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Mike Pollard

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Mike Pollard » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:58 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Mike Pollard wrote:Just to add further fuel to this fire there is a post on the Decanter article about this that is (apparently) from Adam Tolmach - its starts out "I have never made wines to please wine writers. I make them for myself and my customers. I was misquoted and my statements utterly misconstrued in the Los Angeles Times article."

If this is actually correct then its the second time in the last month or so that a journo has totally misquoted comments in an article about alcohol levels and wine. The first was in Australia in Nov/Dec. LINK. Is this simply poor reporting (in both continents) or is it agenda driven?

Mike


Could it be that when the winemakers read the quotes they went "Holy crap I can't say that!"


Its possible, although in the case of the Australian story it turned out that the reporter never attended the conference where Dan Jago, Director, Beers, Wines and Spirits, Tesco Stores UK Ltd had made his presentation.

On the other hand Tolmach is certainly concerned, he's posted the same rebuttal on Parker's forum.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Yup/Yup...

by Robin Garr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:15 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I disagree with this. I have seen more bottles of 96+ point wine opened with food than without. Whatr it does to the food is another matter, but also many folks choose the food to go with these wines rather carefully. I see a lot of braised beef ribs, steak, rare lamb, etc. being cosumed with blockbuster wines.

Dunno ... anecdotal evidence is hard to evaluate, and of course you and I both tend to hang out with people who are seriously into wine and food (albeit not all of whom are seriously into pointy blockbusters).

My impression from Email and from reading, though, is that a lot of people (not all!) in the niche of points followers don't pay much attention to wine as a food beverage.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Yup/Yup...

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:31 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Dunno ... anecdotal evidence is hard to evaluate, and of course you and I both tend to hang out with people who are seriously into wine and food (albeit not all of whom are seriously into pointy blockbusters).


I run into a lot of pointy people in my travels.
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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:37 pm

Mike Pollard wrote:Just to add further fuel to this fire there is a post on the Decanter article about this that is (apparently) from Adam Tolmach - its starts out "I have never made wines to please wine writers. I make them for myself and my customers. I was misquoted and my statements utterly misconstrued in the Los Angeles Times article."

If this is actually correct then its the second time in the last month or so that a journo has totally misquoted comments in an article about alcohol levels and wine. The first was in Australia in Nov/Dec. LINK. Is this simply poor reporting (in both continents) or is it agenda driven?

Mike


Not fuel to the fire, really, more like no fire in the first place. Measured, thoughtful statements don't make good press.
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Re: Yup/Yup...

by Mark Lipton » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:07 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
I do have a theory about the Arpy-praised blockbusters and those who love them, though: I rarely see this mentioned, but it appears to me that a lot of the people who swear by them are in the habit of drinking wine as a cocktail, not as a beverage with meals. It makes a difference.


I disagree with this. I have seen more bottles of 96+ point wine opened with food than without. Whatr it does to the food is another matter, but also many folks choose the food to go wit hthese wines rather carefully. I see a lot of braised beef ribs, steak, rare lamb, etc. being cosumed with blockbuster wines.


David,
Like you, I've seen a lot of those big, pointy wines in restaurants, but often horribly mismatched with the food on the table. I've seen more CalCabs at seafood restaurants than I can shake a stick at. Sometimes I think that it's a purposeful statement: "I don't subscribe to those old, fuddyduddy rules about food/wine pairing." Other times, however, it seems that the people are just uninterested in how their food and wine interact. De gustibus...

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Brian Gilp » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:14 pm

I will never forget a few years back we were at to remain nameless critically aclaimed restaraunt and after dinner the Sommellier took us into the celler to look around. And I quote "Over there are the California Cabernets. They don't go with anything on the menu but we sure sell enough of them."
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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:29 pm

I was in the back room of a great retailer near me a few years ago and saw a box of pointy, expensive Cabernets with the letters DHC written on the side. I asked what 'DHC' meant, and was told it stood for DickHead Cabs.
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Lou Kessler

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Lou Kessler » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:10 pm

I always spend time working the floor of our wine store during holiday time. If I had a $100.00 bill each time that a customer came into the store bearing the top 100 list from The Wine Spec or a list of wines from Parker I would be a rich man. I found out a long time ago you dont discuss wine with these people, you just sell them the above named product and move on.
The funny thing I've had discussions with many open minded wine buyers who will say I know the wine I like to drink is not seen as a "good" wine by the more sophisticated drinker but this Chard that has the flavor of buttered popcorn is what I like Etc!!!!!! :roll:
It really doesn't change much every year. A small percentage of the buyers go on to more balanced wines but there is a large group of newbies that come along to replace them.
Hell, if we just sold wines that I like we wouldn't be able to pay the light bill in the store. Just drink what you like and leave it up to someone else to beat a "dead horse".
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Re: Yup/Yup...

by Bob Henrick » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:52 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I run into a lot of pointy people in my travels.


