Friday, May 04, 2007

corti stirs it up

Mike Dunne's blog led me over here, to Robert Parker's message board where they are discussing Corti's decision to eliminate the table wines with over 14.5 alcohol content. By saying table wines, he distinguished them from fortified wines, so it's obvious that he didn't mean port. I think it's also obvious he doesn't mean amarone, one of the worlds great wines, which is produced using a unique method. I would say that he means wines produced in the normal manner that have high alcohol. MH pointed out that this is a brilliant marketing strategy because it gets people stirred up and talking, and will influence the market, yet in all likelihood he probably only will end up eliminating a few wines from his shelves. The reason for that is he tastes all the wines and personally chooses what he's going to stock and always has, so for there to be a wine with higher alcohol content on his shelves he would have had to like it in the tasting, and if his tastes run counter to that it wouldnt' be stocked anyway. Jeez it goes on for seven pages! Robert Parker commented on the second page:

Seems apallingly stupid,frigheningly arbitrary,and like some part of a police state's mentality to me, but it is his store,so he can do whatever he desires...however, given how unreliable labels are...especially those from Europe,this seems like more smoke than substance...some hyprocisy as well..I purchased an imperiale of 1976 Amador Zinfandel bottled especially for CORTI,with his personal label...and served it at a charity function a good decade ago....damn nice zinfandel...well over 15% alcohol...and I don't recall any disclaimers he put on the label warning of some grotesque wine encounter because of high alcohol....but the wine was excellent.....


beckler said...

it's getting really ugly on some of those later pages!

beckler said...

a guy from enotria commented, too.

I have lunch with the man and other restauranteurs and retailers in Sacramento monthly and this is classic Darrell. I once had Lunch with him and Gaia Gaja (Angelo's mid twenties daughter) after tasting the entire portfolio Gaia asked us what we thought of the wines individually. I made my many comments and Darrell in true Darrell form pushed his glasses down his nose, tucked his tie in his shirt and said "Gaia, your wines are too expensive" Gaia responded "We seem to sell out every vintage". I just sat back and ate my lunch.

Call him old school, but the guy has forgotten more about wine than most will have ever learned. His palate and recall are amazing. As far as not tasting 14.5 or higher table wines, I guess that is his descision and he can do what he wants. I don't think he thinks that he will change the wine world back to lower alcohol wines.

IMHO this board would not like his style as he is probably the Anti-Parker.

my .02
Michael Brady Chandler
Chandler Cellars
& Wine Director @ Enotria Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sacramento, California

beckler said...

here's an annoying one

I have oftentimes wondered what the hell Darrell is doing keeping his light under a bushel in Sacramento when he could have moved some of his operations to San Francisco and gone big time. But he has chosen to live his life the way he wanted and what can you say about it?..isn t that what we all want?? I know Frank Sinatra tried to live life his way..why can't Darrell??

beckler said...

and then on page 7 the administrator threatens to delete the thread

I've deleted as many posts as I cared to review.

In the future, kindly eliminate the discussion on "how to talk" and "who should be thrown off the board" for starters.

I will also delete further tirades. If that's not enough, I'll delete the thread.

I know this has you guys all on the edge of your seats!

beckler said...

wow, then the administrator chimes in again

A lot of her posts got deleted in fact, but it's not your job to lobby to throw someone off the board, and I do not exaggerate one whit by calling your posts rants. You are part of the problem here--like it or not.

As for Vera, let's be blunt. She seems incapable of saying anything in a civil fashion to anyone, and virtually every word she writes about anything grates on everyone. It's difficult not to be annoyed at her tone even if one agrees with her. That said, she expressed rational opinions here and lotsa people piling on turned this into something a lot worse than it had to be including YOU. She's hardly innocent. She's hardly the only one at fault.

So, my advice would be, you worry about posting. You let me regulate the board. And if you have a question about the propriety of a post, send me an email. But it's not your job to organize attacks on other posters.

Again, at this point I will automatically delete anything not concerning the merits.

beckler said...

and then he shut the thread down. i wonder how long it would have raged on?

Anonymous said...

I respect Corti's decision to choose whatever wines he wants for his store. And I've loved so much wine that's been recommended to me there @ the store. But I'll just have to shop elsewhere for some of my favorite Cali cabs. Most of of 'em won't make the cut now, like the One Point Five cab from Shafer (14.8% alcohol). Corti must've liked that one enough, because they were stocking it. But so it goes ...

beckler said...

who that?

beckler said...

partial sentence from a yelp that is making me laugh:

This is not the best Fuddruckers I've ever been to,

beckler said...

i have some suspicions that bali is padding their yelps. ooh scandalous! until a couple of weeks ago they had no reviews at all and now this

werenotdeep said...

Take this entire thread, and replace "wine" with "model trains" and "alcohol percentage" with "gague", etc. Gets so much more interesting.

Anonymous said...

^ ^ ^

Yea, what's up with this whole HO versus N gauge beef? Can't we all just get along?