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Notable Quotes in 2012

“It’s Pinot. It’s the ultimate high-IQ red, smoothed into the contours of a Cleopatra.”
Andrew Jefford, The World of Fine Wine Issue 36

“It’s hard to overstate Burt Williams’s influence: since its creation, Williams Selyem has been the mothership of Sonoma Pinot Noir.”
Jan McInerney, WSJ December 1-2

“We don’t make Pinot Noir, we make Burgundy!”
Aubert de Villaine, Domaine de la Romaneé-Conti

“No grape variety anywhere demands, as if by divine right, a higher out-of-the-gate asking price than Pinot. It has the lordly imprimatur of Burgundy. And acolytes insist that Pinot Noir plays by a different set of rules, requiring a kind of obeisance bestowed on no other grape variety.”
Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator May 31

“Perhaps the sheer struggle of trying to describe the unique nature of great Burgundy is what has driven so many winemakers to try to emulate it.”
Benjamin Lewin MW

“You cannot turn an ordinary wine into an expensive wine by just exposing it to oak.”
Dr. Anita Oberholster, UC Davis extension enologist, Wine Business Monthly December 12

“For the past 15 years, much of the colorful mosaic that is California wine has been lost in an obsession with new-oaky, high-alcohol, heavily manipulated wines that have garnered rave reviews and ridiculously high prices in many corners of the wine world but left a growing number of wine lovers utterly cold and mystified about the praise these behemoths have received.”
John Oilman, The World of Fine Wine Issue 35

“I would like to see the compulsory labeling of fining, filtration, cold stabilization, any processing - in addition, of course, to an ingredient list.”
Olivier Humbrecht, The World of Fine Wine Issue 38

“45% of premium California wines are alcohol adjusted either by reverse osmosis or by the spinning cone.”
Clark Smith, Vinovation

“Until the world invents a better grape or a useful yeast that ferments great wines at less than normal conversion rates or technology that reduces alcohol without changing body, flavor or balance, we are stuck with that great bugaboo called moderation.”
Charles Oiken

“A wide range of alcohol levels in wine is a cause for celebration and enjoyment, not censoriousness or hang wringing.”
Andrew Jefford, The World of Fine Wine Issue 36

“It is alcohol that gives wine an emotional dimension or force that enables us not just to perceive wine’s beauty but to feel it, to be moved by it. You could say that alcohol humanizes wine.”
Andrew Jefford, The World of Fine Wine Issue 36

“A wine journalist once said to me that she sometimes wished she could spend the whole of waking consciousness in the state of mind induced by exactly one glass of wine.”
Stuart Watton, The Journal of Fine Wine Issue 38

“The score and tasting note delivered as an absolute, without context, is less fashionable than telling a wine’s story.”
Talia Baiocchi

“Wine ratings are most often presented via scales that imply scientific precision, however that they are measuring something for which we have no scientifically reliable calibration: people sense (mostly) qualitative aspects of wine.
Joe Roberts, 1 Wine Dude

“People can say what they like (or don’t like) about scores. But without the accompanying words - and not just any words, but romantic ones - nobody dreams. And without dreams, fine wine loses its grip. Of this I am certain.”
Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator January 31-February 29

“The American wine consumer’s palate is maturing, and now there is greater interest in more subtle wines and more complex wine-drinking experiences.”
Jasmine Hirsch, Hirsch Vineyards

“Americans are coming to realize that fine wines don’t necessarily have to blow you over by force of oaked fruit and alcohol, or pack the most impact in a blind tasting. Big oaky wines are the JR Ewings of the wine world: they belong to a richer, more arrogant, self-assured era that is eons away from today.”
Neil Empson, The World of Fine Wine Issue 37

“No one can continue to consume for any length of time wines that are ‘cartoons’: that is, wines that in their exaggerated form are exhausting to drink. After all, wine is at its best when married to cuisine. Wines that are balanced, complex and subtle will always be appreciated.”
Neal Rosenthal, The World of Fine Wine Issue 37

