Perry Creek Syrah, 2008 from Fair Play AVA in El Dorado County has a deep, ruby red color. The richness of the color matches the dark cherry, nutty flavor with hints of wood and vanilla and a long, licorice finish. The tannins are medium, the acidity is light, but the body is heavy and rich, like its color. Those hints of vanilla and wood told me immediately that this Syrah has been well-oaked.
“Cut everything superfluous. Go in fear of abstractions.” This was Ezra Pound’s advice on writing well. Some winemakers would apply this to their craft. In France, vintners call themselves grape farmers. They do not make the wine. The grapes make the wine. The grapes should reflect the terroir. Because of this philosophy, the French look down on a superfluous amount of oak. It muddies the natural flavors of the grape.
I like oak. I like the nutty, vanilla, wood flavors that oak imparts on the wine. It gives the wine more dimension, and makes it more interesting.
“I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living is like a stranger to me.” This is how Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology, Nobel Prize winner and author of the book Thinking Fast and Slow describes the dichotomy with which we all live. Our memories may well be different from the actual experience, because it is in memory that we layer on the narrative of significance and meaning. We are all story-tellers of our own lives, and our lives become more interesting and complex because of it.
“I want to write one true sentence. If I can write one sentence, simple and true, every day, I’ll be satisfied.” Hemingway, like Pound, believed that good writing should be straight-forward and honest, an honest description of the experiencing self, without abstraction. Because we are our remembering selves, rather than our experiencing selves, doesn’t that make truth an abstraction?