In the words of Bill Bonetti, Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker Emeritus, “It is difficult to put concepts such as quality and excellence into words. Quality is subjective and depends on the individual. Quality is perceived differently at different times and under different circumstances. What a winemaker needs to do is listen to his wine rather than his own perception of the quality of that wine. A winemaker needs to let a wine talk to the consumer about its origins: its soil, its climate, its vintage. In order to permit a wine to express its heritage, the winemaker cannot allow himself to intervene. He should not let oxygen or heat rob the wine of its fruit or let the barrel overwhelm the wine. Instead, the wood should frame the fruit of the wine as if the wine were a picture painted by a master. A winemaker must create the ambient of a cool, dark, damp place where his wines can develop secondary and tertiary aromas without spoiling. A winemaker must learn to put aside his own ego and give way to the original character of his wine.”
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