California Pinot Noir winemakers produce wines in any style they wish. Consumers drink the wines they love best. It sounds simple enough, but making and drinking Pinot Noir never come that easy. For the winemaker terrior and technique are not left in the ground or the winery; they follow the grape and together find their final expression on the palate. This is ground zero for the evaluation of alcohol & balance in wine. It is the site of the proverbial line drawn in the sand for Pinot Noir winemakers and wine lovers alike. Chalking up the difference in opinion to the semantics of the word balance will just not do.
“With over 300 chemical constitutes in wine, it is impossible to analytically arrive at the determination of balance,” writes Rusty Gaffney with PinotFile. “Balance is a personal aesthetic that is hard to describe, almost like explaining sex to a virgin, but we know it when we experience it.”
The outcome from the first WOPN Alcohol & Balance Seminar in 2011 generated a shot heard ‘round the wine world.
The reverberation has not faded, and business went unfinished so World of Pinot Noir revisits the topic at the Alcohol & Balance Redux Seminar at the Cliffs Resort Ballroom on Friday, March 1, 2013 with Karen MacNeil as the moderator.
The panel of esteemed winemakers at the seminar consists of Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat Winery), Adam Lee (Siduri Wines), Wells Guthrie (Copain Wines), Joe Davis (Arcadian Winery), and Greg Brewer (Melville Vineyards). Each will be showing two Pinot Noir wines. Lee, and Brewer produce wines in a style with higher percentages of alcohol while traditionalists Clendenen, Davis, and the young gun Guthrie prefer leaner, lower alcohol wines. How each relates their style to the idea of balance will be essential to the discussion. Vintage and understanding the effects of a cool weather pattern during the 2011 growing season along the California Coast will also play a role in the discussion.
The Alcohol & Balance Seminar at the World of Pinot Noir is sold together in a package with the Minerality Seminar also moderated by Karen MacNeil. Hear the panelists at the Minerality seminar Fintan Du Fresne (Chamisal Vineyards), Mike Waller (Calera Wine Co.), James Cahill (Soter Vineyards), and Jason Jardine (Flowers Vineyard) debate the science and art of the origins of this gravelly earthly note in wine.
The Thirteenth World of Pinot Noir, taking place March 1st and 2nd, 2013 includes two unique Tastings with more than 160 winery participants at the Cliffs Resort, and Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach, Ca. The Friday Focus tasting features barrel selections, small lot, and boutique wines bottled at 500 cases or less from 80 winery participants. The Saturday Grand Tasting expands to include 120 winery participants, and now includes a tent on the Dolphin Bay Resort property. WOPN features a stellar lineup of seminars, panelists, winemaker dinners, and tasting sessions showcasing Pinot Noir. The event is held annually on the first weekend in March.
Tickets are available at www.wopn.com or by calling # 805-489-1758.