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September 20, 2009


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Evan Dawson


In a world of verbose and banal tasting notes, you write about wine beautifully. I must ask, given the nature of recent discussions on Alice Feiring's blog and others: Do you associate the animal and game flavors to the grape or to some small levels of brett? I, for one, prefer my Cote-Rotie's to combine olive tapenade with Secretariat. I think some amount of that is inherent in Syrah's genetic makeup. But certainly many others argue it's only ever brett. Thoughts?

Again, wonderful. Cheers.

Meg Houston Maker


Thanks so much for your kind compliments and high praise. It's deeply welcomed, especially from one as experienced as you.

Your question about brett is well posed. In the case of this particular wine, I never thought "brett." It is true that lot of Syrah—and Côte Rotie in particular—presents with a kind of animal quality, but in the case of this wine it seems more about the wine's muscularity and pulsing aliveness than about poor winery hygiene. When I hear brett I think barnyard, which ultimately is about refuse and decay, whereas what I get here is an earthy sensuality, almost fertility; it smells like reproduction, not degeneration.

Maybe it is brett, to some degree; I don't know. But if it is, then I'm one of those lucky few who finds this enormously pleasant and attractive, magical and magnetic.

Thanks again for your kind comment, and Cheers back to you.


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