Weekly Wine #3 – Fancy Words Describing Wine

This weekend was occupied with building stuff and cleaning up. One of my build projects, a bouldering wall, will receive its own post, so stay tuned for that. After a whole day on my feet working, in the evenings the wines felt like heaven. That being the case I didn’t come around to writing this post until today (Monday). So forgive me, but I am yet to find a rhythm to all this. I did however discover some fancy words describing wine.

Fancy words

I’ve been reading on the topic wine tasting and describing it as a result. I might throw in a fancy sounding word every now and then, and hope I don’t mix them up too badly. So mainly what I learned is that wine has five basic characteristics, sweetness, acidity, tannin, fruit and body. Some of which are commonly confused, and no doubt I will do the same. So to sum it up, sweetness is self explanatory, acidity also. Yet acidity is often misunderstood, people tend to confuse it with tasting alcohol in the wine. Wines with higher acidity feel lighter. Tannin is where most of us falter. It is often confused with the dryness of a wine, because tannins essentially dry out your mouth. Imagine sucking on a wet tea bag. That is pure tannin right there. This characteristic gives wine balance and structure and also makes the wine last longer. Fruit has to do with identifying different flavors in the wine, in red wines that are usually berries of some sort, and in whites there is a myriad of different things you can taste. Last but not least, the body. This characteristic is the snapshot of a particular wine sort. Full bodied wine feels very heavy and complex, while a light body wine is, well, lighter.

With that settled, let’s get into the wines.

Talò Primitivo di Manduria (San Marzano 2014)

As you can read from the description below we opened this bottle already last week, right after I posted the Weekly Wine #2 post. This vintage received 4 gold medals and 94/100 points. I bought it from Vivino together with the Rioja from last weeks blog.

But this is my experience with it. Upon pouring it I noticed a very lovely color. Dark crimson. But even more impressive was the smell. I swear I could smell fruit! And different berries. Its taste meanwhile was also reminiscent of wild berries with light tannins (there it is, the first mention of a fancy word!). It felt slightly sweet and almost fresh. The balance all in all was just grand. After swallowing the taste lingered forever. And with every passing minute the taste of berries intensified.

It was definitely an awesome wine and I’m glad I have more bottles in the cellar.

Verdict: 4,5/5

Rolf Willy, Lemberger, Red Label, 2015

Ok, I decided I will write my notes also on the wines I already know. Because, practice, duh. You will no doubt see quite a few Rolf Willy wines getting tasted here. But these don’t count towards my 52 week challenge, because the point of that is to try new wines every week, to broaden my palette.

So the Lemberger originates from … Slovenia! I just found that out myself. Also known as blue Frankish. It is a late ripening grape variety, which produces wine typically rich in tannins and may exhibit a pronounced spicy character. Yes I did just quote Wikipedia for you. You’re welcome.

On to my notes. This years vintage smelled a bit of wood and also … earth. It has a similar color to the Primitivo, very dark crimson. That smell though, sweet and if I had to choose one smell, I’d say raspberry jam! We drank it at room temperature and it felt very smooth. Not too heavy, a lovely medium bodied wine. Just the right combination of acidity and tannins. Tasting sweet at the beginning, before dropping off a bit and the taste stays present for a while. But not so long as some other wines. Listen to me, sounding like a pretentious smart ass, after three weeks! I’ll keep it light on the jargon. Promise.

Verdict: 4,5/5

And I’m still not done yet. This weekend we had three different wines in our glasses. The last one was:

Heritage Release Shiraz, South eastern Australia, 2015, Wolf Blass


The South Eastern Australian Shiraz from Wolf Blass

Now this one was a bit different. Smelling quite fruity, of cranberries, but soft. I don’t know how I can explain how soft smells like. But if I could, this would be it. The tannins were quite present, but not too present. Acidity wasn’t overpowering, it tasted quite heavy, yet for some reason, the taste didn’t last. Towards the end the wine tasted a bit on the sweet side. But that’s about it. The notes I made in Evernote at the time of drinking for this one are, and I quote: “Well balanced, highly drinkable. But not particularly memorable.”

And I stand by that. A perfect wine to widen your palette, but not more.

Verdict: 2,5/5

So this has been week #3 of my weekly wine series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you managed to read this far, I salute you! Hit me up on social and let’s talk about wine. Or anything, really. Stay safe and keep your bottles from freezing in this arctic cold that we have at the moment.

Stay tuned for more and feel free to tag along on my year long journey of discovering new wine every week!

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