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  • Richard Peck

Winegrowing vs. Winemaking


Readers of my previous wine blog, as well as those whom I've served as a Somm, will know how often I talk about Old World vs. New World — and about non-interventionist winegrowing vs. interventionist winemaking. Potential issues include balance and elegance, alcohol levels, and food-friendliness for pairing purposes with meals.

Those who know me realize I'm not without an opinion in this debate—as none of us should be. So it's a pleasure to have enjoyed a bottle that exemplifies all that can be wonderful about wine. Yves Cuilleron consistently produces balanced, intelligent wines of depth and complexity. I was seeking a bottle of his Bassenon recently. When I unable to find it, I tried the 2002 Terres Sombres ("dark grounds"). Fabulous! Dried cranberry, red currant, desiccated cherry, with wonderfully balanced fruit, acidity, alcohol (12.5%), and gorgeously silky tannins. Long, multi-layered finish with rosemary and white pepper beginning at 15-20 seconds. Côte-Rôtie is one of my favorite regions in the world and Yves Cuilleron is an extraordinary producer. By the way, if you haven't read Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine, I highly recommend it. The book will help you form solid wine opinions of your own. The goal is not for you agree with me. The objective is for all of us to know why we love the wines we love!


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