“Figures widely quoted suggest that of the estimated 800 or so volatile flavor compounds found in wine, at least 400 are produced by yeasts.”
Jamie Goode & Sam Harrup MW, Authentic Wine

“Consumers need to be held to the same high standards as great producers. We need to take the time to find out who is uncompromising when making their wines. Once we identify these winemakers, we need to buy their wine and pony up the amount of money they need to stay in business. Consumers with a true appreciation for the craft of fine winemaking need to do it the right way.”
Jake Lorenzo, Wine Business Monthly February 12

“Those who seek to do less winemaking do seem to accomplish more in the result.”
Matt Kramer

“These days, anybody with half a brain and a fast internet connection can figure out how to make good, solid, market-quality wine.”
Tim Patterson, Wines & Vines September

“No matter how successfully winemakers think they have represented their style, some people aren’t going to like it. If the style is not one of my favorites, I hope I have the experience and generosity to appreciate what the winemaker set out to accomplish.
Jake Lorenzo, Wine Business Monthly June

“The great wines you have to give them a piece of yourself. You have to really study them, and it’s a physical exercise. Wine is meant to be tasted before it is consumed. It’s really a science of taking small sips and chewing it like food. You process everything. You smell it like a lover, and taste it when it’s gone.”
John Kapon, Wine Spectator June 30

“Wines are little like women in that it’s often the imperfections that fascinate.”
Sam Neill, actor, Two Paddocks, Central Otago

“The point is that throughout history, the act of consuming wine has essentially been one of uncritical enjoyment. It’s a simple pleasure, first and foremost, the beverage equivalent of bread on the table.”
Eric Asimov, How to Love Wine

“This is one reason why there is now so much interest in whole-bunch fermentation - it is a technique for making more expressive, more elegant red wines, even from sites not known for those qualities.”
Jamie Goode, The World of Fine Wine Issue 37

“In Burgundy at the moment there is a tendency to move toward stems. I can see two main reasons for this. One is that Henri Jayer, who hated stems, is dead. And the other is that with climate change, the stems are more often riper than they used to be.”
Jasper Morris MW, The World of Fine Wine Issue 37

“There are very few people in the world who actually know what old wine tastes like.”
John Tilson

“We consumers should support wines made from old vines as a means of protecting the genetic material the plants harbor and ensuring these sites remain vineyards well into the future.”
Joe Czerwinski

“Nobody is getting rich making wine in Oregon.”
Bruce Schoenfeld, The Journal of Fine Wine Issue 36

“Bottle variation is the wine industry’s elephant in the room”
James Cabbini, CUBE Communications

“The fact that our experience of wine can differ from day to day, or even from hour to hour, should help us remain humble in the face of wine.”
Jamie Goode, The World of Fine Wine Issue 38

“Biodynamics has become shorthand for ‘I care more about my vineyard,’ and therefore a powerful marketing tool.”
Marco Pasanella, “Uncorked”

“So, at present there is no evidence, except for the anecdotal observations of the producers themselves, to support the assertion that there is any benefit from advancing from organic to biodynamic viticulture.”
Benjamin Lewin MW, The World of Fine Wine Issue 38

“Personally, I am inclined to the view that it is the enormous care and attention that the producers devote to their vineyards that is responsible for their success, and that they would have exactly the same success if all the biodynamic preps were replaced with distilled water.”
Benjamin Lewin MW, The World of Fine Wine Issue 38

“Rudolf Steiner is mistakenly believed to be dead by many people. Steiner recently emerged from the gigantic cow horn he’d been buried in 50 years ago and is actually consulting for many wineries and vineyards.”
Ron Washam HMW

“Darling....Be natural, take your clothes off! Show me your terroir.”
Guillaume Jordan

“There will always be wine, and there will always be writing. But now they’re seen together about as often as sommeliers and humility.”
Ron Washam HMW, HoseMaster of Wine™

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