I’m a loser. As Franco often points out, the rules are the rules and I have to ‘fess up, come clean, and admit that I lost a bet with the man above, Mr. Elton Slone (who has to be the smoothest-talking, slickest hand-shaking, baby-kissing salesman I have ever met — watch out if this dude ever decides to go into politics). I bet this man that there wasn’t a California Chardonnay that he could get me to drink (If loving Chardonnay is wrong, then I don’t want to be right, says Tracie B, btw).
Yesterday, he poured me his 2007 Robert Craig Chardonnay, sourced from the elite Durell vineyard in Sonoma (of Kistler fame). So many Californian winemakers say that they are “tired of oaky, buttery California Chardonnay” and that they make “a mineral-driven, no malolactic fermentation, food-friendly Chardonnay,” but so few deliver. Well, these guys do. Unfortunately, this stuff ain’t cheap and not a lot of it is made.
Is there terroir in California? I’m still not convinced. But as Alfonso and I bantered back and forth the other day after he returned from a Lodi, California wine festival, the conundrum occurred to me: is the absence of terroir itself an expression of terroir?
Man, I’m tired. I’ve been on the road all week and I won’t see Tracie B until tomorrow. I gotta say it’s not easy being a wine cowboy, traveling and hawking wine for a living (I’ve been in Dallas all week). But life is good and every once in a while, after you’ve visited 8 accounts in one day (starting at the un-g-dly hour of 8 in the morn’!), and you finally get to sit down for dinner and enjoy a glass of wine with your fellow travelers (around 9), a song on the juke box reminds you that even though you miss her so much it hurts, you’ll get to see her the day after tomorrow…