If someone says they’re from the Valley, Greenwich or the Jersey Shore, you have some sense of what they might be like. (If they lived in all three, then omigod they went to prep school, Snooki!) Same for where wine’s grown – if it’s hot or cold, has ocean breezes, what kind of soil’s in the vineyard and even the slope will all affect what kind of taste you’ll get out of the grape.
Based on all that, which wine people call terroir, winemakers can figure out which grapes will grow best where. Someone who’s a genius at this is Marcel Deiss. For his terroir wines he assesses what grape will grow best on his land and doesn’t even put the type of grape on his bottles.
“The act of planting a single variety or a single clone of the grape prevents the full expression of terroir, just like a person whose vocabulary is too poor to tell the world his profound feelings.”
I first had one of his wines in a class I was taking and just saw the 2003 Bergheim Burg on the wine list at Anfora the other night. I was with a guy who didn’t know anything about wine so he let me order (love it) and even he was dying over it. It was a Riesling/Gewurz blend, deep golden, rich and freaking amazing.
So if you see any Marcel Deiss wines on a list, get them!