Oeno-File, the Wine & Gastronomy Column

by Frank Ward

Archive for the ‘Oenology’ Category

Finesse – What is it?

Posted by Frank Ward on March 31, 2016

AvatarMarch 2016. Finesse is as rare and elusive as truffles. It is also extremely difficult to define, yet the word is absolutely the mot juste when it comes to certain wines. And those wines, I would argue, are as perfect as humans – and nature – can make them. Dictionary definitions of finesse are imprecise, especially when it comes to finesse in wine: “delicacy” and “subtlety” crop up often but that’s only part of the picture. The great Emile Peynaud defined it as follows: “Finesse is the sum total of qualities which go to make up a fine wine; it is distinguished by the delicacy of its aromatic savour, the appeal of its bouquet, its clarity of taste and colour and its overall perfection” [….]

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Defining Vinosity

Posted by Frank Ward on September 8, 2014

Andrew Jefford in Jefford on Monday, Behind the vinous eyes. With a contribution from Frank Ward.


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Emile Peynaud (1912-2004) – Giant of Oenology

Posted by Frank Ward on April 8, 2008

Emile Peynaud, who died recently in Talence at the age of 93, wrought enormous changes in the world of wine. It is hard to think of any other discipline in which one man exerted so much influence. In 1987 I was commissioned by the New York based magazine Connoisseur to write an article on Emile Peynaud. My two long meetings with him – facilitated by Michel Delon, the late proprietor of Château Léoville Las Cases – took place in his study in the Bordeaux suburb of Talence and at Las Cases itself. 

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