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TDG: Wine Camp: Nose to Nose


Fat Guy
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Sparks are flying in the debate over high-tech winemaking, and Craig Camp is there, as usual, to guide us through the mess . . .

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Wonderful !

An illuminating well written geniusly simple masterpiece.

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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Our master's voice:

"However, there are some negatives to consider. For example, some of the prodigious 1947 Bordeaux (....), most notably Cheval Blanc, has residual sugar, elevated volatile acidity, extremeley high alcohol as well as pH levels that would cause most modern day oenologists to faint. Sadly, despite all the improvements that have been made, few modern day oenologists would permit a wine such as 1947 Cheval Blanc to ever get into the bottle under the name Cheval Blanc Anyone who has tasted a pristine bottle of this recognizes why most competent observers feel this is one of the most legendary wines ever produced in Bordeaux, All of its defects are outweighed by its extraordinary positive attributes. It is also the defects that often give the wine its singular individiuality and character. So, a word of warnig ... despite all the techniques to make higher qualitiy, there is still a place for wines with a handful of defects that give them undeniably character as well as greatness. Somehow, all these techniques need to make an allowance for wines such as these 1947s."

Robert M. Parker jr., The Wine Advocate 146 , p. 4

"...all these techniques need to make an allowance.." aka "To control the uncontrollable."

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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The usual high standard except for one uncharacteristic slip..

"terroir (the taste the specific vineyard microclimate gives the wine)"

Terroir is about rather more than the microclimate, it's about soil, aspect, viticulture and climate - micro or otherwise.

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The usual high standard except for one uncharacteristic slip..

"terroir (the taste the specific vineyard microclimate gives the wine)"

Terroir is about rather more than the microclimate, it's about soil, aspect, viticulture and climate - micro or otherwise.

Microclimate is the English word for terroir or climat

For me this is a good definition of microclimate:

"Term used in the wine world to describe the environmental factors affecting the quality of grapes. The factors, which aren't fully understood yet, include the type of soil, drainage, slope angle, bearing of the sun and amount of sun received by the growing area, altitude, both day and night temperature of the area, wind, and amount of rainfall and time when rainfall occurs. Each of these factors affect grape quality to some degree. They can even create circumstances whereby a small vineyard (or plot within a vineyard) can produce superb grapes while the immediate neighboring land never achieves the same quality. In burgundy the term climat is used to encompass these same factors, while in other parts of France the term terroir is used. "

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Soil type must be included in microclimate because the way the soil holds temperature and water are an intricate part of the climate the vine must live in.

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Microclimate is the English word for terroir or climat

For me this is a good definition of microclimate:

"Term used in the wine world to describe the environmental factors affecting the quality of grapes. The factors, which aren't fully understood yet, include the type of soil, drainage, slope angle, bearing of the sun and amount of sun received by the growing area, altitude, both day and night temperature of the area, wind, and amount of rainfall and time when rainfall occurs. Each of these factors affect grape quality to some degree. They can even create circumstances whereby a small vineyard (or plot within a vineyard) can produce superb grapes while the immediate neighboring land never achieves the same quality. In burgundy the term climat is used to encompass these same factors, while in other parts of France the term terroir is used. "

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Soil type must be included in microclimate because the way the soil holds temperature and water are an intricate part of the climate the vine must live in.

Sorry to disagree with someone whose knowledge vastly exceeds mine but that Herbst definition is pretty good for terroir but appalling for microclimate, which in itself is often misused. The canopy microclimate is about the right spatial level, at vineyard level it should (strictly) probably be mesoclimate.

However using terroir in the sense it is commonly understood (those included in the definition) the article is spot-on.

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Sorry to disagree with someone whose knowledge vastly exceeds mine but that Herbst definition is pretty good for terroir but appalling for microclimate, which in itself is often misused. The canopy microclimate is about the right spatial level, at vineyard level it should (strictly) probably be mesoclimate.

However using terroir in the sense it is commonly understood (those included in the definition) the article is spot-on.

As far as your first point goes that is far from sure.

Perhaps microclimate is misused in its definition. As I am not a scientist (I only play one on the Internet) - this could be the inspiration for a clarifying thread. I, for one, would like to see an expansion of your explanation and would invite you to start a thread in that regard. Microclimate/terroir/climat or whatever is the foundation of wines of personality and clarity in this regard is important.

Thanks for the information.

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craig - great aritcle, don't take this the wrong way, but you should be in politics - better yet we should send you to the middle east!

seriously though - i think clerico is a genius, as is giacosa - very different artists but both top of their class.

it may be just an issue of semantics, but i view clerico as a modern producer of barolo, but no way are his wines international. that is where i draw the line between a successful modern producer and a poor one. yes his wines are sexed up, but i feel his barolos not only scream nebbiolo, but sepecifically monforte.

also - great analogy with the jazz thing - it proves the best things in life are timeless - music, wine, art, cars. comparing and rating different eras and different ideas always will stir emotions

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