In her classic book, The Wine Bible, world-renowned wine critic Karen McNeil, director emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) Center for Wine Studies, states that great wines have nine qualities: varietal character, balance, precision, complexity, transcendent fruitiness, persistence, choreography, association, and the ability to provoke an emotional response.
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One of them, choreography, seems to be more abstract and less well understood. The Wine Bible explains further: In a way, great wines have a fifth dimension. For me, this extra dimension can be seen as a wine choreography whose flavors seem to move through the body and space. Does the wine grow and blossom in the mouth? Does the wine deliver a punch of flavor that gradually intensifies and then slowly fades? Does wine dance with the brush? Does it have to be painted with precision or is it like the tiny dots of a brush in a pointillist or certain impressionist paintings?
The meaning of choreography is thus approximately close to multidimensionality or layering. The Wine Bible uses the word choreography when describing Australia"s Kilikanoon and its Attunga Vineyard 1865 Old Vine Shiraz, writing that it is difficult to pick just one Kilikanoon wine because it makes extremely attractive Riesling and Grenache in addition to several extraordinary Shiraz wines. The Atonga (meaning highland in indigenous language) Shiraz stands out for its sublimity. The Atonga is made only in certain vintages from a historic but 2.5 acre vineyard. It is richly textured but does not explode immediately on the palate, taking its time to develop a menthol character. Its choreographic nature will creep up on you, as only the best wines can.
Located in South Australia's Clare Valley, Grenache was acquired by China's largest wine company, Zhang Yu, in 2018. In the Wine Bible, Grenache is listed as one of the 29 top Australian Shiraz producers, Grenache Duke Grenache is listed as one of the 3 top Australian Grenache not to be missed, and Grenache Atonga Vineyard 1865 Old Vine Shiraz is listed as one of the 12 important Australian wines. It is understood that the Gironde Atonga Vineyard has 650 old vine Shiraz plants planted in 1865, and only about 1000 bottles of wine can be made from the grapes harvested in 2020, which is a rare and precious product.
The Wine Bible was first published in 2001, revised and reprinted in 2015, with a global circulation of over 500,000 copies, and the Chinese edition is published by Shanghai Sanlian Bookstore. The author of The Wine Bible, Karen McNeill, is a profoundly literary wine critic with vivid and funny language, such as describing a white wine that has been over-aged in oak barrels as the equivalent of a tiny woman wearing heavy makeup and a heavy leather coat.