Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Perseus wines, British Columbia vqa

A winemaker friend of mine told me recently:

   "Sending my wine to competition is roughly equivalent to the stress I might have faced, had I sent my children to beauty pageants."

Rob Ingram, owner
Rob Ingram, owner
A Little Dramatic I thought, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Flash-forward a few weeks and I'm scribbling away at my notes for the new release of Perseus Winery, his words coming back to haunt me. I considered the wineries (relatively) new owner Rob Ingram and what stresses and challenges he must be facing in his day-to-day business as he sends forth his enological minions to all parts of Canada.

One of the biggest stresses must be that he has worked through three consulting winemakers in as many years, trying to find the right fit. Having settled his focus now with JM Bouchard, who is best known to British Columbians for his work at Road 13 just down the street, I can only believe that a greater clarity will come quickly to the wines.

A native of Quebec, which is perhaps better known these days for the decadent "iced-cider" then it is for wine production, Jean Martin (or JM as he prefers) never planned on becoming a winemaker. But that being said, I've met with those who hail from a multi-generation wine-making family and smile in recognition as I hear JM saying "Its all about the dirt!"

You read it in my reviews time and time again, how the top-level professionals in the wine industry have moved in-line with the idea that 90% of making a wine is growing great grapes. We forget, sometimes, how contrary that is to what was wide-spread practice in the industry only a short generation ago (and in some cases, much-much more recent then that!)... there was a time when making wine was more chemistry then artistry, more equation then inspiration and perspiration. We have moved forward, as a collective, by looking back at the "ancestral farming" and even "ancestral wine-making", when less was more and we didn't put into the soil (or the wine) what we didn't want to take out.

And what I took from my glass(es) of Perseus was delightful:

perseus 2011-Chardonnay

2011 Chardonnay


89+ points

  • displaying a smokey/flinty mineral-driven nose, this wine has zippy (full) lemon-peel acids that will work wonders with roast chicken! Packing a strong initial flavor-punch of the same mineral tones, I think it safe to say that the winemaker enjoys his white-Burgundy very much. If you want to pair food off the minerality, then oysters/clams/mussels are a natural! Oysters Rockefeller anyone???

perseus 2012 gewurztraminer

2012 Gewurztraminer

90 points

  • This varietal is to wine what a sundress is to women: highly complimentary. And few places in the world are producing so many different interpretations of Gewurztraminer as is British Columbia; this being a personal  favorite! The bouquet is a kaleidoscope of lush tropical flowers, peach/apricot compote and yet delicate mineral-tones underneath. The palate is awash in bright (full) grapefruit acids that are going to be perfect with my next seafood Thai dish and the relatively low alcohol means that I can have that food as spicy as I want. Yum~!

perseus 2011-Merlot

2011 Merlot

89 points

  • Dark ruby core and bright cherry rim, this wine is a very cool-climate example of Merlot. The aromas are full of bright red cranberry/raspberry/currant tones with a hint of warm/spicy musk/earth underneath. The palate is full of those same, ultra-cool, ultra-bright red berry flavors with the slight earthy background and huge chunky tannin just waiting for big, rich winter foods to balance it.

perseus 2011-Syrah-Malbec

2011 Syrah/Malbec

91+ points

  • Stunning. From the moment I poured it in the glass, this wine flooded my room with heady aromas of warm tropical flowers, red and black berries, precise graphite-like minerality, subtle oak and more... the sophistication of the bouquet was easily matched by the concentration and balance of the palate which exuded many of the same characteristics and in a refreshingly unique manner. This is not classical Syrah, nor is it classic Argentinian Malbec, but it is a delightful mix of both those worlds. I want no food with it, only my fireplace and a great cigar. But, if I needed to eat, then certainly I would use beef as the Argentinians do and delight my friends with how brilliantly it pairs with any steak. Bon appetit~!

perseus 2010-Cabernet-Sauvignon

2010 Select lots Cabernet-Sauvignon

90 points

  • of note: my preference for this wine would be to cellar minimum 2 years to allow it to really come into it's own
  • a deep, dark and inky wine, the aromas are full of traditional red and black currant, leather and graphite notes. Medium+ acids and full/chewy/meaty tannin make me want to use this as a food-wine... the palate is very similar to the nose and enjoys a medium or average length finish. Unquestionably a brilliant choice for your Winter dishes of: roast beef, pot roast, prime rib etc. Want a different pairing? Try this with an ultra-rich dark chocolate dessert and be amazed~!

