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Passion about wine in literary form

By Dave Buchanan
This week's open bottles include a Domus d'Uby Colombard/Ugni Blanc from the Cotes de Gascogne, a clean and refreshing white that my friends at the Boulder Wine Merchant describe as "pure, clean, lively and exhilarating ... (A) stellar example of the difference modern winemaking technology has made in a formerly vinous backwater of France." Clean and bright, full of fresh tropical fruits, melon and peaches, it's been perfect for these quite-suddenly hot spring nights. And at $9 a bottle, it's a great price, too. There also is a bottle of Nancy Janes' (Whitewater Hill Vineyards) 2006 Cabernet Franc, ($15) which I tried last month and enjoyed so much I picked up another bottle today, and a 2006 Nebbiolo made and bottled by my friend Sal Sassano of Stonyhill Vineyards. The last week or so I've been diving into Alice Feiring's book, "The Battle for Wine and Love," with its tantalizing subtitle "or How I Saved the World from Parkerization" (Harcourt, Inc., $23, hardbound, 270 pp.). It matters little how you perceive of wine critic Robert Parker or if you agree or disagree with his well-known method of rating wines. With his assumed (or actual) sway in the world of wine, it's become sort of a winous sport either to revile him or revere him. Either way, Feiring's book, which challenges Parker's ratings and his palate and takes to task the wines of the world that apparently are made to please his palate and receive the high marks that mean high dollars, is a delightful and dare we say educational look at how wines are made today. Not all wines, which makes good on Feiring's premise that there still are some winemakers out there refusing to bow to what the critics want and remain true to their grape. (I wonder how she would respond to the assertion above about the benefits of "modern winemaking technology"? Not entirely in the positive, I'm afraid.) Her arguments are strong, her passions equally so, her writing wry and sensitive and entertaining. The book has elicited a great deal of response both online and in print. We'll leave the diatribes to others. From here, only praise.

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