Ecstatic Truth Wines

A Primer


Like the Cubists before them, the Abstractionists felt a beautiful thing in perceiving how the medium can, of its own accord, carry one into the unknown, that is to the discovery of new structures. What an inspiration the medium is.”  -Mark Rothko

“When somebody is looking at my picture, I want them to just fall into the world of the photograph. Anything that moves against that transparency is too much about the medium...So I don't want grain, I don't want pixels, I just want pure image. And that's a hopeless impossibility.”  -Gregory Crewdson

These two quotes, one about painting and the other about photography, fit neatly into my “background” goals behind Ecstatic Truth. The foreground goal is, of course, to deliver a delicious bottle of wine. But behind it all is an idea that a wine should be enough – a confluence of time and place – and that technical issues and craft should only matter to the maker, providing an aesthetic framework, but never to those who consume and enjoy it.

The wines I am making under the Ecstatic Truth label aim to be transparently “wine”. Nothing else. Because I will not include grape names or vineyard locations, the wine drinker has to fall back to the one thing left to him or her – personal opinion. How does it taste? And, do I like it?

Big, and important, questions!

Behind the scenes, there is the interesting fact that often the blending of two or more grape varieties sometimes equals something different than the blend would suggest. Various chemical processes can occur when blending, and often the result seems like a “new” grape. More than the sum of its parts.

I feel that by using organically grown fruit, and relying on ambient yeast fermentations, I am given a wider palate of possible combinations. Kind of like the difference between “color” and “technicolor”.

Working with vineyards very close to home helps me understand the impacts of weather etc on the growing season. And surely the absence of flavoring agents, such as new oak barrels and selected yeasts strains, means the flavor palate can be more authentic and harmonious.

So there's that. Then there is the “fact” that little more beyond this is readily understandable. Sure, modern chemistry can explain the “what” pretty well, if you wish to really know, but the “why” part seems, thankfully, more mysterious. And it is this mystery that I am attempting to tap into. I may not understand why a certain blending works so well, but I can be glad it does.

Lastly, and most importantly, each of these wines has a center that is what I would call “comfortable”. They are not wildly experimental (but they are the result of lots of experimentation!); they have a core that is immensely pleasurable, open and honest.  They are wines for drinking. Sometimes, that's enough.