I really want to, I do, but…

12

 

Be completely honest to yourself; isn’t there just those grapes, wine styles or even wine regions you really want to like and keep on trying, but doesn’t seem to fall for? Sure, there’s always exception’s to that but somehow you simply won’t fix it – or maybe understand it.

As a wine blogger one could probably – to some extent – point at my writings and for example say: ‘Ok, that guy sure likes his Madeira’ or ‘Why doesn’t he ever write about Rioja’. The lack of some wines or regions being mentioned or reviewed in my blogs could be interpreted as a non-interest from my side. And yes, I do confess it’s easier to write positively than hit on those I seemingly don’t like. I mean, why should I channel my non-interest when it’s not due to the lack of quality in the wines but my lack of appreciation? In the end it all comes down to your own preference’s and you just can’t like it all – regardless of what the pro’s are telling us.

So, without any internal ranking, here’s my 5 I don’t seem to really hit it off with – despite year’s of tastings and the obvious (in some) high quality of the wines:

Guess the Sauternes!

Sauternes

Although a Bordeaux fanatic for 15 years I haven’t really transferred my passion on to the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes. Young wines, old and mature one’s, vertical’s of d’Yquem….nope, they don’t reach me. As an acidity freak I simply prefer dessert wines that generates that gastric acid kick as found in a German Riesling or a Madeira. Having followed the Bordeaux market for years and having seen the recent crazy price boom I confess I don’t pity myself and my lack of passion for Sauternes Botrytis. Still; I’m happy to have visited and been there!

Cahors

This year I thought it was time, time to give Cahors a chance and show me how wrong I was. I have tasted through almost a dozen of dark impenetrable Cahors wines from different producers; some young and also those with age. All awaiting a decision whether to be posted or not….

Again, I don’t get it and Cahors don’t make me jump out of joy. I know the region sees a remarkable development of sales at the moment, especially in the US, but I miss the elegance in the wines. I know there’s exceptions but to be honest; when a Malbec is to be purchased I will prefer an Argentinian one – they’re simply superior to the Cahors ditto’s – if my taste is consulted.

Pinotage

I am truly sorry Mr. Abraham Izak Perold, but I have serious issues with your crossing of Cinsault and Pinot Noir. For me, Pinotage has blocked my potential and more thorough examinations of what South Africa has to offer besides this carrier of burnt scents I really dislike. Sure, there are exceptions and I only express my point of view but Pinotage is a grape I simply can’t understand and feel no need of being convinced of.

Chenin Blanc

Some of you probably holds Loire’s pride as the greatest grape of them all and considering my fascination over acidity this one should logically reach my personal top-five preferences list. It doesn’t. Again, everything one is supposed to taste from the Loire Valley I have tasted. Joly’s wines don’t speak to me at all and the sweet versions I find more interesting than tasty. I am honored of having tasted Moulin Touchais all the way to a 1893 but again, I am more excited over the awareness of its age than taste. Probably, my non-liking correlates with the grape’s bouquet and taste. Not my cup simply.

Sagrantino di Montefalco

A bit like the Cahors I lack elegance here. The often brutal tannin structure of the wines I’ve had don’t appeal to my taste buds. ‘But you’re supposed to let it mature for a decade and then taste it’, I’m told. ‘You have to be patient’. Well, I have been and I have popped some old Sagrantino but no, this one’s really as boring as it can get for me. For me it’s simple; a wine that is not good in its youth won’t likely be good with age.

No way this enters the list!

Others rivaling for a little wanted place on my top-five list are:

Madiran and its main grape Tannat won’t make me overdraw my credit card.

Nor will wines on the Portuguese Baga although I have tasted good examples.
As with Chenin Blanc, I find it more interesting than actually tasty.

Pinot Gris is a grape I have difficulties with understanding – regardless of it’s origin although I admit i prefer an Italian version.

I would have put Nebbiolo to the list as well but thanks to a bombardment of the very best from Barolo and Barbaresco during the last year I am slowly starting to appreciate the wines – and understanding them.

As stated, this is simply my list over grapes, wine styles or wine regions my palate doesn’t appreciate. It’s perhaps a static generalization in some reader’s mind but it’s mine and no one else’s. It is not supposed to be read as a warning in buying a Sauternes, Cahors, Pinotage, Chenin Blanc or a Sagrantino di Montefalco.

So, tell me your top-five list of dislikings!

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  • Claes

    >1. Red Burgundy, due to the fact that it is so unreliable.
    2. Dry Riesling. Same reason.
    3. South African wines. Burnt rubber is no favourite.
    4. Gamay. Enough said.
    5. Lambrusco. Appaling.

    /Claes

  • Finare Vinare

    >Interesting topic, Niklas. Everyone in the wine circus is oh soo nice and polite – but when you like certain things a lot, it just makes sense that you have equally strong feelings about other things that you dislike….

    1. Modern spanish reds – the whole shebang.
    2. South african reds, especially pinotage.
    3. Sicilian reds from the grape nero d'avola.
    4. Chilean reds from bordeaux grapes.
    5. Lambrusco. If 3 bicchieri isn't serious, then what is?

