Tom Matthews, Wine Spectator Executive Editor, left an intriguing and somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment today on a WineZag post that I published earlier this week which featured some thinking stimulated both by Terry Theise’s new book and my palate’s evolution over the last twenty five years. Here is Tom’s comment that he left today:
“The ‘quiet over the noisy’? Can’t go there personally, at least not as a rule. Sure it’s nice to read poetry while sipping a modest little Muscadet. But sometimes I still like to crank up the Rolling Stones and dance all night. One of wine’s great virtues is its diversity. Let’s not give up on all the muscle-man Cabs and voluptuous Garnachas in favor of some rustic Old World “natural” wine, okay?”
As a transitioning traditional media executive myself, I appreciate and respect Tom for his ongoing interest and participation in content created around the blogosphere despite his own traditional media career. He could just as easily ignore the content stream. But in reference to wine style preference, I personally lean a little more to quiet than his noisy and hold no bias against excellent rustic styled wine. I am simply happy to agree to differ here, which indeed is the beauty of wine appreciation. But, Tom’s point about “diversity as a virtue” rang true for me and created enough paranoia to instigate a quick look back at the top wines I tasted and wrote about last month, just to see what decibel level rocked my world, and where in the world those wines came from:
- Loire Valley, France 2005 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny: Best Wine This Year
- Napa Valley, California 2007 O’Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
- Bolinas, California Pleiades XI
That’s one Old World wine, which happens to be the wine I most enjoyed tasting so far this year. Second was a New World wine, providing honest California fruit and familiar hillside nuance. Finishing out September’s top three was another New World wine, but made by a wine maker steeped and guided by Old World wine making history.
I feel better, that’s a pretty diverse group. All are red, but they are all stylistically divergent. There is not a clear thread that links all these wines, especially the Thackrey blend, except they are all expressions of the places their fruit comes from and all offer deep drinking pleasure from attack through finish. I strongly recommend all three, even in their unrelated state.
It’s fun to look back and retrace your tasting steps. It tells a story and I appreciate Tom Matthews for providing the impetus to create the monthly highlight post. Maybe I will make a habit of it. If nothing else, it makes for a handy shopping list.