Q: Hi Rachel, I have a question about tasting.
What are the elements of “Long length”? When do you say it has long length? Is it the acidity? Or tannins? Or Alcohol?
A: Great question.
When I think about a wine’s length, it’s all about how long after it's spit out/swallowed that pleasant flavours of the wine linger on the palate.
When I spit out a wine, and right away the taste fades or turns sour/bitter/sickly sweet etc, that’s a short finish.
If the flavours echo through my palate for a long time, and I can still sense the wine after it's gone, that’s a long finish - and if it’s in between those two, then it’s a medium finish.
Some wines linger for what seems an age, and those are the best!
I believe balance has a lot to do with length. If a wine is too hot with alcohol, or has thick rustic tannins, or unbalanced acidity, it can’t have a long pleasant finish. A wine that has those elements in harmony, along with complex flavours, can achieve long length... and long length is a hallmark of a high quality wine.
PS: leave your blindtasting comments and questions below! I'll answer them in this ongoing Q&A series.