In honor of both the historic decision by the United States to leave the Paris Agreement and the rapid transition into hurricane season, this week’s tasting is about climate. Climate is the most important factor in defining the quality and style of wine that a region can produce. The best wines in the world come from a narrow range of latitudes that is slowly creeping north due to climate change, endangering the existence of some of the world’s iconic wines. In fifty years, Champagne may only be producing still wines and your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon may be German.
Temperature, temperature variability, sunlight, rainfall, humidity, evaporation, and wind all are factors that play into different climate types, which directly correlate to the characteristics of the wines. For simplicity’s sake, let’s think about these characteristics in terms of the ripeness of the fruit that we smell in a glass of wine (ex. tart lime, ripe peach, overripe pineapple). Based on a region’s winemaking style, winemakers offset the ripeness with acidity or alcohol or other winemaking techniques to achieve balance. Today, we’re going to taste wines from a cool climate, an intermediate climate, and a warm climate that do fantastic jobs of highlighting the climate and the terroir of their homes.
WHAT WE'RE TASTING TODAY
COOL CLIMATE (Tart Fruit, Low – Med. Alcohol, High Acidity): 2015er Stein ‘Blue Slate’ Dry Riesling (Mosel, Germany) 100% Reisling
INTERMEDIATE CLIMATE (Ripe Fruit, Med. Alcohol, Med. Acidity): 2014 Domaine de la Condemine ‘Le Clou’ Mâcon-Pérrone (Mâcon, France) 100% Chardonnay
WARM CLIMATE (Overripe Fruit, High Alcohol, Low Acidity): 2015 Eberle Winery Viognier (Paso Robles, California) 100% Viognier