Wines for tonight’s state dinner: wine world shrugs

white house state dinner salad

Breaking from tradition, the White House announced the wines to be served at tonight’s state dinner honoring President Francois Hollande and Madame–oh nevermind. So instead of engaging in subterfuge or speculation, we have the list. Here they are:

Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011 — Napa Valley, California (find this wine)
Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009 — Columbia Valley, Washington (find this wine)
Thibaut-Jannison “Blanc de Chardonnay” — Monticello, Virginia (find this wine)

Uh, come again? These are odd wines to serve at a state dinner. First, they are modest but after getting blowback from actually serving some expensive wines, the Obama White House seems to have made a conscious choice to bring down the price of the wines. This is unfortunate: given the White House policy of only serving American wines, they really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price. Sure, State Dinners are expensive, but has anyone taken a look at the Department of Defense budget and procurement lately? Fine wine at a state dinner is the equivalent of a few toilet seats and wrenches at the DoD.

Further, the French connections here seem modest at best. Sure, Obama and Hollande went to Monticello yesterday so why not pile that on again and play the French vintner card (oh, and White House Usher Dan Shanks seems to LOVE LOVE LOVE that wine since he serves it with great regularity). A French director of winemaking at Allen Shoup’s Long Shadows project that made the Chester Kidder? Yikes, seems like grasping at straws. Why not one of the delicious wines from Domaine Drouhin in Oregon if you wanted the French vintner/Northwest angle? Or, since it is being served with beef, how about Dominus, made in Napa under the watchful eye of Christian Moueix. The 1991 is drinking beautifully and, ya know, is fit for a Président.

And the Morlet sweet white “La Proportion Doree“? Really, their “Coup de Coeur” might be their best wine to pour for President Hollande! But the French vintner thing is kind of played out by this point. Why not pour something from new wave California, inspired by France made by Americans, such as a trousseau? There are so many ways to play this other than the foursquare approach that Shanks chose.

At any rate, hats off to Michelle Obama for serving the greens and pickled vegetables from the White House garden. And, also in contrast to previous state dinners, the kitchen is using Twitter and Instagram to distribute photos of the foods. Menu after the jump.

white house dogs

At the dinner, guests will first enter the White House and proceed through a receiving line to be greeted inside the oval-shaped Blue Room by Obama and his wife, before exiting and boarding an old-fashioned trolley for a ride to the tent for dinner and Blige’s high-octane musical performance.

The first course will feature American Osetra caviar, farmed from the estuaries of Illinois, paired with quail eggs from Pennsylvania and a dozen varieties of potatoes from farms in New York, Idaho and California.

That will be followed by a salad of petite radishes and baby carrots on a bed of lettuce and splashed with red-wine vinaigrette made using honey from the beehive on the South Lawn. The salad will be served in a clear, glass bowl and resemble a terrarium.

The main course, dry-aged rib eye beef from a farm in Greeley, Colo., will be served with blue cheese, charred shallots, oyster mushrooms and braised chard.

Dessert is chocolate malted cake, described as a modern version of a layer cake made with bittersweet chocolate from Obama’s native Hawaii, Florida tangerines and served with vanilla ice cream from Pennsylvania. After dinner, guests can dip into a serving dish made entirely of sugar to sample fudge made of Vermont maple syrup, shortbread cookies made with lavender from Mrs. Obama’s garden and cotton candy dusted with orange zest. via AP

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135 Responses to “Wines for tonight’s state dinner: wine world shrugs”


  1. And another typo! (spelling of “Janisson”)


  2. Illinois has estuaries???


  3. Sounds good to me, althought the Chester-Kidder may be young. Also, I love blanc de blanc. I understand that there are some seating problems and an extra woman might be appreciated.


  4. @Scott – seesh, not only a lack of creativity but more spelling errors@

    Frank – yes, I thought estuaries were tidal. Not much in the way of tides in Illinois!

    Here’s a story about domestic caviar production, this time in NC:
    http://modernfarmer.com/2014/01/caviar/

    @Robin – are you offering? One of my friends wrote me that he’d “probably give one of my kidneys (if not both) to sit at the table with Obama and Hollande.” So you’d have to top that! ;-)


  5. Congrats! You are the first I’ve ever heard speak of Morlet’s wines as if they aren’t up to the task. I’ve tried a few of them, some barrel tasting, and find that they need not take second fiddle to anyone. I think Parker even spoke very well of them in general, though high in price. Modern Cali wines? Those trendy sweet kinda things? Serving to a Frenchman? Might as well serve Hershey chocolate to someone from Belgium.


  6. Tyler —

    La Proportion Dorée is a dry wine, not sweet. (Maybe that was a typo for “white”?) It is, at least in other vintages, a perfectly nice wine. Also, it is something of an hommage to white Bordeaux, so I can see why they would see it as an appropriate choice.

    I liked your joke about the Coup de Coeur, though!

    – Matt


  7. […] Last night’s State Dinner featured wines from Morlet, Chester-Kidder, and Thibaut-Jannison. Tyler Colman isn’t impressed. […]


  8. Please. To a large portion of this world, $45 wines are more that just “modest”.

    EVO


  9. Tyler,

    As mentioned above, I believe you mistook La Proportion Doree for the Billet Doux, a late harvest wine, from Luc Morlet. The link you posted should have made it clear that LPD is not sweet.

    As someone who has written about Morlet from their inception, I can’t think of another French winemaker in California who is more versatile in their ability to make exceptional wines across a wide spectrum. The Billet Doux wouldn’t have been a bad choice though, it is one of only two wines I rated 100 in the last six years. The other? Also made by Luc Morlet, my winemaker of the year, 2011.


  10. @ Matt and @ Doug – I get that it’s supposed to be a rendition of a dry Bordeaux blanc. While their web page for the wine doesn’t provide technical information, such as alcohol level or residual sugar or even percentage of new oak, for the wine, it does have this promotional description of the wine in the glass:

    Bright yellow. Intense bouquet of candied lemon, muscat, and honeysuckle flavors intermixed with sweet notes of ripened apricot and fresh quince.

    On Cellartracker, others described it as having having a “syrupy” texture with notes of “honey” and “candied fruit.”

    I’m glad that you both approve of the choice. I just thought the idea of a French transplant making the wine was a little played out for a third time on the menu.


  11. I would have to agree with Eric on this one. I don’t consider $45 dollar wines modest. And while I agree that there is plenty of waste in other departments I could understand taxpayer’s frustration if $300 dollar Napa Cabs were served with regularity.


  12. My take on the Hollande State Dinner and the Wines Served http://schiller-wine.blogspot.de/2014/02/american-wines-with-french-roots-wines.html American Wines with French Roots: The Wines President Obama Served at the State Dinner for President Hollande, USA/France


  13. Hi Tyler. I admit to being surprised by this sentence – This is unfortunate: given the White House policy of only serving American wines, they really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price.” You know that higher prices do not necessarily translate into better wines.
    And besides, no matter what Obama serves – be it an Opus One or jug wine – he’s always going to get flack.


  14. Granted it’s all about some convoluted political subtexts, but they could’ve gone in SO many different, mo’ better focused directions… say,for example, 3 starkly different Paso Robles wineries with less than six degress of French separation: Marc Goldberg’s Windward Pinots, Tablas Creek’s Rhône connection, & Stephan Asseo’s big American L’Aventure…


  15. PS, speaking of subtext/context, kudos on the usher Dan Shanks research(?), Dr. Tyler!


  16. […] of the wines from the State Dinner given by US President in honor of the high guest from France. Here is the article – and similar to the Dr. Vino’s opinion, my question is – really? These are the […]


  17. You won’t find a harder working wine maker than Giles Nicault, the wine maker for Chester Kidder.


  18. @Leslie – Yes, clearly there’s no one-to-one relationship between price and quality. It’s just that price shouldn’t be an object. Did you know that the Queen served Obama DRC and 1963 port when he visited Buckingham Palace on a state visit?

    Yeah, I agree it’s a tough situation politically. Incidentally, in the piece, I suggested serving a domestic trousseau; the Arnot Roberts is available for $31.99.
    http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/arnot+robert+trousseau

    It’s funny how pouring nice wines once a year (at State Dinners) is seen as such a flashpoint of government excess.


  19. […] the other hand, Obama’s choice of discounted dinner wines earned him the scorn of grape gourmands, at least one of whom equated the national defense with jugs of fermented berry […]


  20. Dr. Vino, could you be any more condescending? This blog post sums up everything I hate about certain wine bloggers and the snobbery that goes with it. I am so glad that you make your wine buying decisions on how much a bottle of wine costs. In your mind, if it costs more, it must be better. Never mind that the wine in the bottle is world class, it simply isn’t expensive enough for the French President.
    “…They really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price.”
    When I read that statement, I thought to myself that this must be from The Onion, not someone who claims to be knowledgeable about wine…Do you have any knowledge about Morlet or Long Shadows? They are 2 of the more respected brands/winemakers in the country. And the French/American tie in is perfect.
    You should really do your homework before putting “pen to paper” next time, and refrain from being so insulting and condescending to wineries that you have no knowledge about.


  21. I think the wine choices sound great. I applaud including WA and Virginia wines, especially with the Monticello angle and the fact that the entire point of LongShadows is international collaboration (which I imagine is the m.o. behind a state dinner?): inviting international winemakers to Washington to finesse the grapes they know best into stellar wines using the stellar Washington fruit. I for one would be tickled to have tasted such polar opposite terroirs, instead of tasting yet another Napa line-up at $300 bottle (and, erm, we are in the middle of a recession here and people are hurting–$45/bottle ain’t cheap).

    To bring up (literally!) “the Queen of England” serving Obama DRC at her palace is just plain silly. If we’d wanted to play the game of out-trophying heads of state, I believe Romney would be the one popping that cork. Except for the Mormon thing.

    In short, there’s a lot more interesting wine writing to do before dissing the White House Somm, who more than any other wine professional, has actual POLITICS involved in his/her choices. As wine professionals, the quicker we are to scurry back to our laptops to lambast one of our own only to titilate each other (while inspiring a collective YAWN from the general public), the quicker regular folks throw up their hands and reach for an artisan cocktail or craft beer (like they’ve been doing these last five years).

    Maybe we can all chill out? And please Dr. Vino don’t speak for “the wine world” with the title of your polarizing article. From my standpoint, “the wine world” is shrugging only as to why all the fuss with the selections in the first place.

    Bisous!

    Diana Hamann


  22. Dr. Vino,

    I think it’s time we make a “House Call” on your flaming statements toward Gilles Nicault.

    Firstly, it seems like you are insecure of the fact that a Washington Cabernet, and not a Napa Cabernet, was served with the dinner. If you knew Washington, you would realize almost 99% of the pricing in this state exists below $100 per bottle. the exorbitant pricing that exists in CA does not exist in WA.

    Secondly, how in the world is it a stretch to think that a French winemaker doesn’t have a connection to his home country? This same French winemaker works for an American company, immigrated to Washington State to make wine right here in the United States, and makes wines that have a distinctly French discipline. What better connection for America to France, then to have one of France’s sons who makes wines here now showcased for the French President?

    Finally, I think it’s dense to think the White House doesn’t purchase some $300/bottle wine. Just because it wasn’t served at THIS dinner, doesn’t mean that the French President wasn’t gifted some of America’s “finest $300 wines.” Lest we forget, typically a State Visit ends with the countries exchanging some gifts as a symbol of diplomacy. I’m guessing, right now, in the cargo area of the French President’s Airbus is a few bottles of American wine.

    Let’s be realistic about blogging, and not jump to being a fear monger about what the White House is serving for dinner. Frankly, I think most producers think it just as high of an honor that their wines are being served at the commoners dinner table.

    In Vino Veritas,

    Christian


  23. What Christian (above) said!

    You said:

    “they really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price.”

    Seems to me that’s exactly what they did. The Chester-Kidder is an amazing wine for the price.


  24. Dr. Vino,

    Such a sad commentary on your self-proclaimed proclivity in the wine world. I am stunned that in so few words, you have reveled what often others are able to hide until their ultimate demise.

    The Longshadows portfolio, including Chester Kidder, overseen by Giles Nicault, rivals many top-tier wines from around the world. it is the brilliant pricing strategy and adept wine making that makes it so. From 2002 I have followed and boldly supported their efforts and remain committed. It is not because of blind loyalty, rather what fills the glass.

    Your simple, and most-assuredly non-researched opinion, calls into question, a host of consulting winemakers under the Longshadows umbrella: perhaps you have heard of Randy Dunn, Armin Diel, John Duval, Ambrogio & Giovani Folonari, Agustin Huneeus Sr., Phillipe Melka and Michel Roland? I know you have heard of Giles Nicault!

    So, respectfully, put the pencil down, pick up the phone and make flight reservations to Walla Walla and visit the winery. You will quickly come to appreciate what thousands have known for some time! Tell Giles … “Bryon sent me!”

