The Maddening Minutiae Of Wine

The esteemed writer Jancis Robinson has put in words a frustration shared by many of us in the world of wine: the seemingly intrinsic nature of wine to be, put simply, complicated. Great, and even good, wines come from a place: an appellation, a vineyard, a part of a vineyard, or a blend of all three.Or, a barrel, a clone, a fermentation lot. And they come from a time: a vintage, a period of time spent in tank or barrel, a blending session. The variables are so vast as to be nearly infinite. We winemakers tend to obsess over these things, resulting in ridiculously confusing labels such as the examples Jancis offers. At McEvoy Ranch, we run into this with our Montepulciano. It’s a wonderful grape that makes beautiful, expressive wine. But it’s confusing to people; many of us have travelled to Montepulciano in Italy, and it would be logical to assume that the Montepulciano grape would be grown there. Alas, no. The predominant grape producing the well known Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is Sangiovese. The Montepulciano grape is most associated with the Abruzzo region. For more insights into the often confusing nature of wine, read Jancis’ articlehere.