richardhod wrote:some may use the Davis system, but on reading it it's so plain, rigid and inflexible, IMHO it's entirely unusable as a good communicative tool to impart information about a wine in an informatively interesting enough matter for anyone to give a truck about it. It's trying to be almost all objective in a space where most of the important parts are so filtered by our minds that objectivity in its narrowly-defined sense is both impossible and meaningless. There are many ways to grade something, but I, personally, would deem the Davis system a bad, or even wrong way to report!
I respectfully disagree. But, I've been familiar with the Davis approach for close to 50 years. It was probably much more necessary when it was developed, and there is a tendency now for wines to bunch up at the upper end, but I think it remains useful. I certainly prefer it to the 100 point systems, which seem to me to suggest that one can accurately convert excessively subtle subjective distinctions into a usable numerical scale. Moreover, despite the overall improvement in the quality of winemaking, there remains a remarkable amount of wine out there (often from relatively high-priced boutiques, sadly) that exhibits the sort of flaws the Davis scale was designed to highlight and detect.
As to the offered wine: you're right it's on the edge of a bit sweet. This was very common 40 years ago and more in red table wine. Although people always claim they prefer red wine to be dry, extensive consumer taste testing in the '50s and '60s by various wineries showed that once you excluded the serious and knowledgeable wine drinker with a sophisticated palate - then a very small group in this country - most people preferred a wine with a bit of residual sugar.
I refer to generics here not as a knock on this wine -- which my review in the Winter showed I like -- but because the better generics in those days got quite a bit of quality fruit of a sort that goes into wines like InZinerator today. Even though winemaking has overall improved, and there are vastly increased quantities of noble varieties, the quality of the fruit in good generics was surprisingly good, and many of them were very well made wines.
Interestingly, because many Italian wines are quite dry, it was usually the generic 'chianti' blends that carried more residual sugar. In the old days, if you looked at three wines from the same winery, one labeled 'Claret', one labeled 'Burgundy', and one labeled 'Chianti' the chances were pretty good that the 'Claret' would be the driest of the three (probably under .75 rs) , the 'Burgundy' would be somewhere in the middle (probably between .75 and 1.5 rs), and the 'Chianti' would have the most residual sugar (1.5+ rs). There were exceptions (Sebastiani, Martini, Pedroncelli), but these were sort of the rule.
I would say the InZinerator comes in closer to the weight and rs of an older Burgundy generic than either a Claret or Chianti.