Tuesday, March 11, 2008

11 March 2008 - Happy New Year?

I know it's been a long time between posts when one or two of the five or six people who read this blog contact me in the same week wondering if I'm going to write a new entry. So, here are a few random wine-related thoughts.

What's new in the wine world? Besides another new vintage in the tank in the southern hemisphere, not so much. Not even a declining dollar can change the basic rule: the best values still come from Europe. The cheap stuff from California and Australia is still mostly too sweet and/or too alcoholic.

So many wineries are claiming that they are biodynamic that I'm beginning to wonder if they're all telling the truth, or they didn't want to admit it earlier because the world would have thought them insane. I'm not saying that the only way to make great wine is to go biodynamic, but here's a list of estates that have been doing it the biodynamic way for at least a few (or many more) years, who consistently make great wine:
Domaine Leroy - Burgundy, France
Movia - Brda, Slovenia (straddling the border of Collio, Italy)
P.J. Kuhn - Rheingau, Germany
Porter Creek - Russian River Valley, California
Stephane Tissot - Jura, France
Tenuta di Valgiano - Tuscany, Italy
Domaine Weinbach - Alsace, France
Wimmer-Czerny - Kamptal, Austria

If you still doubt that the globe is warming, you haven't been drinking much wine. Quick, when was the last "bad" vintage in Germany? Since the truly terrible Rhone Valley vintage of 2002, it's been smooth sailing -- that's five (2007 was evidently lovely) top notch vintages in a row. Same for Bordeaux -- heck, even 2002 wasn't so bad there. Burgundy? 2006 was supposed to be tough for reds, but overall, it's been good in this climatically marginal region for a solid decade. The overall trend is unmistakable. Each vintage has its variables, but the reality is that vineyards are more likely to produce overripe fruit than underripe. They're more likely to scorch than to rot, more likely to be ruined by natural disaster than simple lack of sunshine.

Time to taste wine (it's Tuesday, 6:30pm). I'll try to get back to this sooner rather than later - thanks for the push!

2 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Carpenter said...

Mitchell,
Does global warming give makers one - and only one - reason for the abundance high-alcohol content of wines?

March 11, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Jack at Fork & Bottle said...

Andrew: My understanding is that phylorexa vines were replaced with clones that are, along with extended hang time, the primary causes of elevated alc. levels; not global warming.

Nice choice of biodynamic wineries. (I believe Weinbach is quite recent, btw.) For those who care, here's my list of biodynamic wineries:

http://www.forkandbottle.com/wine/biodynamic_producers.htm

March 11, 2008 at 6:46 PM  

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