Choices we make during the growing season and at harvest must be lived with for the entire life of a wine. The huge number of options and the gravity of this can be staggering and sometimes paralyzing. As the years pile up, I’m finding it becomes easier to decide what to do given what nature offers. Looking back on how our wines age informs my choices in successive vintages. When a vintage becomes challenging at times, it is important to let go of any surprise, dis-appointment or fear at the moment and deal with the reality of the material you have in order to shepherd it toward its best end.
Unchallenging (“good”) vintages are “important” to those producers who allow rigid formulas or tradition to dictate how to make their wine. It is easy to dismiss one’s shortcomings by declaring a “bad” vintage. It is also easy to dismiss entire vintages in one region because of challenges unmet in another region. This translates well to even a vineyard to vineyard analogy.
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