Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pinot Pressures

Yet another unfortunate consequence of that detestable movie whose name shall not be mentioned on this site (although I suppose I ought to have consulted my co-blogger before saying that) is that it has encouraged all sorts of people to decide that they want to drink wines made from pinot noir. This is despite their not actually liking the sort of wines that pinot most lends itself to and traditionally has produced the most sublime examples of. The result has been the production of a lot of pinot-based wines that taste as much as possible like bad cabernet. The Kosta Browne Simon wrote about a few days ago is a good example of this trend.

But that's not to say that all California pinot noir is like this. Eric Asimov has an article in today's New York Times reviewing some pinots from the Santa Barbara area, and his recommendations are definitely worth checking out. Asimov was "pleasantly surprised by how many wines seemed balanced and somewhat restrained." I'm not all that surprised. While California has a lot of bad pinots, there are lots of little wineries committed to making great ones (more on that in later posts). I also suspect that there's some selection bias going on here. These NYT tasting panels have to be choosing the wines they review pretty carefully, and they certainly have the expertise to be doing a good job. I'd be interested to know how, in preparing for a tasting like this (where they not only want to review specific wines but also to give an overview of Santa Barbara pinot), they balance giving a comprehensive overview with choosing wines that are likely to be worth recommending.

1 comment:

William said...

Simon and Jeffrey. In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves.