Today I ride piggyback on two of my colleagues' recent blogs.
James Molesworth's thoughts on the past decade's global shift to riper, fuller-bodied, more flavorful wines sums up my sentiments exactly. There is too much hand-wringing by those who decry what they perceive as wines that are overripe and alcoholic. Well, those wines, call them what you may, are just a part, and perhaps only a small part, of a much bigger, ever-evolving picture.
I know that my wine-drinking buddies who may read this often roll their eyes when I extol the beauty of delicate, fragrant Rieslings, yes those 7 to 8 percent gems, wondering if I've lost it, "it" being my appetite for bold, expressive wines. No, I haven't. Wines are to be enjoyed and appreciated on all levels, and if the criterion is only the alcohol level, well, that's too narrow and singular a focus. Wine is to be assessed in its whole, which gives us a wide birth for determining what constitutes balance, complexity and appeal in each wine.
On the flip side is James Suckling, embracing a few wines from yesteryear and wondering if others too miss that style. He laments as well what he terms the trend toward "high-octane jam juice" made by vintners in his home state of California.
He ends up admitting he's been bitten by the bug of nostalgia (but also that he really does love some of those jam grenades) and that's healthy too. Would we all like to see perhaps more diversity in styles, as in better-made wines in a more restrained manner? I think so.
As I wrote a few days ago, looking back is as important as looking forward. It's enlightening to experience a great old wine that has survived and gained with time. But it's too easy to forget the sea of wines that weren't that good years ago and still aren't.
There's a bridge that connects the two editors' views and it's a link that connects our editors at Wine Spectator for the most part. At the end of the year, when we as a group sort through and discuss what we considered to be many of the top wines, the preferences for ripe, rich, complex and concentrated wines is on full display, whether they come from the Old World or New.
Scott Elder — The Dalles, OR — January 8, 2010 2:12pm ET
Adam Wallstein — Spokane — January 8, 2010 3:35pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — January 8, 2010 4:29pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — January 8, 2010 5:07pm ET
Don Rauba — Schaumburg, IL — January 8, 2010 8:07pm ET
Scott Elder — The Dalles, OR — January 8, 2010 10:16pm ET
Don Rauba — Schaumburg, IL — January 9, 2010 10:37am ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — January 10, 2010 11:29am ET
Scott Elder — The Dalles, OR — January 10, 2010 4:25pm ET
Dennis D Bishop — Shelby Twp., MI, USA — January 10, 2010 11:04pm ET
Thomas Matthews — New York City — January 11, 2010 9:33am ET
Scott Elder — The Dalles, OR — January 11, 2010 2:33pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — January 11, 2010 3:51pm ET
Steve Kirchner — huntington beach, ca — January 11, 2010 3:52pm ET
Scott Elder — The Dalles, OR — January 11, 2010 5:50pm ET
Scott Oneil — Denver, CO — January 11, 2010 9:28pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — January 12, 2010 1:36pm ET
James Zalenka — Pittsburgh PA — January 13, 2010 4:30pm ET
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — January 13, 2010 4:43pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions