Stuart Yaniger wrote:
I've tasted with one of CA state wine competition judges where even pointing out a seriously tainted bottle (blind setup again with raging TCA taking place), she still picked it as her number 1 of the flight and night.
TCA sensitivity is quite variable and doesn't necessarily correlate to other tasting abilities. I have a friend who's an MW, clearly quite able to repeatably and accurately taste and judge, but he just cannot get TCA.
And I cannot argue with your point, that is understood. Yet, please explain to me, how a a heavily spoiled TCA wine shows any TRUE characteristic of a varietal or AVA? Same as with brett, for example, when it is in very small quantities (until it starts interacting with air and blooms quickly), a wine can show brett as just a layer, yet when it is heavy, as are many cases, how can one even tell the varietal let alone the quality of the fruit?
If I am tasting a bottle of, say, Pinot Noir, and TCA obliterates the nose and palate impressions, how am I to judge the wine and score it? Same with brett, IMO. If one is incapable of detecting TCA and then describes the wine without mentioning it, what good is the review and evaluation to me or you?
You are right that self taught palates can be as good at evaluating wine as those who went through rigorous training. Manfred Krankl, Adam Lee, many others. As a matter of fact, we have a few wine geeks in my tasting groups whose evaluation skills are much better than professional reviewers', IMO.
But your argument assumes that the person HAS learned proper evaluation process and can ID faults in wine. And this, as has been my own experience, takes place with way too few a person, most can't even tell the difference between simple reduction and brett, or worse yet, earthiness and brett. When I evaluate a wine and state "VA", I get plenty of strange looks from people asking me, What the hell is VA? We're talking retail shop owners/personnel, sommeliers, etc., all professionals supposedly.