Dan Berger is one of the bedrocks of wine writing. In fact, he is one of the few that remain from my formative years when I discovered wine in the 1980’s and he wrote for the Los Angeles Times. So Mr. Berger’s opinion on wine carries a lot of weight with me.
So I was very interested in his column yesterday in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he brings up an issue that has troubled me over the past year; something he calls, “The blanding of American wine.” What Mr. Berger calls out is how many California wines these days do not smell or sometimes taste like the varieties they are made from. The other day I thought the same thing about a Pinot Noir that really didn’t have any fruit aromas expected in the variety let alone the characteristics that makes Burgundy sometimes so unique. Mr. Berger mostly blames high alcohol but I also think that too many winemakers are making squeaky clean wines that seem to pound out varietal and secondary characteristics. This seems most telling in Syrah where the wines made in California, The Rhone and Australia sometimes seem to be made from completely different grapes. But then again that could be the differences in the climates involved but I think winemaking has some responsibility, as well.
What do you think?
via Press Democrat