    Respectfully,

    Betswineguy


  25. I don’t know about you DrVino but I enjoyed a bottle of Chester-Kidder last night also… I mean I’m not the Prez but I have enjoyed every vintage, hell, every wine Gilles has sold me… tonight ill be tasting his newest wine the 2010 Cote Nicault… me thinks DrVino should change his name to drPretentious


  26. I’ve been in the industry 16 years and never seen such a poorly written piece.


  27. The better question that I’d love to know the answer to is why is what they serve for wine even a concern to “Dr. Vino”?

    Seriously, is this the best thing to voice concern over?

    It seems clear to me and most other rational-thinkers that the wines picked are of great quality and perhaps are the best-available to the White House staff when picking out selections with each course.

    I think if you lose the condescending tone and misguided statements which suggest the wines chosen are sub-standard, you may get a few more people who think you aren’t popping crazy pills.


  28. Pompous and critical.
    After reading your article, I was appalled at your knowledge of wine let alone food and wine pairing, if they were to have served a Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Oregon (which I have had the pleasure of trying on many circumstances) you would then have said that they were inept at food and wine pairing.
    Also if you really knew anything at all of Washington State wines you would have never had been so critical.
    Gille is an amazing and passionate winemaker the White House was well represented no matter what you thought.


  29. People,

    Let’s get a grip. This is obviously your first visit to dr vino’s website.

    You are upset because he dissed a walla walla cab?

    And for that you trash his excellent writing, his very informative blog and the value he brings to the wine industry.

    Let’s get informed first

    Ps-i love many walla walla wines. I have visited long shadows. It is one of the most pretentious wineries that I have set foot in, chock full of artwork, sculptures, etc. More of a museum than a winemaking facility. Oh, and for me, the wines represent some of the worst QPR coming out of the region. A region that otherwise offers tremendous value.

    As for Luc Morlet, beyond Doug Wilder’s, “I am a critic mantra,” has anyone tasted his wines as of late? The change in style over the years is quite obvious, to the point where one might confuse a “dry bordeaux blanc” for a sauternes. His use of oak on his chards is legendary. The wines are scaled towards high scores, which is what Doug apparently gives them. For me, his wines were better 6 years ago.

    Go on with your rebellion against dr vino now.


  30. We are protesting because we respect Giles Nicault and how hard he works. As I said above, you will not meet a harder working wine maker. He absolutely deserves to have his wine served at the state dinner. To snub a wine based on price point and to say the French winemaker thing is over played is glib and an easy snarkiness that belittles the integrity of your critique. It is petty and misinformed. You can do better.


  31. As the owner of Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, in Niagara USA, I commend the President for selecting a broader representation of wine than “let’s just simply buy the most expensive wines to be safe”. Let’s face it, when you are over $50 a bottle in price, the main factor in that price is supply and demand. As a producer from a lesser known region that makes complex vinifera wines, I think it is a great opportunity for the white house to show off what this country is capable of in terms of the breadth of fine wine production. Just like France is more than Burgundy, The USA is more than giant California wines. As a blogger, I think you are being narrow minded to presume that all wines need to be super expensive to be deemed “excellent”.

    Being expensive makes these wines “popular”, which is an entirely different thing. It’s easy to say the president should serve expensive popular wines, but it’s more interesting and certainly more beneficial to the wine producers across the country to have more wines recognized as being worthy to be served. I can’t imagine how I would feel if the president of France was served our Meritage Reserve. At the $25 price point I guess I can expect to be slammed in blogs like this for being “not good enough because of the price”. Here’s raising a glass of Niagara Escarpment Syrah to you and hoping you can broaden your horizons!


  32. So, now we are defending the man, not the wine?

    Giles is a nice guy and hard worker, therefore the wine is fit to be served at a White House dinner? Interesting conclusion

    And can we squash the price debate here. Dr Vino suggested Domaine Drouhin as a Pacific NW alternative…the wine is under $40.

    Again, knowledge is half the battle here.

    I have no issue with the selections. It was not my dinner, nor was I even a guest. But, if we are looking for the best imitation of Bordeaux Blanc out of CA, it is NOT Proportion Doree. If we are looking for the best wine out of Walla Walla to serve, it is NOT Chester Kidder. These are my opinions, obviously.

    If we are looking to link back to France, in order to serve wines, well, I am not sure what I would serve, but I would not be so quick to jump on someone just because they offered another suggestion and you are pissed because it is no longer from Walla Walla. The statements above in support of Chester Kidder vs say Dominus or Drouhin are dripping with irony.

    And to suggest Dominus, when Obama was served DRC would not be one upping anyone, not even close.

    Next time, lets hope we see some Long Island Cabernet Franc! :)


  33. Here Here Duncan, well said!


  34. From reading your comments, both in the article and in your responses to others, it is clear you have not tasted the wines in question. Relying on a website for a description or Cellar Tracker reviews (?) is not only poor journalism, its an abysmal affront to all the professionals who write about wine, whether it is a blog or mainstream media.

    The wines at this dinner are not the most recognized wines made in the United States but they do represent exception quality and a uniqueness that makes them a masterful choice for a State Dinner.

    Shame on you for penning a ridiculous piece that was obviously dashed off without thought or responsibility.


  35. OK…I will go on – gladly. Pretentious to have beautiful art in the presence of gorgeous wine? I think not. One has not been criticized for doing so elsewhere in the world – why Walla Walla? But back to the point. This article is wine snobbery in the highest form. It hit Walla Walla hard because being put down for wine based on a price point is not who we are and we must defend what we feel is right. And our winemaker. So here we are. *Cheers*


  36. Daniel, this wouldn’t be an issue if Dr. Vino weren’t so insulting and ignorant. I’m not angry just because he insulted one winemaker from Walla Walla, but because he insulted WALLA WALLA! Would you write an article/blog/whatever about something you have no knowledge about? You would have done a better job since you have at least made the effort to visit our town, taste our wines, and form your own opinions.
    As for Dr. Vinos suggestion at Domaine Drouhin, are they somehow MORE French than Gilles? What exactly was he suggesting here anyway? Just a poor job of writing. The only reason I am here is because this blog came across a Wine Industry post today in my inbox. I felt a responsibility for defending WA Wine in the face of these ridiculous comments.

    Just READ these exerpts: “…These are odd wines to serve at a state dinner. First, they are modest…”

    And this: “Further, the French connections here seem modest at best. Sure, Obama and Hollande went to Monticello yesterday so why not pile that on again and play the French vintner card (oh, and White House Usher Dan Shanks seems to LOVE LOVE LOVE that wine since he serves it with great regularity). A French director of winemaking at Allen Shoup’s Long Shadows project that made the Chester Kidder? Yikes, seems like grasping at straws.”


  37. This is my response to this piece, pisted in a Facebook discussion of it, among Washington wine trade people…not that it will ever appear on this site:

    “Since I am one, my saying this about a wine blogger may be shooting myself in the foot but I read Dr. Vino once in a while and my opinion of him, for a long time now, has been that he’s become one of these calcified “experts” who have probably been doing this for so long without a (very desirable) break that he’s lost the ability to step back and see what sort of baloney he’s actually writing. The very idea, at this point in our shared wine history, that the price tag of a bottle has ANY bearing at all on the quality of what’s inside is my proof of what I think of him. Like MOST wine critics – myself adamantly NOT included – Colman clearly shares that common delusion that any wine not made in France is a little suspect, and that a wine made in the US by a Frenchman, presumptively has something more going for it than those which are made by hayseeds like Trey Busch, Mike Januik, and Gilles Nicault, a Frenchman obviously tainted by his years at Woodward Canyon. He also clearly worships at the Pinot altar, an affectation that speaks volumes about his myopia towards the Northwest. Even the suggestion that a Drouhin Pinot is going to be an adequate substitution for a Columbia Valley Bordeaux-style red is ridiculous thing to say.

    I see this kind of tunnel vision in lots of critics. I could name a few names, here, but those others didn’t work at making asses of themselves the way Colman did in this ill-advised little rantlet. It would be the best thing he ever did to take a step back, have a long vacation somewhere OTHER than France, and try to get back to some sort of realistic perspective….but, of course, nobody will ever be able to tell him that.”


  38. Dr. Vino, since price seems to be your determining factor of what a good wine is I am sure Longshadows would be happy to retroactively charge the white house $300 per bottle for a few cases of Chester Kidder. Would that make you happy?


  39. Ok, so now I am more confused than ever.

    Where did he state the wines of Walla Walla were of poor quality? Where did he dismiss the region entirely?

    Jan,

    Forgive me, but as I mentioned before, I think that the Long Shadows wines are not up to the same quality as other wineries in Walla WAlla. Furthermore, upon visiting the “facility,” I was very surprised to see the huge difference in style of the place vs other wineries of the region. In close, I would hope that they would spend more money on better winemaking and less money on art.

    Steve

    How much Syrah is grown in Bordeaux? I do not believe any. Given that, how is Chester Kidder a Bordeaux style blend with 1/3 of it being Syrah?

    As I mentioned before and has become more evident with each additional poster, this is much ado about nothing.

    A blogger questioned the wines being served. Did any of you look back and see Dr Vino’s other posts on previous White House wine selections. Me thinks not.

    Did any of you read any of his previous posts on any subject matter (besides Steve). Me thinks not.

    Dr Vino thinks that when the President of France comes to dinner at the White House, better wines should be served. He never said more expensive wines. He never said that the wines had to be from Napa. He just said better wines.

    Having tried 2 wines in question (I have not tried the Virginia Sparkler), I would tend to agree with the author.

    If Walla Walla had to choose one wine from the region to represent the wines of Walla Walla, at the White House, to important heads of state, I highly doubt any of you would choose a Cab/Syrah blend, for starters. And if you did, I think you are even less likely to choose Chester Kidder.

    Heck, why not choose a Pepper Bridge wine, made by Jean Francois Pellet. One of the original wineries in the region. Who cares if he is Swiss? He sounds French and the wines are great!

    (For those unfamiliar with humor, I took a shot at it)


  40. Frankly sir you are grossly misinformed and a rediculous excuse for a wine writer. Anyone who writes about wine like you do is obviously a Doctor of nothing. For those of us who have actually been in the wine industry for a long time, who have travelled the world for wine, tasted countless thousands of wines both known and blind, and spent time with vintners and the vineyards, we understand that many wines while not household names or labels are just as majestic and telling of pedigree as those well known wines you suggested. While I appreciate that everyone has their own preference, and preference is neither right nor wrong, there comes a time – a professional responsibilty – to actually do some research, some tasting and some outreach before commiting words to page or blog. You obviously didn’t and therefor shall be relegated to the shame that comes to those who obviously know nothing about their subject matter. Enjoy obscurity!


  41. Congratulations to the White House for serving cuisine and wines that showcase America’s diversity, including many states and regions. They could have just punted and served over-priced cliches and ignored the true richness America has offer.


  42. Daniel, we all get it now that you are either Colman in screen name-drag or in his employ or, least flatteringly, a mindless sycophant. Jesus, STOP already with the justifications and hair-splitting on this guy’s behalf! As I said, I read him from time to time…not for enlightenment but as my own little totem: DON’T become like this guy. He writes like a failed gossip columnist and simpers more than a theater full of drag queens. He diplayed a blatant pettiness, blithe disregard for any of the facts about the wines he panned, and the wine-pairing sensibilities of a truck stop waitress with his idea that an Oregon Pinot – especially the wimpy thing he mentioned – would be a suitable pairing for the BEEF entred. And his tone was so drippingly self-involved! As though some dink who calls himself Dr. Vino should be allowed to overrule the White House wine steward. The whole thing was sad – not enlightened, not erudite, just pathetic and whiny. And, as for the Chester Kidder, have YOU had it? I have, about a dozen times. As you pointed out, it is 1/3 Syrah. But in character and presentation, it’s a Bordeaux-style blend. Was the hair-splitting intended as a display of your erudition? Sorry, homie don’t play dat. I grant total strangers the intellectual cred for being able to see a wine that is 2/3 Bordeaux varietals and say, “Oh, yeah, THAT character.” Maybe I need to stop overestimating people.


  43. Well said Steve! Thank you Trey!


  44. Spewing hate towards america like puss…For you are a Zit, a blemish on america, and it is a shame…

    It is a so sad that this American would hate on his hard working fellow American’s who were honored to be apart of a Whitehouse Dinner…

    I apologize for this awful citizen (truly not american) who bashes America. Instead of Honoring the Accomplishment of the three wineries to make it to the Whitehouse, Pig-Vomit has to tell us an opinion about why a $45 dollar Chester-Kidder is not good enough, so very sad and I pray that the Obama’s don’t agree with this Swine.

    Come on over to Washington and I’ll set you straight Homeboy.
    509-301-5206 My name is Mark Clarke and that’s my personal number, I’d be happy to show you how wrong you are.

    P.S. Bring your camera’s cause if you show up and they aren’t rolling you might get your ass kick’d for being Anti-American. I really can’t believe you would hate america that much that you would knock 3 states with your ignorant ass. You are about as saddest version of what is wrong with America and I hope you grow a pair big enough to call my number Bro!


