Showing posts from March, 2017

There's a hole in the bucket (or, why this whole "balance" argument was always a crock)

The following is a slight revision of piece that was first posted in 2012 on a different blog site that has since been taken off-line (story of my life). Based upon a premise that (in my humble opinion) still holds water...
At first, when word started getting around eight, nine years ago, it was easy to dismiss: the notion that wines over 14% alcohol, or else picked “overripe,” are somehow inferior, or less “balanced,” than wines closer to 12% or 13% alcohol, leaner in fruitiness and higher in acidity.
Wine, after all, has always been an aesthetic choice, like any other we make in our lives. You might yearn for a man with a body like Arnold and a Denzel face, but no doubt the Laurels and Hardys of the world get their share of love, too. So you prefer curling up to a Harry Potter rather James Joyce’s Ulysses (obviously, far more do), or contemplating a Marvel comic book rather than a classic Monet or Manet? I suppose the Stones vs. Beatles argument still rages on, albeit in different man…

The state of American Pinot Noir is better than ever (but not for reasons you may expect)

It was very easy to be impressed by the overall quality level of Pinot Noirs at the 17th annual World of Pinot Noir, taking place at Bacara Resortin Santa Barbara this past March 3-4, 2017.
As in previous years, I took detailed notes on some 50 wines on each of the two days (I know I’m maxed out when the inside of my lips start to go numb), out of the ridiculous number you actually have the opportunity to taste (40 producers, pouring an estimated 700 different bottlings). I apologize for all the ones I missed; but when I accepted the post of “god of wine” some 39 years ago (my first sommelier job), they didn’t tell me that my actual powers would be that of a somewhat mortal semi-demigod, and a minor one at that. Still, if anyone claims they have perfectly good notes on more than 100 wines tasted at World of Pinot Noir, I suspect they’re lying.
I know what I thought of the Pinot Noirs. Since I don’t have to convince myself, after the proceedings I queried a few winemakers (those producin…