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Death to the “Cult” & Birth of the Domestic First Growth

on 25/04/11 at 3:27 pm


One of the more interesting aspects of the domestic wine world over the last fifteen years has been the phenomenon of the “cult” winery.

You can count the true “cult” wineries on two hands.  Denoted by critical success, reputation, limited volume, inelastic demand with wait lists, and profitable aftermarket value, you can almost name them off the top of your head – Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow, Colgin, Bryant, Dalla Valle, Hundred Acre, Araujo … The rest of the hundreds of wineries that suggest they are of “cult” status are a mix of allocated wineries trying to up the ante and some wannabes that want to be allocated. Some have the pedigree to emerge into this classification.  Most do not.

The net outcome based on those that wear the crown and those that desire to ascend to the throne is a real dilution in the meaning of “cult” wine.  This meaning has been further diluted by the lingering economic malaise that has also metaphorically centrifuged the contenders from the pretenders.

{Full story via goodgrape.com}

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