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May 22, 2008 06:18 AM

Interesting article in the SF Chronicle's "Wine" section

ATTN: Moderators -- I am hoping that the more specific nature of this article, and the focus on Wine, will permit this thread to remain on the Wine Board, rather than get transferred to the more generalized Media Board, where wine people may not view it.

I'm curious to know what other people think, about the winemaker's wines, the critic, and the article's author.

I'll add in my own 2¢ later, so as not to color the discussion . . .


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  1. that's interesting, thanks for the post. i thought her depiction of steve edmunds personality and business was accurate. i don't normally enjoy alice feiring's style on her own blog, but prefer her more restrained writing in this article.

    1. A few things I'm starting to find tiresome:

      (1) the whole discussion of "overblown California wines" vs. "restrained French-style wines," as if there were not a range of styles being produced in CA as well as the rest of the world (including France).

      (2) the fact that these articles seem to invariably be written by people who proclaim themselves from the start not to be fans of the "California style".

      (3) the finger-pointing at Parker every time someone wants to air this issue, as if he was the only wine critic that anyone ever read.

      I understand the influence of Parker, but it's not like he's the only wine critic in the world. While he may have fallen out of love w/ Edmunds St. John, there are still others carrying the torch. Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar has given almost all the recent releases of ESJ ratings in high 80s low 90s (some reviews by Tanzer, some by Josh Raynolds). Indeed Raynolds noted of the 2006 "Old Black Magic" "Those who prize volume over balance will like this far less than I."

      I've not had enough of the wines to form an opinion myself - they're not distributed very broadly in South Florida (at least that I've seen).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        I just figured out that this article about why California wines suck and why Parker sucks is by the same author who wrote a recent article in the LA Times about why California wines suck and why Parker sucks, as linked to and discussed here ->

        ... and who has a new book coming out about why Calfiornia wines suck and why Parker sucks. So perhaps it's not so much a trend as just a pre-book-release publicity tour.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Yup. And the title of the book is, in part, "How I Saved the World from Parkerization." How SHE saved it, all by herself.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Yeah, you're right.
            The verb "save" shouldn't have been in the past tense. She's not quite there yet.

            Go, Alice, go!
            Rock on wit yer bad self.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                You mean you don't want Alice to save the world?
                Don't you like the world?

      2. This makes an interesting counterpoint to your earlier post about California wines. While California has the climate to run the flavors and sugars up in the fruit to get the "fruit bomb" effect, those options are not always available in other wine growing regions. Of course, wine makers like Steve Edmunds have the option to pick the fruit earlier to get the wine they are looking for, it is certainly not letting California be California.

        While people should make, sell and drink whatever they like, from the comparative advantage viewpoint of international trade, it makes more sense to make wine that only can be made in California and let the French make French wine.

        1. Ugh, I'm so tired of this person promoting her book and babbling on that Parker and "New World" wines are evil and the downfall of the wine industry. It's such an old and boring topic.

          Just drink what you like; no one can tell you otherwise.

          BTW, ESJ makes great juice.

          1. Her obsession with Parker and her elevated opinion of herself seem slightly unhealthy. Characterizing all California wines as overblown is just plain silly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              "Alice's Agenda"