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That Mousy Flavor, Part One

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Higher Ed

That Mousy Flavor, Part One

Years ago, early into no-sulfur wines, I began to notice an occasional aftertaste. Dard & Ribo’s wines sometimes had it. So did those of Gérald Oustric in the Ardeche. I called it puppy breath.

In tiny doses, I tolerated it. In major amounts, it was untenable. How to describe it? It was as if a stink bomb I couldn’t smell but could certainly taste exploded in my mouth. Yet others actually seemed to like it…and still do. Take the importer who recently showed me a new wine. He poured it, confident I’d love it. “Isn’t it great?” he asked.

Hardly. In fact, natural or not, I found it undrinkable.