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I'm talking about what you look for in a wine.

What is most important to you in evaluating a wine? Is it the appearance? The aroma? Do you look for forward wines of prefer them with some bottle age? Is the weight and depth of a wine more important than it's balance, subtilty and complexity? How does the finish affect you view?

Anyone who's read any of my tasting notes would see that I don't try too hard to identify the very subtle flavors in wine. Aromas, depth, balance and a long finish are the traits I appreciate most in a wine and am ever hunting for. Appearance, body and complexity are generally secondary (but can eliminate a wine as well).

What about you, do you have an aspect of wine that outweighs most other wine characteristics?
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JHD, this is a very good question. For me it starts with the aroma. Like Webmarin said it needs to build excitment and anticipation. At times wines can have such a great nose that it can make you smile, if its a powerful aroma it can fill the room quickly and that can really get you jazzed!

Of course the taste needs to match all that power or it's a dud. A nice bright color is an enhancement to a wine but color alone does not move me, although if a wine was cloudy I don't know if I'd want to drink it.

The finish, well it is the lasting impression and a long finish can really make a big imprint on my memory and desire to have that wine again.

I suppose I'm looking at value for money more these days.

I've pretty much given up on the idea of buying Californian dessert wines given the quality and price of 01 Sauternes.

Having tried the 01 and 02 Neal Cabernets I now think long and hard before I pay over $50 a bottle for any red. And anything over $20 has to pass comparison with wines like Penfold's Bin 389 or 2000 Reserve de Leoville Barton.
kind of on the note Pinot Envy started with balance, is texture of the body / finish... its such a let down when the wine has excellent aroma & taste, but then it hits you like a thin piece of paper... i'm not talking about thick, meaty, sticky wines like Syrah's or Zin's, doesn't have to be like that, but when I have a wine, aged or young, it needs to have body... otherwise, it could smell & taste wonderful, but then finish like a bottle of tap water Frown
I want something in the wine to say, "Hey! Notice me!!" Of course this has to be in a good or pleasing way (corked wines don't count...). And I'll admit that getting my notice can be influenced by what I know or expect about the wine (producer, region, price, etc.). And while one thing make get my notice, the wine has to hold together as a whole -- so I guess that's another vote for balance; but that's really "balance with panache" or "balance with a flair/flare".
For me balance is normally the holy grail.

However raw brute power can be enjoyable in a red, providing it's expected. Anybody who's had a young Armagh knows it's like an Ali-Frazier heavyweight bout. A wine to hold in awe, not be appreciated.
Crisp acidity in a white wine on a hot summer's afternoon can be more enjoyable than a truly balanced wine in the same circumstances.

So if the wine isn't balanced I like it to do what it intends to do well.
Agree with K Syrah and Pinot Envy and Peter H: Balance. By that, I mean a balance across the board: nose, palate, finish, acidity that doesn't peel the enamel off my teeth and tannins that don't give me lockjaw. Nose doesn't have to be explosive or fruity. I LOVE barnyardy wines and the occasional whiff of bret or lanolin or clay dirt. Flavors don't have to follow any particular curve; I love the odd Morgon or Valpolicella every bit as much as a blockbuster Syrah or powerful Cab. But I don't want any one element to dominate. That's why I hate those gravelly Bordeaux that make you search for the fruit. The only area in which I want more mineral/yeast/bitter is in Champagne. My ideal Champagne would have almost no fruit, lots of that "St. Joseph's Aspirin for Children" orange-rind bitterness, and bready lees flavor. Have never found my ideal one but I sure love looking for it.
at this point i also like to mention my thoughts,

many people do explain on there tn's the most the mouthfeeling and all i do combine with that like.
balance, strenght, grip, length, etc.
what i would prefer is a better aroma-profile using tastes and aromas like:
pinaple, rough beef meat, fresh cut grass etc.
i would appreciate if aromas could be better described:
how ripe is the straberry, witch apple granny smith or cox, witch pear abate or waterpear, witch peach white or yellow, witch tea black green or white, witch vanilla burbon or thaiti or haiti, etc.
and i would be happy if the tn's would include
decanting/opening times, glass shape, etc
and if you rate,
it would make sens to add the paradigma you used, don't rate if you only had once a wine from one paradigma.
I look for complexitity mainly. I love it when a wine is showing its terroir.

I love secondary flavors in my wine. However, I also love wines so young I'd get tossed in jail in some parts of the world.

Balance is also a foremost. I cannot stand it when a wine is too hot, too tart, too fat, too dry, or too sweet (i love sweet wines, don't get me wrong).
JHD, good question. Like the others I do like Balance , then a long finish. To be perfectly balanced, all the components have to be very noticeable individually, but at the same time very integrated as a whole. Only the real good ones can pull this off.

But, what really gives me a kick is overall complexity. Probably all of the wines we drink certainly evolve in the glass. Many, many evolve to a point where they are "open" and then drink at that plateau for the rest of the evening. My favorites evolve and evolve and evolve all night long, displaying nuance after nuance. Like shedding the layers of an onion.

So, balance and complexity overall.

Afterthoughts: We love minerality in whites, specifically dry Alsace and white burgundy where this aspect is sought out.

In reds, I love the sweet, delicate minerally fruit associated with the wines of Margaux but also the brawnier "olivy" flavors associated with Napa Cabs.
First I'll answer the question...balance and complexity are far more important to me than intensity, because, well, if you don't have balance or complexity, the most intense wine in the world is going to be difficult to drink.

This hasn't been brought up, but I suspect that there is a huge disparity in what people consider a balanced wine. For example, I consider Neal cabs, Martinelli pinots, Turley zins, and Pax syrahs to be unbalanced wines since, for my palate, the alcohol in these wines sticks out to the point of being unpleasant. And I would imagine that many wines I enjoy and consider balanced would be trashed by some folks here as being "thin on the palate" due to their having alcohol levels in the 13% range.

I understand that winemakers must compensate for the flavor deficiencies inherent in grapes from young vines, which is one of several reasons alcohol levels have skyrocketed in the past 10 years (Parker's love of high-alcohol, low-acid wines being another). But I believe this compensation will result in wines showing their "true colors" with age...and I don't want to be stuck with a bunch of unbalanced crap after investing 10-15 years of cellaring!

lady roots,

Thaiti vanilla is extremly floral, very intensiv but still it has second and third aromas

haiti vanilla is extremly complex, floral notes, second aromas like rambutan and alot of the third aromas like old cuban tabaco (non smoked! the fresh unsmoked nose!) licorice-wood, and hints of cacao and darjeling tea

if i would find haiti vanilla again (for the last 3 years i had non opportunity to buy one single bean Frown, it would be great to let you take a nose and have a spoon of home made vanilla icecream ( milk, cream, sugar, vanilla)

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