Lots of good, not so much great

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Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
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Lots of good, not so much great

#1 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am

We opened up a very nice bottle of 5-year old California Pinot Noir last night. Fragrant, good fruit, nice finish. I believe we paid around $50 for the bottle. It was very good, but not great. Which got me to thinking...of all of the wines we've consumed, most have been good to very good, but few have been extraordinary.

For all the money we've spent on acquiring fine wine, the inside scoops from places like Wine Beserkers, endless tasting and research, etc., I find that surprising. Do others feel the same? Are we just spoiled with all of our good wine and have lost touch with true mediocrity? Curious to hear other opinions.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#2 Post by Ian S » September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am

Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#3 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 30th, 2019, 6:10 am

Not my experience at all, but I am a very narrow-band purchaser. Over the years I have settled into a niche (both variety and producer) and know what I like. I find that when I experiment, that’s when my satisfaction percentage drops considerably, but then it does add a little fun to the mix.

To be sure, spending $50 for a wine that is just “good” actually sucks as a QPR.

I never did jump all in on Berserker Day, and I bet many people find wines from that special day that are just not their cup of tea. It’s a captivating day and opens some wallets, and sure appears to be fun. My Berserker Day purchases have been limited to Lagier Meredith, Halcon and a couple other cool climate syrah producers. Halcon hit my wheelhouse.

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Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#4 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 6:29 am

Ian S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am
Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
Ian, your point isn't lost on me, and we do run across plonk from time to time, which is a stark reminder. I'm not whining at all - we have (IMO) an excellent cellar with lots of variety. It's just that for all the time, money, and energy that goes into the hobby, I am surprised that I don't come across more exceptional bottles.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#5 Post by YLee » September 30th, 2019, 6:41 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:29 am
Ian S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am
Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
Ian, your point isn't lost on me, and we do run across plonk from time to time, which is a stark reminder. I'm not whining at all - we have (IMO) an excellent cellar with lots of variety. It's just that for all the time, money, and energy that goes into the hobby, I am surprised that I don't come across more exceptional bottles.
Just curious. How often do you drink wine?
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#6 Post by Markus S » September 30th, 2019, 6:48 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
For all the money we've spent on acquiring fine wine, the inside scoops from places like Wine Beserkers, endless tasting and research, etc., I find that surprising. Do others feel the same? Are we just spoiled with all of our good wine and have lost touch with true mediocrity? Curious to hear other opinions.
i hear ya. You spend so much per bottle and think it's going to be great, or at least, better than 'average'. And what do I end up with after nurturing these babies along for a decade more, or less, and nothing but a 90 on the point scale, or in publisher parlance "A good bottle" with the implied verbiage that it has a ways to go to become extraordinary. So wine buying is rather a huge waste of time and money, but then I think about what I like to drink and what happens when I drink those special bottles that have everything going for them and realize I couldn't even buy these bottles now if I could (consider a 20 year old Tempier or Madiran or a 10 year old carricante), and the bargain seems less Faustian.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#7 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 6:57 am

YLee wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:41 am
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:29 am
Ian S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am
Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
Ian, your point isn't lost on me, and we do run across plonk from time to time, which is a stark reminder. I'm not whining at all - we have (IMO) an excellent cellar with lots of variety. It's just that for all the time, money, and energy that goes into the hobby, I am surprised that I don't come across more exceptional bottles.
Just curious. How often do you drink wine?
1-2 bottles per week.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#8 Post by Markus S » September 30th, 2019, 6:58 am

YLee wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:41 am
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:29 am
Ian S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am
Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
Ian, your point isn't lost on me, and we do run across plonk from time to time, which is a stark reminder. I'm not whining at all - we have (IMO) an excellent cellar with lots of variety. It's just that for all the time, money, and energy that goes into the hobby, I am surprised that I don't come across more exceptional bottles.
Just curious. How often do you drink wine?
Not sure if it is a question of frequency. Sometimes the more one drinks, the higher the standards for great bottles goes up and the rest become middling.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#9 Post by John Morris » September 30th, 2019, 7:00 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
We opened up a very nice bottle of 5-year old California Pinot Noir last night. Fragrant, good fruit, nice finish. I believe we paid around $50 for the bottle. It was very good, but not great. Which got me to thinking...of all of the wines we've consumed, most have been good to very good, but few have been extraordinary.

