A wine can have all the power and color and tannin in the world, but if it doesn’t “live” in your mouth; if it doesn’t have nuance and complexity; if it doesn’t age well; if it doesn’t seamlessly balance acid/tannin/wood/fruit; then it lacks the evanescent je ne sais quoi that underscores my sense of beauty and rightness. In a questionnaire from Ilona Thompson of PalateXposure.com, I noted this about balance:
Balance means that every part of the wine is inevitable…there are no superfluous edges or flavors or aromas. Each part of the wine—its organoleptics and structure—is in seamless service to a cohesive whole.
Balance is a moral imperative for great wine, and it is the one quality that is most important in determining how beautiful a wine is. It is also the aspect of Lineage | Livermore Valley that underscores all of our grape-growing and wine-making decisions. If a wine doesn’t start with an essential balance even as early as the beginning of fermentation, it won’t have it…ever.