Thursday, December 13, 2012
Although California is my current home, and I am employed at a winery that was well represented tonight, I think I can be pretty impartial, as I did not grow up drinking California wines. There are a lot of naysayers out in the world who decry anything oenologically-Californian, I myself have an aversion to high alcohol, over blown Pinot noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons. But the truth is that California, and in particular Northern California, is an almost perfect place in which to grow wine grapes. Some growing seasons maybe cooler and therefore not as ideal as others, but the grapes always ripen. California's vintages are always good. However, some vintages are spectacular.
Each varietal wine that was poured tonight - Merlot, Tempranillo, Viognier, Tannat, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Muscat Canelli and Albariño, to name but a few - were all near perfect renditions of their olde worlde benchmark classics. After all, isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Sure, one could still, if one had an axe to grind, lament the very existence of the jammy, oaky, alcoholic, massively extracted wines that people associate with California, but that would be a gross generalisation. But the fact remains, the Californian climate allows winemakers to express the inherent characters found in almost every grape variety on the planet. Something which can't be said for other parts of the world, or even other parts of the USA.
The wine in the photograph was the first wine of the evening. The Domaine Carneros, 2010 blanc de noirs, very recently disgorged and sporting a crown cap and an Avery label, was charming. The acid and sugar were not as yet well integrated, but this wine had loads of potential: one could just see that this gangly adolescent was going to grow up to be one mature, bubbly individual.
So in conclusion, in my humble opinion, Dr. Krebs saved the best for last.
Next...Nothing, the semester is almost at an end.