For all the money we've spent on acquiring fine wine, the inside scoops from places like Wine Beserkers, endless tasting and research, etc., I find that surprising. Do others feel the same? Are we just spoiled with all of our good wine and have lost touch with true mediocrity? Curious to hear other opinions.
Too often I find that, when I open the "best" bottles, usually aged, the experience is somewhat disappointing. The wine is pleasant, but doesn't send me with its complexity.

By contrast, I derive a huge amount of satisfaction from everyday wines in the $18-$39 range. Are they profound? No. Do they bring more of a smile than the fancy bottles? In many cases, yes. (Recent examples: Ramey - 2015 Sonoma Coast chardonnay and Felsina - 2016 Berardenga Chianti Classico.)

I'm curious: What was the pinot that prompted your post?
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#10 Post by Michael Martin » September 30th, 2019, 7:33 am

What surprises me is the other direction. Opening a $20 wine and thinking it tastes like a $50 wine. Had a really nice Spanish Granacha that blew my socks off over the weekend...for $20.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#11 Post by Ian S » September 30th, 2019, 7:39 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:29 am
Ian S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:09 am
Compared to the plonk the average person drinks, nearly all our bottles are great. Maybe you should recalibrate the meter by drinking bottom shelf sub-$10 bottles from the supermarket for a few months. You'll relearn how to appreciate the bounty in your cellar.
Ian, your point isn't lost on me, and we do run across plonk from time to time, which is a stark reminder. I'm not whining at all - we have (IMO) an excellent cellar with lots of variety. It's just that for all the time, money, and energy that goes into the hobby, I am surprised that I don't come across more exceptional bottles.
Sounds like your chasing a dragon.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#12 Post by Jeremy C » September 30th, 2019, 7:46 am

At least from my perspective it is impossible to have extraordinary wine all or most of the time. Even if I were drinking “the very best” wine daily, over time, my critique of it would simply recalibrate such that I would view it as more ordinary. I like having the variety of both, well, variety as well as quality and complexity of wine to choose from and enjoy.

Unfortunately so much “good” California wine is a “bad” QPR, though. So I do commiserate with you on that issue.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#13 Post by Jim Stewart » September 30th, 2019, 7:51 am

Scott, I agree with you and have experienced the same. Not a good feeling.

Now to ramble a bit:
-isn't this true in almost all aspects of life?. . . what we expect to be "special", and make efforts to experience, often is not that special at all.
-"the great is the enemy of the good" thing . . . good and especially very good are "pretty pretty good" most of the time, but less so if we expect greatness.
-I like to "test drive" a wine before making a larger purchase , even for 3 or 6 bottles, no matter what the "hype" . I don't always do it, but it minimizes buyers remorse.
-Alfert's comments on zeroing in on "tried and true for you" wines and producers makes a lot of sense to me and it is something I also do to an extent. But I also have been venturing into some new-to-me wines. I try to maintain the "test drive" discipline. Have found some new favorites along the way.
-I like John Morris' idea of having a comfortable to you sweet spot price range where you find a lot very good wine drinking can be found. Personally, I am happy to drink very good wines, although I do welcome the occasional "wow" wine every now and then.

May your next bottle be a very good one!
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#14 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » September 30th, 2019, 8:11 am

I don't find it surprising at all. Great/excellent/superb or whatever other synonym thereof you choose * should* be a a rare occurrence. If it's not, I think we're calibrating wrong, or indulging in hyperbole. Most wine, even the wine we tend to drink on this board, doesn't have that gear, and that is fine. It's not supposed to. It is almost a miracle when vineyard, producer, vintage and everything else come together to create something transcendent. And miracles don't happen that often.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#15 Post by David Glasser » September 30th, 2019, 9:02 am

I'm with you Scott on the relatively low percentage of extraordinary wines, but I'm not surprised or disappointed. After all, extraordinary isn't ordinary. What's ordinary to us would likely be extraordinary to someone used to drinking $10-15 bottles. It's become ordinary to us simply because of familiarity, but that's OK. I've known what I like for a long time now and purchased accordingly, so I know what to expect from most of the bottles in my cellar.

