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Weiss’s intimate look at the 2002 Fumé Blanc reveals the delicate interaction between water, sunlight, soil, and climate that produces grapes with the precise flavors sought by its growers - as well as explaining how a winemaker’s decisions during the fermenting processes can bring out subtle changes in the distinctive flavors, such as the grassy melon bouquet that is the hallmark of this vintage. Weiss also looks at how "The Story" of a winery drives its marketing identity, is reflected in such decisions as the shape of its bottle and the style of its label, and can often decide the crucial difference of whether it is included on the lists of the country’s best white-tablecloth restaurants. Along the way, A Very Good Year brings to life the colorful characters behind Ferrari-Carano: an obsessive fourth-generation vineyard manager who can predict an early spring based on the behavior of local bass; a star winemaker who must decide the precise blending methods based on elaborate chemistry and a supposition of what reviewers want to taste; the effusive sales and marketing guru behind the powerful brand; and at the center of it all is Don Carano, a successful entrepreneur who has entered the wine business not as a millionaire dilettante but as an ambitious winemaker with an eye toward creating a vintage that will garner international acclaim.
Insightful and intoxicating, A Very Good Year is a delight to be savored by the oenophile and novice alike.
Author Bio: Mike Weiss is a writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Guardian, and many other publications. He is the author of the acclaimed Ben Henry mystery series and the Edgar Award-winning Double Play.