perseus 2010-Invictus

2010 "Invictus"

Bordeaux-styled blend of: 56% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec

89+ points

  • so dark it seems more black then purple... bruised one might say. Medium concentration aromas that start with the freshness of red raspberries/currants and develop into some blueberry/blackberry tones, warm savory herbs and earth with more then a hint of vanilla. Crisp med+ red currant acids and chewy full tannin, an approachable alcohol (14.9% ABV) to be wary of - truly a wine made for big meals. Very good balance and good structure with medium- length... this wine won't disappoint with your hearty Winter dishes, or for the person who just can't help but fire-up their barbeque for just - one - more - steak!

perseus logo

Perseus is a young winery even by BC standards, which means that for most of the world it's barely out of the womb. But. But with talented, passionate individuals like Jean-Martin Bouchard to watch over her, and with the determination of an owner like Rob Ingram (who managed to secure said talent!), I have no doubts that the winery and the wines will continue to grow and evolve. And any winery that evolves from making their own utterly unique blends right out-of-the-gate will undoubtedly grow into something worth watching.

The proof is in the glass!

As always, I welcome your thoughts here or on Twitter @AStudentofWine

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Anciano Tempranillo, Valdepenas, Spain


Valdepenas, Spain; known to locals as the Val-de-penas or "The Valley of Rocks". The imagery isn't particularly hospitable. But then, this region has never been gentle... to people or to vines.

Surrounded by the better known, and much larger, region of Castilla-la-Mancha which was made famous by Don Quixote amongst others, I can almost imagine the Don... riding through these sun-baked valleys on his quest. Being a learned man, he would have known that this region had roots. These people had history; with some castles dating back to the 6th, 7th, 8th century BC. Yes, a castle, someone's home at one point - and it's 3000 years old (or thereabouts).

But these castles housed more then just people. For people in this region drink wine; always have and always will. They drink wine with lunch, with dinner, before dinner, after dinner, before bed and perhaps for a midnight snack. Not to say that they're drunks! But different cultures have different habits and to some people, the thought of lunch without wine is just silly. Just silly.

Archaeological sites have revealed wine production here, also dating back to a thousand years before Jesus was born. A drop in the bucket (or barrel, pardon-the-pun) when one compares it to wine-making in the areas surrounding the Black Sea (which have been dated to seven thousand years ago and older). However, when I look at wine-making in the New World - in BC let's say, and one hundred years ago there were only the roughest sort of vines, the barest-type of production, and three hundred years ago Europeans were being sighted for the first time ever sailing their galleons up the coast. Well, then 3000 years of viticulture takes on a degree of intensity!

And today in Valdepenas, the fierce sun blazes on soil, vine and man as it has for millennia. And the people struggle under the sun, working the limestone-rich subsoil, and harvesting Tempranillo. This varietal has plantings not only throughout Spain, but Portugal as well and is responsible for adding depth and dimension to some of the greatest red wines of the region. Even the New World is getting in on the action with wineries in California, South America and even one or two in BC taking a chance.

farm in Valdepenas
farm in Valdepenas
These two wines from Bodegas Navalon are absolutely entry-level priced examples of what Tempranillo is capable of, and yet deliver something more then entry-level quality. Remembering that BC has the second-highest liquor tax in the world (thank-you Sweden for being more expensive), these two wines come in at $12.99 and $15.99 respectively. In the UK you can pick them up at just about any major grocery store/wine outlet for about £8.99 or even less. For me, when I purchase a wine in that price-range, I'm just hoping that it's balanced and not much else. But in Spain, because these wines state that they are Gran Reserva, then they must be aged a minimum of 5 years: 2 in cask, 3 in bottle.

This is the difference. This is what pushes the quality of these wines from average to lovely, from "nice" to "Oh my!". Discover for yourself why sommeliers the world over are enjoying Spanish wines more then ever before...

