The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 116

NEXT-GENERATION WineMAkeRs in Europe, you’re not so squeaky clean in your winemaking as some Davis grads,” Low suggests. Whether or not it’s squeaky clean, for Low, the endgame is balance. “I just love balanced wines. If I can get the acid and alcohols to just hit the mark, I’ve succeeded. I’m not a big fan of over-the- top wines,” says Low, who adds that his 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is “really hitting its mark right now.” One defining characteristic of this generation of winemakers, according to Low, is openness. Says the winemaker, “There’s more consistency of open information. We help each other out a bit more; we tend to share whatever we find out.” A Common Thread erich Bradley, Audelssa estate and sojourn Cellars “My sensibilities are geared toward Pinot Noir; when I’m making Rhônes and Bordeaux, I use traditional Burgundian techniques to get there,” explains Erich Bradley, the winemaker for both Audelssa Estate and Sojourn Cellars, where he is also a partner. “So, small lots, open tops, hand punch- down, gravity flow, native ML—and trying to stay out of the way. Get the best vineyards you can, and handle them meticulously.” Bradley grew up in Palo Alto, CA and studied biochemistry at the University of Chicago, which resulted, perhaps predictably, in a degree in philosophy and modern European intellectual history. A foray into a career in education was sidelined after his parents acquired a property in Kenwood, in Sonoma Valley. “They had a small vineyard going there. I’d come up every once in a while and make home-grown wine. I caught the bug, went back to Davis and got the basics,” recalls Bradley, who launched his career in winemaking in the late ’90s by answering a help-wanted ad. Soon, he was a harvest-time lab tech at Arrowood. “It was great timing to be there,” says Bradley, whose two- month gig blossomed into a three-year mentorship under Richard Arrowood. “I got to sample all the vineyards. It was like going to grad school for winemaking,” says Bradley. “I don’t make wine anything like the way Dick did. My way would drive him crazy, because he’s such a control freak. I let the wine make itself.” Letting the wine make itself is echoed throughout this generation of young winemakers. “The older gen- eration said, ‘We want stainless steel; filtering is better than non-filtering,’ and my generation is sort of against that,” says Bradley. David Ramey, cult winemaker and contemporary of Arrowood, consulted with Audelssa Estate several years ago, putting Bradley in proximity of another marquee name in Sonoma County. “For being peers, Ramey and Arrowood don’t agree on much,” observes Bradley. “It was good for me Erich Bradley. april 2010 / the tasting panel / 53 PHOTO: PETER GRIFFITH

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - April 2010