Darrell Corti is a very unusual wine merchant. In charge of his family food and wine business Corti Brothers in Sacramento, he is a formidable taster and intellect. Italy is one of his many specialities and in his time he has led many a trip there. I have known him and enjoyed his company for decades.
In the late 1960s he drew port-like Late Harvest Zinfandel made from ancient vines, notably in Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, to wider attention. Since then he has more or less ploughed his own furrow rather than drawing particular attention to himself until very recently when he announced that he was going to stop stocking wines with an alcohol level of more than 14.5% in his store.
As you know, I am not a huge fan of high-alcohol wines myself, but I’m quite surprised that he has taken this step. I think in his position I might instead have corralled all the high alcohol wines into one special section so as to draw attention to them, rather than adopt this more punitive approach which some may view as an act of censorship. I wonder what will be the effects on the store’s turnover?
Feel free to add your comments on this issue below.