Wine Talk

Snooth User: JenniferT

Long Shadows wine makers dinner!!

Original post by JenniferT, Jan 23, 2014.

Good news! I've been invited to my first wine makers dinner! Needless to say, I'm excited about the opportunity. The dinner is going to be with Gilles Nicault from Long Shadows next week.

Naturally I'll be doing my homework in advance to learn what I can and think about good questions I'd like to ask. I know that Long Shadows has been discussed here at Smooth several times before.....I'd like any related insight/info you guys might have. I'm planning on asking him as much as possible without crossing the line into harassment, lol! 

Also, I'd be happy to ask him any of your questions too, on our collective behalf. I can post the answers and/or report about the dinner back here. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 9, 2014.

When I was in college, you'd drive across the border to Canada to buy beer more cheaply, and often with higher alcohol.  Molson Brador, anyone?

But are we talking Canadian dollars? Knock off 10%, which isn't a ton, but still.  I love Canada, but last time I spent an extended period there, which was 1999 or so, drinking was expensive, but it didn't really stop anyone.  Didn't NAFTA put an end to these tariffs, or is this just taxes?  In which case, things are not that different from Ohio or Pennsylvania.

GregT, you did oversimplify, but for a point.  Here's the other problem with varietal labeling:  It's misleading in the sense that the wine can still be a blend, even for grapes that don't traditionally get blended, like PN.  Still, it's on the whole better in many ways than the AOC system because you can plant what makes sense in your microclimate, which is a big factor in California.  Thanks to plate tectonics, there are geological formations in Monterey County that started 300 miles south, but the climates are different.  In fact, in Sonoma, a distance of ten miles can change temp by 20 degree, and in my (commercially) non-wine growing area, my folks live 15 miles or less away, but the temps can differ by as much as 30 degrees.  (Much hotter where they are.)  Dictating what you can grow over an area the size of even Napa Valley is too much.  My solution is that all wines should indicate the blend.  Meritage is a goofy name, agreed.

I don't think for a second that Michel Rolland is a buffoon.  He is quite articulate about what he is trying to do, and he accomplishes his goals in almost every wine he touches.  Just not my taste.  Shame that Mondovino or any film wants to caricature him, because it obscures the role he and others like him play.  There are other winemakers/evangelists at the opposite end of the spectrum--dirty or highly acidic wines--that I also don't care for.  That's what is fun about wine:  There's no end to the variables and we all get to judge the experiment. 

Had dinner with GdP about a week ago and told him that he and I share a palate when it comes to Zin, but not nearly as much on Pinot.  For Syrah, I can predict that if OT likes it, I will.  But GdP has no love for grenache, and I do.  GregT doesn't dig PN, but he and I enjoy many of the same Tempranillo based wines.  OT and I are practically allergic to Malbec.  I said elsewhere, none of us know anything, we just have our prejudices.  Michel Rolland will not go broke because of mine.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 11, 2014.

Look what is on the White House dinner menu tonight!  Obama must have been lurking on the Snooth forum!

Reply by EMark, Feb 12, 2014.

Very cool.  What handle do we think POTUS is using?

And why is it, Lucha, that you resort to a mask?


Reply by GregT, Feb 12, 2014.

Didn't he serve QC last year? So he must  like Washington wine!

Fox - I was just reading about Trefethen yesterday. They're in Napa and they grow both Cab and Riesling because their climate allows them to. Anyplace you have mountains, you have all kinds of little microclimate regions. I'm completely convinced that many grapes would do really well in parts of Europe where they're not now grown. Look how well Cab, Cab Franc, and Merlot do in Tuscany! As good as anything in CA or France.

Reply by JenniferT, Feb 14, 2014.

Some interesting discussion has stemmed from this one. I've told Gilles that I'd try to bring down something interesting from Canada when we go down to Walla Walla. (He indicated that there's not much in the way of Canadian wines available there). 

I don't really have a cellar to pull from, as I have quite a bit of wine that was all purchased relatively recently. I'm glad this isn't going to be until the spring because it gives me some time to come up with something. I'm going to try to go visit a few wineries in BC if possible, and take it from there. 

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 14, 2014.

Greg - Obama did server the QC about three years ago.  It set off the fireworks that ended with the White House deciding not to publish the menu/wine list for their state dinners any more.  It also resulted in these more modest selections once they did decide to let us in on "the secret" of which wines are being served.

As far as the mask goes, I am not at liberty to discuss the reason why I wear it or reveal my true identity...

Reply by JenniferT, Feb 14, 2014.

Can't be for comfort, I'm guessing. I wore a mexican wrestling mask I purchased in Mexico a few years ago, as part of a last minute costume. I still remember how uncomfortable it was. Also, I was surprised at how truly bizarre/crazy I looked in the pictures that were taken.  Lucha sports a mask better than I do. :)

I'll come back and post about any interesting discoveries/winery visits I do over the next few months. If there are any. (Here's hoping!)

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 15, 2014.

I'm curious to try that Morlet Semillon/Sauv Blanc blend. What a cool idea for Sonoma Coast fruit, even if it began as a French winemaker looking to create something from back home, it seems to have been a resounding success.

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