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1976 Judgment of Paris reenacted, California wins - Page 2

post #16 of 32
There's a certain pretentiousness about California wines and the Napa faux-Tuscan "villas".
post #17 of 32
Let it be known that I do not recommend buying niche wines like supermarkets. It really pays to deal with someone who knows their product and wines. Decent GV runs froms $20 and up and can age, a bit like German Riesling in that. Austrian Riesling has a lot of potential, too. Off the top of my head, Knoll, Pichler, Brundlmayer, Loimer, Hirtzberger, and Salomon all make quality GV (I particularly like the first two). Wachau, Kremstal, and Kamptal the best regions. Austrian TBA can also be excellent.
post #18 of 32
Could it be this tasting is a dual attempt at boosting the rates/price/visibility of California wines in Europe and softening the price of Bordeaux wines?

At least we learn that California wines can age well.

I drink California wines simply as a matter of proximity, I feel no passion. But everytime I go back to France, even if I pick a bottle at random at a supermarket for under $15, I am blown away.

Last trip being to the mediterranean, we tasted many a bandol, they seldom disappoint. This from someone with Burgundian ancestry.
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
But everytime I go back to France, even if I pick a bottle at random at a supermarket for under $15, I am blown away.

Heck, a $4 bottle of Nicolas vin de pays blows me away.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
There's a certain pretentiousness about California wines and the Napa faux-Tuscan "villas".

As opposed to the lack of pretention present in the wine industry generally? Actually, in my one trip to Napa, I found the folks (oops, there's that word again ) staffing the vineyards to be pretty down to earth.
post #21 of 32
Napa is a zoo. I rather liked Sonoma, though.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBZ
As opposed to the lack of pretention present in the wine industry generally? Actually, in my one trip to Napa, I found the folks (oops, there's that word again ) staffing the vineyards to be pretty down to earth.

For having recently driven from one wine producing village to another in Burgundy, I can assure you that, at least there, there is no pretention whatsoever. You'll often find the producer himself or herself leading the tasting. One look at their hands, that's all you need to understand.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
For having recently driven from one wine producing village to another in Burgundy, I can assure you that, at least there, there is no pretention whatsoever. You'll often find the producer himself or herself leading the tasting. One look at their hands, that's all you need to understand.

I think the pretension that I have sensed from time to time comes more from some of (and I stress the word "some of," as such pretension is obviously not present in any of the posts in this thread) the enthusiasts and critics than the producers themselves (i.e. the self-perceived "experts"). See, for example, Paul Giamatti's character in Sideways ("I'm not drinking any f***ing Merlot!"). This is not the "industry" per se, so I probably should have chosen my words more carefully.

Anyways, no offense meant. I would love to have a larger knowledge of wine, but I find that, even in small amounts, most wines give me a bad headache. Thus, I stick more to bourbon, gin, beer, and the occasional scotch.
post #24 of 32
JBZ, I agree. Vintners are, at heart, farmers. As you move along the supply chain from vat to consumer, there are varying levels of added...um, refinement. I search out salesmen who are knowledgeable without the pretension. One of the local guys in college wore a ballcap and ponytail, and knew more off the top of his head than I ever could with a book.

Tom
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
For having recently driven from one wine producing village to another in Burgundy, I can assure you that, at least there, there is no pretention whatsoever. You'll often find the producer himself or herself leading the tasting. One look at their hands, that's all you need to understand.

That is certainly true for the small producers. Once we were at the cellar of a small winemaker in Pouilly-Fuissy and his neighbor's horse got loose. He had to run out and chase the horse down the road, bring it bac and tie it up before we could proceed. Not exactly what you find at most of the Napa wineries.

I have had mixed experiences with Negociants in Burgundy. They have always had more pretense than the farmer/makers, but in general have been superb to deal with and not at all like the vintners in California.

Bordeaux, being a bit more English, has a totally different attitude. It is not like California, but it is certainly more genteel. The best overall experience that we have had at a winery was at Tertre-Roteboeuf in St. Emilion. The owner there was the perfect combination of farmer, philosopher and gentleman. Anybody travelling to the are would be wise to ask if a visit would be possible.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBZ
As opposed to the lack of pretention present in the wine industry generally? Actually, in my one trip to Napa, I found the folks (oops, there's that word again ) staffing the vineyards to be pretty down to earth.
Yes, I meant the so-called "enthusiasts".
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Yes, I meant the so-called "enthusiasts".

Northern California is now filled with "enthusiasts".

You can't even buy cheese or salt without it becoming somebody else's shopping experience. Recently, my wife was buying lobsters to cook at home, and there was a crowd of people critiquing each lobster that came out of the tank. To top it all off, one of them asked her how much the whole thing cost as she was leaving.
post #28 of 32
Not all California wines are grown in Napa and Sonoma. There are lots of good central coast wines from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties, along with stuff from the Sierras, and places north of Napa/Sonoma. Perhaps Napa is getting too big for its breeches, but there are still lots of artisanal wineries and growers in other parts of the state who are producing interesting things. Over-oaked chards are kind of a stereotype, but one that sells well, for better or worse. I'd argue that the best pinot noirs, which can be quite subtle and complex, come from the central coast, and Anderson Valley produces some really high-value sparklers.

And there are some really enjoyable things you can't get elsewhere: a quintessentially Californian pairing might be Zinfandel with tri-tip (brisket for non-Californians).

--Andre
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt
Northern California is now filled with "enthusiasts".

You can't even buy cheese or salt without it becoming somebody else's shopping experience. Recently, my wife was buying lobsters to cook at home, and there was a crowd of people critiquing each lobster that came out of the tank. To top it all off, one of them asked her how much the whole thing cost as she was leaving.
I think a lot of these people congregate at a Trader Joe's.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
I think a lot of these people congregate at a Trader Joe's.

LMAO. Whole Foods and the Ferry Building as well.
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