Having a less-expensive bottle that far exceeds expectations satisfies in different ways than an extraordinary expensive bottle does, but both are extraordinary in their own right.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#16 Post by Mike S. » September 30th, 2019, 9:21 am

This is my experience as well. Maybe my age (81). I find the same with a film or play, restaurant good but not great. So I have learned that great is something very special and rare, Even if I open a rare old Margaux or Yquem many are very good, but not great. If I have a great experience once a year that is a rare treat. BUT if I am living with very good food, wine, travel, friends, I am having a great life.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#17 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 9:31 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
$50 for the bottle. It was very good, but not great. Which got me to thinking...of all of the wines we've consumed, most have been good to very good, but few have been extraordinary... Do others feel the same?
For us, $50+ is a special occasion: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or similar.

And the wine had dadgum better deliver [which is possible, but not easy to find].

We concentrate most of our efforts on discovering nice sipping wines in the $9.99 to $14.99 price range, and, to be honest, even when we extend it out to the occasional $24.99 wine, we've been in a little bit of a rut this summer.

There was some Macon in our market last week, at $12.99 & $14.99, but apparently it all vaporized within about 24 hours [or less] of the email being sent.

Also some Argentinian Cabernet Franc which vanished equally quickly, at $14.99, but apparently they should be able to restock that one [knock on wood].

With this blistering late-summer/early-fall heat wave we're enduring, I've got my sights set on a couple of sparklers [one from Slovenia, and one from Australia] which I hope will break our "good, but not great" losing streak.

On the red side of things, there's an affordable Chianti in our market right now, with a huge score from the Wine Spectator, and excellent scores from Cellar Tracker, which I'm hoping will make something decidedly better than a "good, but not great" Thanksgiving wine, but I haven't tasted it yet.
Last edited by Nathan Smyth on September 30th, 2019, 9:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#18 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 30th, 2019, 9:35 am

I think I found the problem
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
California Pinot Noir

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 8:11 am
I don't find it surprising at all. Great/excellent/superb or whatever other synonym thereof you choose *should* be a a rare occurrence. If it's not, I think we're calibrating wrong, or indulging in hyperbole. Most wine, even the wine we tend to drink on this board, doesn't have that gear, and that is fine. It's not supposed to. It is almost a miracle when vineyard, producer, vintage and everything else come together to create something transcendent. And miracles don't happen that often.
Good summary.

There's an expectations game going on, and the poor bottle of wine often does not stand a chance. It's stuck trying to live up to an imaginary ideal, rather than just be what it is.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#20 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 9:46 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:35 am
I think I found the problem
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
California Pinot Noir
1) Ouch.

2) California seems to be a work in progress. I think it might be another century or more before the industry has had enough empirical trial & error experience to get a handle on some quality recipes. And it might come from a combination of Mass Spectrometry and affordable Artificial Intelligence [the Chinese might be able to pull that off - reverse engineering some recipes for making 99 & 44/100ths percent pure Cote-de-Nuits somewhere on the Steppes of Central Asia].

3) Financially speaking, Cabernet Sauvignon casts such an ominous shadow over the California winemaking landscape that I don't know whether any California winemakers would want to invest in Mass Spectrometry + Artificial Intelligence, when they could just as easily rip out all the Pinot vines, replant with Cabernet Sauvignon, and likely make even more profit than before.
Last edited by Nathan Smyth on September 30th, 2019, 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#21 Post by Michael S. Monie » September 30th, 2019, 9:59 am

I had the good fortune to attend a dinner recently featuring Louis Tres. After sitting with a one ounce pour for a half hour or so, I told the host that without sounding cynical, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. I thought anything so exclusive and with the accompaning hype, would have a hard time meeting lofty expectations. I was wrong. The aromas were incredible and the taste sublime. If time had not been an issue, I would have gone a lot slower.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#22 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 10:01 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 8:11 am
I don't find it surprising at all. Great/excellent/superb or whatever other synonym thereof you choose *should* be a a rare occurrence. If it's not, I think we're calibrating wrong, or indulging in hyperbole. Most wine, even the wine we tend to drink on this board, doesn't have that gear, and that is fine. It's not supposed to. It is almost a miracle when vineyard, producer, vintage and everything else come together to create something transcendent. And miracles don't happen that often.
Good summary.

