Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Terry Theise on Gout de Terroir

I came across this great quote from Terry Theise today. It's brilliant stuff really and in one sentence clearly lays out the battle lines on the topic. I suppose, one man's dirt is another man's dirty.
[Gout de terroir] means "crude or flawed flavors resulting from lazy or ignorant winemaking" if you don't believe in terroir, and "a clearly discernable flavor of distinctiveness taking the form of specific fruit, flower or 'mineral' nuance" if you do.

For those unfamiliar with the term, it literally translates from the French as "taste of soil" and refers to the notion that a wine should taste like where it came from, both in terms of site and vintage. The converse would be a "spoofilated" wine, which essentially means a wine doctored beyond definition of site and vintage by winemaking techniques, such as the use of oak. As with all things, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

4 comments:

CLONYC Grand Poobah - Mike said...

"site and vintage by winemaking techniques, such as the use of oak."

should read:
"such as the use of too much oak."

Oak isn't always a bad thing Ben. Overuse is. French oak better than American. It should not mask fruit, but compliment it. But than again, it depends on what varietal we are discussing.

Other than that.....you are dead on. :)

See you Saturday.

Ben said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Mike. I don't see oak as a de facto flaw in a wine. Of course, a young Cab or BDX will show a ton of oak. We shouldn't be drinking them. I read someone describing Kutch's Pinot and noting that there was a bit too much oak, but that would fade in time. That's spot on!

I think the point though was that some overuse oak (or oak chips) to mask the flaws in their fruit. No serious wine lover appreciates that.

Brad Coelho said...

Gout de spoofilation, literally translated as 'taste of Hawaiian Punch.'
I'm going to try and make a record for how many times we use 'spoofy' in a blog...loved how you snuck it into the lime-Rick!

kaney said...

Basically, gout is a known form of arthritis, which is caused by the build up of uric acid crystals, which are deposited in the joint areas of the body, with some of these deposits even making it to muscle tendons. As a condition, gout is no joking matter, as excruciating pain is what a gout afflicted patient would experience, with some having "gout attacks" lasting for days.

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