  45. […] the other hand, Obama’s choice of discounted dinner wines earned him the scorn of grape gourmands, at least one of whom equated the national defense with jugs of fermented berry […]


  46. One final thought: it might be excusable that Colman thinks his s__t don’t stink or that he knows everything there is to know about wine (he’s hardly alone in that), or that his vision of the wine universe is the correct one and those who don’t agree are just brainless peons. (Wrong, of course, but again, hardly alone in that little hyperbole) No, what is flatly inexcusable about this little simper-fit is that it’s the ravings of a BOOR; a mean-spirited, petulant, pedantic, tactless, tasteless poseur who speaks down to The White House, the president, the American wine community, the wine-buying public, and everyone who has responded here (except, of course for Daniel, the shill), as though he’s privy to secrets that the rest of us are not. The “awards” he boasts about have clearly gone to his head and distorted his judgment to the point at which he’d begun to feel that his opinions should prevail in every case and that he should be allowed to alter reality. Well, pal, here’s the actual REALITY: no matter what you resume looks like, you’re at best a MINOR wine critic that MOST American wine lovers have never even heard of and whose influence is mostly among slavering acolytes like ol’ Daniel, who are lacking just enough in taste and erudition that they’re evidently willing to overlook your massive ego and swallow anything you say as though it were Gospel. A certain beer blogger who’s taken after me on occasion entertains the same delusion and what you both have in common is that you’re far less of a force than you seem to think. Go ahead: stand on any street corner in America. Ask people if they consider themselves wine lovers. Eliminate those who say no. Then ask fifty of them if they’ve ever once heard the name Dr. Vino. If three of them have, you’re doing quite well. Grow up, kid. You’re not what you think you are.


  47. Steve,

    Are the folks of Walla Walla capable of having a debate without the use of personal insults, curse words, or bullying tactics?

    I think the good news is that Mark’s parents have turned the parental controls back onto his computer and we will hopefully not have to see more drunk typing.

    I have been to Walla Walla. I enjoyed the wines, I enjoyed the town, I enjoyed visiting the one bar that was there, and I enjoyed meeting and speaking with many vintners, including folks like Trey Busch, who I still remain in contact with often. Heck, I even buy and enjoy some of his wines.

    However, the folks that have “elected” to come here and post are nothing like the people that I met there. They are nothing like the winemakers that I still talk to (Jaime Brown, Greg Harrington, Chris Figgons, Travis Goff, etc).

    I see so much hatred, jealousy and foolish writings that it makes me rethink whether most of the people that live there are like Mark Clarke, or whether most are like Chris or Greg).

    Most that wrote here seemed to go on a mission, full of misinformation. It got carried through, and got worse and worse, with each additional “drive by” writer.

    I am not so sure why Trey got so initially upset. I think he read into Dr Vino’s writings and overanalyzed what was written. From there, the mob mentality took effect. Most (Steve still being the exception) have probably not even written what he wrote.

    I know nearly no one (Trey and Steve exceptions) read what I wrote.

    Dr Vino never said anything bad about Walla Walla or the region’s wines. He questioned whether Chester Kidder deserved to be served to the French president at the White House. A reasonable question. Heck, I am not sure how many writers here have even tasted the wine in question. I have. I have visited the winery. It ain’t a Bordeaux blend, that much I can tell you. Nor does it taste like anything coming out of Bordeaux.

    But that is a moot point.

    I think all of you need to step back, take a deep breath, and reread, with an open mind with Dr Vino typed and then reread what all of you have written (threatened). It is quite disturbing, and really puts a black eye on an otherwise beautiful town, where Syrah is still the best grape grown! :)

    And feel free to critique anything here, without the name calling, the personal attacks, the mob mentality. Lets pretend that we can engage in an actual conversation. Lets actually type what we would say face to face, at a table, at the Green Lantern (as I recall the name to be).

    You are a small wine region, still looking for customers, and recognition (despite Jay Miller’s high scores, you do not get much street cred, unfortunately), you ought to be out there, speaking positively of the wines, of the region and of the people. Not bashing one wine blogger, because he yawned at the wine selection at the White House last week.


  48. Hmm… income inequality on full display.


  49. One of my favorite wineries is Long Shadows, from Walla Walla. Odd, I know. At my wine bar, we had a Sommelier conduct a wine tasting, comparing California vs Washington.

    We had quite a mixed audience, but many seasoned palates based on the location of our wine bar. We’re in affluent area of town. Out of 8 wines poured, Washington won 6 in a blind taste test.

    I invite Dr. Vino to travel out and spend a few days in Washington, tasting wine. Perhaps you’ll be better educated to compare wines having actually tasted the wines. I’m a fan of Chester Kidder by the way.


  50. Everyone who is pro Chester-Kidder, Long Shadows, and Gilles Nicault speaks for me. The only reason I am finally commenting is to tell Daniel to shut up. Stop yammering and get your nose out of Dr Vino’s ass. Dr Vino, obviously can speak for himself and doesn’t need you to keep shaking your cheerleader pom-poms. Stop.


  51. Catie

    Thank you for your thought provoking and intelligent commentary. Your insight into this delightful discussion has brought it to all time new levels…

    So, please, enlighten us. Tell us about your favorite vintage of Chester Kidder. How many btls are in your cellar? Do you prefer all of your Bordeaux blends with 1/3 Syrah, or generally, are you like most people and actually prefer Bordeaux varieties in the btl?

    Which Bordeaux do you compare it most to?

    And please, have some class. I am sure you are better than what you just typed, or did happy hour start early in Walla Walla this AM? You and Mark hitting the Chester Kidder a wee bit early today?


  52. Daniel, thanks for the kind words, and support of my wines. I do truly appreciate it. However I think Dr. Vino’s words must be in a blind spot for you, because they truly were nothing but insulting to both Gille and his wines, and for that matter, Walla Walla, and Morlet as well(what wine blogger not only makes comments about a wine without even tasting it, but gets his tasting notes from CellarTracker?).

    As for you not enjoying the tasting room experience at his winery, all I can say is different strokes for different folks, that is what makes this valley so amazing. You can experience the world class NW art of Dale Chihuly at Long Shadows, as well as listen to Santana “Abraxas” at my tasting room. I don’t agree with the “aggressive” comments by some of the posters here, taking it a bit too far, but it’s their way of protecting their own, I guess. And there is nothing “jealous”, as you say, about the comments from any of us. We have nothing to be jealous of, as we are making some of the best wines in the world, not just N. America. Now if Dr. Vino would make a trip out here to experience that himself, maybe he would change his tune!


  53. Trey

    What exactly was insulting to Walla Walla people?

    And I think you are being too kind…one of your soldiers has asked Dr Vino to call him and meet him in Walla Walla, so he can kick his ass. Others have told me to shut up and that I am wrong.

    I hardly see that as protection. Nor do I see this as a way promoting Walla Walla wines, which as you know, can be quite the struggle. The region is in the middle of nowhere, where there is one flight in and out of Seattle everyday. Otherwise you have to drive from anywhere else. Hotel rooms are minimal. There are only a few great restaurants.

    And you think that these people “protecting their own” is a way to encourage someone like Dr Vino, or any of his readers (which, despite what others say, he seems to have a more than a few) to come and visit. Will Mark meet them at the airport? Or will Catie come with a “shut up” sign?

    It is sad to see and watch. I hope some that have posted reread what they have written and offer up something half way intelligent to say, rather than what has been written thus far.

    In summary, all of this vitriol and hate is doing a disservice to a wonderful region for making world class wines…even you make a few good ones!


  54. Insulting, and making backhanded comments of one of our own is insulting to Walla Walla, Daniel.

    “given the White House policy of only serving American wines, they really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price.”

    If you don’t think that is an insult, then I don’t know what to say.


  55. Daniel, I have a feeling that no matter what I write, you will be in denial even though the proof is here for everyone else to read. First of all, by reading your consistent blather you wouldn’t have a clue what provoking thoughtful commentary is. Thoughtful provoking commentary was started with Trey Busch, and you wouldn’t let it rest – - and not with one comment but with four, now five and I have a feeling you will continue to blather with a couple of more comments. Further more, every time someone commented pro-Walla Walla, you felt this urge to address every single one of them with the same blather. Then you insult them with condescending comments such as: “obviously your first visit … you’re jealous …blah-blah and blah.” Why can’t you let people speak their opinions and let it be? You’ve certainly spoken enough opinions for everyone. Furthermore, your comment about the pretentious art at Longshadows? Really? It’s not the first winery to ever display “art.” It sounds to me that since so-called pretentious art makes you uncomfortable, that speaks more about you than it does the art. So how about if you take some of your own advice,”… step back, take a deep breath, and reread.”


  56. Are you disagreeing with the statement?

    Should the White House serve inferior wines to their guests?

    I am not speaking directly to anything served on that evening, but just in general.

    Because to find that statement insulting would infer that you would like to flip it on its side and allow for President Obama to serve inferior wines to the President of France, or any other visitor.

    I read the statement like this…Obama was served DRC and 1963 Port in London…presumably, if he visited France, he wouldbe served some amazing wines, as well. Possibly life altering, as anyone who has tasted an older vintage of DRC RC will attest to its life altering experience. And 1963 Port…well the best vintage in the past 75 years, possibly?

    For the record, I actually think it is pretty cool for the somm or Obama, or whomever chose the wines, to think outside the box, and choose different stuff. It is very easy to buy Screaming Eagle and serve and say, “Voila, this is American Cab, Sir!”

    But, at the same time, you would have to expect a little criticism from some for doing so.

    If you invite me to your home, and we have dinner. Let’s say we drink 1947 Cheval Blanc. When you visit NY, and I return the favor, with a dinner invite, and I pour BV Coastal Pinot Noir, would you feel a bit slighted? gipped? I have a hard time believing that you would not go home and make mention of it to a few friends. Maybe you would not.

    So, while it is interesting and pretty neat to pour some cool wines at the dinner, I just hope Obama was not served 1982 Mouton in France.


  57. Catie, thanks for this. Let’s hope Daniel can simply let people express themselves without taking it upon himself to respond to each and every comment.


  58. Catie

    I have this feeling that have never consumed Chester Kidder.

    Prove me wrong.

    But, otherwise, keep at it. Keep on attacking.

    As I have mentioned, I found the Long Shadows wines not up to snuff on my visit and in subsequent tastings here in NY. I am probably not alone in this opinion, as I have seen the wines go on closeout through the distribution channels. Subsequently, if you are going to put up great artwork in your place, I think that the wines should back it up. The same could be said for Clos Pegase back in the day. Average wines, with crazy artwork.


  59. Daniel, your latest argument is a bit ridiculous. Have you been to the Burgundy region? Champagne? Healdsburg? Paso Robles? Willamette Valley?

    Not one of them has a major airport in the middle of the region. All take a couple hours to get to the heart of the vineyard and winery region.

    You continued argument that Walla Walla is somehow a backward region is a circular argument. Contrary to your own perceptions (please classify them as such), Walla Walla has garnered respect form both wine professionals and consumers.

    People should recognize what you are doing now for what it is; you are playing devils advocate for your own amusement.

    Oh, and regardless of any other arguments you have made, I (and many others) disagree with your premise that Syrah is the best grape grown in the region. Bordeaux varietals are, and will continue to be, what this region will be recognized for.

    Oh, and by the way, it obviously escaped you but Chester Kidder is NOT a Walla Walla wine. It is made by a Walla Walla winery, but the fruit is grown on Red Mountain and surrounding area vineyards.

    I am turning off this feed as it has become pointless and redundant.


  60. Daniel

    I have been to all except the Willamette Valley.

    Last week, I was in Champagne and Burgundy. Champagne is 2 hours outside of Paris. Paris is a big city in France, with 2 major airports. Flights run rampant. Have you been? Try a croissant. They are quite good in Paris.

    Burgundy is 2-2.5 hours form both Paris and Geneva. Same rules apply. Many opportunitities to get there, including the TGV, if you elect not to drive. You can even fly into Lyon.

    Healdsburg is about 90 minutes from Oakland/SF. Numerous flights.

    Walla Walla is a 5+ hour drive from Seattle and I think about as far (maybe 4 hours?) from Portland. Or you can choose to take the one flight daily from Seattle to Walla Walla.

    I would hardly compare Walla Walla to any of what you have mentioned. Perhaps Paso. But Paso also feeds from a couple of majoy metropolitan areas (LA and SF), and you can fly to Santa Barbara.


  61. I am looking forward to seeing wines from Idaho, NY, Oregon, Washington and Virginia served on a regular basis. If the wines are wonderful, why not? Because consumers only have space for the critically acclaimed and the “rare”? It’s a big wonderful world of wine out there if you follow your taste buds, rather than a critic’s opinion.


