Book & Wine Reviews

Brian Freedman
So perhaps it’s not following the generally accepted protocol to analyze a book before the would-be reviewer has even read through to the last page, but I’m making the best in this case. Because this is a seriously entertaining and informative book. I will admit that the writing can be a bit stilted, but the story itself can keep you turning the page far past your bedtime. Basically, the title says all of it: “Wine and War” relates the storyline of the French wine industry during Wwii, how the winemakers themselves weathered the war, and how the greatest bottles in the united states were often saved by good old-fashioned ingenuity, bravery, and an appreciation for how much they supposed to the beleaguered country. So when you might assume, the ebook is best enjoyed alongside a good glass of wine. French, of course.

What was I drinking while reading the ebook? Herman Story 2005 Grenache from Santa Ynez Valley in California.

I love this wine-let’s just place it out there and avoid all that wine-writing propriety and distance. As well as the funny thing is always that it’s not in the style I typically gravitate towards, Old school guy that I am. But this inky, big-boned monster is so well constructed (to make no mistake regarding it: it’s an edifice of wine) that I couldn’t resist it.

At this point in its evolution, it’s still tight, and never giving much on the nose beyond its tea-like tannins and rich raspberry aromas. Around the palate, it begins like one of those German kirsch-filled chocolates, but when it breathes a little it gains complex notes of superripe dark berries and a rich plums.

At 15.9% alcohol, it feels a bit heavy in the mouth, and also the sweetness from all that alcohol is unavoidable, but this is no over-the-top fruit bomb: The tannins are still young and have some serious grip, and there’s enough acid here to lead me to believe that wine will be better yet in a few years.

Brian Freedman
If you have the patience, it'll be rewarded. Personally, I’m glad I bought a bunch of bottles: Following their evolution ought to be a lot of fun.

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