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TomHill

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In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by TomHill » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:25 pm

Will be this Mon in TheCite and Wed in LA:
IPOB

I just noticed that their movement is limited to PinotNoir & Chard. Anyone have a clue as to why they made that restriction?? Are Pinot & Chard the only varieties that can show balance?? We know that NapaVlly Cab is quite unable to display balance...but what about Syrah..or Mondeuse....or Teroldego?? Surely they can have balance???
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Hoke » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:52 pm

Tom, when I read the title of your post, I thought you were investing in a walker for your old age. 8)

With all due respect to Rajat Parr, the folks at RN74 and Peggy Hirsch (among, I'm sure, many others), any organization that publishes a "manifesto" to justify and explain their existence is already a bit too serious for me.

Though laudable in concept---c'mon, who doesn't like balance, outside of those sensualist lawyerly types who want explicit, forthright statements of fruit and people who put cigars on the same level as wine?---I don't think this is going to be a break out group with wild success.

I think a campaign of "Save the Pinot Noir" (much less "Save the Chardonnay") is going to resonate sufficiently with anything beyond a precious few (emphasis on precious). And even though I'm inherently sympathetic to the view of these folk, I don't feel the need to climb the ramparts: I'm pleased that some winemakers, and sommeliers, and consumers champion a certain style of wine they prefer, but I'm afraid the laissez faire market doesn't care as much as they do.

The call for "make the pinot noir the way I like it, dammit" is not nearly as loud as "I'm making pinot noir that sells just fine, thank you very much." in our vast and unwashed marketplace.
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Awwwwww....

by TomHill » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:06 pm

Hoke wrote:Tom, when I read the title of your post, I thought you were investing in a walker for your old age. 8)

Awwwwww, Hoke....totally/totally uncalled for. Hoke...meet Kettle & Blackie.
With all due respect to Rajat Parr, the folks at RN74 and Peggy Hirsch (among, I'm sure, many others), any organization that publishes a "manifesto" to justify and explain their existence is already a bit too serious for me.
Though laudable in concept---c'mon, who doesn't like balance, outside of those sensualist lawyerly types who want explicit, forthright statements of fruit and people who put cigars on the same level as wine?---I don't think this is going to be a break out group with wild success.
I think a campaign of "Save the Pinot Noir" (much less "Save the Chardonnay") is going to resonate sufficiently with anything beyond a precious few (emphasis on precious). And even though I'm inherently sympathetic to the view of these folk, I don't feel the need to climb the ramparts: I'm pleased that some winemakers, and sommeliers, and consumers champion a certain style of wine they prefer, but I'm afraid the laissez faire market doesn't care as much as they do.
The call for "make the pinot noir the way I like it, dammit" is not nearly as loud as "I'm making pinot noir that sells just fine, thank you very much." in our vast and unwashed marketplace.


This is all part of the campaign by some folks to get lower alcohols in Calif wine. Or, at least, that's the way it started. But I didn't realize until today that is was
focused (only) on Chard and PinotNoir. Several yrs ago, they did a similar seminar up in Sebastapol, focused on Syrah. But that apparently was a one-off.
And it seems like the Balance people have tossed Syrah under the bus. But the Balance folks seemed to vehemently deny their movement is associated strictly w/ alcohol level. Whatever.
Tom
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Hoke » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:27 pm

I'm certainly in favor of lower alcohol levels, given the caveat that they are reached through non-technical means (spinning cones and such that take alcohol out from what's already there). I'm also in favor of balanced wines. Only a few errant souls aren't; and even most of those eventually get over it or wear out, Rombauer notwithstanding.

I suppose a general campaign of "balance" is pretty hard to grasp, so some sort of focus---and what better than pinot noir, current darling that it is and one so reflective of even minor tweaks and shifts in the grape politic? Chardonnay, now; different critter though, and wind might be being pissed against in a quixotic endeavor---is required to get someone to pay attention. And even then, it's a tough proposition to keep people marching on campaign, since I don't believe restaurants and sommeliers create nearly as much market force as they used to (and maybe this is a chance to try to salvage some of that lost influence?)