  62. Trey et al., here is the thing: Washington State does not make America’s best wines, period. Nobody outside of the state and no respected wine reviewer believes that it does and they never have. Ditto Virginia, New York, Oregon and every other state not named “California”. That is hard fact. Morlet does not make anything even vaguely resembling California’s finest wines. Another fact. Homerism and boosterism are fair enough, but not at the expense of civility and rationality. It is fine to make all sorts of cases for serving diverse and interesting wines from all over the U.S. and indeed, from all over the world, but it is not an insult to anyone not making America’s best wines to point that out. It is a fact that none of the wines served this time around is among the best that America has to offer. There is no snobbery involved in stating what is both obvious and true.

    Calie, I am glad that you have people to speak for you here, because you do a piss-poor job of speaking for yourself. Daniel is one of this country’s leading retailers, and does not play favorites or impose his taste or ideas upon others. He has forgotten more about wine than you have any prospect of ever knowing. And if he is going to have anything up anyone’s ass, it is like as not to be a buzzsaw. Here’s hoping that it is not your most deserving ass that he attacks…


  63. That’s like saying Bordeaux makes better wines than Burgundy or Champagne. They are all wonderful, but very different. You can’t select a “best”, though you can make an excellent pairing with any well made wine. NY makes some of the best Riesling in the US, as well as Pinot Noir and Cab Franc. Oregon has fantastic Pinot Noir. Washington has wonderful cool climate wines like Syrah and Chardonnay. It would be difficult to pick a “best”, especially when pairing with food, nes pas?


  64. No, it is not, Duncan. California has a long, diverse and distinguished wine history, as do each of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, and in fairness, California’s history is dwarfed by the other three. For that reason, it is easy to sort through America’s wines and single out the best. It takes nothing away from the good wines that do not make the cut. They may pair beautifully with many dishes. The pairings may have worked well at the White House dinner. There is just no chance that America’s best wines were served…


  65. Bill Klapp, please look up “Quilceda Creek” and “Cayuse”. Go to both the Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, and look up the past 15 years of scores. I am going to guess that you will not find another Cabernet producer in America with a single higher average (with the exception of MAYBE Schrader) than QC, and ditto with Syrah for Cayuse. There is nothing “homerism” about that statement. And there are plenty of other WA State producers that I would be happy to put side by side with California’s best.

    This is all beside the point: Insulting someone’s wine (without having ever tasting them) is just ridiculous, and if you can’t see through that statement, then we will simply have to agree to disagree here.


  66. Trey

    We playing ratings now?

    Previously, they were downplayed. I never mentioned them. I do not think Dr Vino ever mentioned them. Klapp did not mention them.

    So, higher scores from critics like Jay Miller, mean better wine?

    Duncan just made a compelling argument for more diversity at these dinners, which I applaud and agree with, given the right circumstances.

    But Quilceda Creek was not poured at this dinner. Cayuse was not, either. Chester Kidder was. A wine that, despite all of Miller’s inflated, overblown, I am on a junket, reviews, still never garnered more than 93 points.

    So, we talking scores? or best wine?


  67. Daniel, simply arguing the “best wines are not made in WA” statement with some critics to back it up, not consumers (it was Bill who brought up the critics, not me). You and I both know ratings are all subjective, but rather than take a FB poll, I thought I would at least point out to Bill that the “respected wine writers” he was referring to do not agree with him on his statement if they believe their own scores.


  68. Daniel, I don’t have to prove to you whether or not I have ever had Chester-Kidder, nor do I have to prove anymore that you have taken Dr Vino’s post hostage. You have posted more words than what Dr Vino has originally posted. But for the sake of some fun, your question you have posed to me about your feeling I have never consumed Chester Kidder …? Well, that comment probably has most Walla Walla people laughing.

    Oh and Bill Klapp, actually I do a piss fine job speaking for myself – - and unlike Daniel I can do it with less words. And you have me rolling my eyes about Daniel being one of the country’s leading retailers. So what? If you think that is going to make me go to my corner like a good little woman and quiver, think again. And one more thing, as far as your comment, “he (Daniel) does not … impose his taste or ideas upon others.” You need to reread all of his comments because that is all he has done – - imposed and projected himself on everyone’s comments.


  69. “There’s a Daniel on there that is defending Dr Vino. He’s hating on the pro CK comments and finds Long Shadows pretentious. I would refer to him as a douche bag, but I think he would give a bad name to boxes of douche bags in drug stores everywhere.”

    Thank you, Catie. You do have a way with words.

    And yes, everyone in Walla Walla is laughing right now, as are the folks outside of Walla Walla.

    You sound so self important, and yet no one here is worthy of an answer to my question on what vintages of CK (as you call it) you like. Yet, you keep coming back and posting (or attacking) everyone else.

    Kind of ironic, huh?

    Then, you post that I am a douchebag.

    Classy…real classy.


  70. Wow. I don’t think you understand, let alone understand the concept of what the word “irony” actually means.

    Why on earth would anybody want to engage with you about their favorite vintage of CK? So that you can tell them how wrong they are and trash them as you have done with all of their other comments?

    Now, you may think I sound self-important, but I don’t feel self-important. In fact, even if I wanted to be self-important, there’s not enough space as you have that cornered.

    Oh goody-goody, Daniel can read Facebook. Actually, you couldn’t be more than wrong and the proof is my Facebook post that you copied. I never posted you WERE a douche bag. Au contraire mon frere! (Oh btw, I learned that from Gilles on one of my treks through vineyards with him. I bet the irony is lost on you.)

    I said:
    “I would refer to him as a douche bag, but I think he would give a bad name to boxes of douche bags in drug stores everywhere.”

    Once again, over and over, you keep projecting on everyone’s comments … You’re tedious, so yes Daniel, we will let you have the last word because it is obviously more important to you than me.


  71. This thread is, in a word, hilarious. Everyone trying to upstage everyone else with their vast and impressive wine knowledge. Who gives two hoots what wines were served where? Everyone has their favorites and we all hang out with people who share our own tastes in wine. I, personally, love several WW wines, including Trey’s Sleight of Hand, Syzygy, Dunham, and QC. Not much of a fan of anything from Oregon, even though it is much more readily accessible to me here in Portland than Walla Walla. My all time favorite Pinot comes out of a tiny winery in Carmel called Figge, which I find ironic living 40 minutes outside of Oregon Pinot country. Can’t we all just follow our taste buds, as someone here already suggested? Wine is for friends, sharing, and good times. It is not meant to cause such strife or hatred among fellow oenophiles.


  72. Catie

    Probably the smartest thing you said.

    You call me a douchebag and I am the one that is trashing other people.

    Again, irony…look it up.


  73. Catie – Daniel is a trollololol. Time is wasted upon him in this thread.


  74. Trey, I have tracked wine scores and notes for over 20 years. I can quote you every QC and Cayuse score, in fact. You have it right: QC and Cayuse are Washington’s best-regarded wines. Both of them. Two. Neither was served at the dinner. (Leonetti does not suck, either. Maybe Betz Pere de Famille.) And then you get to Chateau St.-Michelle in a hurry. The two greats would both be upper-middle, but not top-tier wines among the Cabs and Rhone Rangers of California. Not bad. And not to be mistaken for Bordeaux or Rhone wines, either. The secondary market prices on both producers lets you know what demand is for them. They both trade at modest premiums over release. Auctions are not built around them. They were both pimped to death by a discredited former Wine Advocate reviewer (from whence the outlying high numbers of both producers), and given solid reviews by Tanzer and then Josh Raynolds, with Raynolds liking them more than Tanzer. QC and Cayuse wines average maybe 93-94 for WS. For some, drinking QC is painful. Some love it. A solid record for both producers, but nothing worth overstating. There is too much emotion and too little reality in this thread, and too many people not winning friends and influencing people on behalf of Washington’s wine industry. Get past the collective inferiority complex, step back, look at Washington’s place in the world realistically and then figure out how to build and grow from there…


  75. Calie, the “quivering good little woman” business makes my skin crawl. A wine forum does not seem the best place for you to deal with whatever issues you may have in that regard. Nothing was said on this entire thread that justifies copping that attitude. I would never intellectually bully you because you are a woman. Loudmouth and dumb-ass, maybe…


  76. Daniel, I don’t know, maybe they are onto something…maybe you ARE a douche bag. But to paraphrase the late Ed Koch silencing Bella Abzug’s hecklers, you are OUR douche bag, and that makes all the difference! :) And Martin, you are definitely onto something. Not only is time being wasted upon Daniel is this thread, time is being wasted, PERIOD. The Walla Wallabies would have been better served crying in their beers…oops, Chester-Kidder alone. The rest of the wine world and Tyler’s regular readers do not give a rat’s ass about the White House dinner or the wines served…


  77. Bill, I don’t know if you have been out to WA State to try our wines, or if your reference point is simply what you see in New York (I assume you are in NY). But our wine world here is a little deeper than QC/Cayuse and then St. Michelle in terms of quality. I mentioned QC and Cayuse because you are so quick to dismiss the quality of wines coming out of WA State and those were the 2 easiest wines to reference when it comes to “global recognition” and “wine critics”. And because auctions are not built around either of them like, say, Harlan in Napa (nothing controversial about THOSE wines, now, is there), doesn’t lessen their greatness in the world of wine. As for the QC “painful” statement, anyone worth their weight in the wine world would know that they are built for the cellar. I am sure that many people opening their 2009 Margaux or Petrus would feel the same way. Everything has context, and it seems like you just want to take things out of context. To say that Cayuse (or Reynvaan, for that matter) does not stack up to the best Rhone-style wines out of California is simply laughable. The demand for both QC and Cayuse speaks louder than anyone on this thread (I have friends on the waiting list and they have been on it for years).
    Finally, I don’t think our wines are inferior in the least, which is the reason I posted here in the first place. My whole goal in posting here from the very beginning was to call out this writer for (1) being lazy by not trying these wines before commenting on all 3 of them (2) being insulting with backhanded comments about Gille, his wines, and his level of being French (how much more French could he be?)

    VIVA WA STATE WINES!


  78. The “too much emotion” in this thread came not from the relative prominence of Washington as a wine region but from the author’s dismissive, snippy, petulant treatment of the wines served at this dinner as being somehow unworthy of inclusion at a White House dinner. I’m not from Walla Walla and I rarely review wines from my home state because, honestly, there are a lot of very good reviewers doing a great job of that already and I’d rather introduce people to a great Argentinian or Spanish or Italian bottle they might otherwise miss. I have no dog in this fight at all, other than the distaste of one writer for another when I see the jackass reinforcing every single negative stereotype the average wine lover dislikes about wine shop stewards, critics, and the “wine intelligentsia” in general. Ultimately, it makes no difference at all what (I can barely make myself write this dumb-ass name) “Dr. Vino” says OR thinks about Washington wines or what anyone else thinks, either. I wasn’t after Daniel for anything really related to wine at all. I was after him because he was doing the knee-jerk thing a lot of wine weenies do when confronted with well-deserved umbrage at an ill-mannered, rude dismissal of a wine, region, or style: using the guy’s resume to attempt to excuse his behaving like a self-congratulatory prick.

    I don’t really give a rat’s rump whether Daniel likes it, you like it, or Dr. Weeno likes what I had to say. The bottom line for me is that what one yahoo like this does in some pissy little rant like this reflects on every other person who writes about wine. He makes MY f__king job harder because he gives a casual reader the idea that reading wine criticism is an experience wherein the writer simpers and vents and spews his haughty disapproval and that’s what you SHOULD expect. That is adamantly NOT what a reader of a wine blog should see as the price of admission.

    I move in a circle of GROWN-UPS who somehow, magically, manage to write about wine without being insulting, condescending, arrogant, dismissive, or outright damaging to either the craft of wine writing or the craft of making wine. It’s QUITE possible to do. I meant what I said earlier: Colman appears to be a guy who VERY much needs to take a step back, examine his attitudes and behavior, and find a better way to express himself. In this post, he behaved like a common jerk and he got called on it. I REFUSE to have this discussion dragged off into some specious never-neverland debate on the relative merits of Washington vs. other wine regions or whether that fat jackwad Jay Miller had any cred. The POINT is the behavior of one supercilious fathead and his having done what he did at the expense of a region that DOES, by God, produce fine wines by the hundreds, every single year. If he can’t manage to control himself, he should stop writing about wine.


  79. Bill, first of all I never originally even responded to you, let alone knew your existence in this thread because it was so over crowded with post, after post, after post, after post, after post … from Daniel doing his best to over shadow everyone who had an opinion that he didn’t like. But none the less how precious that you felt you needed to protect Daniel. Special.


  80. So much fun hearing the 93 vs 92 point or the aftermarket value of this vs that, or what critic A vs B thought. None of that has anything to do with the actual quality of the wine or the terroir. A few of you are only speaking to a wine’s popularity. If this were 1975 many of you would be talking about how no one will ever compete with France. too funny. The fact that truly great wines can be made in many places does not diminish the other places, though some of you are acting as if it does.

    If I get a vacation from the wine business in Niagara I will be visiting Washington so I can have a glass of wine with Trey Busch. The wine industry is the best industry there is – it is a shame that the spirit of cooperation and friendliness doesn’t carry over to the writers.


