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Memorable Quotes in 2013

“Wine is liquid humanism.” Wes Hagen, winemaker, Clos Pepe Vineyards

“Deference and humility are the key for the production of great Pinot Noir.” Jasper Morris MW, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 41

“Conversation with producers of all shapes and sizes across the land (New Zealand) made one thing clear - nobody is making money out of Pinot....almost all the small companies that are Pinot-predominant are living hand to mouth.” Jasper Morris MW, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 41

“Pinot Noir tells the truth because it offers nowhere to hide.” Scott Wright, proprietor, Scott Paul Wines

“Pinot Noir does not let you get away with any bullshit.” Scott Wright, proprietor, Scott Paul Wines

“Beyond what I do in the vineyards, 90% of winemaking is the picking decision.” Ross Cobb, winemaker and proprietor of Cobb Wines

“Even if you pick at 29º Brix and water back to 24º, it (Pinot Noir) still tastes like 29º” Ross Cobb, winemaker and proprietor of Cobb Wines

Quality comes, in part, from working at the margins of ripeness, and accept that this marginality promotes subtlety in the expression of vineyard identity.” Remington Norman, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 39.

“Wild fermentations are anything but wild. Yes, you have a strain that is identified as wild. But that strain is almost immediately overwhelmed by house yeast. Within the first few days of fermentation, they are gone. The commercial strains fight it out for domination.” Ken Wright, owner and winemaker Ken Wright Cellars

“Obsessing over alcohol content of California wine is approaching Howard Hughes levels of paranoia.” Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, Jan 31-Feb 28.

“If all the wines on the shelf taste the same, then there’s no reason for them all to be there. The position I’ve taken is, I like Brett, but I wish we knew more about how to manage it.” Chris Howell, winemaker Cain Vineyard & Winery, Wine Business Monthly August

“Grape variety is the most important factor of terroir, followed by climate, then landscape and soil. Some vineyards consistently produce fine wine, but when the weather is just right during the growing season, these sites produce exceptional wine, and those vintage differences have nothing to do with the soil.” Dr. Greg Jones, research climatologist Southern Oregon University

“The term minerality is now entrenched, so it’s too late to turn back the tide, but the term should be used as a metaphor, not as something directly derived from soil minerals where the vine is located.” Alex Maltman, grapegrower, winemaker and professor of earth sciences University of Wales

“Being able to actually taste the vineyard geology in the wine....in any literal way is scientifically impossible. Whatever minerality is, it is not the taste if vineyard minerals” Alex Maltman, grapegrower, winemaker and professor of earth sciences University of Wales

“I feel like there are people abusing the word (minerality) - putting it in wine notes, just because it is a nice evocative word, with no relationship to the sensory properties of the wine.” Jordi Ballester, Burgundy-based researcher

“Minerality to me is like when you put stones in your mouth as a kid. There’s a subtle taste there....its a combination of clean earth and rock.” Richard Arrowood, vintner

"I think minerality might come from a complex of sulfur compounds found naturally in grapes, not the sulfites added as a preservative. But I have no scientific basis for saying this.” Dr. Hildegarde Heymann, Professor of Enology, UC Davis

“Minerality by itself is definitely not an island. It is associated with a complex of other things, the most important of which is likely acidity.” David Killilea, mineral scientist at the Nutrition and Metabolism Center

“No one specific, precise detail can recognizably define minerality....it is a combination of many attributes.” Ann Noble, developer of the Wine Aroma Wheel

“Fostering soil life of fungi, earthworms and other small-scale fauna, in turn help the vine roots to grow deeper which leads to greater mineral expression.” Claude Bourguignon, French microbiolgist

“I will argue that blind tasting cannot succeed in controlling for the influences it aims to screen off, that it is not obviously desirable to have those aims in the first place, and it can hide from us things that we want to discern when we taste wine.” Jonathan Cohen, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 41

“Scores also carry with them the implication that perfection in a wine is both attainable and desirable. Anything less than the maximum number of points intimates unconsciously that something in the wine is lacking.” Eric Asimov, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 39

“The wine media in general, in my opinion, is overly focused on greatness - on killer wines, as too many Americans like to say....We need to pay greater attention to wines intended for drinking rather than wines that will be collected.” Eric Asimov, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 39

“There is a groundswell of belief that at best, wine talk is empty, and at worst, bogus.” Barry Smith, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 40

“Every wine has a story to tell. As judges, we need to listen to that story, then interpret it for others, regardless of price and reputation, what the producer or distributor tells us about it, or what we, in turn, think about them.” Michael Bettane, The Journal of Fine Wine, Issue 40

“Have wines actually gotten that much better, or has grade inflation become as common among wine critics as it has among high school personnel?” Lettie Teague, The Wall Street Journal, March 2-3

For many of us, wine is so much a part of the daily fabric of our lives that we tend to take some of its captivating, magical qualities for granted. We focus so much on the hard work, the difficult financing, the capricious market and the fierce competition that go into making and selling a bottle that we forget how enchanting a simple bottle of wine on the table becomes.”Jake Lorenzo, Wine Business Monthly, February

“Young people are becoming more confident. Consumers are much more confident in their ability to decide what they like and they don’t like. Wine isn’t perceived as an elitist beverage anymore.” Stephanie Gallo, Wine Business Monthly February

All the wines in the $8 category are from here (San Joaquin Valley). We are the California appellation. We’ve been the hidden gorilla; we’re 60 percent of the California wine industry, but nobody knows where San Joaquin Valley is.” Steve Shafer, San Joaquin Wine Co., Wine Business Monthly, April

“We do not look at wine on tap as simply another format. We see it as a better glass of wine. Kegs are the best way to ensure consistent high quality wine by the glass.” Bruce Schneider, Gotham Project, Wine Business Monthly April

“There’s too many doctors and lawyers moving in here and putting in their Chateau Cashflow.” Zan Overturf, owner of a Paso Robles plant nursery, Los Angeles Times, September 2

“It’s rarely discussed, but wines tend to reflect the personalities of their winemaker.” Rusty Gaffney, The PinotFile

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