Damn my over-processing brain.
I was going to write about two wines that I tasted last week while I was in in Napa & Sonoma for the Wine Bloggers Conference… technically I was actually (sweltering) in Tacoma when I tasted them, but I received the wines in Napa & Sonoma…
Anyway, I was going to write about these wines when my ever-processing, never-lets-me-rest brain decided to switch it up on me. Now, it turns out I’m writing about not getting these wines. Or, writing about writing about not getting these wines. This will all clear up in a minute or two. I think.
The wines in question are C. Donatiello’s Rose, and the new 2006 release of Prime Cellars’s Cab. Both of them are very, very good wines, the kind of wines that I want to get to know and want others to get to know – small production, interesting, made by up-and-coming, passionate winemakers who are tweaking things, trying to find the right balance and improving their wines early on with every vintage.
The thing is, I’ve been wondering if I should write about these wines.
Because chances are that you can’t get them…
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Joe "interviews" some of the winemaking peeps that took part in the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference, including Quintessa, Ladera, and John Tyler Wines.
Chaos ensues, as does the Macarena. It’s better if you’re drunk. I promise…
If you want to understand the changing palates of the California wine consumer (that’s consumers of CA wine, not wine consumers from CA… although those two populations can certainly overlap… ok, whatever), you need to understand peaches.
That’s right. Peaches.
Jill & Steve, the owners and winemakers at Matthiasson in Napa, are also growers and sellers of peaches. And they can explain how tastes have changed by observing the people that buy different varieties of their peaches.
“It seems to be generational,” noted Steve when I visited the Matthiasson farm in Napa last week. “Older consumers prefer a more mild, balanced, pure peach flavor. You can eat those peaches all day long and feel refreshed every time. Younger people buy peaches that are like an explosion of fruit. They’re high in flavor, high in acid, high in sugar, high everything – it’s tough to eat more than one of those.”
I’d argue that the same thing could be said of Napa, CA Sauvignon Blanc wines – and I basically have said that, on numerous occasions. The majority of SB wines (in my experience, that is) being produced out of Napa are too big, too oaky, to overblown, and lack the pure SB characteristics that are the hallmark of SB fruit (grass, citrus, high acidity, minerals…).
What I learned last week in Napa was that not all Napa SB is trying to be Chardonnay in disguise. There is some SB being produced that is excellent, well-balanced, and surprisingly refreshing. It just happens to be a big pain in the ass to make it that way, because according to the Napa winemakers that seem to be getting SB right, by and large Napa growers are habitually picking SB way too late…
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