  81. Can we just stop reading after what Steve body said? (And I want the link to your blog sir. I like you. )


  82. Duncan, A glass of wine? It will be more like the whole bottle! Look me up when you’re over this way.


  83. I think it is time for everyone to post any further comments on this thread as “Daniel”. FYI – I’m making this into a movie but realize I need to edit the dialogue to make it more funny.


  84. Popcorn anyone?

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zqZlRwX9w6I/TyRdaTy6KKI/AAAAAAAAIwQ/f1Ewu4eE76E/s1600/IMG_2030%2Bcopy.jpg


  85. Over all, I have no problem about opinions of wines that are different than mine. That is the beauty of wines, as we know. When there is a difference of opinion, it’s always good to keep the mind open. Trey forwarded us to Dr Vino’s post and as I read through Dr Vino’s comment about CK, I rather just shrugged my shoulders and thought, “Whatever. Different opinion and but it doesn’t change mine.”

    But here was the problem for me: I honestly could not read other opinions, and take the time to ponder those opinions and give them some respect without the next opinion being from Daniel. I honestly thought this blog was named, “Dr. Vino,” not “Daniel’s I-Know-Everything Show.” He kept hammering away and making it very personal in the most condescending way.

    I never felt that I needed to start giving out my wine resume, as Daniel did. Big deal. It was actually more fun to let Daniel think, as he did, that I have never tasted Chester-Kidder before. The truth is I received a couple of bottles of the very first release (2002) of CK from Gilles before it was ever released to the public. And in fact, I have probably purchased a case or more of every vintage, since 2003.

    Daniel, you do not make it easy for people to engage with you. Please, you are certainly allowed to have your opinions, but please let others have theirs as well without micro-picking, condescension, and overall making people feel they are not allowed to have different tastes than yourself. Thank you.

    Most important, yes Walla Walla sticks together. Is there something wrong with that? However, the quality of the wine from Walla Walla isn’t just good because WE say so, but national publications agree, as well.


  86. So they weren’t the best or most expensive wines America has to offer. So what? The choices were about symbolism, which is a proper focus for a State Dinner. More than the wine itself, though as a wine geek it pains me to write those words. Dr. Vino’s hung up on the wine quality issue here and misses the larger point, but hey, it’s a wine blog, not an international relations blog.

    Could they have found “better” wines that fit the French winemaker in the US theme? To my palate, yes. I’m not a fan of the T-J bubbly from VA or the Chester Kidder Red, never had the Morlet Proportion Doree. But that’s just my preference.

    I don’t see anything that insulting in the original post. I can see where it feels more so to those whose wines are being criticized, but it doesn’t read that negatively to me.


  87. Steve Body:

    Like everyone else who follows wine reviewers and writers, I have never heard of you. Your writing sample above gives me deep insight as to why. This being Tyler’s blog, YOU are refusing to have this discussion dragged off into some never-never land debate? How absolutely…NARCISSISTIC of you! Is being dismissive, snippy and petulant about a human being somehow better than being so about a few insignificant bottles of wine?

    Tyler is not making your f-ing job harder, Steve. It appears that your inability to write civilly, articulately and coherently beat him to the punch. “If he can’t manage to control himself, he should stop writing about wine.” Touche. In your case, maybe you should stop writing, PERIOD, at least on this thread. And maybe drag your sorry ass out of here and save some other blog from being dragged into a never-never land debate…


  88. I see 14 comments from me on this thread, There are 87 at the moment. Hardly a “domination” as you would put it. But then again, your posts are just full of insults, half truths, and insults. Again, irony…look it up.

    For someone who has claimed to have no interest here, you have 6 comments. Irony.

    My favorite comment is this one
    “you are certainly allowed to have your opinions, but please let others have theirs as well without micro-picking, condescension, and overall making people feel they are not allowed to have different tastes than yourself.”

    Can you cite any examples of where I questioned someone’s opinion on the wines in question. Sure, I question Trey’s initial gripe with what Tyler wrote, just as David Glasser has now. Trey sees an insult that, IN MY OPINION, is not there. Then he posts on facebook some disparaging remarks about the author, and comes here and does much of the same (although not as harsh). He enlists the “mob” to come here and call the author an idiot. Much of the posts offer no real value. Most contain threats, insults, and disparaging remarks. So, yes, I defended the author. I respect the initial opinion by Trey, and we have even corresponded about the commentary, in private. But I do not respect the insults. I do not respect the threats. I do not see the need to curse out the author. I do not see the need to threaten to kick his ass because he disagreed with the wine selection at a White House dinner last week.

    Then, a drive by comes here and calls me a troll. Ah, the irony.

    So, you come here and say you are defending WW, because you are a tight knit group. But I cannot come here and disagree with anyone who offers an opinion against the author.

    That, Catie, is irony.

    I suggest you look it up. The dictionary is a big book, but I think you will be able to find it.


  89. Wow. Fun thread.

    FWIW, I’m reasonably familiar with a number of WA wines, have a case of Chester Kidder (paid about 1/2 of the suggested price) as well as a few other Long Shadows wines and plenty of Betz, Andrew Will, Cayuse, Cadence, Pepper Bridge, Leonetti, Forgeron, Woodward Canyon, Januik, a few QCs, and yeah, Chat. St Michelle.

    I like all those wines. Of the Long Shadows project, the C-K is one of the hardest to warm up to. And if Tyler thought that better wine could be served, that only seems to be his right.

    Price is not a way to determine the value of a wine and I don’t think Tyler ever suggested it was.

    Nor did he say to serve a Napa Cab, in fact he said something quite the opposite. He simply said to serve the “best”, which can be defined many different ways.

    Frankly, serving one of the Merlots from Chat. St. Michelle would demonstrate that reasonably decent quality can come out in vast quantities. And it’s not at all a knock against the C-K winemaker to suggest that there might be better stuff available in WA.

    I completely agree with the posters who lauded the White House idea of serving wine from diverse regions. Napa is obviously the most recognized, but as Tyler suggested, there are many interesting and good wines being made in CA besides just more Cab, although as Hollande reputedly has expensive tastes, I could understand serving him a good Napa Cab.

    I don’t understand the knock on Tyler – he simply stated that the wines could have been “better”. That’s not slamming anyone, just stating an opinion. I think they could have been more interesting. The stories are nice, but having tasted the wines, I kind of have to agree.

    In fact, I would have served a Petite Sirah – a French grape with an irregular past that is unloved in its home country but that seems to do pretty well in the US.


  90. From my WB post: “As a writer, it is generally a good idea to have tasted the wines you are referencing (and in Tyler’s post, dismissing). I am not sure what drives his fascination with the wine selections for WH state dinners. It isn’t that he has not shown he is a well regarded blogger on subjects where he has experience but this one turned incendiary very quickly. His vacancy from the thread is palpable as it is being gnawed on furiously by a loyalist. Be merciful, Tyler, and shut it down… ( I believe your policy makes it clear how you stand on such things as respectful exchange, no?) A great celebration of improving on how we write and Napa wine starts this week!”


  91. Doug

    It would appear that the disrespect is only going one way, in this case. From the nasty posts on facebooks, to the actually “friendlier” posts from the Chester Kidder faithful that are here, the contempt towards Dr. Vino is quite astonishing, at least to me.

    Perhaps, Dr Vino is just waiting to drop one big internet bomb on these folks? I highly doubt that he is quiet without good reason.

    How would you respond, if you were him? Would you call Mark Clarke? Would you follow up with 4 letter words like the folks that disagree with him. If this were a reasonable and intelligent discourse, I would agree that responses would be merited, but what is the purpose, in this instance?

    So, they can call him more names?


  92. I have looked back over Dr. Vino/Tyler’s comments, and found very little that I disagree with. And certainly nothing worth fighting over. In the grand scheme of things WA state is the 3rd best wine producing region in the US. Nothing wrong with that at all. But overstating it’s importance/position doesn’t change that. Credit to Tyler for not deleting some of the comments.


  93. Wow, very civil discourse here people. The White House can pour whatever wines it chooses that we the citizens unwittingly will pay for whether we like them or not. Dr. Vino is free to cast his opinion of those wines in his Blog. That is the American way eh? Lastly, Washington folk can drink and patriot their wines to their hearts’ content.
    I have purchased many over the years and sadly agree with the outsider consensus here that Longshadow Wines are not amongst the stars of Washington State. Even Randy Dunn’s Longshadow effort The Feather is middling to my palate and I loves me my Dunn Cabs. My palate, my right. When the discourse merely turns to decibels and totally abandons civility, then that is over the line. Daniel is direct, but he is always a gentelmen despite that attitude. You don’t have to agree with him, but show some class. I guess the loudmouths in Century Link Stadium on Sundays are actually representative of the current inhabitants of your fine State. Please find another wine website to noise pollute. We regular bloggers here deserve better.


  94. This thread is an example of why I love and am honored to be a part of the Washington wine industry: we are all for one and one for all. We genuinely fight for and encourage each other which is something some wine regions are not lucky enough to have. (Niagara Region sounds awesome too, if Duncan Ross is any indication.) I think Long Shadows is such an amazing choice for a State dinner because it is project of true international collaboration and exchange of ideas: each wine made from our state’s best, world-renowned vineyards, under Gilles’ masterful guidance, in the style of some of the world’s greatest winemakers. I will admit, because wine is a personal thing and each palate likes what it likes, that the Chester Kidder is not the first one I would normally pick from Long Shadows deep line up (I lean towards the Saggi and Sequel), but I know that we have all experienced a great wine become outstanding, even life altering, when paired with the perfect accompanying meal. I’m assuming that none of us were lucky enough to get an invitation to the grand event (I’m assuming mine got lost in the mail…), but maybe we should defer to the White House Sommelier and assume that the dry-aged rib eye with Jasper Hill Farm blue cheese, charred shallots, oyster mushrooms and braised chard was perfect with the Chester Kidder. I have personally tried the 2009 Chester Kidder and have a couple bottles in my cellar and am looking forward to attempting to recreate the pairing myself. Cheers! And as Trey said, “Viva Washington Wine!”
    Mushrooms, Braised Chard was a


  95. Oops – not sure why it added that partial sentence tumor to the end of my post, but please don’t publicly flay me for it…


  96. This thread makes you proud of WA wine community? Wow, just wow.

    WA wines make up a very small percentage of my cellar, but actually Daniel (if Daniel I’m thinking of) introduced me to a significant percentage (Cotie Cellars etc -actually everything I own from WA except a few bottles of Woodward Canyon and Andrew Will). So it’s not like he’s a WA basher. He certainly has better manners than many here.

    Back to original article- even though I have not been fond of either the Long Shadows or Morlet wines, I’ll disagree with Tyler. I’m ok with choices. It’s a state dinner, and the statement of the wine matters far more than the taste. $40 retail is very expensive by standards of 99% of US population, and the idea to showcase the French/American connections is obvious (I’ll note that Mi Seuno winery has been served by both Bush2 and Obama, anyone want to guess how the honored guest was?). Pretty much all WH dinners feature US wines from various states- at least OR, WA, NY, VA, MI, etc.

    As to QoE serving DRC Echezeaux, well, that’s monarchs for you. But even there the sparkling wine for that dinner was Ridgeview, an English bubbly. Hollande has sold off a big hunk of the Elysee Palace cellar, including some DRC, so I think he wasn’t too bothered by the wine selection this week.


  97. Dale, Gary, Jack, etc

    Thank you for actually reading what I and others have written. A shame that some cannot seee how the attacks are not welcome. But, again, most have not been beck. Catie continues to check in and talk negatively about me elsewhere.

    Dale,

    Rotie Cellars is what you meant. And yes, I love many wines from the region. Up until the 2011 vintage, and only due to my paltry allocation, I would bet that I sold more Reynvaan than anyone else in the country. Yes, outside of the actual winery, I would take that bet.

    Rotie Cellars is huge for us. Woodward Canyon, Pepper Bridge,Figgins, gramercy cellars, leonetti, Doubleback, Amavi, sleight of hand and many more, are staples in my store.

    When A Maurice needed distribution in NY, I worked for a couple of years, helping Anna find someone. She just landed at a new solid wholesaler.

    So, yeah, it is great that these folks stick together, and come here and alienate anyone who does not like Chester Kidder. A great way to alienate good potential clients for these wineries, which can use all the help that they can get.

    As I previously noted, I am stunned by the negativity brought to the conversation. This is not a happy, welcoming family that has come here to explain their cause. It is a lynch mob mentality, chock full of anger.

    Many Washington winemakers have seen this blog and the comments, and Trey was the only one to comment. So, we should all note that I am certain many of these good people do not agree with the attacks, threats, and mob mentality that has come to the forefront here.

    Thank goodness for that!


  98. Daniel, would you like to have a discussion further via email, perhaps? I was not going to have anymore discussions with you here, but I notice you keep bringing up my name in this thread. Thanks for giving me such power.

    Here are some things that need to be pointed out. As far as me being involved in a “mob mentality” regarding CK, that is not true. Nor have I made threats, I do not believe in violence, although I will admit that a visual of a comic drawing with pom-poms shoved up … never mind.