    Aahh, now it feels much better ;-)

  • Dansk i 08

    >1. Italian chardonnay…too much regardless of price level
    2. Australian riesling, why ? it's not even close to its original
    3. RSA Pinotage, doesn't do anything that a lot of other grapes can do much better
    4. NZ Sauvignon blanc, same as 2.
    5. Chilean Malbec same as 3.

  • Vintresserad

    >Hi Niklas,
    An interesting (and unusual) topic indeed. Probably this "bottom-five" list tells you almost as much as a "top-five" list. Here is mine:
    1. Cheap, industrial BiB wine. Regardless of grape, region or producer.

    2. Pinotage – I have yet to taste one that tastes good _and_ is interesting.

    3. Pinot Blanc – not bad, just very very plain and uninteresting.

    4. Red Burgundy – of course there are many great red wines from Burgundy; but it's a minefield to find them.

    5. Any white wine with too low acidity, boring and difficult to use (I am afraid off-dry Mosels also end-up here).

  • Finare Vinare

    >BTW Niklas, the chenin blanc from Huet that you poured – 2007 Clos du Bourg Vouvray Sec as I remember – was quite nice, wasn't it? ;-)

  • CAFÉ ROTSUNDA

    >I went to Montefalco this summer just to try to understand the rough Sagrantino grape – and although I didn't fall in love, I was very surprised after tasting more than 100 sagrantinos. Some of them were very good, but only when served with food!

    Still, I only have 4 bottles in my cellar, and I don't think there will be more of them.

    Also NOT in my cellar:

    1. Pinotage
    (is really a Pinotage free zone)

    2. Pinot Gris
    (1 bottle a friend of mine makes)

    3. South Africa
    (ok, 3 bottles from Eben Sadie)

    4. Gamay
    (ok, sorry, I have 3 bottles of true classic style Beaujolais from Jadot)

    5. Lambrusco

  • Niklas Jörgensen

    >See, we all have our different issues with some styles although I do reckon many of us share some dislikings.

    And Finare Vinare; the Huet was very nice indeed. Not at all showing the Chenin style I have issues with!

    Niklas

  • Finare Vinare

    >Yesterday we tasted a few lambruscos (lambruschi?) from Medici d'Ermete. Sorry to say, they only strengthened our aversion…

    The importer told us those bottles should be savoured down by the seaside, at the dock. We've actually tried that too, but to no avail ;-)

  • Nick Shay

    >- Alcohol. Don’t get me wrong. I would not like my wine without it. But like all good things its best enjoyed in moderation. And this moderation I have a bit of a hard time finding these days. Anything above 14 percent and I’m deeply skeptical. The increased alcohol (and the climate that is partly causing it) in wines are probably one of the few things that would make me support the loonies in the environmental movement. Some are betting at disguising the alcohol than others. The Quartz Reef I had the other day was a good example of a producer who could disguise it quite well. But I am quite sure that it would have stood up as an alcoholic fruit bomb compared to, say, a Chinon from Jouget or something in that vein. Which leads us into the next…
    - Fruit. Don’t get me wrong. I would not like my wine without it. But like all good things its best enjoyed in moderation. And this moderation I have…yeah you get it. Let’s try to put things simple: the balance between fruit, acidity and body is not something you want to achieve in order to make a wine survive a tasting WITHOUT comparable peers (preferably in quality, not continent/region – so a flight with four fruity bombs from the warmer parts of Sonoma does not cut it for a good comparative analysis) or food for that matter. As some of us know: a bottle that tastes great in the first sip almost never does it in the last one. At least if you drink half a bottle or so. I tend to always like wines better when the last sip tastes better than the first.
    - New oak. Don’t get me wrong. I would not like my red wine completely without it. But I simply do not understand how most modern winemakers are using it at the moment.
    - Green grapes without acidity. 50 percent of Alsace: GTW and PG.
    - Pinotage. This is bordering bullying. But correctly, this is a highly overrated grape – at least compared to how many liters that are pouring out of our Monopoly every year. Having said this I must admit that I have tasted some great Kanonkop vines from the mid 90’s.

  • Niklas Jörgensen

    >So Nick Shay, how about a Pinotage with 10% green grapes for the refreshing touch, 200% oak, 15% and a 2009?

  • Niklas Jörgensen

    >Seaside, up in the mountains, down in the cellar! I don't care where I am – I love my Medici Ermete and the Concerto!

    But hey, that's me! I love Gamay and Lambrusco :-)

  • Finare Vinare

    >No worry Niklas, mother enjoyed the Concerto as much as you did. She also loves her MC beaujolais. It's the same ball park…

    But in a way, we agree – gamay can be wonderful. Just treat it like a real wine and it will start to behave like one.

    Hervé Souhaut's "La Souteronne" was downright lovely. So was Marcel Lapierre's wines. And so was Jean-Paul Brun's…

    http://vinare.blogspot.com/2010/08/sortimentsprovning-hos-winetrade.html

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