Monday, March 27, 2006

The Post-Salon Hangover

Well at least the shakes are starting to go away. Three days and nights of living wine have taken their toll but I am at least a bit wiser than I was this time last week. This year’s salon was an incredible success as I met a great (and incredibly polite) new friend, dozens of passionate winemakers, and a plethora of interesting and unique wines from the world over. And all it required was for you to offer up your glass, open your mind and mouth, and imagine the possibilities.

As I still have a bit of that ‘deer in the headlights’ feeling, here is a list of some of my most immediate impressions, interesting revelations and the only photo that I managed to take.

As exhibited by Jura winemaker Stephan Tissot (photo at right), the spirit of innovation and one’s fidelity to tradition need not be mutually exclusive. Coming soon, a red vin de paille made with Poulsard (inspired by many a great Italian reccioto). For more detail on Steph, check out Beau's take.

My favorite Chardonnay (at any price) was made by a Canadian Winery…Chardonnay 2003, Vintner’s Private Reserve, Peninsula Ridge ($50…importation). Go Canada!

Zinfandel can also be made with elegance and restraint …Zinfandel 2004, Joel Gott

According to Tomas Perrin, Chateauneuf’s famous Beaucastel is now 100% Brett free and due to their technique of ‘flash heating’ their grapes prior to fermentation, have almost eliminated the need to sulfur their wines.

Ferreira’s dry Douro reds have completely redefined the way that I look at Portuguese red wines. Barca-Velha 1995 ($102..saq) is comparable to many of the best reds that I have ever tasted and the Colheita 1996 ($39..importation) had a combination of spice and fruit that offered up the elegance of aged Bordeaux with the feistiness of many a great Rhone.

An expensive 2001 Michel Rolland Bordeaux does drink easier than a non-Rolland Bordeaux from the same vintage (Clinet and Clemence versus Cheval Blanc).

I have never met so many woman winemakers. From Yalumba in Australia to Taupenot-Merme in Burgundy, it seems that the gender gap is finally narrowing, and about time.

When nothing else will go down, drink Champagne.

We are all really lucky to work in an industry filled with such passionate and entertaining individuals.


beau said...

Incredibly polite?!?
Hey - $%^$%^ You! And while I'm thinking about it, #$%#$% the horse you rode in on.

In all seriousness - this wine salon opened my eyes to the art of wine more than any tasting I've ever experienced. Thanks for hosting me Bill - and - for cramming bubbly down my throat at 10 in the morning. "Cure-de-Champagne" is the best solution to Vin Jaune-induced hangovers.

Bradley Cooper, Winemaker said...

Hey Cavedude,
I have to apologize for not linking you earlier. (Like last year) Somehow I omitted your address from the linkage. Fixed it.