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16 February 2006


Wyfp(What's Your *Bleep*ing Problem?)

I heartily recommend the Caveman's recent post, "Reviewing the Reviewer - My problem with New World Pinot."  He clearly spells out his love of Burgundy:

"I like Pinot Noir and have a penchant for Burgundy. For me, a great Pinot shows a perfect balance between acidity and texture, fruit, earth and spice."

He then goes on to explain why he isn't a fan of New World Pinot:

"..I find most of these ‘New World’ Pinots weighted too far towards the fruit end of the teeter-totter, and thus lose that burgundian boom, that so soft explosion of amplitude; too much power and concentration at the expense of elegance."

That's all fine and good, right?  I mean we're all entitled to personal preference when it comes to wine.  Yet our man Bill ran into a mini crisis of conscience.  He sampled an Australian Pinot Noir by Wedgetail Estate.  And, you guessed it, the wine didn't set him atwitter.  Yet, the wine wasn't necessarily bad.  In fact, upon doing a little cyber-research, the Caveman discovered that this wine was obviously made with great care and skill.

So his mini crisis was this (I think I'm interpreting this correctly):  "I don't care for this wine.  However, it's obviously well-made.  Perhaps I should like it.  What's wrong with me?" OK, maybe the crisis wasn't quite so dramatic.  Still, I find myself identifying with his sentiments.  In fact, the wine I sipped with my Valentine for Valentine's day falls into the I-don't-really-like-this-but-I-see-how-others-might category.

Morgan 12 Clones Pinot Noir 2004 ($30) from Monterey, California's Santa Lucia Highlands.  All the good stuff is done to this wine: whole-berry fermentation, toasty French oak, malo-lactic fermentation, extended ageing (11 months), etc.  the wine was lush, full of berries and cocoa.  However, I felt it lacked complexity (which, granted, could develop with age) and nuance.  I won't say that I didn't enjoy drinking the wine - it was, in fact, pretty damn tasty.  But, at no point did I stop and ponder the wine.  Nor did I feel any great affinity for it.  I simply drank Morgan's 12 clones and forgot about it (i.e. I'm not compelled to write this wine love letters).

Finally, I echo the Caveman's conclusion.  As a wine reviewer of some stature (albeit of the tiny/wee/wispy stature size class), I should always be transparent with my readers with respect to my personal preferences and wine prejudices.  To put it more succinctly:  Just because I don't like a wine, doesn't mean it sucks.  It could just be me.

So tell me, WYFP when it comes to wine prejudice and preference?

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Rick Dobbs

I'm prejudiced against Australian wines FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. I honestly have no idea why. Though I've tasted many, I can't bring myself to buy them for myself.

South Africa? No problem? Argentina? Some of my favorites. Montana? Yup.

Maybe it has something to do with how Paul Hogan killed my parents with a bottle of Australian wine to their heads when I was a child.

Bradley Cooper

I've got the Pinot thing going today as well. It features a photo of a beautiful woman so don't hesitate to check it out.

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