A Vintage where Everyone Succeeds

I am often fascinated by the frenzy of interest in particular regions post media release of the hyped up vintage.  The #2007 Rhone wines certainly deserve attention, and I was happy to research and source for all our guests.  The #2007 California Cabernets, #2005 Bordeaux (as though there wasn't a 2006 vintage), and even the much more approachable 2008 New York Rieslings could all fire up a great discussion - if not dent the wallet.  In fact last night I spent far too much time speaking to #2008 Oregon wines; not that they deserve less accolades, but seriously, this isn't the first vintage the state has produced. 

And this really rubs my general philosophy on better wines from great vintages: if it is possible to believe the great in the climate/terroir this season, then belive that all who attempt to make wine are in a position to do well.  Perhaps it is in the worst of situations, i.e. Australia of recent, that I would turn to outstanding producers that source well, have a track history, and perhaps some pockets into which they can dip.  Why would I bend over backwards to spend far too much simply to have the Chateauneuf arms on my bottle when any experienced wine master from Gigondas, Rasteau, or similar has an extremely reasonable chance at greatness this vintage?  It is in the depths of despair that we would turn to the standards, not when we have an opportunity to try something new.  Having been on the stump these many years promoting emerging areas as a way to expand our knowledge, save money, and keep a keen interest inflamed - why in these great years shouldn't we aspire to keep these same principles? 

Wine drinks best when it "outdrinks" the price or at minimum, darn well when we feel the satisfaction of the hunt!  Make no mistake: the top wines are just that.  No one is going to topple the kings of their arenas - I just happen to enjoy a few glasses of wines I know I can feel good about - and I'm always going to carry the names people request.  But next time we all join the chorus about a year inwhich all had a chance to excel, I beg we take a moment...and ask if the house next door is drinking as well at half the price.