Anciano 7yr Gran Reserva 2005 bottle shot 2MB

Anciano Gran Reserva 2005

aged 7 years

88 points

  • visual:   clear;   deep garnet core to slight cherry rim/some signs of age/oxidization
  • nose:   clean; medium+ intense and developing aromas that show both the brightness and freshness of youth through cherry blossoms and fresh red berries (raspberries/strawberries/blueberries) but also the more developed nuances of worn leather, drying dark berries... complimented by a generous array of graphite tones and wild savory herbs
  • palate:   clean; dry, medium+ cranberry acid, medium+ chalky tannin, medium- body, medium alcohol (13% ABV), medium intense flavors that do a solid job of keeping up with the aromas; the wine shows more age on the palate then the nose as the flavors are more of the dried blueberry/Saskatoon nature, layered with that graphite edge and rounded out with the scrub-brush/herbs. Good balance and structure, short length
  • conclusion:   whilst it will last for a few more years, this wine is at it's peak and should be enjoyed now. It should be noted that for those not used to "funky" Old World aromas, a quick run through the aerator or a 15 minute decant (just leave the bottle open) will do much to dispel what may be not-to-everyone's-liking
  • FOOD PAIRING:   "when in Rome..." and so I paired this cheerful red with grilled chorizo and caramelized sweet onions, capsicum bell peppers and fresh basil; grainy Dijon dipping sauce. The wine loved the bit of fat, hint of spice, and bold fresh garden flavors!

Anciano Gran Reserva 2002

Anciano 10yr 2003 bottle shot 2MB

aged 10 years

89+ points

  • visual:   clear; full garnet core to slight cherry rim/only light signs of aging
  • nose:   clean; medium+ developing aromas of cherry blossoms and dark rose, warm cherry compote, fresh thyme from the garden, graphite edges and a slight peppery finish
  • palate:   clean; dry, medium+ tart raspberry acid, medium chewy/meaty tannin, medium- body, medium alcohol (13% ABV), medium+ intense and developing flavors that mimic well the aromas; generous darker fruit tones give way to a well-placed minerality that cleanses the palate. The end is dark roses drying in my kitchen where I hang the Summer herbs. Good balance and very good structure with medium- length
  • conclusion:   also at it's peak, this wine will last for several years but is best consumed within the next 18-24 months
  • FOOD PAIRING:   a lighter though robust wine, this needed nothing other then the fireplace, a Sunday evening, and a good movie :) ... if I had paired food, it would have been something like grilled lamb burger with peppercorn-cherry relish, smoked garlic aioli for the frites

 As always, I welcome your comments and questions - here, or on Twitter @AStudentofWine
CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The #WineTastingCircle of Vancouver: BC Syrah compared

A friend and winemaker called me a few weeks ago and asked if I would try his unreleased 2011 Syrah (from BC) and let him know my thoughts.

I have to say, it's a good job that affords one phone calls like that on a regular basis! So of course I generously offered that my taste-buds were up to the task but then the winemaker zealously offered the 2010 Syrah as well; so that I could make an informed conclusion as to the wines' development.

My day was getting better and better, for that was when I remembered that one of his neighbors had also sent me his 2010 and 2011 Syrah. Four bottles is too much for even I to drink on my own, and so I began to drum-up a list of potential reprobates who would come and swill with me in some shady den of iniquity.
Then genius hit: I had always wanted to sit and compare these BC Syrah/Shiraz versus their counterparts from around the world. Well, "if you build it - they will come", and so I got on the phone right then and there and started beating the bushes for support for my little tasting.

First a trickle, then a torrent, of Syrah and Shiraz from every corner of the importer world came washing over my desk like a peppery-Tsunami. By the time I got in my car and drove to UVA winebar ( we had accumulated 16 wines. One writer looked at the assembled throng (? flock? gaggle? herd?) of bottles and simply stated "You got a little carried away." I smiled nervously, wrapped them all in paper bags until even I forgot which was which, and we got down to the business we had gathered for: ascertaining what level of Syrah BC was producing when compared side-by-side, blind, versus some of the most experienced producers in the world.


