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Analog wines still out there

By Dave Buchanan
Not everyone wants a hot wine (meaning one with a high alcohol content, 14.5 percent or more) although it’s hard to prove simply by looking at what’s available. Here’s an article out of the L.A. Times that offers some opinions on both sides of the argument, although there is so much more to what’s being done to wine than can be covered in a single-page story or blog. California winemakers revel in having optimal climate conditions winemakers in other areas, especially parts of France, can only dream of having. While some of that might be changing due to global climate change (how else to explain the run of outstanding vintages recently coming out of Europe?), some (thankfully not all) French, Italian and Spanish winemakers are pushing their own envelopes in terms of getting their grapes ripe enough and using questionable winemaking techniques to produce wines that will mimic and sell as well as the full-throttle big reds first made popular in California. That’s bad news to those of us still seek those analog wines somehow surviving in a continually more digital world. We want wines that speak of their vineyards and their traditions, not of technological innovations designed to make them not simply drinkable but (more importantly to the winemaker) commercially successful. You might find some of those analog wines coming out of California, but they’re increasingly rare.