How To Tell if A Natural Wine Sucks
Interestingly, this brand of disparagement is embraced primarily by those who are trying to sell so-called “Natural Wines”. It has occurred with some regularity that Natural Wine supporters attempt to diminish the quality and character of wines not self-identifying as “natural”.
It has happened again in a new article published by JustLuxe entitled “The Rise of Natural Wine”.
“You would not believe the amount of junk that goes in to grape juice. It really comes down to money. Grapes are an incredibly expensive and susceptible crop, which is a bad combination. Imagine you can take four pounds of grapes, crush them and sell that bottle for $300 in Napa Valley. So, every pound of grapes you lose—bam—that’s $75 down the drain. So they will throw as many chemicals as they can to make sure that fruit stays healthy. Plus, once the grapes get to the point of processing, the winemakers are going to do all sorts of adding and doctoring to make it right.”
“Commercial winemakers are trying to engineer a wine that will be more pleasurable to a consumer’s palate. To me, that’s the exact opposite of what the luxury consumer wants. You can buy a nice, expensive bottle of wine that tastes just what you expect, but any idiot can do that. What a luxury consumer really wants is a special experience. These guys are trying to manipulate their grapes and terroir to make it taste like something I want. Any smart luxury customer is going to say no, I have good taste—whether they do or not”
Andrew Yandell, founder and CEO of Trumpet Wines
Yandell is an importer of Spanish wines. As I said above, when I read a wine seller disparage other wines, I assume the seller’s own wines suck.
Yandell implies that Napa Valley wines are all manipulated and full of “Junk” and doctored. He implies that all but natural wines are manipulated in the vineyard and in the winery.
Yandell isn’t alone in his dishonesty. The advocates of natural wine have been making statements like this for years.
There is a similarity in these kinds of dishonest statements. They never name names. They talk of “commercial wines” (as though the “natural” wines are not for sale). They speak of an entire region’s wines (see his statement about Napa Valley wines), and they talk about “industrial wines”. But they never actually name names, the names of wines and the names of the winemakers who make them.
Is it Warren Winarski of Stag’s Leap? Was it Robert Mondavi? Is it Paul Draper of Ridge who is throwing junk in his wines? Is Yandell talking about Bo Barrett of Montelena? Is Bob Trinchero adding and doctoring? Maybe he means to point to Merry Edwards or Cathy Corison or Randall Grahm as the “commercial” winemakers that don’t make “natural” wine who are throwing chemicals into their wines.
We’ll never know. He doesn’t name names. He just indicts everyone.
It’s called being cowardly.