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Jan 3, 2009 10:34 PM

Discuss: "Great Burgundy smells of sh*t"

In his book entitled "BURGUNDY" by Anthony Hanson, this expert writes "Great Burgundy smells of shit. It is most surprising, but something the French recognized long ago, Ça sent la merde and Ça sent le purin being common expressions on the Côte. Not always, of course; but frequently there is a smell of decaying matter, vegetable or animal, about them." )

This might explain the scent I got from my $55 bottle of Pinot Noir.

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  1. While it is only one of many aromas present in a good Burgundy, yes - I agree.

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        1. I remember when I first smelled an Old World wine v.s. a New World same varietal (GSM). It was astonishing the difference. I could not actually get past the nose in order to enjoy the wine. I could not tell you exactly what I smelled, but certainly stinky was all I could think of. A few years have past since then, and now I love a good barnyard, old earthy smell to my reds. I don't know if I have ever actually smelled poop in my wine, I am curious to try it now, to see if I would like, hate, discern that smell.

        2. if you don't want to piss off wine sno... er connesseurs... say "scat" instead

          9 Replies
          1. re: thew

            No, $#!+ is perfectly acceptable as a descriptor for SOME wines from the Burgundy region or France, or -- since it's French wine he's talking about -- perhaps "merde" is more appropriate. Then again, "baby poop" is a common descriptor for Mourvèdre, but that's a different grape entirely.

            1. re: zin1953

              Based on the scent associated with Mourvedre, and the fcat that there are so many great wines, I wonder why anyone would drink this varietal ? The aroma borders on vomit inducing to me. The taste of the wine isn't offensive, but that nose is not worth it. I can't imagine anyone finding it enticing.

              1. re: TonyO

                Just because YOU find the nose objectionable doesn't mean that everyone else does . . .

                Obviously lots of people love wines from the Bandol appellation, or the wines from Château de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, not to mention a whole lot of various wines from the south of France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, California and elsewhere . . . .

                1. re: zin1953

                  Hey, leave my "lizard vomit in a wet cigar box" descriptors out of this discussion. "A wet saddle, riden by a cowboy in the AZ heat," is something that some folk just love. Same for that "boxwood" (yeah, we KNOW what that means!) descriptor. To each their own...


                  1. re: zin1953

                    I would venture to "guess" that if 1,000 people were asked if they like the smell of feces, 99% would say no. The 1% saying they liked it would likely have larger issues to deal with. My point is not to convince anyone to agree/disagree with me but to wonder why anyone would choose something that is easily identified as foul whne so many other options are available. But then again, some likely enjoy the aroma of gas passed on an elevator.......................

                    1. re: TonyO

                      And I would venture to "guess" that if 1,000 people who consume wine (any wine) on a regular basis were asked:

                      -- if they like the smell of human feces, 99% would say "no";
                      -- if they like the smell of Burgundy, 99% would say "yes";
                      -- if they thought Burgundy smelled like human feces, 99% would say "no".

                      C'est la vie . . .

                      1. re: zin1953

                        I would agree. I have no problem with "barnyard" when mingled with red/black fruit. That Mourvedre aroma, pure porta potty to me !

                  2. re: TonyO

                    I've actually drunk a decent bit of good mourvedre, but usually Spanish and sometimes with some blend of cabernet sauvignon, and have never felt need to resort to the "baby poop" descriptor for the nose. I guess I've just been missing out.

                    *But then again, some likely enjoy the aroma of gas passed on an elevator*

                    But generally only their own brand.

                2. re: thew

                  Maybe "barnyard" in mixed company?


                3. >>> Discuss: "Great Burgundy smells of sh*t" <<<

                  No. I don't like being "ordered" to do things, thank you though. On the other hand, were to to ASK what Anthony Hanson meant be this, that's another story.

                  But, of course, you already know the answer. "Sous bois" IS indeed a common descriptor. Human feces is not.