When in doubt, punt


I’ve been accused of tomfoolery over my warning of a signal of some wines being densely overblown blockbusters by identifying their bottles as having “Parker punts,” that is, deeper-than-usual indentations at the bottom of what are usually heavy bottles, regardless of the wines’ origins, grape varieties, or pedigree. I’ve been guilty of all sorts of tomfoolery in the past, but I’m not kidding.
        For example, take Sauska Hungarian Merlot 2011; it’s expensive (£75/$105 on this date), the bottle weighs 800 grams/1.8 pounds, which would come to more than 5 pounds per case of added weight over the average of most bottles, and the depth of the punt is almost to the second knuckle of my index finger. Inside: A dense, over-extracted, brooding beast, ungenerous, all tannin and muscularity, a relative of the grizzly bear that had its way with Leonardo di Caprio in “The Revenant”—a wine that fulfilled the promise of its package.
        Luckily, I also had a bottle of  Chateau de Gaudou “Renaissance” 2009, a Malbec from Cahors, standing by; Sauska went into the stewpot, this one, in a normal package and with a shallow-punted bottle a bit more than 200 grams lighter, went into me. It was lovely, did its job: to be enjoyable.

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