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US Passes France In Wine Consumption

Mark from Plano

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Shafer (though some might say overpriced, but I like), Montelena.
 

Gus

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Originally Posted by gomestar
for everyday <$20 bottles I never buy California since, IMO, france/Italy produces much better wine for the price.

That is the way it is around our house.
 

kwilkinson

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Originally Posted by foodguy
oooh, kwilky. those are definitely big-names and in some cases very good. but i would definitely dispute sea smoke -- not nearly enough of a track record -- and diamond creek -- plenty of track record, but having had them up to 20 years old, never had one near maturity; who knows if they'll ever become drinkable? sine qua non makes really unusual wines, and i've had some good ones, but i don't know that i would put them in world class. mark aubert and merry edwards are great wine makers. and williams-sellyem did not fall part when burt and ed sold it, as many expected it would. i would probably add phelps (quality plus track record), maybe dunn, peter michael (former aubert), kalin, hanzell?, kistler ... i'm sure i'm missing probably twice as many as i've included, but that's an off-the-top-of-my-head listing.

Well I think there is more to being a world class wine than just having the ability to age for 20 years. When I think world class, I mean, does the wine stand out amongst its peer group? For that, there's no doubt in my mind that both Diamond Creek and SQN do. I'll +1 all of your recommendations except Peter Michael. Everything I've had from them was terrible, and not just on a QPR basis, but on a blind tasting basis. I thought it was beyond bad.
 

Piobaire

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Heh, next let's get into the debate on whether or not certain varietals can be &quot;world class.&quot; Zin for instance.
 

foodguy

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we will have to agree to respecfully disagree. i'm not talking about what the wine might turn into in 20 years ... i'm talking about waiting for it to open up at all. i've had a bunch of diamond creek and if you like chewing boards, it can, indeed, be pleasurable. peter michael makes some of the best chardonnays i've had. granted, at their price point these days, i haven't tasted them in a couple of years.
 

foodguy

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Heh, next let's get into the debate on whether or not certain varietals can be "world class." Zin for instance.

this is silly. if a blend can be world-class, why can't a single variety, if it's well-made.
 

foodguy

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Originally Posted by gomestar
Phelps, Mondavi, BV

yeah, i probably should have included mondavi. their diffusion lines cloud their image (to say nothing of all the troubles). but their single-vineyard and reserve cabs are remarkable for their consistency and elegance. bv did go through a really rough patch with maybe a decade of corky vintages. that was nasty. i haven't had any private reserves since the clean-up, but they certainly are venerable.
 

Manton

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Sine Qua Non is ... I don't know what it is but it's expensive and strange.

I like Diamond Creek. It's another example of a wine that 15-20 years ago was crazy expensive and today costs almost the same. The culties have zoomed past it in price.
 

foodguy

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arguing all this, it struck me ... do you think any other wine producing country brags that their wines are world-class? maybe southern hemisphere, i guess ...
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by foodguy
yeah, i probably should have included mondavi. their diffusion lines cloud their image (to say nothing of all the troubles). but their single-vineyard and reserve cabs are remarkable for their consistency and elegance. bv did go through a really rough patch with maybe a decade of corky vintages. that was nasty. i haven't had any private reserves since the clean-up, but they certainly are venerable.

BV is doing great work today.

The Mondavi "Napa" bottlings, which are all under $20 and sometimes well under, are very good simply and for the money.
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by foodguy
arguing all this, it struck me ... do you think any other wine producing country brags that their wines are world-class? maybe southern hemisphere, i guess ...

This is, as you know, the product of an ancient CA/Napa inferiority complex. They still feel the need to assert it because they are not sure they believe it.
 

kwilkinson

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Originally Posted by iammatt
World class = overpriced?

I think if it stands out amongst its peer group, then it can be considered world class. When you think of great Pinot, a few names from California, Oregon, and even one or two from NZ can stand with some of the greatest Burgundies. That, to me, is world class. There is something to be said for varietal typicity, but I don't think that strange or esoteric winemaking practices exclude a producer from being world class.
 

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