Does smelling cherries or raspberry make a wine better? Of course not. But breaking down the structural elements of a wine gives us a clear and distinct idea of our stylistic preferences in wine. Go to a wine shop and say you want a wine that smells like 'bing cherries', a wine geek may look at you funny. But if you say you want a structured and austere Chablis, they will know exactly how to hook you up!
Here's the visual aids reproduced:
Nose: Aroma (fermentative)/Bouquet (aged)
Jammy: 15%+ Napa Cab or Paso Zinfandel.
Fruity/Primary: Cru Beaujolais (young-3 years)
Balanced: Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir (3 years from vintage date)
Earthy/Mineral: 5 year Chablis, Premier Cru
Austere/Mature: 20 year old Romanee Conti
Light/Elegant: Sauv. Blanc
Balanced/ 'Round': Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Chinon
Rich/ "Chewy": Young First Growth Bordeaux, Barolo, Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel
Flabby/Soft/Low Acid/ High pH (hydrogen ion activity) High ripeness Zinfandel, 'cougar juice' Chardonnay
Balanced/Structured (Round) (Sta. Maria Pinot Noir)
Highly structured/Tannic/Firm/Bright (Chablis)
Highly Tannic/Shrill/Acidic (Dry Alsatian Riesling)