  • single varietal Syrah
  • most recent vintage (85% of wines were 2009,2010 or 2011)
  • priced between $30 and $50 CAD (in the BC market)


  1. Painted Rock 2010, 2011 (BC)
  2. Black Hills 2010, 2011     (BC)
  3. Desert Hills 2008               (BC)
  4. Le Vieux Pin 2011             (BC)
  5. Cedar Creek 2005              (BC)
  6. Mission Hill SLC 2007     (BC)
  7. Cannonbah   2007                      (AUS)
  8. Glaetzer "Bishop" 2012               (AUS)
  9. Tyrrell "Hunter Valley" 2010   (AUS)
  10. Thorn-Clarke "Shotfire" 2010 (AUS)
  11. Perez Cruz  "Maipo" 2006              (CHILE)
  12. Tanagra " Casablanca" 2006         (CHILE)
  13. Corralillo "San Antonio" 2010    (CHILE)
  14. Altico  "Jumilla" 2011  (SPAIN)
We swirled, we sipped, we spit, we debated. All of these wines, some with more then one vintage - blind - in an hour. And through it all we all learnt a great deal. It was quite a surprise when the unveiling occurred! Indeed, the entire process was a learning one for us all, in the words of one attendee "I'm surprised. I'm surprised not just at the generosity of fruit in all of the wines, but that even I - who have lived in BC for years, cannot tell which are the BC wines."

Here are the top three wines, in order. Scores are approximations and an average.

canonbah 2007 shiraz AUS

1. Canonbah drought reserve, 92/93 points

From the Western Plains of Australia, picked at a yield of 1 ton per HA and only in years of drought, this wine sings of refined elegance and decidedly masculine in it's approach. Imagine a Syrah that drinks much the same way that James Bond looks when played by Daniel Craig; muscular yet refined, intense yet sophisticated. This was a wine that categorically impressed everyone on the panel. Only one person guessed where it was from and for the rest of us, we were so delighted by it's concentration, clean mineral-tones, heavily spiced-musky aromas and pungent earthiness that I don't think we cared. This is truly World-Class and well worth the $50 (SPEC) in BC.

glaetzer Bishop shiraz 2012

2. Glaetzer's "Bishop", 92 points

Precision shone through every sip, every tendril of aroma that slipped up from the bottle. So bright, so refreshing was this wine that more then one person commented (when tasted blind) that it must surely be a New World wine, and obviously cool-climate. We unanimously voted this wine second place, and by a narrow margin. Capable of many years of aging, there is also a great deal of development left. I would personally love to taste a bottle with 10 years on it and see how the fresh notes integrate with dark berries, leather and spice.

LeVieuxPin -Syrah-Cuvee-Violette-2011-F

3. Le Vieux Pin, 91+/92 points

If the Canonbah was the epitome of masculine elegance, then Le Vieux Pin is the essence of feminine. A hedonistic plethora of floral, musky, ripe red berry tones not only danced from the glass when poured, but continued to evolve for the entire time we had the bottle open. Stunningly fresh yet balanced acids, fine and well integrated tannin,  full concentration of flavors that evolved as well. Utterly delightful and well-worth cellaring.

Honorable mention must be made to the exquisite 2005 Cedar Creek Syrah which was, upon release years ago, rated the best wine in Canada. Now with several years in a well-attended cellar it has evolved into a graceful example of how the varietal can age; with warm raisin aromas and sweet buttery tones, the acids still fresh and integrated, the tannin utterly refined. A graceful palate, everyone was captivated and would have ranked as our number 4 choice for the evening.

And perhaps this was what I had been looking for; a sign of validation that though BC is a small wine region (Algeria produces more wine then BC), we are producing quality. Some of the results were truly brow-raising, and many of the tasters walked away with a greater appreciation for the dynamic work happening "Down Under". Truly, Australia Syrah/Shiraz is not the same heavily-oaked, jammy-berry-laden, high-alcohol beverage that it once may have been... but by the same token, as the wine-industry has evolved over the past decade, BC wines have evolved no less.

And as we dragged our weary-palates towards the door, scores had become less important then process. More important still was the feeling that we perhaps understood a little better the direction our home-grown winemakers were going. Sticking to their instincts, following their own sense of what their land wants to express, I cannot help but believe that when our vines have a few more years on them - I will be reading Australian and Chilean writers talking about how well their Syrah is comparing to BC.

