I am always amazed, more than anything else, that our wines get good scores from the critics. Not that I don’t think our wines are good – of course I most certainly do. It’s just that they are not made in a style that tends to garner top scores. The Scott Paul wines don’t scream or shout, rather they tend to be more understated and speak softly. The bigger, bolder wines, the ones that are more in-your-face, are the usual suspects at the top of the charts. The majority of wine writing in recent decades has tended to favor the louder end of the spectrum over balance and restraint. And I have no problem with that, it’s just the way it is. But it does make it all the more gratifying when our little wines sneak through the noise and pop up in the upper tier.
For a number of years in a row now, every one of our wines has scored 90 or above from every national critic that’s reviewed them, and our streak continues with the advance word we received yesterday from Wine Enthusiast. Our 2010 Audrey, Les Gourmandises and La Paulée will be rated 92, 91 & 90 respectively in Paul Gregutt’s reviews in the August issue. Getting a good score here or there is one thing, but doing it year after year, in challenging vintages and easy ones, makes me proud and happy. Proud of winemaker Kelley Fox, happy that our quest for elegance and balance is finding success on a consistent basis.
Thank you for supporting us throughout the years. I can’t believe we’re headed for our 15th harvest this fall! It’s been a tremendous ride so far – cant wait to see what the next 15 bring. Hang on…
Meanwhile in Burgundy and Champagne, our friends are having a very ‘Oregonian” springtime in the vineyards. Cold and wet. And late. Domaine Buisson-Charles in Meursault reports steady rain for 3+ weeks. (They just launched an excellent new blog, btw.) Domaine Violot-Guillemard in Pommard emailed this morning to ask how we handled our cold, wet, late spring in 2010 & 2011. All of our producers in Champagne are lamenting the cold, the rain, and the slow start to the season. They’re about 3-4 weeks behind at this point, but of course we’ll likely see many twists and turns before the grapes are ready this fall. Maybe this year we’ll be early in Oregon and they’ll be late in Burgundy for a change.
What we need to cross our fingers and pray for is a normal-sized crop in Burgundy this year. After the three low-yielding years of 2010, 2011 & 2012, another small vintage could be the crippling blow for a number of producers who might not have the financial strength to survive. None of the producers in our portfolio are in jeopardy, but a number of their neighbors are, and I don’t want to see that happen to anyone. The life of a vigneron is tough enough even in the good times. Please join me in sending some dry, warm, sunny days to Burgundy and Champagne asap.
I leave for Burgundy in three weeks, and I’m getting excited for the annual Insider’s Tour that I lead for a group of our customers, as well as seeing all of our producers and catching up on the 2012s in barrel. Oh yeah, and the food. And a week of full-on hedonism with Le Pigeon Chef Gabe Rucker. Watch this space for all the stories, pictures, and incriminating evidence to come!