California – the move to lightness continues

After one punchdown at Prophets Rock

An opening gambit from our new executive editor US on the pluses and minuses of California wine's stylistic evolution.

I moved back to California from northern Arizona in 2012. Several months after settling in, Randall Grahm and I shared dinner. We’d met via Twitter over a mutual love of Friuli, and obscure European philosophers. He willingly shared insights into wine growing and cellar techniques I wanted better to understand, and I fueled his desire for discussion of niche topics like Picolit, Verduzzo, Ribolla Gialla, sacred geometry or biodynamics. At the time he was especially interested in what makes some wines...