Popular Posts

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Rhône Travellers in Languedoc - And Some Thoughts on Extraction

Two Rhône grapes in Languedoc from Badet Clement - Les Jamelles and Abbotts & Delaunay

This is a bit of an about-face for me; I've always been rather meh about Viognier and historically very much liked Les Jamelles' wines with their New World / Burgundian influences.

Now I find myself preferring the northern Rhône white here and have some slight stylistic reservations about the extraction levels of the northern Rhône red (it's a good wine and well-made; it's just that, personally, I would have gone for just a bit less extraction).

Have the wines changed or have I? Perhaps a bit of both.

In search of an answer, I asked an open question on social media about attitudes to acidity vs extraction and got a range of responses:

- the largest group of people preferred fresher, less-extracted wines; these tended to be wine writers

- some people suggested both and that it is mood-dependent; again, these were in the trade

- a lone (non-trade) voice spoke out in favour of big, extracted wines

On this basis, acidity over extraction is a likely innovator / early-adopter indicator; whilst extraction over acidity is probably a late majority / laggards indicator.

Additionally, a lot of people equated high / over-extraction with Big Wines; this is not necessarily the case. A Loire red can be over-extracted just as a 16% Amarone can combine heft with deft if it is all in balance.

An analogy I've used before is that extraction is like the bass drum - you need it to know there's something there, but you also want to mix it up a bit with other elements to create interest.

Final thought: extraction in wine is a little like seasoning in food and what is OK for one or two bottles can become annoying after several. I tried the Syrah after a series of well-extracted Laithwaite's wines, so perhaps I am just in need of an extraction de-tox.

No comments:

Post a Comment