There's an expectations game going on, and the poor bottle of wine often does not stand a chance. It's stuck trying to live up to an imaginary ideal, rather than just be what it is.
Except that everyone on this board is already self-selected for being in the top 1% of 1% [of 1%?] of all wine tasters in the world, so our self-selected knowledge ought to help us bat significantly better than average.

It's when we bat merely average that we start to worry whether something's badly wrong.

And there, of course, the answer would be that some of us are not in the top 1% of 1% of 1% financially, so we can no longer taste the Cotes de Nuits & Beaune, nor the Piemontese, nor the First Growths, nor the German Auction Wines [is Keller G-Max sold at auction?], to which we were once privy.

Increasingly, even just tasting Cote-Rotie & Clos-la-Neore & Le Bourg is getting way out of our financial comfort zones.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#23 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 30th, 2019, 10:07 am

Nope - we self-sabotage more than the average consumer. We set even more unreasonable expectations.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#24 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 30th, 2019, 10:12 am

The existence of great requires the existence of terrible. Sounds like you need more terrible in your glass.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#25 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 10:32 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:07 am
Nope - we self-sabotage more than the average consumer. We set even more unreasonable expectations.
For those of us who are not in the Top 1% of 1% of 1% financially, the unreasonable expectation was that the phenomenon of the world's Central Banksters, acting in unison, to flood the world with Fake Money, would not eventually have had a deleterious effect on our purchasing power.

The bottom line is that:

1) Financially, those of us who are not in the Top 1% of 1% of 1% simply are not drinking as well* as we once did [prior to the explosion in Fake Money], and

2) The world's winemakers have not been able to come up with new combinations of Terroir + Cultivar + Winemaking-Recipes that can break the Supply Side monopoly which sites such as the Cotes & the Baroli & the First Growths & the Mosel Auction Wines are wielding when it come to producing the tastiest juice.

*Unless one were to uncork the Cellar Treasures, which were purchased back when prices were still relatively sane.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#26 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 10:38 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:12 am
The existence of great requires the existence of terrible. Sounds like you need more terrible in your glass.
Back in the day, you could stumble upon affordable Great in almost any hole-in-the-wall wine store of the First World.

But these days, with all the Fake Money flooding the system, and with the instantaneous flow of information [about what's Great] to all corners of the world, you gotta mosey up to the table with some serious coin if you wanna taste Great.

Or else be the 1-in-a-million oenophile who discovers Great before everyone else, keeps his mouth shut about it, and purchases up all of the existing supply before the word gets out.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#27 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 30th, 2019, 10:38 am

Nathan - You are completely off base, but that's par for the course.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#28 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » September 30th, 2019, 10:45 am

To us the top one percent, or maybe one-half of one percent, of global wines are just good or very good. It takes a lot to be "extraordinary" once you've been collecting for a while. The top one tenth of percent, one fiftieth of one percent? And then, to have that "extraordinary" experience you need the right setting and mood as well. Everything has to be right, if you are distracted from the focus on the wine an experience that could have been extraordinary can become just "good".

For me, the more common "very good" experiences are also very enjoyable and something I can't get from any other kind of consumption. That's possibly because I ration my drinking to a couple of times a month.

Nathan has a point about the "fake money" too...but all that money has increased winemaking investment as well...there are still some fantastic wines out there at the $50 and under range

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#29 Post by David Baum » September 30th, 2019, 11:03 am

Not sure about anyone else but I've been drinking a lot of great lately. Then again they aren't 10 to 15 dollar wines

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#30 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 11:16 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:35 am
I think I found the problem
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
California Pinot Noir
Awesome, well played sir!