Many thanks not only to the wineries, but to the agents who graciously donated their time and sample bottles: : Desert Hills, Thorn-Clarke : Glaetzer, Black Hills : Mission Hills, Tyrrell

As always, I welcome your comments here - or on Twitter @AStudentofWine

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

COS di Vittoria, organic/bio-dynamic wines, Sicily

The first time I tasted the COS Vittoria wines, it was at a very large, very loud, very crowded industry-event. Hundreds upon hundreds of purchasers, sommeliers, writers, winemakers, merchants, etc were (by their nature) hawking their wares, politely (or not) refusing a sample they knew to be dross, smiling at everyone always, always. And in the midst of this cacophony I stumbled, quite literally, into the table of WineQuest Wine and Spirit Brokers inc.

I always try to go to these events with something of an agenda - mostly to keep myself from falling prey to every bottle that catches my fancy and every merchant who hires a beautiful young woman, mermaid-like, serenading sommeliers and writers to certain doom on the rocky shoals of inadequate production values. The WineQuest table had no such Siren, only two gentlemen enjoying a dram of their own wares and seeming quite pleased with the results. Now this peaked my interest... I simply had to taste the wine that the merchants couldn't help but take the odd sip of.

sicilia_vittoriaThe wine was the COS Vittoria frapatto and I was flummoxed. True enough, Italy has over 2000 cultivated varietals of grapes and I do not profess to be  a Master of Italian wine. However, I had never even heard of this varietal and was intrigued on yet another level. Let's be honest here, how exciting is it to try yet another Chardonnay or Merlot?

Frapatto I discovered is indigenous to a small area of Sicily and has a lengthy history on the island, having been written about since the 1700's (many thanks to the iconic Jancis Robinson and staff at for confirming much of my independent research). Usually blended, this grape is capable of conveying minerality with the style and elegance one would expect from Burgundy, and with some similar qualities of red berry and warm spice notes that I enjoy in craftsmen-level products.

I tasted the wine, was thoroughly impressed, and needed to move on through the throng. I gave Peter Jones of WineQuest my business card and waded through the masses to my next salubrious sampling... less then a week later, I came home from a long day to find two bottles of COS Vittoria on my veranda and their adjoining spec-sheets in my email. What I discovered in that evening's research was that my taste-buds had steered me in the direction of true artisans in Sicily~!
Giusto hard at work
Giusto hard at work

 COS Vittoria has been producing a level of wine far ahead of the curve since it's inception in 1980. That was the year that a triad of wine-geeks decided that whilst pursuing their education in such lofty pursuits as Architecture and Medicine, they would spend the summer reviving an old uncle's vineyard. We all know that students, by-and-large, have no money and none knew that better then friends Giambattista CiliaGiusto Occhipinti and Cirino Strano as they did everything by hand for the meager production of 1456 bottles of Frapatto. It's important to keep in mind that, at the time, there was only one vigneron on the island who was producing frapatto as a single varietal and, in total, there was less then 1000 acres dedicated to it's production worldwide. To the unbeliever, this was a varietal on the brink of extinction; relegated to being turned to must to enhance the flavors of it's more prestigious cousins in southern France (Burgundy) and northern Italy.

But Sicilians support their own, and when the triad of brave/foolish entrepreneurs went in search of sales for their hand-crafted wine, they found merchants and restaurateurs willing to give it a try (and glad that they did). The quality spoke for itself, and soon several other producers in the region started making single varietal frapatto and bottling it. In less then a decade the trio had reached a level of success that allowed expansion of the facility as well as the importing of more expensive tools such as French oak barriques. These costly developments did not have their desired effect~!

vineyards at COS Vittoria
vineyards at COS Vittoria
For when the trio (soon to evolve into a duo as Strano turned his attention solely to medicine) began to open bottles of new vintages matured in the French barriques, they found that much of the clean mineral tones and warm earth notes had been replaced or covered over by buttery, leathery oak. This was not the wine that they had fallen in love with!! Giambattista and Giusto had to find a way of maturing the wine in a manner that allowed for evolution yet masked none of the characteristics that made it so unique. At first they used older barriques and larger barrels with more neutral Slavonian oak.

It was also at this time that the winemakers understood the need for the winery and the vineyard to take a holistic/natural approach to the craft. Bio-dynamics principles were applied, the use of chemicals prohibited, and the utilization of the 400 litre ancient amphorae was introduced. Here was a maturation vessel that allow for the correct amount of contact with oxygen and yet imparted no flavors that would dilute the utterly captivating qualities of the calcareous/umber sandy soils.

