Wine Words 3

This week, 2 terms that are often banded about & can get a bit lost out of context.  They also both happen to describe tactile elements of the wine, the focus being on how it feels rather than tastes.  Although the two, of course, are inextricably linked..



Unctuosity | ˈʌŋktju’ɒsɪti |


Refers to both taste & texture of the wine – a rich thickness that coats the glass & the inside of your mouth upon consumption.


Like: a naughty caramel sauce


For example: “There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years.”

Robert Parker reviewing Chateau d’Yquem 2001




Attenuated mouthfeel | əˈtɛnjʊeɪtɪd maʊθ’fiːl |


A wine that behaves in a thin & closed manner once in the mouth. This is often from tannins & can make for a good structure for a wine to mature around.


Like: not quite ripe banana


For example: “Christmas fruitcake, truffle, cured meats and sweet earth along with black currant notes make for a complex, noble bouquet. In the mouth, some of the vintage’s tell-tale angular and astringent tannins give the wine a slightly attenuated mouthfeel, but there seems to be plenty of concentration, medium to full body, and lots of minerality. My instincts are that this wine is going through a relatively closed, difficult, ungracious state, but I like its potential. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2026+.”

Robert Parker reviewing Gaffelière 2006



The Author

JF Tobias

JF Tobias