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#31 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 11:17 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 8:11 am
I don't find it surprising at all. Great/excellent/superb or whatever other synonym thereof you choose * should* be a a rare occurrence. If it's not, I think we're calibrating wrong, or indulging in hyperbole. Most wine, even the wine we tend to drink on this board, doesn't have that gear, and that is fine. It's not supposed to. It is almost a miracle when vineyard, producer, vintage and everything else come together to create something transcendent. And miracles don't happen that often.
I think you’re right. Appreciate the insights.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#32 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 30th, 2019, 11:28 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 11:16 am
Keith Levenberg wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:35 am
I think I found the problem
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
California Pinot Noir
Awesome, well played sir!
At the risk of being overly serious, I take back my initial response. This Cali PN was a very nice wine. Produced by someone who is well respected on this board and frequently contributes. I'll leave it at that. It was well made and very enjoyable. A wine I'd be happy to share with friends, family, and aficianados alike. But it wasn't great. Or glorious. Or a 'one percenter'. And many of you rightly pointed out, that's okay.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#33 Post by CJ Beazley » September 30th, 2019, 11:34 am

Hey Scott, watch your cold meds, allergy meds, blood pressure meds, pine nuts etc. lots of stuff can dull down your tastebuds.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#34 Post by Kevin Porter » September 30th, 2019, 11:39 am

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I too often find myself unable to choose a wine from the cellar. Sure, there are special wines that are earmarked to share with specific people and/or on special occasions and/or with specific meals but that leaves a whole bunch of 'good' wine that I'm more and more often not excited by.

I think part of the issue for me is living in PA - I can't go to a good wine store and grab a couple of interesting/challenging bottles on a whim. Most of my purchases are case + and when doing that I tend to stick with what I know and like.

I guess it's time to take some chances and perhaps get some bad wine for perspective and contrast!

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#35 Post by dsimmons » September 30th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Scott,

Another issue at work here is that "outstanding/exceptional" is an individual judgment and varies from one person to the next. What you might consider exceptional, I might not and visa versa.

This was brought home to me a few years ago when I gifted a case of wine from my cellar to a neighbor for keeping and eye on our house while we were out of town. She is a typical $10-15/bottle wine drinker. I selected a variety of aged wines from several of my favorite producers and asked her to keep track of which wines she preferred. She is a good friend and completely candid in her review of the wines from my cellar. The bottom line was that she preferred her $10-15 bottles over the "outstanding" bottles that I gifted her.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#36 Post by Carlos Delpin » September 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm

We often forget the other part of the equation when we evaluate a wine. The drinker! Our state of mind at the moment of experiencing a wine has a direct effect on our enjoyment of the same. When I enter the cellar the first thing I do is ask myself what is the best wine for me NOW. Sometimes I need a comfort wine if the day was tough. Other times I want to be inspired or challenged. Not all wines fit all moods. Yesterday I wanted a good wine that would not overshadow the conversation to be had with my father. A Foillard 2015 Morgon fit the bill. Emotional intelligence for me is an important component of wine enjoyment. Cheers.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#37 Post by Jim Stewart » September 30th, 2019, 1:36 pm

Carlos Delpin wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm
We often forget the other part of the equation when we evaluate a wine. The drinker! Our state of mind at the moment of experiencing a wine has a direct effect on our enjoyment of the same. When I enter the cellar the first thing I do is ask myself what is the best wine for me NOW. Sometimes I need a comfort wine if the day was tough. Other times I want to be inspired or challenged. Not all wines fit all moods. Yesterday I wanted a good wine that would not overshadow the conversation to be had with my father. A Foillard 2015 Morgon fit the bill. Emotional intelligence for me is an important component of wine enjoyment. Cheers.
Interesting perspective . . . and a good reminder.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#38 Post by Hank Victor » September 30th, 2019, 1:59 pm