These endeavors, and many more, led to COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria being award the prestigious DOCg status, the first and only wine of Sicily to do so. And is this the only proof that this labor-of-love was worthy of such extreme efforts? Not at all. Not only are there over 40 new producers of the blend of Frapatto and Nero D'Avola (Cersasuolo) in 30 years, and not only have Italian and international wine press raved about the wines, but there was the proof in my glass which spoke volumes!

2010 COS frapatto

cos frapatto 2012

90+ points 

*benefits from 1 hour decant or 1-2 runs through the aerator
  • visual:   clear; pale ruby core to bright cherry rim, no signs of aging
  • nose:   clean; fully intense and youthful aromas – much like Morgon/Fleurie – bright tones of fresh/slightly candied berries, sophisticated line of keen minerality throughout the palate, Old World funk/barnyard
  • palate:   clean; dry, medium+ to full young raspberry acid, medium tannin, medium- body, medium- alcohol, medium+ intense and very youthful flavors; the minerality that lurked beneath the surface of the bouquet jumps to the surface in the palate! Very good balance, excellent structure, medium+ length
  • conclusions:   the organic viticulture has allowed for a transparency in the soil or, as the French would call it, climat. This type of viticulture I find also always allows for long life-spans. Enjoy 2013-2020
  • FOOD PAIRING:   as it reminded me so much of northern Beaujolais, I would use it as such. Serve slightly chilled (14/15C) and with cold smoked duck breast on wild greens, pickled Bing cherries, Boursin cheese on warm dark rye
 I adore that both of these wines are genuine, and genuinely stylized. By that I mean that the winemaker has his own sense of style and composition, and whilst following his own sensibilities has crafted wines that are still classically Italian and utterly Sicilian. Yes, I said the frapatto has Beaujolais-like qualities to the palate, but the aromas are pure Vittoria and take one instantly to an Old World way of life.

2010 Cerasuola

91+ points Cos Cerasuolo_di_Vittoria 201

60% Nero D’Avola and 40% Frapatto
age of vines: average 28 years
*benefits from 1 hour decant or 1-2 runs through the aerator
  • visual:   clear;   pale ruby core to light cherry rim, slightest signs of aging
  • nose:   clean; medium+ intense and developing aromas of warm blackberry/raspberry compote with fresh garden herbs, more of the Old World funk/barnyard (in the best of all possible ways),
  • palate:   clean, dry, medium+ raspberry acids, medium+ chewy tannin, medium+ body, medium- alcohol (13% ABV), medium+ developing flavors that are much in-line with the aromas; a beautiful array of warming red and dark berries, fresh garden herbs, clean earth tones. Minerality is carried by the Frapatto, but not as pronounced as when it is single-varietal. Very good to excellent balance and structure with medium+ length on the palate
  • conclusion:   this wine as well has a prodigious life ahead of it. It will cellar easily for another 5 years or longer, but should most likely be consumed before 2018
  • FOOD PAIRING:   if the Frapatto on it’s own is like northern Beaujolais, then blended with Nero D’Avola it becomes more like Burgundy… I would enjoy it as such: served slightly chilled with a wild mushroom risotto or even the classic beef bourguignon although the acids are not truly high enough to prepare bourguignon a la method classique (which is very high in fat)

I had my first taste of COS di Vittoria because I was intrigued by wine-merchants who needed no gimmicks, no flamboyancy, no carnival-like show to sell their wines. These gentlemen believed in their product, and that was enough for them... I had my last taste of their wine and wondered how it was that I had never heard of it before.

Organics, bio-dynamics, ancestral-farming, sustainable-viticulture... all of these terms mean more then the sum of their parts: it is a journey, not a destination. It is my distinct privilege to have been here to witness this young winery, in this ancient place, which is reviving the most ancestral of wine-making practices to  build a brighter future. With a glass of wine, and a hefty portion of Belief I have been encouraged to see that to some winemakers, personal satisfaction means more then any score in a magazine. In the 1990's, when only a handful of wine-critics seemed to control what wines sold and which did not, these newcomers decided that the trend of oak, oak and yet more oak was - to them - an injustice to their wine. They risked offending the gods of oenology and did what they felt was right, what was best for their wines.

I hope that I have the good fortune to taste many more wines made with such fortitude.

As always, I welcome your comments either here or on Twitter @AStudentofWine
CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!