As most of you know, I called the ’15 j.Lohr Valdiguie my 2017 WOTY for its funky mineral vibe, fresh fruit, spectacular winemaking and $10 cost.
By the time I had published that list, ’16 had been released and I was disappointed to find it flabbier and more cloyingly fruit-FWD with less of the beautiful things we find appealing in Beaujolais and Loire.
Obviously, when I saw ’17 on the shelf yesterday, I was drawn to it like a Republican senator to gay porn. I am happy to announce MIKEY LIKES THIS ONE. Huge candied bubbly-gum, wet bark and salt-water taffy nose, boxed in on all sides by minerality and old-world funk. It’s all marshmallows and fairy-dust in the mouth, sweet and flaccid til a drying middle and a grating chunk of tannin in a long lip-smacking finish. Dry chalk and a Zinfandel prune provide tiny nuances of varietal provenance laced into all the pretty brightness. Buggy and bulging, it is a fun, worthwhile wine.
Now I get a lot of grief from the mono-vinistic bling-bro swillers every time I trot this wine out. Listen, NO ONE understands better than I that it is NOT Barolo or Sea Smoke or SQN or $100 Napa Cab. And if you go into it with those expectations, you’re gonna have a bad time on the slip-n-slide. Open your mind a little. Sheesh. #notawinesnob (actually I’m the biggest fuckin wine snob on the fuckin planet, I just don’t direct my snobbery toward labels or price-points).
Oh, and THIS year, I promise to pick something hard-to-find, over-concentrated and 8 times the price as WOTY so I can be legitimate again.
2017 @jlohrwines Valdiguie Monterey Co 12.5