    Frankly, I have no issue with Dr. Vino’s comment about CK. Why? Because it does not effect my overall view of the wine. You assumed I had never tasted the wine and you have made suggestions that this was my first visit to Dr. Vino. It is the assumptions and condescending statements that seem obnoxious – e.g. more recent: “I would bet that I sold more Reynvaan than anyone else in the country. Yes, outside of the actual winery, I would take that bet.” Really? You were allotted, what? Maybe a case? More than four?

    Dr Vino often plays to his audience with a touch of sarcasm. Sometimes I chuckle and sometimes I ignore it. I tried to ignore it this time, and was successful until I started reading your comments, after comments, after comments … Like your condescending assumption about how I hadn’t tasted CK, the same assumptions spilled over in many other comments to my friends/peers. Many were making their opinions known, and for the most part you seem to felt the urge to combat their comments with your own. Once again, I will give you the benefit of the doubt – perhaps that was not your intention, but that is how it read to me.

    Now and about how “Catie continues to check in and talk negatively about me elsewhere.” Let’s set this straight to your friends/peers. The “elsewhere” is Facebook and a recent email a peer sent me regarding you. The so-called, “continues” was just two comments. I would prefer that this exchange not be exaggerated as well as giving you the opportunity to be a victim, if that is your MO. I am honest, direct, and I have no problem posting what I wrote on Facebook: Comment #1)”As of this morning, Daniel is still rambling and in denial he posts too much. YAWN.”
    Comment #2)”Received an email from a friend this weekend. I guess the same perps are trashing the Washington State wine palate at wineberserkers and claiming that they can’t fault us for sticking up for CK, since Washington wine is all we drink. Also was told Daniel Posner is notorious for monopolizing wine discussions. He was removed from eParker and has the same problem on wineberserkers and has been called out for it. Somewhat curious to read it, but will refrain.”

    So giving you the benefit of the doubt, are you suggesting what the email to me regarding you is not true, that you do NOT approach most online commentary with the same constant “exuberance” and often suggesting how everyone else’s opinion is wrong and yours is the only opinion that matters? Is it not true you were asked to leave eRobertParker and are known to have the same monopolizing behavior on other wine forums?”

    Daniel, I have not one problem with your over all opinion of CK. You do not have to like it for all I care. I was just overwhelmed with your constant remarks to the others – - over and over again. My impression of you was that while you didn’t care for the wine, your constant remarks to the others was as if you were trying to get them to change their mind and your opinion was the only one that counted.

    I notice that you tend to bring up the word, “class” a lot. Is that word important to you? Exactly what does class mean to you? To me the word “class” is as subjective as let’s say, the classiness of a menu and the wine served at a White House dinner. To me, in this case “class” is not monopolizing a thread and doing it so superciliously.

    Daniel, at least I can admit that my posts to you were abrupt, deliberate, provocative, and full of “snark.”

    If you would like to discuss this further, you are welcome to email me at catie@centurylink.net.


  99. Catie. Maybe you should quit while you’re behibd.


  100. My “FINAL THOUGHTS” on the matter (The Jerry Springer tie-in fits given the direction on how this blog went on).

    The fact remains that the original blog post was insulting TO ME by:

    #1 – insinuating that Gille wasn’t French enough for the writer (“Further, the French connections here seem modest at best… A French director of winemaking at Allen Shoup’s Long Shadows project that made the Chester Kidder? Yikes, seems like grasping at straws). Dr. Vino, please comment here on how French one needs to be in order to be considered “French enough” for his/her wines to be served at the WH dinner.

    #2 – the wines weren’t expensive enough for the writer (“These are odd wines to serve at a state dinner. First, they are modest but after getting blowback from actually serving some expensive wines, the Obama White House seems to have made a conscious choice to bring down the price of the wines”). That statement was not so much insulting to me as a WA wine lover, but as someone who doesn’t drink $100 bottles of wine on a daily basis (as I am going to guess the majority of your readership as well).

    #3-And to top it all off, he admits to not ever having tasted the wines, and took his notes off of cellartracker when describing the white wine served ( Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011), of which he described as a sweet white wine based on reading OTHER peoples notes on cellar tracker.

    What was the bloggers original intention on pointing these things out? Rather than celebrating the diversity of what we have to offer here in the US, and given the NATURAL French/American theme, and finally, at the discretion of the White House Somm who chose the wines based on the menu, why even write the post? How was it even relevant to what he does as a writer, seeing as it really had no point or purpose other than insulting 3 wineries for not being up to snuff FOR HIM (or a few of the other bloggers, apparently).

    If the wines chosen for the dinner were, as one poster mentioned, the 91 Dominus, and a few other “non-WA” wines, I would not have had a care in the world on making any comments on the blog post, simply because he wouldn’t have insulted a friend and colleague of mine. But again, AS I SEE IT, the blogger went out of his way to say, essentially, the wines that were served weren’t good enough for a state dinner.

    And to top it off, after 100 posts from other folks, Dr. Vino did not come back ONCE to defend his position, rather, relying on others to fight his fight for him. His silence was deafening.

    Also, someone suggested either here or on wineberserkers that people in Washington State only drink their own wines. That is truly one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard and whoever made the comment must be on the kool-aid him/herself. Ask any great reatailer here (McCarthy & Schering; Pike and Western; Esquin Wine Merchants to name just a few)and you will know that we see and drink the same great wines from around the world as “you”. It is BECAUSE we drink the great wines of the world that we set benchmarks for ourselves and our wines. Our goal in WA State is to make uniquely great wines, NOT to make Bdx or Napa. If, as wine lovers, you really believe in the notion of terroir, then you’ll stop saying things like “Dominus is better than QC”, or whatever. Neither is better, they are just different. We all know taste is subjective; we all have ideas about what makes a wine “GREAT”, but our ideas are surely not aligned with one another.

    I will, however, ALWAYS argue that WA STATE wines deserve to be talked about as some of the best in the world because I believe it, and not, as Bill Klapp says, because I am a “homer”. I certainly don’t need Bill to validate that statement for me, because my customers already do that for me.

    And with that, farewell! VIVA WA WINES!


  101. Jack, and you are …? If you have a problem, you are also welcome to send me an email.


  102. Here are the quotes from Wine Berserker that was sent to me.

    From Jbray: “I think the bigger issue is that many people that stand up for Washington wine (as those people are) rarely if ever drink wines that come from outside of the region or have not tried many examples of the same grapes from the rest of the world.
    I’m not discounting their enthusiasm for Washington wines but they have very little perspective. Daniel was being very reasonable but it’s hard to rationalize with people that are not very well educated on the subject and solely believe what they believe.”

    From Klapper: “A veritable lynch mob of touchy and self-absorbed Walla Wallabies have e-hung poor Dr. Vino, whose body now lies a-mouldering in the e-grave. While I understand the local pride that goes along with eating chili every Thursday night with the winemaker whose wine made it to the dinner table in the White House, and being 400% behind supporting and growing regional and local wine industries, the e-crucifixion of a generally mild and well-behaved blogger like Tyler Colman for the quite true observation that better American wines were available than those served at the White House was entirely unjustified and uncalled for. The provincialism exhibited by many on that thread does the Washington wine industry a disservice and makes me think that perhaps the White House would be better served by offering wines from around the world rather than having this sort of hooliganism, barely shy of what one sees in European football stadia, break out over an inexpensive, relatively unknown and possibly not very good bottle of wine simply because the winemaker is a great guy, hard worker and good neighbor…”

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, I am not sure how true they are, but I suppose someone could go to winebserkers and check it out for themselves.


  103. I don’t know Jbray Catie but those quotes depict a reasonable conclusion to this war zone err what is left of this wine blog. Thus my comment above. I think that we all get your disagreement to Dan as well as the disagreement of Trey to Tyler’s conclusions. Such is life.


  104. Great choices in that they were represented both coasts, communicated that you don’t need to spend a ton of money for quality and I especially appreciated the choice of a Columbia Valley AVA wine from WA State. We have some exceptional wines here, especially from the Walla Walla Valley AVA.


  105. Bill Klapp: notorious troll, a retired attorney who’s missing his daily opportunities to pontificate and thinks he’s beating people up in wine forums, when all he’s really doing is proving why we’re all correct in our massive common disdain for attorneys. I come from a large family of vicious, flesh-eating Virginia lawyers who would rip the meat off your bones in any court, any time. Am I supposed to be cowed by your lofty disdain, after a lifetime of dinner table arguments that would leave you weeping? Puh-leeeeze. Ultimately, despite your unshakable conviction that your disapproval carries earth-shaking import, I find you silly and disposable. So piss off.


  106. Steve Body,

    http://youtu.be/0IfzRf1DtxQ


  107. But seriously, Steve, get a grip on your sorry, neurotic ass. I am not a troll, I am an intellectual. You clearly cannot appreciate the difference. Unlike you, I can think and write. And particularly unlike you, I can do both completely in control of my faculties. Don’t quit your day job, Steve, if you have one. Unlike Dr. Vino, it does not appear that you have a future in wine writing…

    P.S. Your family legal weasels will not be ripping or eating my flesh in court. I was a corporate finance lawyer. I made a living keeping my clients from having to go to court.


  108. Don’t you people have a Super Bowl to celebrate or something? :)

    And Catie, that’s MR. Klapper to you!


  109. Catie welcome to our little Wine Blogger Community. Meet Our Klapp. And you thought that our Daniel was obnoxious. And Steve Body. Klapp was a Corporate guy. I am the Litigator from Philly. I already smell your blood rookie so you best get going.


  110. Hey men, “Klapper” was the name that was sent to me. So are you the one they were referring to? I just copied/paste. Don’t hold your breath that I will add a Mr to your name. Yeah, and let me guess – - will you soon be ragging about how, not only does Washington State not have a palate, but also how we don’t know how to play football and Sherman is a thug? For the record, Richard Sherman taught us everything we know when it comes to making big boys cry on Twitter. “The wine people of Walla Walla are mean to me. WAAHHH!”

    Obnoxious whiny people are painful, but I usually work well with attorneys, especially litigators and defense attorneys. I have worked for attorneys most of my life, until recently I decided to save the rest of my sanity and took an early retirement.


  111. That makes perfect sense to me Catie. You and all of your other chest thumping Neandrathal Walla Walla Ethnocentric comrades that have farted this Blog into a semi comotose state have learned everything that you know about bragging while blogging from a frigging football player. At least Mr. Sherman has a degree from Stanford to back up the value of his opinions, whatever that bragadocio is worth. I have good news for you. Allen Shoup has invited me on a cruise to Tahiti on Paul Gauguin Cruises with his entire staff. Why don’t you take the spot offered to me, you unlike me might actually enjoy it. Since this is a Wine Blog. Let me end with this little note. “Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them.” So said French lawyer and epicure – and gastronomic author – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. I can now add Washington Wines and their supporters make me want to puke. Oh and Trey, I do have some of your wines and probably would have bought more. But off they go to auction. Stay well Washingtonians and next learn how to write from Kevin Durant. Oh, that’s right The Sonics had the good sense to leave Seattle, WA for OKC.


  112. … and off he goes, stamping his little tiny feet.


  113. A few more posts by Catie and she will have more than me. Irony.

    Trey, you list 3 items that pissed you off.

    1) Interpretation by you that Gille was not French enough. That is not the exact quote, is it?

    2) Interpretation by you that the wines are not expensive enough. “Worthy” would indicate price, but I think many would argue that the French president might be more “worthy” of better wines…whether more expensive or not.

    3) He never tasted the wines would appear to be fact.

    Catie,

    I try to speak in absolutes…so I will try some more here

    My Reynvaan statement…like I said, I will take a bet. If you think the bet wins at 4 cases, then fine. I have no need to divulge how many I got, other than saying that I believe I sold more than anyone else except the winery. I might make a similar case for Rotie Cellars, but feel less confident with that bet. We also sell a lot of the previously mentioned producers, especially Gramercy.

    And yes, “continues” would equal 2 comments. You have posted a few times on that facebook page about me. First, calling me a douchebag, which was totally out of line, and something you have “denied,” and then having followups, even saying you were avoiding this blog, yet you have posted how many times since? YAWN.

    Now, onto wine forums, to clear up any confusion. Yes, I was banned by Robert Parker, on his bulletin board. This was after about one years worth of posting, questioning Jay Miller’s ethics while reviewing wines in the regions he covered, including WW (I heard he had some epic BBQs with Charles Smith). Then, an article appeared on the front age of the WSJ about the WA (Wine Advocate, not the state) and the ethics of the critics. I was banned on that day. There was a huge uproar, at the time, about my dismissal.

    So, I went to Wineberserkers, which was a fun place to post for about the 1 year that I posted. I have not posted there in 4+? years there, though.

    As for your “class” statements, I have no idea how you can compare the # of comments I have (or you have, for the matter) to folks threatening a wine blogger.

