The Eighth Element of Greatness: Length

So far in my discussion about what I consider the Elements of Greatness, I’ve written about Distinctiveness, Precision, Balance, Connectedness, Complexity, Non- Fruitedness and Choreography. In this post, I’ll discuss Length.

Most wine lovers know that a wine’s length—or its finish—is defined as the length of time the impression of the wine lasts on your palate after you’ve swallowed a sip.

For a wine to have really long length is phenomenal and somewhat mysterious. It means your experience of the flavor just keeps going and going. It doesn’t really happen with food, but with great wine? Sometimes we say a great wine has a finish that doesn’t.

Interestingly no one knows where length comes from. Is it the result of something in the vineyard? Perhaps. But no one knows for sure. All we know is that all great wines around the world share this characteristic.

Lastly, a wine can be long—not only at the end—but also throughout the entire sensory experience of the wine. It’s akin to flavor unfolding in slow motion on your palate.

Length—it’s a mind trip.


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