Are they also pointy haired people? Or is that just in the work place?
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Yup/Yup...

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:11 am

Bob Henrick wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:I run into a lot of pointy people in my travels.


Are they also pointy haired people? Or is that just in the work place?


I don't work for that guy anymore. :wink:
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Harry Cantrell

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Harry Cantrell » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:22 pm

Robin, I have to side with David on this one. Actually-and this comment comes from my personal observations and NOT meant to criticise anyone in particular-the "point haters" tend to like wine, but do not have the means to chase with the fastest hounds. So, they readjust their likes with realistic eyes to "lesser" crus and develope defense mechanisms (or tastes) accordingly. But, their facade falls at a tasting when their praise of the big Apry point wine is endless when they get to taste and enjoy them. (Again this brush has broad strokes, but it is my observation over years of tastings.)
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Robin Garr

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Robin Garr » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:53 pm

Harry Cantrell wrote:the "point haters" tend to like wine, but do not have the means to chase with the fastest hounds. So, they readjust their likes with realistic eyes to "lesser" crus and develope defense mechanisms (or tastes) accordingly. But, their facade falls at a tasting when their praise of the big Apry point wine is endless when they get to taste and enjoy them. (Again this brush has broad strokes, but it is my observation over years of tastings.)

Hmm. My observations differ, Harry. Frankly, I think there are quite a few of us on this forum who aren't fans of the pointy wines but could quite easily partake regularly of the trophies if we wished to.
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Mark Lipton

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Re: LATimes: AdamTolmach On Alcohol...

by Mark Lipton » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:09 am

Harry Cantrell wrote:Robin, I have to side with David on this one. Actually-and this comment comes from my personal observations and NOT meant to criticise anyone in particular-the "point haters" tend to like wine, but do not have the means to chase with the fastest hounds. So, they readjust their likes with realistic eyes to "lesser" crus and develope defense mechanisms (or tastes) accordingly. But, their facade falls at a tasting when their praise of the big Apry point wine is endless when they get to taste and enjoy them. (Again this brush has broad strokes, but it is my observation over years of tastings.)


A very provocative statement, Harry, but not one that I find very compelling. First of all, "pointiness" is a relatively new phenomenon in wine appreciation circles, so what do you make of all those people who were buying and appreciating wine in the '50-'70s and didn't jump on the RMP bandwagon when it rolled into town? Is Michael Broadbent's dislike of the '03 Pavie really just masking an inferiority complex? Jancis Robinson's? In reading your statement, I found myself considering my own trajectory: I bought and drank many California Cabernets and Zinfandels in the late-'70s/early-'80s and continued doing so into the '90s. When price escalation made Cabernets especially a more dear proposition, I re-evaluated my buying (and drinking) habits and started investing more of the wine budget into Bdx, Burgundy, the Rhone, etc. Somewhat coincident with that, I also started consuming more of my wine with meals and began finding that big, blockbuster reds didn't actually go very well with most of the food I was eating (fish, birds, Asian, spicy). Since that time, I've been buying and drinking far more white wine than I used to and moving also into lighter bodied reds, at the same time buying even less Bordeaux than before.

So, where does that put me? I certainly don't have the means to run with the big dogs and don't buy many CalCabs (or First Growths, or '05 Burgs, etc.) but do go to big tastings every so often and get to taste many of those wines. And, guess what? I genuinely don't like most of those RMP 100-pointers, finding them too big, too alcoholic, too much like (as another points-hater put it) "blueberry milkshake." Those wines don't remind me at all of the CalCabs (and Bordeaux) I grew up loving and I certainly see a stylistic shift in several wine regions, critic-driven or otherwise. On the other hand, I love Chave's Hermitage and Ch. Beaucastel and they do receive high scores from Monkton and elsewhere. Am I just engaging in subliminal rationalization? Who knows? It certainly doesn't seem like it from where I sit.

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