    A friendly suggestion, I would have your email deleted from here. You do not want to get spammed by folks who will pick that up. I mean that seriously.

    Also, for those that have used the word, troll, can I get a definition of the word? I have never been called that before.


  114. Hey, it’s a good thing the White House is buying the wines. In my corner of the world (and wine market) you can’t give high end domestic wines away.

    Saying going around the industry: Having a portfolio full of Napa Cabernet and Chardonnay is like having a closet full of leisure suits.


  115. Ironic, isn’t it, that the French sold 1200 bottles last Spring, in an effort to feature wines from newer, younger producers at State dinners?

    Sounds like the White House took the same tack. At least they didn’t serve plonk to the guests, and Margaux to the President, as Nixon did.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100773404


  116. What an appalling article.


  117. A photo of the vitriolic recognition-seeking Walla Walla commenters, found online:

    http://hellomister.com/images/arrested-development-gob-alliance.jpg


  118. I bought a bottle of long shadows , took one sip and it was undrinkable. Left it open 24 hours it was worse. I’ve had some good wine from fauste piste and a couple others.


  119. Ross,

    The White House Somm says that you are no longer welcome for dinner!


  120. Catie,

    I am jbray23 (only because I’m not savvy enough nor smart enough to change the screen name)

    I have worked in retail as well as wholesale now in Washington state for over 4 years, I sidetracked and was a Chef for 10 years in between.

    I can tell you I have talked to many winemakers/restaurant buyers/’somms’/customers to whom many have a very limited education in the wine industry or wines in general, when I ask most people to compare the styles of Washington wines, they have a hard time picking anything out of Washington state as an example.

    I read Trey’s response to me drinking the kool aid and there is no kool aid to be found. I don’t really know what that is suppose to mean in this discussion. Many people in Washington state would not be drinking wine if it wasn’t made here.

    Trey quick question. Would you be making wine if not for Eric? If not for being Dunham’s sales guy would you ever have gotten a job at Basel?
    Again, if the industry wasn’t here you probably wouldn’t be making or drinking the wines you are, same as the consumer.

    I find the attitude that those who have posted here to be in line with what I have found from the state, which is a singular idea that their product is better or at least comparable to the outside world. Sort of the runt of the litter always trying to prove one’s self.

    I have traveled to many grape growing regions and many of those attitudes don’t even remotely come close to the attitudes of people in this part of the world and it’s sort of sad. This isn’t an attack, this is just truth.

    Travel the Willamette valley and you will not see this sort of anger, anger over nothing and again, read this article, it really says nothing, nothing bad, nothing overly demeaning, he’s ‘slamming’ no one.

    The truth of the matter is that Washington is on the right path and making good wines. The majority of the wineries that are around have been doing this less then 15 years, most less then 10, that’s just not a long time, Hell Trey was working at Nordstrom’s 15 years ago, less than 14 years ago Mark (Mark Ryan) made his first wine ever. I remember when Christophe and Charles showed up in a crappy white van slinging their first vintages of wine and that was 14 years ago.
    I also remember selling Alex (Quilceda fame) his first 2 1st growths, he was doing R&D and hadn’t had them before…He just took over the winemaking…..

    It’s important to remember that even the greatest winemakers are humble (well many, not all) and that time is the greatest indicator of success. 15 years is a small blip in time and to think that you have come head to head with the rest of the winemaking world in that short time, to me, is arrogant and is drinking one’s own ‘kool aid’.

    The point being is that Washington has a long way to go, longer than California, longer than Oregon and certainly longer to be compared to the greatest wines of the world.


  121. Hi Jason,

    I am going to have to differ with you and only because I have had different experiences than you have. There seems to be a trend on this thread that the majority of Washington State wine drinkers are rather ignorant about the wine world and only drink Washington wines. I am not sure where this trend started, but speaking for myself, and even other friends/peers, that has not been my experience.

    Your comment: ““I think the bigger issue is that many people that stand up for Washington wine (as those people are) rarely if ever drink wines that come from outside of the region or have not tried many examples of the same grapes from the rest of the world.”

    Again, that has not been my experience and many of my friends who I enjoy sharing a bottle with have not been their experience, either. For the most part I often don’t feel too compelled to share any of my wine experiences. Sometimes it is way too amusing for people to assume I’ve never tasted Chester-Kidder,to others dropping names about how they “sell more Reynvaan wine than anyone.” I knew Gayle and Mike Reynvaan before they even released their first wine and I have a good idea who has sold more wine than anybody for them. But when push comes to shove and if others want to laud their credentials about how many years they have been in the biz, I guess a have a few years of my own in this business.

    I first started drinking wine as a kid in the 60-70′s with my dad. Many were German wines what he was familiar with due to travels and family living or traveling back and forth from Germany. Later in the 80′s, I started drinking any decent import I could find and at the time they were tough to locate in Eastern Washington. In the 80′s we started bringing back several wines from Napa,CA. We didn’t even start drinking many Washington wines until the mid-90′s.

    I’ve been in the wine biz now for about 16 years. In 1997, I went to work in a retail wine capacity part-time and I am still working in wine retail, but now full-time. In 2000, I went back to school to get my eno/vit degree and worked in all capacities from planting vines, working crush, lab work, topping, racking, cleaning barrels, and working bottling line during my vacation days from the law firm I was working for. Now, I didn’t have to do any of this, but I did it because I wanted to.

    In the last years, I spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to Marin County, Napa and Sonoma and purchased many wines – - and I am still buying them. Hoping to make a trip to Paso Robles this summer if I can clear the schedule.

    My main job for many years was working for one of the leading vineyard/winery attorneys in Washington State until a few years ago. My wine education came in handy at the firm and during that time, I also researched winery/vineyard bonding, compliance, and shipping laws.

    You really do not have to tell me to travel to the Willamette Valley area, as I have had my share of visits there, especially recently. I am quite familiar with that area and the wineries and frankly, they also have their “slamming” feuds and their stories. I visited the Hunter Valley wine region in NSW, Australia and they had a few feuds of their own with other regions. There is no wine area that is immune. So,to place Washington State as the only state or region where there is “slamming” – - that is a stretch, but it does make a nice story to add to the other assumptions that have been made about the wine drinkers and wineries of Washington State.

    But if we want to point the fingers at Washington State as being guilty for slamming, we need to remember, the slamming started with Dr. Vino. We defended it and then got slammed again.

    So Jason, you can have your opinion on how you and others know more about the wine world than those of us in Washington State, but that’s a huge assumption. I’ve heard some critics say the same thing about those in the “Willamette Valley doesn’t know anything about the wines around the world unless it is an Oregon Pinot Noir.” Frankly, I would never say such a thing like that about any wine region. That’s one huge assumption that could have someone eating crow and here aren’t too many wines that pair with crow.

    Your comment:”I can tell you I have talked to many winemakers/restaurant buyers/’somms’/customers to whom many have a very limited education … I ask most people to compare the styles of Washington wines, they have a hard time picking anything out of Washington state as an example.”

    Bingo! You said it yourself. Limited education. If they had any well-rounded wine education, they would be able to tell you about Washington State wines. The information is quite easy to find. Pick up a Wine Spectator and peruse the favorite picks. Washington Wines are all over that magazine. So, I guess I don’t find that much of a fault of Washington but more of the fault of the so-called lazy “expert” who needs to brush up on their wine ed.

    Also, your last paragraph: “Washington has a long way to go, longer than California, longer than Oregon and certainly longer to be compared to the greatest wines of the world.”

    I find that comment so full of holes. Why should California, Washington, and even Oregon be compared with each other? Each state is pretty distinct and have their own niches on what they do well.

    Adios.


  122. Jason,

    Thank you for your response. It would appear most helpful in “outsiders” questioning the Washingtonians.

    I am glad that you have kept your eyes open in Washington.

    Catie

    You can stop the backhanded remarks towards me, it is getting tiresome for those of us outside of Washington, who have a hard time understanding life on the inside, for someone as important as you.

    Do you like Trey’s wines? What are your favorites to sell?


  123. Catie,

    You have a very condescending way about you. And for your position in life you seem very childlike and argumentative. I didn’t come on here to feed any fires, but after you mentioned my post I felt a need to explain my point of view.

    I’m local, so when you say Bingo! it’s about education, we’re talking about locals whom cannot compare and contrast anything outside of the area, they’re not educated but espouse about wines as if Washington is the only region making wines, that’s an issue not just for me, but for moving WA wines forward on a greater scale.

    You are also looking at this from one singular lens, people that you know and that you surround yourself with. The fact you are looking past is the general public, my comments are focused on those people, you are not part of the general public, seeing as you are in the business. Every point of view that you have is skewed to the way you want to see it which is fine in a sense but it leads to stupid arguments like this.

    If you read the OP and then scroll through all of the comments, you must see how ridiculous this all is, how over emotional and irrational all of these threads are, a guy giving out his # and threatening to kick someones ass for being un-american, is this really a grown up discourse?
    And, instead of people from WA state condemning those comments they are saying how proud they are that the conversation has come to this?

    Lastly, if you feel the need to use posts from WB, join, express your views and have substantive conversation that furthers the WA wine industry, you will find many people that support your views and have a real conversation about wine on a grander scale.


  124. Jason

    I am sure you read all 128 posts prior. I tried your avenue previously.

    In fact, I privately communicated with Trey, in regards to how it looked that nobody publicly condemned what many of the “locals” had written.

    I am enjoying reading what you have written, mostly because it is much of what has been previously written. Perhaps, you will be accepted, as you are a local.

    Or perhaps, Mark Clarke will just knock on your door.


  125. Jason,

    Thanks for dragging me back in the discussion, but I couldn’t resist since you replied here rather than on WB (not on that board much), and I felt the need to address your questions to me, even though I thought I bowed out a while back. My “drinking the kool-aid” comment, btw, was my Hunter S. Thompson way of saying I disagree.

    First, let me address your direct question regarding whether I would be making wine if it weren’t for Eric Dunham. Well, or course, not, as he offered me a job while I was working as a clothing buyer at Nordstrom. However, I don’t see what that has to do about anything here. I didn’t take the job because Eric was making wine in WASHINGTON, not in CA or OR, I took it because it was a unique and exciting opportunity to be in a new and exciting industry (as you well know). You could extrapolate that the US NAVY is responsible for me being in the wine business since that is what got me to WA State in the first place, but is has absolutely no bearing on the discussion here, NOR the topic you brought up over on the WB blog. (BTW, I wasn’t Eric’s “sales guy”, I was his Assistant Winemaker, but that’s not relevant here either :) ).

    Although I did not mention you by your name or screen name, I did bring to the table your statement regarding WA State drinking with blinders on. I’ll post it here again to put it into context.

    “I think the bigger issue is that many people that stand up for Washington wine (as those people are) rarely if ever drink wines that come from outside of the region or have not tried many examples of the same grapes from the rest of the world. I’m not discounting their enthusiasm for Washington wines but they have very little perspective.”

    Do you not see how outrageous that sounds? The problem I have with that statement is it is such a gross generalization of the consumers, wine buyers, Somm’s, and winemakers in our state. As you are in the business (I don’t know if you currently work for a wholesaler, retailer, or restaurant), please point out to me all the somm’s and winemakers by name who don’t have a worldly view of wine. Is it Jeff Lindsey Thorsen at RN74? Is it Nelson Daquip at Canlis? How about Bob Betz (MW by the way)..and I could go on and on. And it is also an indictment of the retailers in WA State, as if they don’t stock the shelves with anything BUT WA State wines. We both know that is far from the truth. And go to any of the top 40 restaurants in Seattle and you will see the same.

    You then went on to say that “many people in WA State wouldn’t be drinking wine if it weren’t made here”. Geography has nothing to do with people drinking or not drinking. Florida is the 3rd largest wine consuming state in the country, and I don’t see their wine industry as the driving force behind that. Hell, even Daniel would agree with me that the NY Wine Industry is not the reason people in New York drink wine. Do people in WA State drink more WA Wine than other states drink WA Wine? Or course. Same for Oregon (I would argue that they are worst when it comes to a protectionist view of their region, judging by overall wine sales in that state).

    Certainly there are exceptions, and yes, I have met those folks as well, but to call out the entire WA Wine Industry and essentially call our view on wine “myopic” is just not true. I would be happy to host you next time you are in Walla Walla to drink wine with me and my wine industry friends (Come over March 11th, our wine tasting group is doing Malbec’s from around the world).

    My personal experience over the past 14 years in this business is that it is BECAUSE we drink wines from around the world that our industry has grown in numbers and quality so quickly. When I started at Dunham Cellars in 2000 there were 168 wineries in the state. Today there are over 850. Of course, that is less than Napa Valley alone, but the numbers don’t discount the quality of wines we are making here.

    Jason, just because I am vocal on my support for WA Wines does not mean I do not have a worldly view. And my vast social network of friends here in WA State that are in this business, I am sure they would agree.

    Keeping it friendly, Trey


  126. Jason,

    Interesting. You claim you didn’t come here to “feed any fires.” If calling out that wine lovers of Washington State have never tasted any wines outside of Washington isn’t feeding a fire, than I don’t know what is.

