Thursday, February 21, 2008

Last Night's Tipple

I finished the bottle of 2005 Van Duzer Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir last night, and it was just as enjoyable the second night as it had been the first. I didn't pick up the olive notes this time, but I did smell some floral components that I hadn't noticed before. In any event, I am very pleased with this wine, even at $25 a bottle. (And that $25 a bottle is a pretty good price -- I've seen it elsewhere for over $30. Costco's wine prices are very competitive.)

Both Van Duzer and the Willamette Valley Vineyards pinot that I had earlier in the week prominently display the logo for an organization named LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) on their back labels, advertising the fact that their wines are LIVE-certified. Well, what the heck does that mean? LIVE is a non-profit organization of winegrowers "providing education and certification for vineyards using international standards of sustainable viticulture practices in wine grape production." It turns out that they are a sort of halfway house between conventional viticulture and organic or biodynamic viticulture -- that is, a rejection of the "better living through chemicals" school of winegrowing but a realization that herbicides and fertilizers are sometimes necessary to make vineyards commercially viable. I don't have the energy or enthusiasm to read exactly what a winery has to do to be LIVE-certified, but it certainly sounds like a good thing to me. I don't really believe that chemical-free agriculture necessarily produces better-tasting or healthier products, but at the same time I don't wine that stinks of sulfur dioxide.

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