How do you describe floral notes in a bouquet?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Rychlewski, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Hi,

    I’ve just spent a few days with lots of tasting (2017 vintage) and it is always a challenge to put taste sensations into words.

    I was thinking back to my occasional descriptions of "floral notes" and realizing that are really rather weak…

    With "fruity notes" a battery of things come to mind. Unfortunately, this is not the case with flowers. I’m OK with rose petal, violet, and iris, but that’s about it. I’m not a gardener so am unfamiliar with specific flowers.

    Floral nuances in wine bouquets are not at all rare. But how to describe them more precisely? Should I start sniffing around garden centers and botanical gardens? It seems as though I’m not alone in this because other people’s tasting notes rarely go into any detail.

    Do any of you?

    Best regards,
    Alex R.
     
  2. I guess you can't be more specific unless you know which flowers smell like what! It's hard to see how you can be more specific without that knowlege. After all, flowers can cover the lightest of scents right through to the very heavy scents that hang on the air.

    (I've also seen the astonishingly unhelpful "white flowers" used in tasting notes.)
     
  3. I took out a subscription to a company that supplies good quality flowers on a fortnightly basis, mainly because my wife loves flowers and was always complaining that we never really had them except for the obvious times. I’m now very familiar with the smell of lillies.......
     
  4. The more esoteric or specific the descriptor the more the reader needs the reference point too of course.

    Some are part of the classic profile - roses in Barolo, violets in Margaux etc. but adding 'floral notes' more generally indicates some layers and complexity beyond fruit in a positive way.

    Especially in this instance where describing unfinished ep samples and overly specific descriptions are not particularly useful.
     
  5. Lots of scope Alex, especially with white wines. This is part of a review of one of mine: "There are superb white florals including modest English garden flowers on the one hand, yet with vanilla orchid, freesias, almost a hint of frangipani, and citrus florals too, some white nectarine flesh and gorgeous lime zest zip."
     
  6. Kevin,

    You are way out of my league!

    As Ian suggests, the only way to move forward is to familiarize myself with flowers.

    I am thinking at the moment of fine Rieslings I have tasted. Sometimes, the bouquet is outrageously floral. It's up to me to do my homework and go beyond the one-word descriptor.

    Alex R.
     
  7. Yes as an utter novice with no huge breadth of reference, tastings or training / experience I do struggle to really put some very familiar feelings into words.
    It’s on the tip of your tongue is never so true.
    Sometimes though I do read some notes and taste the wine myself and think “utterly ridiculous”. They do come out with some odd notions.
    I’m not too worried yet but am slowly building up.
     
  8. Yes, would be my answer. Try the local florist too. You might try one of the odd little tasting kits?
     
  9. That wasn't my writing Alex, I wouldn't have known any of those aromas. It was a review of one of my wines. Always makes one want to open a bottle and see how many of the aromas one can identify. And it was a Riesling.
     
  10. I think 'floral' is a perfectly good and expressive descriptor in most circumstances. One does occasionally come across a really overwhelming fragrance of something in particular in a wine but in that circumstance it will be obvious enough not to need too much of a search.
     
  11. I’m with Thom about ‘floral’ being useful in most circumstances. I’ve got a few other specifics I roll out from time to time - roses (gewurz, Nebbiolo, in quite different ways), lilies (Syrah), violets , but otherwise floral does the job.
     

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