99 POINTS


POINT 1: The winemaker’s approach is driven by one of two factors; their fidelity to specific methods or their desire for a specific outcome.

POINT 2: Subtly, nuance, and fine structure are greater winemaking challenges than power, weight and intensity.

POINT 3: When choosing wine for a meal a better question than “what are we having for dinner” might be “who are we having dinner with”.

 POINT 4: The price of a wine reflects the “value” created by producers more than the cost of its raw materials and labor.

POINT 5: The limitation of most wine writing is its emphasis on describing flavors. A wines texture is much more indicative of its quality.

POINT 6: The dependence of people’s livelihood on the harvest from the land must be a consideration in any description of ‘terrior’.

POINT 7: Wine is the result of human decision making.

POINT 8: Most “wild” or “native” fermentations are neither. The only certainty a winemaker has is that they added yeast or fermentation began “spontaneously”.

POINT 9: As long as new world regions use old world wines as their standards, they will always be inferior.

POINT 10: The winemaker’s challenge in our culture is to manage structure to make wines as enjoyable without food as they are with.

POINT 11: Equating "Ripeness" with sugar fails to account for the most important processes associated with maturation.

 POINT 12: Pinot Noir should always wear a dress, always referred to as “she”.

POINT 13: Wine does not make itself.  No one has ever foraged a bottle of wine.

POINT 14: Wine is a non-linear reality, there isn’t a single point of ‘balance’ but multiple nodes of ‘harmonic convergence’.

POINT 15: The pursuit of “burgundian” styled wines by new world winemakers is an act of self-subjugation.

POINT 16: Until we can all agree on a single definition of ‘terroir’ we should just use “place”

POINT 17: Most wines pair very well with whatever is in front of you.

POINT 18: Geography must be considered on equal terms with geology in any definition of “terroir”.

POINT 19: The vine has two halves; that which lives above the ground and that which lives below. The best wines are grown with attention given to both halves

POINT 20: It has become more important for a wine to be “different” than “good”.

 POINT 21: It is time for “wine” to no longer isolate itself from the larger culture that is society.

POINT 22: Bacon may not pair well with wine, but who cares.

POINT 23: "Bigger is better" is a philosophy better suited to the drinker of Cabernet than that of Pinot Noir

POINT 24: Wine's irony should not be lost on the drinker. That something so refined is the product of humble, manual labor.

POINT 25: A businesses' regard for humanity is revealed in its choice of toilet paper.

POINT 26: Goldilocks should be the winemakers guru, seeking all elements to be "just right".

POINT 27: Wine was once the beverage of artists and thinkers. It can be once more.

POINT 28: Wine's inherent mystery makes it a magnet for "know-it-alls".

POINT 29: Alcohol correlates poorly with quality. For every great wine below 14% there are many more that suck.

POINT 30: Great Pinot Noir regions are the result of ideal climates, not soils.

POINT 31: The barrel is never neutral. It always makes an impact on the wines flavor, aroma and texture.

POINT 32: Like music wine is capable of eliciting, within the taster, an "inner experience".

POINT 33: Every wine is shaped by three forces; people, place and time.

POINT 34: There are no clear "right" and "wrong" answers for the winemaker. The best winemaker's are the best guessers.

POINT 35: "Passion" doesn't differentiate your brand. Passion is the minimal requirment to be in this business.

POINT 36: "When" the grower or winemaker does something is as important as the "what".

POINT 37: The "ugly" is an important component of the beautiful.

POINT 38: The wine drinker will be unaware of most of the details the vintner obbessed over.

POINT 39: Why Pinot Noir? Who would you rather have dinner with, Ingrid Bergman or a Sumo Wrestler? -David Lett

POINT 40: Quality is lost to the gap between the vineyard manager and the winemaker.

POINT 41: Every wine tells a story. Parts of the story are told in a language we are unable to understand.

POINT 42: Scores may be more of an indicator of style than quality.

POINT 43: Wine. The industry that turns financial geniuses into financial fools.

POINT 44: "Ripening" is a reproductive process. It's purpose isn't wine, but the seed.

POINT 45: Plants in straight lines do not occur in nature. Vineyards are the result of human intention.

POINT 46: Parcel size needs to be included in the "clonal selection" vs "Selection Massal" argument.

POINT 47: A "B" site farmed by an "A" farmer is preferred over an "A" site farmed by a "B" farmer.

POINT 48: Elegance, precision, transparency in site, season and handling. Pinot Noir's white counter part is Riesling.

POINT 49: Winemaking is a Team Sport.

POINT 50: Style is the perfection of a point of view. -Richard Eberhart

POINT 51: Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. -Salvador Dali

POINT 52: Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it. -William Ellery Channing

POINT 53: Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.-Gustave Flaubert

POINT 54: The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

POINT 55: The perfection of art is to conceal art.-Quintilian

POINT 56: To me, searching for perfection isn't anywhere near as interesting as trying to find your own voice. -Charlie Trotter.

POINT 57: Bloom sets the winemakers clock in motion.

POINT 58: Intervention isn't the problem, evidence of the intervention is.

POINT 59: The greatest challenge for a new, small winery is getting Gate Keepers to give a shit.

POINT 60: A wine's composition can be measured. It's organization (structure) must be experienced.

POINT 61: Selecting wine has come to be regarded as a finer art than making it.

POINT 62: Great winemaking is taking action with such skill that there is no evidence of the action. Or the winemaker.

POINT 63: Tons/acre should be abandoned in favor of kg/linear foot.

POINT 64: The contribution of soil texture to a wines character is as important as that of soil composition.

POINT 65: The Social Media campaign for 99 Points has made us a believer in a 10 point system for rating wine.

POINT 66: Some wines are described as a "symphony" others "improvisational jazz". Our wish is that 99Points be described as "like a Townes Van Zandt song".

POINT 67: We want to make wines that bring a crowd from roar to whisper the way Gillian Welch and David Rawlings do.

POINT 68: Three S's must be considered in regards to desired yields: Site, Season and Style.

POINT 69: Our winemaking is directed by the shapes we "see" when we taste.

POINT 70: Blending is sculpture.

POINT 71: Great wines are rarely made by committee.

POINT 72: Of the arts, photography is most like winemaking. The presentation of real subjects (people, objects, vineyards) is influenced by a personal point of view.

POINT 73: Wine may be unique among the arts in that the language of its criticism is also a tool used in its production.

POINT 74: There are three kinds of wine: those you won't drink, those you will drink and those you will buy.

POINT 75: Sometimes we forget to thank the Universe for letting us be winemakers in the Willamette Valley.

POINT 76: We are inspired by the work of Painter Edward Hopper. We too apply European sensability to an American landscape.

POINT 77: There is a poor correlation between the financial resources of a winery and the quality of their wine.

POINT 78: Technical virtuosity nor Soul alone is enough. Great wine demands both.

POINT 79: The winemaker's organizational skills determine whether their time is spent making the wine or getting the wine made.

POINT 80: Community is as important to the success of Willamette Valley wines as soil or climate.

POINT 81: The day PROJECT M's Winemaker met the Eyries' David Lett was the day he decided to become a winemaker.

POINT 82: Wind as a feature of terroir is often overlooked.

POINT 83: The grape is the bird's payment for spreading the seed.

POINT 84: Red wine growing is the farming of seeds and skins.

POINT 85: We are grateful for the mentors that have made our path clearer and less steep.

POINT 86: Making wine isn't a business. Selling wine is.

POINT 87: It's inconcievable that a wine could ever be perfect.

POINT 88: One doesn't choose winemaking as a career. It chooses you.

POINT 89: "Cellar Palate" is the winemaker's color blindness.