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Quotable Wine Quotes of 2017

Regarding Pinot Noir

If an alien asked me: “What can Americans achieve? I’d sit him down with a glass of Eyrie Pinot and a copy of As I Lay Dying….John Atkinson, MW

When you find a Pinot Noir that hits all of the grape’s hallmarks - fine-grained tannins, frisky acidity, red-berry fruit and truffle-y, stony earth - it just might make you an addict. Consider yourself warned….Wines & Spirits

Pinot Noir is the botanical equivalent of a radio transmitter. The vine, through its grapes and its wine, is able to transmit what happened subsoil, down to the last rainfall, the last heat spike, in each vintage, making it one of the most expressive red-wine grapes in the world….Sarah Looper, Wine & Spirits

I feel like Pinot Noir as a variety is approaching a zone that had previously only been occupied by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay regarding general consumer acceptance, wine list placements and cultural presence…..Jeff Pisoni, Pisoni Vineyards

Pinot Noir can be a wine that’s difficult to read, but it can also be extremely sexy. There are very few varieties that can be both intellectual and pleasurable at the same time, the flexibility of the grape is fascinating….Josh Reynolds, Vinous

Pinot Noir is endlessly interesting. There aren’t many grapes that are endlessly interesting….Josh Wesson, Supreme Provisions

Today it seems that delicious handcrafted Pinot Noir at a decent price is pure fantasy - some might even call it “unicorn” wine….Katie Kelly Bell,

It’s no secret in this industry that Pinot Noir is a twisted grape….taming the notoriously tricky Pinot grape requires skill, patience, and a little bit of fatalism….Julia Burke

Regarding oak

Fortunately oenophiles don’t have to deconstruct the wines they drink to know if they’re too oaky. Even in a young wine, the oak should never stand out too much. A well-made wine is always balanced, whether fermented and aged in oak or not….Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal

Oak is only good for making tables and chairs. If you taste oak, it’s the winemaker’s fault. Even if the wine has been aged in barrel, you should only be able to taste the fruit….Marco Caschera, Vincent Giradin in Meursault

Wines that rely for their presence on heavy oaking often reach maturity with high levels of irremediable hard tannin with all the grace of a lump hammer like the Cheshire Cat, just the grin is left, and a desiccated and crabby one at that….Remington Norman, The World of Fine Wine

Regarding Winemaking

The special winemaker finds something of himself in every wine and something of every wine in himself….Irving Penn (original quote adapted to wine)

In general, I would posit it is harder to make good inexpensive wine than a good expensive one. That seems perhaps to be a trivial observation, but too many wines are made by those who craft their wines to impress - and to justify a high price tag….David Graves, co-founder Saintsbury Winery

Fining and filtering a wine is like torturing someone then asking if they are happy….Mounio Saouma, Lucien Le Moine

Progress has been notably hampered by the widely media-lauded unholy trinity of red wine production: overripeness, over oaking and over extraction….Remington Norman, The World of Fine Wine

Regarding Wine in General

The Somms are a strange people, only recently discovered by Westerners. Little is known about where they originated….Ron Washam, HoseMaster of Wine

Most wine is fairly priced. Wine sales operate on a fundamental supply-and-demand model that is hard to refute; the market sets the price. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t multitudes of high-priced or overrated wines out there. The market is awash with them, yet they help determine a wine’s real value….James Laube, Wine Spectator

Wine prices reflect what the market will bear. Of that I have no doubt. But will the eager enthusiasts not blessed with megabucks now be shut out from ever tasting the great wines. I f we are not already at that sad pass, we may well be very soon….Charles Oiken

Where is the quality cheap wine going to come from to save the wine business again if the worst happens? There won’t be any, thanks to an industry dominated by scores, overpriced wine that doesn’t deliver value, and winespeak….Wine Curmudgeon

There’s no doubt that the French coming here (Oregon) is an exclamation mark that what we’re doing here in the New World is awesome. Everyone’s welcome. I love the French, the Australians, the Californians….it’s all good in the hood….Alex Sokol Blosser, Sokol Blosser Winery

The relationship between style and quality remains contentious….Remington Norman, The World of Fine Wine

Unicorn wines is a term used by Somms for ultra rare, extremely limited, and there highly prized bottles that inspire gangs of envy among wine geeks. They confer status not by virtue of their cost….but of special expertise it takes to acquire them….Zachery Sussman, The World of Fine Wine

A balanced wine is one where all of its components - acidity, alcohol, dry extract, fruits, tannins - are in harmonious relationship with one another. Nothing sticks out….Benjamin Lewin MW, The World of Fine Wine

Wine isn’t something you need to learn in classes or by chasing a pin or a diploma. Wine is something that becomes part of your life in gradual, almost invisible, steps. And when it enters your life in that way, it’s all the more meaningful….Jon Bonné

Wine is unique in that it needs words to bring it to life….Andrea Frost, The World of Fine Wine

Minerality is used as an ill-defined and over used term, often as a marketing tool….it might be largely ‘a redox phenomenon,’ a mystical name for sulfur….Pescale Denevlin, The World of Fine Wine

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