Winemaker Larry Brooks Launches Website Highlighting Scholarly and Creative Writing

One thing I often find I have in common with the winemakers I come into contact with is an affinity for art—be it literary, historic, fine, or—dare I even say—performance art. Indeed, I know one of the things that draws me to study wine is that to understand it, one must simultaneously utilize the scientific and creative sides of the brain, for wine is not solely one or the other. No, it straddles the border of fact and fiction, data and mythos, what one can experience tangibly and those feelings that cannot be put into words. Winemakers, passionate winemakers, understand this and work everyday to iterate that through the liquid in the bottle.

“I fell in love with the word “voluptuary” when I first discovered it many years ago.” says winemaker Lawrence Brooks. “The literal definition is ‘a person devoted to luxury and sensual pleasure.’ To me, being in Nature is luxurious. The lovely scent of jasmine is a profound luxury.”

Brooks has a wine industry resumé that includes work on some of the most well-known wineries and wine brands; he also teaches at Cal Poly and Fresno State. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting or interviewing him (yet), but when I received the press release announcing his new website, I had to take a look. Talented in the cellar, he certainly is—and I dare say his writing both teaches and entertains, is scholarly and creative. What better topic to prove the artistic-science/scientific-art that is wine than with a discussion of terroir?

The full press release with links below. You can see his first full post here. I, personally, am looking forward to many more.

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Clos Du Val 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

Tis the season for digging into some refreshing white wines and Sauvignon Blanc is probably the stereotype of that sentiment. But what kind of Sauvignon Blanc drinker are you? (Assuming you like it at all.) Are you in the New Zealand super-grassy, overtly passionfruit camp? Or are you in the Loire with its steely minerality? Perhaps you prefer you SB with a bit of Semillon for texture and body.

There are so many different ways Sauvignon Blanc can be expressed based on climate, soil, and of course winemakers’ decisions. The Clos Du Val Sauvignon Blanc, for me, falls somewhere in between the NZ fruit fun and the Loire’s steely gaze, and ultimately balanced with just a touch of “something” extra that I’m going to equate with the Yountville terroir. It’s a Sauvignon Blanc that I look forward to each vintage.

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Madroña Vineyards 2017 Nebbiolo

Anyone else ever feel like Nebbiolo is the grape that shouldn’t work. It’s so light in color, it’s practically see-through: a faint rouge hue with its rusty orange-y-brown aura that just hints that this wine isn’t what it appears to be: Firm in structure, full-bodied, and undeniably tannic, but balanced by an—at times—racey acidity. The classic aroma descriptor is “tar and violets,” as the wine typically includes scents and flavors of herbs, dried flowers, and the bitterness of a dark coffee. But one only has to taste the differing expressions coming from the Nebbiolo motherlands of Barolo, Barbaresco, as well as Asti and Alba to know that location and climate means everything to this grape.

Here is what California’s El Dorado County has to provide this dark beauty.

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Fifty Ways to Find Your Wine

Besides the fact that this is a riff on probably the best Paul Simon song in existence, I wanted to highlight just another way the local wine community is coming together to support each other. The Wine Road is known for putting on awesome events showcasing the diversity that is the Sonoma wine region, now it’s become “the ‘one stop shop’ for links to virtual tastings, curbside delivery, as well as shipping and wine deals with wineries adding more tasting ideas and specials to the website daily.” The full press release with links is below. SIP Sonoma, save small businesses, and enjoy great wine. Cheers.

P.S. Bonus points if you can name all the masked wine marvels before the end credits.

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