Tuesday winebits 78: South African wine aroma, wine score silliness, Cornish wine

? That burnt rubber smell: South African red wine, and especially pinotage, has a distinctive aroma, similar to burning rubber or road blacktop. This has been the subject of many jokes in the wine world, but it ?s actually a serious problem for the South Africans. Who wants to buy wine that smells like burnt rubber? What ?s worse, they aren ?t sure why that happens, reports Decanter.

? Wine scores don ?t work, one more time: This, from very important French wine critic Michel Bettane, when asked to score a a couple of South African sauvignon blancs at a wine competition (and as reported by Neil Pendock, who was on the panel): ?Michel, what do you score the first ?60 and 80 ? (points of out of 100). ?How does that work ?80 if you like this grassy style of sauvignon, 60 if you do not. ? Too bad the Wine Magazines don ?t try this approach.

? Cornish wine: As in Cornwall in southwestern England, because this is even a bit much for a regional wine devotee like the Wine Curmudgeon. A white wine from Camel Valley in Cornwall, where it seems to be always cold and rainy, won a gold medal at the very prestigious International Challenge in London. The wine is made with the bacchus grape, a hybird that makes riesling-style wines.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday winebits 78: South African wine aroma, wine score silliness, Cornish wine

  • By Peter May - Reply

    Re South African wine – as the Decanter report notes and despite your assertion, burning rubber is not associated with any one variety. The tasting and subsequent complaints that triggered the research being initiated did notinvolve a single Pinotage.

  • By Peter May - Reply

    Seems like you come to Cornwall at the wrong time of year if its always cold and rainy for you 🙂
    Bachus isn’t a hybrid, its a vinifera cross. I don’t know which English Bacchus wines you’ve tasted but I’ve never come across one that reminds me of Riesling, it’s usually made very dry and is much more like Sauvignon Blanc.

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