Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

What do you think about this article?

Posted by napagirl68, Jul 2.

They did manage to get some good ones, Scholium, Lioco, Spottswode, Soliste (yay!), Arnot-Roberts, Hirsch, Littorai...

http://www.thedailymeal.com/america...

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Replies

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Reply by dvogler, Jul 2.

SACRILEGE!

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 2.

Don't hold back your feelings, Dvogler! LOL

why sacrilege, in your opinion?  Expand on that.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 2.

I only posted this because a few of those wineries I mentioned (that I like), posted it to their Facebook feed, when they don't post  a lot there.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 2.

From the article... I find it interesting what wine people (see article for what that comprises) found special...  and I like the last phrase  below:

The first factor we asked our experts to focus on was the quality of individual bottles the wineries produced — particular vintages that stand out as stars in America’s wine scene. Next, we requested that they consider the consistency of the winery: some vineyards may have a few bright moments, but can be deeply uneven from year to year. Last, we invited our panelists to assess the wineries’ quality-to-price ratio. While we did not weight this last factor as heavily as we did the other two aspects, we felt that value should be considered in our ranking strategy. This accounts in part for the absence from our list of some of the most famous Napa Valley trophy wines, priced at many hundreds of dollars — though it is also worth noting that our panel didn't vote for some of these at all.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 2.

I have only made it to 77 and am wondering how Balletto is rated higher than Peay, Continuum, Big Table Farm, Keplinger, Scholium....

Why is Freemark Abbey even on the list? Is is 1976 again?

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Reply by outthere, Jul 2.

Peachy Canyon?

Too many great names not on the list. Schrader, Harlan, Screagle, SQN...  How a Texas winery cracked the top 500 is enough for me to know it is flawed.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 2.

This article is going on my list of "Top 10 Reasons Lists Are Ridiculous."

Gotta laugh at the Acorn entry.  It's okay wine, where the winemaking is done by Clay Mauritson with grapes vastly inferior to what he has access to in Rockpile.  I can name a dozen better wineries in Dry Creek than that one, and yet there it is.  The prices aren't any better than Talty, Mauritson, Bella, heck, Teldeschi...

Honestly, I've been to those VA wineries and there are hundreds better in Sonoma; never mind Napa, Paso, etc. Caymus is on there and yet this is supposed to be a value play? 

Year to year consistency?  Matthiasson and Big Table are certainly promising, but there's not much track record there...

Ridge at the top might be the best thing about this list.  Hard to argue with the quality, consistency, and, other than Montebello, reasonable pricing. 

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 2.

Why is Freemark Abbey even on the list? Is is 1976 again?

LOL!  GregT only wishes so he could go to a fern bar.. LOL!

 

RE: article-  Agreed, OT.  I was just heartened to see Scholium and Soliste on there when pretty much no one else knows who they are.

In no way did it say this was in rank order, but rather the aggregate. 

Here's more to explain texas (from the perspective of the article):

In the nomination process, we asked our panel to consider nominating unexpected wineries as they made their initial choices: Along with Napa and Sonoma favorites, we requested that they consider wineries located in other parts of California as well as outside the state and in the Pacific Northwest. It was important to us that our list be as inclusive of the entire country as possible, and as a result, we were able to include some of the less intensely celebrated —  but still excellent — winemaking regions in other parts of the country. Producers in Virginia, New York, Texas, Maryland, New Mexico, Michigan, and Pennsylvania all found their way into our top 101.

All said, I tend to find these "lists" hokey and horrible for the most part.  I guess I can say that I was surprised to find the likes of Scholium and Soliste on the list when they are not really distributed and do most business through allocation lists.  How'd they get there?  Now I am suspecting data mining vs. an actual group of wine experts.  Fishy...

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Reply by dvogler, Jul 3.
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Reply by dvogler, Jul 3.

Forgive me.  I was reading the list backward.  I can count to Potato!

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 3.

Dvogler, nothing in the article said it was in rank order... I didn't take it that way.  I considered it in the aggregate.  I did disagree with many on the list, but  I just found the list so interesting.  Normally, a list like this would only contain mass distributed, well known wineries.  There are some very small production, pretty non-available to to most wineries on here, combined with wineries that I would never ever put here.  The population of the list piqued my curiosity.  It is almost schizophrenic.

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Reply by gregt, Jul 3.

It was important to us that our list be as inclusive of the entire country as possible, and as a result, we were able to include some of the less intensely celebrated —  but still excellent — winemaking regions in other parts of the country.

NG - that's the problem. Those places aren't excellent. Maybe they will be one day, maybe not, but excellence isn't about how hard the people try, it's about what they actually achieve. They should have just titled the list "A Bunch of Wineries and Wine Producers".

I agree w you - it is almost schizophrenic.

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Reply by dvogler, Jul 3.

Thank you again Greg!  I get tired of "equality" and "inclusive" when it comes to any type of competition (or ranking in this case, although NG you thought of it less as a ranking and more of just a list).  It's like when they have the marathon in Victoria and I see thousands of people walking around all day with "participant's" medals around their neck.  "I did the Marathon" (no you didn't, you went for a really long walk).  Greg's correct.  If these places can't produce wine that is great (not even so much a human issue as natural (climate), then just because they have a cute cottage and do weddings or Polo matches doesn't mean they are in the top 101 wineries in the US.

I admit, I'm terribly hyperbolic, but I prefer to say I'm passionate!  :)

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Reply by gregt, Jul 3.

"You went for a really long walk."

Hilarious.

I agree with you about the competitions and rankings, etc. You never feel any deep personal satisfaction just by being on a list. Always remember - 

"It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail."

