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Remarkable Quotes from 2008

“For me, David Lett was Pinot Noir. As someone brought up in Europe, I have always held Burgundy as my Pinot Noir standard. David was a standard bearer of those who want the grape to produce ethereal wines, not the “syrah-wannabes” so popular with certain magazines and, unfortunately, too many consumers.”

    ........Mick Beard, Cornell Wine Company, Oregon Wine Press

“We know that it (Burgundy) has the word “disappointment” tattooed across its bottom. We know it’s the one wine region in the world where, in addition to paying a handsome entrance fee, you actually need to luck out. Bordeaux is a bordello; Burgundy is a casino.”

    ........Andrew Jefford

“The use of the premium varietal Pinot Noir in conjunction with the phrase “seeking the Holy Grail” will be banned. The Bureau of Awful, Trite Labels or BATL, for short, firmly believes in the separation of religion from winemaking except, of course, in certain religious observances that will be grandfathered in.”

    ........Ed Schwartz, Napa Valley Register, April 25, 2008

“In my opinion, terroir belongs to the French, and they should rightly have it. What happens in Burgundy stays in Burgundy.”

    ........Ed Schwartz, Napa Valley Register, April 25, 2008

“It takes a little while to get the rhythm of some plants. It’s like kids, if you spend time with them, teach them things, then when they’re eighteen, they have a work ethic and are curious about life. They’ll do well for themselves. If you set them on the couch, give them Captain Crunch and kick them out at eighteen, they’ll fall on their face. Vines are the same way. They need to be brought up in the way you want them to act as adults.

    ..........Dyson DeMara, Hillcrest Winery

“Writing about wine is boring, but writing about people is endlessly fascinating.” ........Brian Doyle, The Grail

“I flatly disagree that a 15% alcohol wine can be balanced.” ........Allen Meadows, Burghound

“Forget about wine as an athletic event. It’s not made for scoring. Worry instead about finesse, balance and elegance.”

    ........Rob Sinskey, Sinskey Vineyards

“It is the responsibility of a (wine) judge, or anyone really, to delve into the wine rather than have it reach out and lick your face.”

    ........Jancis Robinson, Wine Enthusiast February 2008

“Wineries have begun to produce Pinot Noir because it seems more like a sure thing than a risk. Improvements in viticulture and winemaking, California’s (and to a lesser extent Oregon’s) consistent weather, the wild success of the movie ‘Sideways,’ and a remarkable explosion of positive press for small and large Pinot producers alike have led to a time where Pinot Noir seems to be more a money maker than a heart breaker.”

    ........Adam Lee, Siduri Wines

”Power, concentration and obvious oak are often favored over finesse. I taste a lot of Pinot Noirs that seem to be made to a formula. They could be from anywhere. In fact, some are so big and ripe that they’re not instantly recognizable as Pinot.”

    ........Laurie Daniel, Mercury News, March 19, 2008

“I have to confess, I don’t drink much California Pinot Noir. The prevailing thick, fruit-and-oak-drenched style, often with a touch of sweetness, does not appeal to me. I find these wines are clumsy at the table, overwhelming and fatiguing. In short, many of the leading California Pinot Noirs today seem to me to be the antithesis of what Pinot Noirs ought to be: light, elegant, graceful and refreshing.”

    .......Eric Asimov, The New York Times, April 2, 2008

“Single vineyard wines can be really good but just because you only make 300 cases, it doesn’t mean you should charge $75 a bottle. So many come right out of the gate with prices that are not reflective of cost - they’re reflective of ego, or what the market can bear, or of what their neighbors are charging.”

    ........Sam Tannahill, Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2008

“You see an awful lot of smart guys with bad Pinot, but you rarely see a good Pinot with a dumb guy.”

    ........The Prince

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