Today I respond to a guy on the west coast with a blog called Beyond the Bottle. He reviewed Oregon’s Lange vineyards, maker of some seriously great pinot noir. He rated them a 2 out of 5. (???) His reason: the tasting was $10 and they wouldn’t refund his money if he bought their wine.
Let’s get one thing straight: $10 for a tasting at Lange is worth it. Big time. They let you try 5 different wines, and it’s serious stuff – up to $60 a bottle. The five tastes add up to more than a full glass. Now, what would a full glass of Lange wine cost you at a restaurant? Definitely more than ten bucks — probably $13 or $15.
Plus, buying a tasting at Lange lets you hear from the people who make the wine, or at least people who work with the winemaker. That’s worth a lot to me. I mean, imagine test-driving a Porsche with one of their head engineers. I remember my first tasting at Lange was hosted by. . . drum roll please . . . Don Lange.
Anyway, the blogger accused Lange of ”highway robbery” and didn’t mention how any of their wines tasted. Read his review here.
He disabled comments, so I sent him an email:
I see you are somewhat upset after visiting Lange, which you rate a 2 out of 5. Sorry about that. After visiting Oregon and its wine country several times, I believe Lange is one of the finest wineries in the state. For my money (wink wink, let’s remember what’s really important here), they are in fact the single best. Their pinot noir introduced me to the concept of really high end wine, and in my journies since then (12 years) they have yet to be bettered.
I am sorry that you were so put off by having to pay for their wine that you were not able to actually review their wine. For example, their $17 pinot noir is sort of weak and disappointing, their reserve pinot is more robust and even more disappointing because it costs more and doesn’t taste that great, their Estate pinot noir is again more robust but also very mature, dry, and almost challenging, their Three Hills Cuvee pinot noir is a violent orgasm of multiple pleasurable flavors in your mouth, and their Freedom Hill pinot, at a very dear $60, is perhaps the single best wine at this price in the known universe, with layers, and layers, of deep, sensual complexity.
With this winery, it really is all about the wine. I figure, if I spend $10 on tastings, who cares? In fact it appears you are so interested in receiving something for nothing that you were briefly incapacitated. Tell you what, why don’t you let me paypal you 20 bucks to cover your first visit, and a return visit, and go back and just open your mind and your palate to the actual wine that Lange is producing — I am sure that your readers would greatly benefit.
If he replies, I’ll seek permission to post it.