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Reply by EMark, Jul 3.

As silly as most lists.

On the other hand, a lot of people find them entertaining.  I clicked through the entire slide show.  So, I guess I'm one of them.  What's the harm?  I have a friend who will be thrilled to see that Brooks is on the list.  I may send the link to her.

Personally, I get turned off when I see the word "Best."  Try as they might to explaing their selection process, the concept is pretty bogus.  Call it "101 Wineries, That a Bunch of People Like for Whatever Reasons They May Have."

 

I love that quote Greg.  Is it attributable?

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Reply by gregt, Jul 3.

Kind of. It's something that was said by Somerset Maugham, who was quoted in his biography as saying something like: “Now that I’ve grown old, I realize that for most of us it is not enough to have achieved personal success. One’s best friend must also have failed.” 

The biographer said the comment was pure La Rochefoucauld, someone Maughm liked, so it incorrectly got attributed to La Rochefoucauld, but he had said something a bit different and a bit more subtle. It's something like "Dans le malheur de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons toujours quelque chose qui n'est pas pour nous déplaire", or "In the misfortune of our best friends, we always find something that isn't unpleasant to us." I don't remember it exactly, but that's the gist of it.  Mark Twain said something similar.

Then David Merrick, the Broadway producer, said something similar but when I first came across it, I was reading something from Gore Vidal and he had changed it to the above, eliminating the reference to friends. I remember laughing out loud as I read it and it stuck with me. I like Vidal's version more than the others because I don't wish harm to my friends.

However, Larry Ellison has kind of adopted it as his motto and people think he first came up with it. He says "Everyone else must fail," which is what I think Merrick said, and he attributes it to Genghis Khan, probably because that makes him feel more macho. It's so identified with him that there's a biography of Ellison entitled "Everyone Else Must Fail".

I think people have probably been uttering similar thoughts since humans started speaking. I mean, the Germans (who else) even have a word for the sentiment, Schadenfreude, which really has to be one of the great words in any language!

Of course, the authors of the oh-so-inclusive "Best" list would be appalled that anyone could harbor such sentiments.

 

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Reply by dvogler, Jul 3.

I am the first to admit I have faults and weaknesses.  Just not very many. :)  What has become of healthy competition in this world?  I always hear these new-age parents telling their kids unrealistic things and I want to say, "listen kid, you're actually NOT that special and not everybody gets a medal".  I think EMark and Greg have summarized exactly what this list is and isn't.   (and before anyone gets a bee in their bonnet...I'm joking around).

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Reply by gregt, Jul 4.

Honestly I think the best thing parents could do is tell their kids exactly what you said. And I'm not joking around.

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Reply by dvogler, Jul 4.

Since we're eviscerating this article, I'll continue.  EMark mentioned the popularity of lists.  I think it's because people don't have the attention span to read "articles" anymore.  Of course there are those of us who may read The New Yorker, or Nature etc., but most mainstream media is being reduced to lists and short little blurbs and lots of pictures (a bit like Hustler used be!).  MSN is my computer home page (stupid I know!), but the main items everday are, "Ten places you must see before you die", or "Ten ugliest cars ever made".  Awful journalism.  On that note, it's a beautiful, sunny morning here in BC and I hope our newest vintage of grapes are coming along nicely!  Looking forward to meeting up down in Oakland soon!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 5.

Tom Brady said something amazingly profound for a guy who gets hit in the head a lot.  He said, and I paraphrase, that the key to success as a quarterback was dealing with failure.  Quarterbacks (and soccer goalies) will, at points in their career, make mistakes that cost their teams the game.  It's really inevitable, and what they do is on display and central to the success of the team.  No getting around it.  But you have to pick up and move on. 

It's also essential to both happiness and some sense of a worthwhile life that you aren't deluded about what you are good at.  No one is under a duty to use the talent they are best at--if you are a great pianist but hate playing, then don't play.  But it's insanity to, oh, insist you will be a great NBA center if you are 5'5" tall, or a great dancer if you have two left feet, or are built in such a way that you cannot soar through the air. You can dance, and you can enjoy it, but don't gnash your teeth over the fact that you aren't dancing in Lincoln Center.

Just recently, our oldest child was placed in an accelerated math class at school.  A class mate was not.  The classmate's mother went on a rampage--the school was at fault, they had to reconsider, etc.  The basis for placing kids in the class was objective--they had to have a perfect score on the standardized test the state was using at the end of 5th grade, they had to score in the top 20 of the school's end of year 6th grade test, and they had to have maintained an A average on all tests during 6th grade math, no exceptions.  Eventually the mother pulled her kid out of the school.  Wow.  Now here's the thing:  My child was passed over for promotion in another activity outside school at the same time.  Reaction? Fun while it lasted, but no surprise that the pre-professional company was probably not on the docket.  Instead, that frees up more time for another musical instrument, soccer, and more focus on schoolwork. 

I love music, I've played four instruments, I have a good ear, and I spent my twenties hanging around musicians.  But I've known for a long time that playing music was not going to be my living.  (Producing seemed possible, but hanging out in nightclubs and studios with 20-somethings well into my 50s didn't seem like the right thing for me.)  I was a pretty good marathoner, but I was never going to get my time down to 2:45 or anything like that.  So be it.  I'm really good at what I do, or so my peers and managers have decided, but even then I'm not the best, and we're not all the same.  Giving out trophies for just showing up seems to send the message that there's no good reason to identify something you like and are good at and then, more importantly, actually put some effort into your craft. 

Rant over. Lists of wineries that base it on diversity or trying hard are silly.  But I did hear about some wineries I didn't know existed, so there's that.

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