's an attempt.

I just bought the 1997 Catina Vignaioli Barbaresco to have as a New Year wine.  The greatest wine I've ever drunk was a 1997 Brunello, so I was excited.  This wine wasn't as good as the Brunello, but it was beautiful.  The whole point of the wine was to transform orange into red.  It began with a perfume of rust that turned on the tongue into the taste of cherries.  As it opened up, it became the perfume of bitter oranges that turned into the taste of pomegranates.  The finish was long and waterfalled into various hues of red.  In short: oranges into reds.  Autumn.



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