Archive for the ‘Terroir’ Category

Jun 26, 2018

This Wine is Smokin’ Good

As I’ve argued before, there simply is no way to argue that smoke taint in a wine brought on by fires during harvest is not a genuine reflection of terroir. That case will be made by more people once more North Coast wines from the 2017 vintage are released to the public. They will, after all, need to be sold. We have a good example of how this view plays out with the newly released Oregon wines, some of which…

Nov 7, 2017

Wine and The Glory of Smoke Taint

“I really, strongly feel that I want there to be some character about the fire in the wines. This is part of the vintage, and it’s going to be a part of my life, remembering this event. In 10 years, if I sit down and have a bottle of that smoky Cabernet, I want to remember the vintage…At the same time, I don’t want the wines to be disgusting.” If there we ever more authentic words from a true grape…

Sep 8, 2017

Napa Valley’s Appellations Are Near Meaningless

Richard Mendelson’s newish book, “Appellations Napa Valley” is a fantastic tome. Written in a personal, first person voice that reflects Mendelson’s vast experience with the development of the Valley’s various sub appellations as well as his obvious and genuine affinity for this part of the world, the coffee table-style book is a unique and necessary addition to the Napa Valley Wine bibliography. However, the subject of the book brings up an important question that has been asked before: Do Napa…

Apr 17, 2017

Are Burgundy Wine Growers Cheating Terroir?

It’s being reported by the London Telegraph that the entire Burgundy wine region is set to be protected by a ” ‘hailstone shield’ to kill destructive storms that have blighted the famed wine growing region in recent years.” Here’s what I’m wondering: Is this “Hailstone Shield” altering the terroir of Burgundy, and if it is, what does this say about the longstanding commitment in Burgundy to its unique terroir and the unique wines it is said to produce? The first…

Nov 14, 2016

Will the Replanting of Napa Vineyards Bring Diversity?

As Napa grape growers replace their vines, will the composition of varieties planted in the region change to accommodate the recent broadening of tastes? This is the really interesting question that one can take away from a recent article in Wines and Vines that reports a majority of Napa growers will be replacing their vines by 2017. The cause of the replanting rush is Pierce’s Disease: “Pressure from grapevine red blotch-associated virus and Pierce’s disease is one of the main…