A great part of the Willamette Barrel Auction is being able to taste a large number of really top wines, all in once place at one time. So on Saturday morning, I tasted through the 2015 vintage auction lots — more than 60 of them. As a group, the alcohols are a little elevated above normal, but it’s remarkably integrated alcohol and the wines don’t taste hot or alcoholic. I spoke with perhaps 25 winemakers that day on this precise topic, and it seems to be a subject of broad agreement.
So then I end up next to some guy who was telling a winery owner how alcoholic all the ’15s taste
on the back of his palate. After he made his comments, I told him that I disagreed, and why. Then he mentioned that the alcohol in the ’14s was so well integrated – – and I think exactly the opposite, that in the 14s the alcohol tends to be quite noticeable if indeed they have elevated alcohol. So I told him that as well
Then the fellow turns around, looks at me, and he says “maybe it’s because I’ve been focusing on the high-end wines.” Mic drop! I had a belly laugh at that, and told him that he was right, and that I preferred to drink mostly shitty pinots, and walked away.
Now, I’m not saying that I know more about Oregon wine than he will ever be able to learn . . .Wait, yes, that IS what I’m saying! Nice to meet you, #JoshuaGreene, editor of Wine and Spirits Magazine!
— The End.