Carlos Delpin wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm
We often forget the other part of the equation when we evaluate a wine. The drinker! Our state of mind at the moment of experiencing a wine has a direct effect on our enjoyment of the same. When I enter the cellar the first thing I do is ask myself what is the best wine for me NOW. Sometimes I need a comfort wine if the day was tough. Other times I want to be inspired or challenged. Not all wines fit all moods. Yesterday I wanted a good wine that would not overshadow the conversation to be had with my father. A Foillard 2015 Morgon fit the bill. Emotional intelligence for me is an important component of wine enjoyment. Cheers.
I've noticed a strange phenomenon. Wine taste better when you share it with friends, family, or generous strangers.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#39 Post by Scott G r u n e r » September 30th, 2019, 2:04 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:59 pm
Carlos Delpin wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm
We often forget the other part of the equation when we evaluate a wine. The drinker! Our state of mind at the moment of experiencing a wine has a direct effect on our enjoyment of the same. When I enter the cellar the first thing I do is ask myself what is the best wine for me NOW. Sometimes I need a comfort wine if the day was tough. Other times I want to be inspired or challenged. Not all wines fit all moods. Yesterday I wanted a good wine that would not overshadow the conversation to be had with my father. A Foillard 2015 Morgon fit the bill. Emotional intelligence for me is an important component of wine enjoyment. Cheers.
I've noticed a strange phenomenon. Wine taste better when you share it with friends, family, or generous strangers.
Completely agree with all of the above.
In my experience a mediocre wine tastes extraordinary given the right setting and right company (and vice versa)
Having low expectations also helps with pleasant surprises.
Last edited by Scott G r u n e r on September 30th, 2019, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#40 Post by Josh Grossman » September 30th, 2019, 2:20 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:35 am
I think I found the problem
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
California Pinot Noir
I'm down to less than 12 bottles of Cali Pinot in my cellar--and it's mostly Arcadian. It's been more than a year since I've bought any--and that was Arcadian. i have about five times more German pinot than Californian--and I don't have much German pinot.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#41 Post by K John Joseph » September 30th, 2019, 2:22 pm

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:58 am
Are we just spoiled with all of our good wine and have lost touch with true mediocrity? Curious to hear other opinions.
Scott,

Limit yourself to a $20 budget and drink wine from the grocery store for the next month. Then let me know what you think about that $50 cali pinot. I think that we drink so much really good stuff that our paradigm shifts. If everything you drink is a 94, only the 98s are going to stop you in your tracks. We're brutally spoiled by all of the wonderful fine wine we've been drinking. At least that's my take.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#42 Post by K John Joseph » September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:32 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:07 am
Nope - we self-sabotage more than the average consumer. We set even more unreasonable expectations.
For those of us who are not in the Top 1% of 1% of 1% financially, the unreasonable expectation was that the phenomenon of the world's Central Banksters, acting in unison, to flood the world with Fake Money, would not eventually have had a deleterious effect on our purchasing power.

The bottom line is that:

1) Financially, those of us who are not in the Top 1% of 1% of 1% simply are not drinking as well* as we once did [prior to the explosion in Fake Money], and

2) The world's winemakers have not been able to come up with new combinations of Terroir + Cultivar + Winemaking-Recipes that can break the Supply Side monopoly which sites such as the Cotes & the Baroli & the First Growths & the Mosel Auction Wines are wielding when it come to producing the tastiest juice.

*Unless one were to uncork the Cellar Treasures, which were purchased back when prices were still relatively sane.
Lol, I see the Creature from Jekyll Island is to blame for all of your life's maladies. Come on maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. The masses are drinking better juice by far than their counterparts in prior decades, let alone centuries. There is more mid-market quality than ever before. The ultra-high-end has more competition as the world has gotten wealthier post Bretton-Woods as resources were allocated to economic growth over military conflict. Grow up, wise up, and don't turn every generic wine thread into a whiny dumpster fire that isn't even accurate.
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#43 Post by Jim Stewart » September 30th, 2019, 2:48 pm

Mike S. wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:21 am
This is my experience as well. Maybe my age (81). I find the same with a film or play, restaurant good but not great. So I have learned that great is something very special and rare, Even if I open a rare old Margaux or Yquem many are very good, but not great. If I have a great experience once a year that is a rare treat. BUT if I am living with very good food, wine, travel, friends, I am having a great life.
Age is not a guarantee of wisdom, but you seem to have achieved both. May we all someday! [cheers.gif]
Last edited by Jim Stewart on October 1st, 2019, 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#44 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 30th, 2019, 3:27 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm
the world has gotten wealthier post Bretton-Woods
The Elites [with access to Fake Money] have gotten vastly wealthier since Bretton-Woods.

But all of the available statistical data show:

1) At best a plateau of MEDIAN incomes [with many sectors showing an outright collapse in median incomes],

2) A Velocity of Money which has been at roughly ZERO for about 10 or 15 years now, and

3) Obscenely lopsided wealth density curves which this nation probably hasn't witnessed in 125 years or more.

