Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Grapes of Math

Watch this video, before you read on.


Ziya sounds like an insider. I have an issue with two things mentioned, both having to do with the manipulation of wine that's le style Californie.

Two issues.

1. Irrigation

So many people offhandedly mention "watering the vines" as if it's needed to create great wines, like it's a normal practice. Let's be clear - the great wines of the world are not the result of irrigated vines. When you water your vineyard, you create a style. Wine is not created, it is what it is. You can't tell nature what to do! By doing this, you create wines that are homogenous, that are uniform, and that have no soul. Would you force your daughter to go on a diet at age 9 so that she grows up thin? Would you force your toddler son to lift weights, 3 hours a day so he'll grow up stacked? Of course not. So why would you force your vineyard to produce fruit of a certain style, instead of expressing something unique and natural?

2. Micro-oxygenation

I don't give a f*ck how trendy you sound by calling it "micro-ox". It's a load of shit, and wines produced in this method are guilty of fraud. Winemakers using this method are creating a fraudulent product, one that simulates age and maturity, without any nuance or sense of terroir. Listen to what the jackass says in the film - that he needs to micro-oxygenate because the wines are so hermetically-sealed, so starved of oxygen, that you need to do it. What a f*cking load of shit.

You micro-oxygenate for one reason, and it's not to make better wine. It's to make wine more acceptable for International tastes, which is a euphemism for over-ripe, overoaked, obese, whore wines. This process makes the wines softer, lusher, and sweeter. You sell more wines this way, because let's be honest, the vast majority of Americans have cheap, callow, uneducated palates. When will this trend end?

This problem isn't isolated in America. Just look at the damage Rolland is doing in Bordeaux. Honestly, I can't wait for this character to roll over and die, so grand estates like Kirwan and Pavie can return to their former glory, instead of their current, sad state.

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Those are my peeves with the video. It presents a view that technology is responsible for better wines. It's not. You make better wines because you're honest with yourself, and the land your vineyard is on. You don't push too hard, and ask for more than what nature will give you. Instead of trying to make blockbuster wines every year, why not aim for nuanced, individual wines, that have a sense of place and presence? Whore wines are fun, but never fondly remembered

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In any case, I didn't think it was possible, but Ziya is smoking in this video. Pretty girl, talking and drinking wine - what can be better?

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