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I feel that the higher alcahol can be balanced not only with acidity but also with the ripeness of the fruit and balanced tannins. This is what I feel Steven Spurrier should have been saying.
I don't know why, conditioning perhaps, but why do critics seem more and more prone to accept high alkohol levels. If I compare my Chateau Beaucastels from the eighties they average around 2% below the average of the last five years. My Bordeaux' are 1-1.5% degrees lower than today's averages. In both cases I prefer the older styles. High alcohol wines burns your throat. High extract wines give you headaches. All for Winespectator points, not for dining. It is sad.
I don't understand what Steven Spurrier means when he states that the acid will absorb the alcohol, that's not possible from my understanding of wine. Is he saying that the acid will balance the alcohol and offset the higher alcohol showing in the wine?
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