Sunday, April 12, 2009

Matt Kramer's Done It Again

I promise to quit harping on this subject at some point, but as he has not responded in any way and he continues to write up glowing reviews for 2007 Oregon wines I must revisit this from time to time. 
On April 5th Mr. Kramer posted the following: These wines don't need mask of aging in oak barrels.
I generally agree with, and support, limited use of oak, or even none at all, but that is not the point of addressing this article.  After bashing the 2007 vintage in the U.S. and Europe he has found a way to get very excited about some wines (see my earlier post).  
This article from Mr. Kramer celebrates perhaps my favorite Oregon Chardonnay, Inox from Chehalem.  He writes, of the 2007, "It is one of the best chardonnays to emerge from Oregon in recent years."   Again my gripe here is not that he finds some 2007 wines exciting but the dismissive way he dealt with the vintage in one forum, only to recommend wines from the same vintage without so much as a mea culpa.  It is unfair, misleading, and disingenuous to make broad, important sounding pronouncements as a journalist only to write about wines that ignore your own pontification unless you offer some explanation.  Shame on you Mr. Kramer.  


  1. Uh the Kramer's comments on the 2007 vintage were directed at the pricey Pinots noting the unfavorable weather late in the season. His comments were grounded in truth. Just because he finds a few good whites from the vintage does not obviate the what happened with the weather. Unless your position is that all oregon ripen at the same time. Why the attacks ? All wine commentary is subjective as your posts prove the rule. Cheers!

  2. My initial 'attack' (see post on 3/25), tempered by a statement that he remains a hero for me, referred to his unequivocal dismissal of an entire vintage. I completely agree with you that good wines, even amazing wines, can be produced in 'off' vintages, that's exactly my point. Mr. Kramer did not allow that good wines could be produced in 2007, he simply wrote, "[t]he 2007 vintage was merely good in much of California and less than that in Oregon."
    I disagree with your assertion that his comments were directed only at the pricey Pinots. He also wrote about a Cotes du Rhone, and said, "Washington, for its part, saw a better quality harvest." Unless Washington is producing quantities of Pinot Noir I am unaware of, it seems as thought this would be a general vintage review. So I deduce that while he wrote about some pricey Pinots from the 2007 vintage, he also was reviewing an entire vintage, therefore it is entirely appropriate to call him on the carpet for recommending a 2007 Pinot Noir for his sole Pinot recommendation for Thanksgiving and for raving about a Chardonnay, both from the vintage he panned.
    If he had written something along the lines of, 'although the vintage will bring lighter reds in general, the whites may be exciting, and there are always good producers who make wonderful wines no matter the vintage, keep checking my column for updates' I would not have said a word. In fact, I may have applauded him.
    Thank you for your comments, thank you for reading.