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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