The SOMM Journal

May 2014

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86 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 Another Turning Point for California Wines? ON FEBRUARY 4 OF THIS YEAR, THE IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE (IPOB) tasting in New York City drew 400 trade attendees, collectively a palpably excited, happily buzzing crowd of diverse on- and off-premise buyers, among them marquee somme- liers Aldo Sohm, Dustin Wilson, Raj Vaidya, Michael Madrigale, Jean-Luc Le Dû; writers Talia Baiocchi, Anthony Giglio and Jay McInerney; and winemakers Piero Incisa della Rocchetta of Italy and Peter Veyder-Malberg of Austria. The room was energized by vibrant, brilliant and expressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines and by proudly pouring winemakers, who seemed like cheerful party hosts as they talked about par- cels and viticulture over winemaking. Years from now, this tasting may well be regarded as a turning point for California wines. Created in 2011 by Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards and Rajat Parr of RN74 and Sandhi Wines, In Pursuit of Balance seeks to promote dialogue around the meaning and relevance of balance in California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The second IPOB event held in New York, the tasting featured 31 wineries. A San Francisco event was held on March 10. For context, many years ago, I drank elegant, restrained California Pinot and Chardonnay while learning about wine. Inky-dark, jammy, dense wines with over 14% alcohol received high scores from Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator and became the dominant trend. I found it difficult to finish a glass, much less a bottle, and pairing them A GROUP OF CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR PRODUCERS HOLDS A LANDMARK TASTING IN NYC by Chris Fleming / photos by Jasmine Hirsch Winemaker Jason Drew points out that the next level after balance is precision. Dustin Wilson, MS. Somm Journal June/July.indd 86 5/9/14 12:11 PM

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