The Linguistic Big Rip—Charlie Saygone SpecGram Vol CLIX, No 3 Contents The Encyclopedia of Mytholingual Creatures, Places, and Things—Part II—Jʚsɘph Cɑɱpbɛɬɭ

Language Reviews

Dr. P. Nonoir

[This month we asked avid SpecGram reader Dr. P. Nonoir, Professor of Oenological Linguistics at the Sorbonne, to review some of his favourite languages. —Eds.]

2004 Sula Hindi
Airy. An attractive nose of saffron, cardamom and cumin that adds nuance to the largely mango fruit aromas of the prominent postpositional subsystem and continues onto the minty, rich and mouth coating retroflex flavours that possess a bit more mid-palate fat and an explosive, fresh and harmonious finish. I particularly like the transparency here, especially as it contrasts with the richly complex verbal morphology, and this is an exceptionally stylish effort that will age gracefully but could actually be approached now with pleasure.

1980 Grzybwa Polish
Eastern Europe is not the first place that comes to mind when we think of fine wines but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this choice, which combines a potent Slavic base with a flowing Latin veneer. Big, robust and hairy, with ineffable notes of stone and beetroot, crushed rock, herring and sour cream. Solid, ripe and rustic but with an edge of acidity in its verb valence. A mouth filling finish, both geminate and truffly. The nose is of a petrol by-product, burnt rubber, giving it striking power: one to watch.

2010 El Maestro Esperanto
Another one from Europe. Antonymous to the somewhat harsh flavours of the Polish, this is a delightfully sweet cream sherry derived from the ‘oomoto’ sherry blended with Ludovic Zamenhof grapes, pervasively Indo-European in character. A visionary mixed language of fresh lemons and lively almonds. I find this light hybrid delicious already but it really calls for at least a few years of aging; some may feel that it is just a bit too smooth, and would benefit from a few analogic changes. Enjoy chilled with a selection of Spanish tapas such as olives, Serrano ham and cheese.

2003 Arnhem Land Burarran
We chose a rosé as our Australian representative, though regrettably this wine is increasingly difficult to find. It has a glorious sandstone pink colour. Does not put on airs. Rocky hints blend with lovely lifted floral, eucalyptus-petal aromas. Rich and powerful (for a rosé) on the palate with lovely mouth texture, retaining some good acidity. Aged in desert oak, this is superbly well focused and almost etches itself into the palate though distinctly short on vowels. Best served well chilled.

1989 Great Wall Mandarin
Reduced nose but boasts superb volume. A bit exotic, with rice and peach blossom flavours dominating today, together with a hint of oranges. Less obviously tonal than the Cantina Nice, but this broad, voluminous wine is classic Sinitic. Definitely not a wine for the faint-hearted, but the golden amber colour is certainly pretty. Better than the similar Shanghai Chardonnay.

1995 Java
I loved the Indonesian reds, so thought I’d give the white a try... and oh boy am I glad I did! On the nose, apricot, subtle coffee and a hint of applet. On the palate the coffee flavour becomes all the more apparent and lingers smooth and soft. Where it seems like there’s vanilla, there comes a surprising dash of cinnamon. Simple, secure, familiar and robust. The comfortable familiarity of the script and smooth phonology leads one on so easily that it’s a surprise when you find yourself imbibing a daring blend of Austronesian syntax. This wine is best after being chilled in the freezer for about an hour and would go well with chicken, fish and salads. It is a sunny full-bodied white, suave and refined.

The Linguistic Big Rip—Charlie Saygone
The Encyclopedia of Mytholingual Creatures, Places, and Things—Part II—Jʚsɘph Cɑɱpbɛɬɭ
SpecGram Vol CLIX, No 3 Contents