A Class Act

Oct 22, 2006

I found myself moved and inspired by many of the speakers at the California Wine Experience.

This is a great time for wine, and there are many dedicated vintners who have devoted their lives to wine, grapegrowing, their businesses and, for many of us, wine education.

As I watched, listened and tasted along with Robert Drouhin during his Burgundy seminar, I couldn’t help but admire this classy, gracious vintner. He’s been making wine for decades yet he gladly poured some amazing treasures—a flight of Clos des Mouches capped by the 1976 vintage—and a flight of Montrachets from the esteemed Marquis de Laguiche vineyard.

But what struck me was that after all these years, he is still able to address the most basic and fundamental questions (whether to decant and why—to remove sediment from an older wine or to let a young wine breathe or develop) and he can laugh at himself, as he did, when he confused one vintage with another during the Clos de Mouches tasting.

Decanting debates will likely be with us forever. And it’s easy to be fooled, or misled by a wine, even those most intricately acquainted with a wine, as Mr. Drouhin is with his. It happens to even the finest tasters in the world, bar none.

France Burgundy United States California
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