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Aug 8, 2013 02:10 PM

What is the problem with high alcohol wines?

Last night I had a wine I just love. It is 15% alcohol from a typical summer of dog days down here on the Mediterranean. Ripe concentrated fruit. No hot finish. It's sooooh good. I just bought another 11 bottles last Friday.

What is the problem with that? Well, other than falling asleep after dinner in front of this screen. Is high natural alcohol really a flaw?

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  1. Balance has everything to do with it. What was the wine?

    1 Reply
    1. re: wally


      Sorry. Did not see your post, when I responded - you beat me to the punch! BALANCE is everything.


    2. low sugar goes up, acid comes down. My understanding of French regulations is that you can add sugar, but you can't add acid.

      1. Well, the weather can dictate, to me at least, the wines that I will choose from.

        However, and not considering the weather, I can enjoy some very high alcohol wines - but ONLY so long as they are balanced. Got to be balanced.

        Heck, the other night, it was still 102 F at 10:30PM. I had the misting system going, and enjoyed a copita of Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port. Not my normal Summer go-to, but enjoyable, after a fine meal, with a Cuban cigar, regardless of the heat. While I do not have the label in front of me, I would guess about 18% ABV.

        It all just depends.


        1. It's rare that I encounter an unfortified wine with 14% or more ABV that has enough acid for my taste.

          Which wine are you talking about?

          1. The wine is Cotes-du-Roussillon Villages 2011 Domaine Serrelongue Saveur de Vigne, gold medal winner in Paris, every year it seems;

            40% Mourvèdre-30% Syrah-30% Grenache. Chewy, balanced, concentrated.

            Our normal summer here is hot and dry. It may rain only once a month between June and September. That produces clusters of small, concentrated ripe grapes. 2013 promises to be the 11th consecutive such growing season. Our last average vintage was 2002.

            1 Reply
            1. re: collioure

              How's the grape juice? Is it as sweet as Arkansas Concord?