Terroir denial, "wine as art," waiting lists, and the New York Times.
I felt bad for Harrison after reading this. The writer makes her seem like the most pretentious person who’s ever lived and her wines like some sort of multidisciplinary art project. I doubt that’s how she really is or how she wants her wines to be perceived.
Great article! When I read the Times' Magazine feature, I rolled my eyes — but felt a little guilty for hating it. Now I feel much better.
The article is awful. You’re correct that almost all wine writing is embarrassing at best!
I used to know Maggie quite well and bought many of her Lillian Syrah releases. She was always one of the most friendly, intelligent & down-to-earth winemakers I knew/know which is several. She was assistant winemaker at SQN in terms of credentials and only went out on her own at Manfred Krankl’s insistence because of his belief in her. She definitely believes in terroir!!!
As a non-American I sometimes feel as if there is a dichotomy between the fact that the U.S. is currently the world's largest wine drinking nation. With a wide range of wines at various price points from Two Buck Chuck all the way up to Screaming Eagle, etc and more Americans are becoming wine savvy. And the other side of the coin are articles/opinion pieces such as these.
As when non-wine media gets involved in the States, it is almost always never factual, well-researched or representative of reality. All wine makers believe in terroir to some degree or another, but at the same time in Europe you can see many examples of blending different areas vines/wines together.
In Tuscany wines can be blended across vineyards or regions, in the Douro there are field blends from different varietals and parcels and many other examples. Only the very top single vineyard wines at the pinnacle of DOPs do you see such strict laws and adherence to terroir. Wine is foremost an agricultural product and therefore culture comes into play and ignoring it is having blinders on.
I found it highly ironic that the writer ridicules tasting notes that both wine geeks and the general public can understand in one paragraph. But in the next writes nonsense twaddle about intangible descriptors about Harrison's wines. As it peddles the trope about wine snobbery and then portrays wine as an esoteric intangible object than no one can really understand.
All I can say is that I am glad that I read wine media and am subscribed to Everyday Drinking, Decanter and not the NYT. Certainly seems like a better investment of both my time and money. And I hope Harrison's hard work and efforts aren't undermined by such shoddy writing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting your precision blowtorch to that fatuous article. The NYT should be thoroughly embarrassed.
Thank you. Just that. Thank you.
And also, for anyone interested - a visit to Gaillac is wonderful. Braucol, Loin de l’Oeil, Duras etc. Highly recommend a tasting at Pech del Cel. Their Fun and Bulles pet nat is indeed fun and bulles.
Excellent evisceration. Thank you. That NYT article was embarrassing.
Lol -- that Seinfeld gif is perfect for this.