Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

It's hot. I'm cranky about the idiocracy in the Wine Biz lately

August 06, 2009

So, gentle readers, yr. mst hmble and obdt srvt here has been absent from the blogosphere for a while. Nothing special, it has just been HOT "Africa Hot" to quote Neil Simon (Biloxi Blues) in Austin,

Wine stuff has been rather dead. Beer has found its way into the alcohol food group consumption.

My bud Collie (not the dog, tho he "is" a dawg) has been on a tear lately. A tear that has been on my mind, bubbling away as a blog.

The last "Wine Guy" event, other than the AMAZING fundraiser for McGovern, ,(raised great money, was 102 that day and dubbed the "sweat-a-thon, but the BESTEST wine industry party in a decade in Austin) was a "Moonlight Madness" Party at Max's Wine Dive for the release of Penfold's Grange.  I didn't blog right away, as frankly, the IDEA was stellar but the execution was, well something less.

Look, they were auctioning off recent Penfold's new releases  of high dollar wines.  STARTING bids were $2,500 per lot.; nobody was exactly falling over each other to pay that kind of coin...Grange at $400...per bottle!  The production cost of one bottle of Lafite-Rothschild is $32, it trades for many TIMES that. Res Ipsa Loquitor (look it up).

Grange, ah Grange. I've had seven different vintages of the wine. It has been great. At $75 per bottle, almost worth it.

The 2004 was going for $400 per.  WTF??? are you NUTS??? OK, so there was the live internet chat with the winemaker via the internet, way cool...
but,,,EVERYONE I spoke to was appalled at the prices.

OK: the review - Lush and warm, on palate and nose, but VERY disappointing on the nose, most tight.  No layers of complexity; light jammy flavors, elegant structure, decent finish. BUT at THIS PRICE? Are they on crack??

There were other Penfold wines, the 06 RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz, 06 Bin 707 Cab, 06 Yattarna Chard (particularly awful)...all WAY over oaked, WAY over manipulated and all over $65 per and not one remotely worth that money.

All I left thinking was,  W T F???

Collie is on a tear about over priced over manipulated over hyped over "geeked" wines. My thought exactly.

Just saw that the largest liquor/wine chain in the region has a new sale going: EVERY bottle of wine over $30 is 30% off. Hmmm, what does that tell us? It tells yr mst hmbl & obdt srvt here that they AINT selling a single BOTTLE in the high end.  They have to give it away at cost to get it out of inventory and free up those capital dollars.  Guess what? THEY AINT ALONE...

The wine industry is reeling with nobody paying stoooopid prices for stooopid over blown wines. well DUH. The days of paying $500 for a bottle of wine at an overpriced restaurant are as dead as the sales of Hermes purses and Prada sunglasses.

Great wines at a good price and Good wines at a Great Price as my friend Lee Hereford used to say, is what its about today.

It aint rocket science folks.

Sure, for special occasions a 50-75 dollar bottle is ok. The reality of wine today is $10 - 25... Get used to it.

Over oaked in over priced French barrels is right up there with investing with Bernie Madoff.  Your Porsche design spotless steel and glass twenty million dollar winery is as much a statement as a new Rolls Royce convertible...nobody wants to be associated with it in the current economic climate.

Nobody cares what mixture of American, French and Hungarian oak barrels you used.  Frankly, oak should NEVER be the primary flavor or component. Are you LISTENING Penfolds?  Wine as an 'investment"??? Lord, its FOOD,,,,not Platinum.

It's about the WINE. Does it TASTE great? Will it age well? Will the fruit age out better? Is it worth the PRICE?  Always was, always will be. That is what wine is about.

The rest, well, its what 12 year old boys do in the bathroom with Dad's Playboy magazine.


Rob Moshein

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Raves, rants, musings, ponderings and wine whines... trends, tasting notes, the Austin Wine Guy Rob Moshein shares his world of wine and thoughts about it with you.

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