    And as far as your comment about being “very childlike and argumentative,” so let me get this straight, I should not “argue” any facts as I know them and remain quiet? No doubt those names you referred to me as, really means you were surprised that I may have equal or more experience than you in this field and I didn’t live down to your expectations of the Washington State palate.

    But I think I understand this scenario. You are allowed to tell us your experience in this business and I am not – and further more I better not say anything in opposition. Got it.

    Yeah, bingo! If someone wants to laud all of their wine education and they cannot define the difference from a WA wine from let’s say H3 or Walla Walla, and especially the distinct vines from Walla2 North and Walla2 South, then perhaps they may want to do some continuing ed. I don’t live in Oregon, but if you put let’s say an Oregon Pinot 09,10, and 11 blind in front of me, I think I might come close to picking vintages.

    And no, I am not looking through a singular lens. There are other thoughts to this, however the same could be said about wine lovers from California. Many wine lovers living in California do not even know there are states like WA, OR, and even NY who produce some great wines. Some of their eyes may even glaze over if you told them that there are vines growing in New Mexico. An example of the single California palate is the new generation of wine drinkers in CA who are just discovering wine for the first time, as well as an older generation who have their wine cellars filled with CA wines and probably due to not feeling the need to explore the newer regions such as Oregon and Washington. And it shouldn’t be a negative in their wine purchasing. The older generation are buying what they know and could probably share a few stories about their visits to the California wineries with every bottle they open.

    There are plenty of wine lovers in Oregon who do not drink anything but Pinot Noir. So what? I don’t think their palate should be diminished, anymore than those palates of Washington State.

    Jason, I would agree with you that so much of this is very ridiculous. However, my original thought to Dr Vino is still the same. I shrugged my shoulders, and thought, “It isn’t going to change my opinion of CK.” My only point to all of this is that there were so many people ragging on Trey because he stood up and supposedly “slammed” Dr.Vino’s wisdom. There were others blathering on about their own importance in the wine world, while making assumptions that anybody from Washington State knew nothing about wines. The attitude on this thread has been that Washington wine lovers better shut their mouths and take it and if we rebuke it, then we are also singled out as “bullies” for standing up.

    I have been visiting all week with people from Washington regarding this thread. Why didn’t they want to comment? Something about: adding fuel to a fire, being insulted beyond words, and wasting their time with a bunch of (their words, not mine referring to the critics of Washington wine) “pompous assholes” — and that was one of the nicer comments.


  127. Catie,
    I’m not surprised at all that you have any knowledge of anything. I assume that most people are well versed and that people in general are good. The point I was making is that you seem very experienced and doing what you have done, that you would remain above the fray. And we are not arguing, well you are, but what we are trying to have is a civil conversation. No eye rolling, minimal sarcasm, but what you post is full of backhanded comments and insinuations.

    You come across as a very jaded person who has something to prove, this is the wrong format for that and how did you ever translate that with experience in the industry? I was trying to use examples and let a little background info out that supported my point of view.

    Sorry, but somehow you have turned this conversation into something you want it to be and many people in Washington I guess ( because this has become SUCH a big deal to you that you share it through your circle of friends and facebook, really?) that you can’t see that I am actually in support of WA wines, I just don’t think that they match head to head with the rest of the world. My supporting facts, in a simple 15 years that I have seen a lot of these winemakers grow and the industry change is that the region is still a pup and is on the right path.

    And, I have not lumped everyone together as you insinuate, I said many, not most, not all, but many. What you read into ‘many’ is blown wayyyyy out of proportion. Yes many of the customer base have very little education in wine, the NW breeds this idea that WA wines are the best and that’s simply just not the truth in the wine world as a whole. Yes WA wines are good, some even great, but the best?

    A couple of years ago a WA winemaker had me taste his Sangiovese and honestly proclaimed that his was the best being made…Anywhere. That is not only arrogant, but nuts.

    Trey,
    I’m sorry I got your position wrong (I’m not being sarcastic) I thought you took over sales for him because he was still self distributed.
    using NY and Florida are bad examples as there are several reasons above and beyond growing grapes that lead to drinking, I understand that, but WA being a grape growing region has a higher propensity for drinkers based on proximity. Also Florida and the South are notorious bulk markets, with minimal ‘fine wine’ except for the major brands.

    The fact that the majority of businesses downtown (and throughout Washington) have WA wines in them has less to do with the quality and more to do with tourism and people wanting ‘local’ things on vacation, clams, mussels, Oysters, crab cakes are all part of that experience too.

    The sad part is the majority of the WA wines that are being poured BTG are not great representations of what the region has to offer, but has more to do with price points.

    When I said ‘Somms’ in quotations, I wasn’t talking about Cyril, JLT, Tange or any other professional. What I was talking about are the faux ‘somms’ that can’t tell you anything about the wine.

    Lastly, if the things on this thread lead people to feel ‘insulted beyond words’, then they really need to grow thicker skin. Nothing in this thread beyond what has come from the WA camp has been insulting, you are reading into much more than there is.


  128. Jason,

    Project much? So far in this exchange you have insulted the wine drinkers of Washington and tossed out your own version of backhanded personal comments to me such as I am: condescending, childlike, argumentative, and now I am jaded, and then you have the audacity to admonish me for not keeping a civil conversation. Oh do tell – - you call your own verbiage “civil?”

    In my commentary to you, I have kept it quite civil without discounting your personality, but only challenging you on your comment about the wine drinkers of Washington.

    So perhaps you may want to think again about your accusations towards me about “civil.” Either we have two definitions of it, or you believe that civil doesn’t pertain to you. Oh well, as they say though, sticks and stones …

    I have nothing to prove. Everything I have done in the world of wine, has been for the sake of my personal goals. Also, I do my best to keep an open mind, so I can continue to learn more. Everyday there is something to learn in this industry. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Typically I prefer and stand back and let people assume I only drink white zinfandel and believe the grape is indeed pink. I don’t walk into tasting rooms or wine conferences/events tossing out business cards and start the name dropping gig. I usually stand back, sample, and watch the scene. You would be surprised how much a person can learn by watching and listening.

    After a full week of this exchange and watching many pontificate and beating their puffed out chests, I finally came out that I had a wee bit of knowledge, but only after there was an assumption made that I had not tasted C-K and then yesterday when you started your comment to me about your wine experience. Were you expecting I had zero or equal experience or was this your way of oppressing my opinions?

    And no, I am not arguing. It appears to me that you just do not like my answers.

    Jason, your comment: “What you read into ‘many’ is blown wayyyyy out of proportion.” Jason, the word “Many” means: large number, majority. So I was not suppose to take you literally? Which is it?

    Your comment: “… you have turned this conversation into something you want it to be …” I have? No, it’s not want I would prefer it to be, but thanks for giving me such power.

    Big deal about the guy who thinks his Sangiovese is the best. What winemaker doesn’t think their wine is the best? Therefore, I don’t get this point of yours other than are you are trying to make a point that only winemakers in Washington claim their wines are the best and it doesn’t happen in Oregon, California, New York, et al?

    I am happy to hear that you are in support of Washington, so keep up the good work. Thank you for that.


  129. I can’t believe this thread is still going. Particular kudos to Catie – in more than 15 years of online wine discussion, this brings me back to the old days. It’s been ages since I’ve seen so many “I’ve had comments from lurkers”/”I was forwarded these comments”/”their words not Mine” , etc. Folks, this isn’t just her opinion, she speaks for the silent majority. Yep.


  130. Catie,
    I hope you all the best in the world.
    There is nothing that I can say to begin to have a conversation with you so I will end it here. I’m sure you are a very nice person and if we were sitting face to face this conversation would come out differently and we would both agree to disagree in a much nicer fashion. You would see I’m not a ‘pompous asshole’ and I would see you’re not a ‘crazy bitch’ (sorry, just what people have said-and that was one of the nicer comments)

    Dale W,
    It’s sad on many ways that people have taken this so much to heart, I know people think we (me) are ‘pompous assholes’ , which is fine, because in the typical passive aggressive Washington way they can’t come on a forum and add to the conversation.
    I think I want to go get my Ass kicked now so I’ll just call the guy above the next time I’m in the area.


  131. I’m a retailer in Seattle, and I’ve read the comment thread here, on Facebook and on Wine Berserkers with more than a little horror and embarrassment. I’m embarrassed as a resident of Washington, and as a member of the wine trade. I think all the hot air expended here has damaged Washington wine industry’s reputation. And it’s all for nothing, IMO.

    I’ve tasted multiple vintages of Chester Kidder and the other Long Shadows wines. Except for the Nine Hats wines (the leftover barrel blend), we don’t carry Long Shadows wine in our store, for two reasons. One is the cost. At retail prices in the $40-50 range, it is 1% wine, and that isn’t the clientele we serve. Second, the Long Shadows style requires long bottle age, and that isn’t what our customers want. They require wine that’s immediately open and accessible. Chester Kidder might well be the best of the Long Shadows wines, but I’ve never tasted one with enough age to be sure – they just don’t have the track record yet for me to judge.

    I didn’t see the OP as being disrespectful of Chester Kidder or of Walla Walla as a whole. For one thing, his comments are directed at all the wines in the lineup – the Virginia and the California wines too. Secondly, I think he asked a valid question. As I mentioned above, my opinion is that Long Shadows wines are made to need a lot of bottle age – maybe 10 or 15 years in bottle. The new ones I’ve tasted have been tighter than the proverbial nun’s ass, and they need bottle time to unwind and soften. The Chester Kidder they served was 4 1/2 years old, and probably not nearly ready yet. The other wines I haven’t tasted, so I don’t have an opinion about them. In any case, I think a four year old Chester Kidder was probably not the best wine to serve in that price range. There are many wines I would have chosen instead. But, I also don’t think you even have to leave Walla Walla to find something more appropriate.

    I was at the Walla Walla show in Seattle a couple weeks ago, and I came away from it with one wine I thought was head and shoulders better than anything else I tasted. Retailing in the mid $20s, it was also on the lower end of Walla Walla pricing. I’m talking about Result of a Crush, which is Reynvaan’s second label. We do carry that wine, and I recommend it enthusiastically to our customers. Like Chester Kidder, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, although I’d guess it’s longer on the Syrah than CK is. I imagine Christophe Baron had something to do with this wine – it tastes like it anyway, so there is the French connection the White House wanted for the evening. Result of a Crush is ready for immediate drinking, and a much more food-friendly style than Chester Kidder as well. It has a bit of the excitement that Reynvaan and Cayuse Syrahs show, and it’s much more available than either of those brands. And, did I mention that it’s a little more than half the price of the Chester Kidder? I’d go so far as to say that Result of a Crush throws down the gauntlet for Walla Walla winemakers. This wine shows what Walla Walla could – and should – be about.

    I see a lot of potential in Walla Walla wines, but by and large it’s still a long road to travel before the offerings match the quality and pricing I see from other regions around the world. I hope to soon see more wines soon like Result of a Crush, and at prices the 99% can afford.


  132. Hey Jason, Actually, the good news is that you were not on the list of “pompous assholes.” If you are ever in my ‘hood, I would be happy to visit with you over a glass or two and we can swap stories. Best wishes to you, as well.


  133. I think people are missing the key component in the psyche of the WA wine industry……the large influence of Washington State University. The Cougs are a horribly insecure lot and subsequently tend to overcompensate in most comical ways. Perhaps only Texas A&M’s insecurities and pathologies manifest themselves in such ridiculous ways.

    My alma mater hosted the Cougs once, and I thought they might be in the vein of some visiting fans that we had from UCLA, Cal or Washington. They were far from it. More like a collection of carnies or Metallica roadies.

    I think this Coug influence on the WA wine industry is quite evident in many of these posts.


  134. Jason,

    She likes you! You are not a pompous asshole. Dr Vino and I are. Dr Vino for questioning the wine selection and me for defending his remarks.

    The other people that not assholes were the Washingtonians that came here and threatened Dr Vino. The ones that accused me of trolling. And the ones that elected to curse out Jack and Bill.

    Those people are ok because, whether they like Chester Kidder, or not, or whether then even know the wine, they agreed with Catie, and Trey.

    So long as you agree with her, you are not an asshole. She has not lost an argument since 1997. The year she met the Reynvaans, started in the wine business and became the most important retailer for Washington wines in America!

    Dale, it is quite sad. Not one apology. Not one person questioning the judgement of the these people. And no one, who even might disagree with Dr Vino, has actually stood up and said, “guys, we are a little out of line here.”

    As Dennis Green once said, “They are who we thought they were.

    Once you quote Dennis Green, there is no going back!


  135. After the 60th post, or so. I just felt this thread had the potential of being one of the most epic in the history of wine blogging. Noting that all great stories eventually wind up as films (Princess Bride), this one was just waiting to be made. Now that it has more than doubled that, perhaps there will be a sequel in the works. Until then… http://youtu.be/x1zRwVI6ZXw


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