K John Joseph wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm
The masses are drinking better juice by far than their counterparts in prior decades
On balance, I would tend to agree with you on that point - there is no question but that wines are cleaner, fruitier, less likely to suffer from flaws [such as brett or TCA], and less likely to be heat-damaged.

Although my guess is that Carbohydrate content & Total Calories have been soaring in these new wines [ergo many of them are simply off-limits altogether if you're trying for Keto or Paleo].

K John Joseph wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm
The ultra-high-end has more competition
More competition from the ultra-wealthy buyers, but no competition whatsover from lesser wines.

As above, we have made ZERO progress in breaking the monopoly strangleholds which the "ultra-high-end" have at the top of the market.

We just don't yet have the correct combinations of Terroir + Cultivar + Winemaking Recipe to dethrone them.

K John Joseph wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm
Lol, I see the Creature from Jekyll Island is to blame for all of your life's maladies. Come on maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan... Grow up, wise up, and don't turn every generic wine thread into a whiny dumpster fire that isn't even accurate.
Unless your financial situation is at least Top 1%, then you simply are NOT drinking as well in 2019 as you did in the past.

[Granted, many on this board are Top 1% of 1%, and I suspect we get some Top 1% of 1% of 1% (or their personal wine buyers) who are lurking here, looking for tips.]

But getting back to the subject of this thread - $50 Pinot Noir which was good but not great - the best Pinot Noir I have ever tasted was the 2003 Vatan, available locally, about 12 or 13 years ago, for $50 to $55.

I've never again seen a Vatan Pinot for sale in the USA [every six months or so, I'd check Wine-Searcher], and I haven't seen anything like that listed at Weygandt-Metzler, so either the Vatan family ripped out the vines, or else the family keeps a small stash for themselves [or possibly for their friends who run Michelin-starred restaurants].

Right now, I'm looking at Wine-Searcher prices such as the following:

Clos La Neore: $250 to $275

Le Bourg: $450 to $750

And in such a marketplace, a wine of the quality of the 2003 Vatan Pinot Noir would have to premiere at $1250.

Furthermore, if the Vatan family could reliably reproduce the quality of the 2003 [vintage after vintage after vintage], then they'd quickly make a run at the $7500 to $12,500 price point.

I'm lucky that I'm one of the very few who got the opportunity to taste a pristine bottle of the 2003, but I'll never again taste a Pinot Noir of that quality [unless I win the Powerball or the MegaMillions].

And I sure as hell ain't gonna taste it at $50.

So, again, to emphasize: In 2019, we Normies simply do NOT have access to wines of the same caliber as what we were tasting as recently as 15 years ago.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#45 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 30th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Nathan is always about the sky falling. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so ridiculous.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#46 Post by Steve Crawford » September 30th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 3:27 pm
K John Joseph wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 2:27 pm
the world has gotten wealthier post Bretton-Woods
Unless your financial situation is at least Top 1%, then you simply are NOT drinking as well in 2019 as you did in the past.


So, again, to emphasize: In 2019, we Normies simply do NOT have access to wines of the same caliber as what we were tasting as recently as 15 years ago.
both of these are patently false. perhaps there needs to be more context but on their face they are just laughably untrue.

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#47 Post by Markus S » September 30th, 2019, 4:58 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am
...and the poor bottle of wine often does not stand a chance..
I wouldn't call a fifty-buck wine a "poor bottle"!
$ _ € ® e . k @

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#48 Post by Markus S » September 30th, 2019, 5:03 pm

Kevin Porter wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 11:39 am
I guess it's time to take some chances and perhaps get some bad wine for perspective and contrast!
Or road trips to friends out-of-state!
$ _ € ® e . k @

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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#49 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 30th, 2019, 5:08 pm

Markus S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 4:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am
...and the poor bottle of wine often does not stand a chance..
I wouldn't call a fifty-buck wine a "poor bottle"!
Only because you don’t understand the point.
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Re: Lots of good, not so much great

#50 Post by Markus S » September 30th, 2019, 5:12 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 5:08 pm
Markus S wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 4:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am
...and the poor bottle of wine often does not stand a chance..
I wouldn't call a fifty-buck wine a "poor bottle"!
Only because you don’t understand the point.
I understand the point, but took issue with the poor choice of words.
$ _ € ® e . k @

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