Don't get me wrong: I'm actually in favor of this kind of thing, Tom. And I hope it continues. It's just that their public website face---with a for god's sake manifesto!!!---comes cross to me as pretentious and has little appeal to all but the tiniest percentage of people who might actually be paying attention---and that's actually a whole lot less than the general wine-drinking population...which probably has no frickin' idea of what they're all churned up about.

Still, all the best to them: I like tilted windmills. I suspect I won't be able to buy many of these wines that result from this drive, but Rajat and others will be able to stud their lists with them for the expense account set and financially-minded Congressmen with lobbyists.
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Brian Gilp » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:04 pm

Oh boy, here we go again. I don't think Adam is invited back is he or was that something different? Also, I find the focus funny and by its apparent exclusionary approach contradicts what could be a good message.

BTW, the 2007 Coastview Syrah weighs in at about 14,5% and I recall it as being very balanced. But I guess since its not PN and since its over 13% that I must be mistaken.
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Steve Slatcher » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:06 pm

If every wine were "perfectly balanced", wouldn't life be boring?

Certainly I would not want every wine to be high alcohol and full of jammy fruit, but occasionally I like that. I also like the occasional wine to be oaky, however unfashionable that might be. More often, I like a good lick of acidity, and sometimes a whack of astgringency. All depends on food and mood.
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Well....

by TomHill » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:12 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:Oh boy, here we go again. I don't think Adam is invited back is he or was that something different? Also, I find the focus funny and by its apparent exclusionary approach contradicts what could be a good message.
BTW, the 2007 Coastview Syrah weighs in at about 14,5% and I recall it as being very balanced. But I guess since its not PN and since its over 13% that I must be mistaken.


Well, Brian.....I think those folks are concuiously making an effort to remove the focus from strictly the alcohol levels.
As Parr said: Parr also wants you to know that it's not all about low alcohol. "It's just about the wine."

I've certainly had Zins that were North of 14% alcohol that I thought were in balance.
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Re: Well....

by Brian Gilp » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:32 pm

TomHill wrote:I think those folks are concuiously making an effort to remove the focus from strictly the alcohol levels.
As Parr said: Parr also wants you to know that it's not all about low alcohol. "It's just about the wine."


So I went back and re-read the Manifesto and you are correct, it never states directly low alcohol. However, a number of the points, avoiding overripe fruit, growing in marginal climates, natural yeast fermentations, generally result in lower alcohol wines. I may go so far as to suggest that the definition of a marginal climate probably developed from an inability to consistently achieve a certain brix at harvest.

who on the list of pariticipating wineries is putting out balanced wines at 14.5%? The few that I have experience with are all shooting for lower. It may just be my lack of knowledge that is the problem here or that my tin foil hat is picking up the wrong signals.
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:07 pm

Tom: Do you really believe a Napa Valley Cabernet cannot be "balanced"?

Cathy Corison makes very balanced, ageable Cabernets. As do Clos du Val, Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Even Beaulieu GdlT.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:09 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:If every wine were "perfectly balanced", wouldn't life be boring?

Certainly I would not want every wine to be high alcohol and full of jammy fruit, but occasionally I like that. I also like the occasional wine to be oaky, however unfashionable that might be. More often, I like a good lick of acidity, and sometimes a whack of astgringency. All depends on food and mood.



I wuld normally somehwta disagree, except I had two massive, 15%+ jammy, oaky Syrahs last weekend at the Scholium Project tasting in Napa that were...fascinating wines, I have to admit. Despite myself. :lol:
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Sam Platt » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:35 am

Brian K Miller wrote:Cathy Corison makes very balanced, ageable Cabernets. As do Clos du Val, Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Even Beaulieu GdlT.
Caymus, Heitz, Mayacamas, Dominus (Moueix)...
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Nope...

by TomHill » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:57 am

Brian K Miller wrote:Tom: Do you really believe a Napa Valley Cabernet cannot be "balanced"?
Cathy Corison makes very balanced, ageable Cabernets. As do Clos du Val, Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Even Beaulieu GdlT.


Nope, Brian....you should know by now that I like to [stir-the-pot&raise-hell.gif] !!! :-)
I agree....those you cite are (generally) nicely balanced Cabs. They just don't play well in Monktown.
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Re: In Pursuit of Balance Seminar

by Tom Troiano » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:13 am

Monkton not Monktown.
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