Lots of fervent opinions in the wine world regarding the recent media coverage about the magic ( or according to some, the manipulation) that happens in the wine cellar.
Natural yeast, cultured yeast, tartaric acid, added sugar, added sulfites, etc.
Ahh, its a tangled web of 'why' and 'why nots' that only us wine geeks will argue over for hours at a time.
Admittedly, this is an issue that intrigues me as well. It is simple curiosity. This wine is good. Where did it come from and what winemaking process made it so delicious?
I am also interested in how average wine consumers are reacting to these stories. I suspect that most consumers are not very interested in our more esoteric discussions. But I definitely believe that they care about how a wine is made, the simpler and purer the process, the better.
There is no question that some media have been overzealous in their quest for a fantastical story. Many have approached the task with preconceived notions of misconduct and visions of winemakers pouring everything under the kitchen sink into the wine we then unwittingly purchase.
Although I have become increasingly entranced over the years by wines that are made from chemical free grapes, I remain an equal opportunity wine glutton.
I agree that this is a complicated question for discussion and there are endless variables to consider( perhaps a wine is made from organic grapes but gets manipulated so much in the cellar that another wine made from sprayed grapes but is treated more thoughtfully ends up being the better wine even the 'greener' wine, etc).
I am still drawn to the romance of an individual or family farming their property with deep respect for the land and a great passion for the final product.
Here's one recent example:
Domaine de la Chevalerie Bourgueil La Chevalerie 2005
Stephanie and Emmanuel Caslot work with their father to make some of the Loire's most vibrant Cabernet Franc. The family has owned the land since 1640 and they farm their 59 acres without chemicals.
This wine is alive. Dark, purple color. Iron ore and slight bell pepper on the nose. Deep savory , meaty flavors with crunchy red fruit and wonderful acids to keep things lively.