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September 14, 2010

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A very personal, honest entry. Good stuff.

Great article Lenn...keep them coming!

Lenn,
It was nice to finally put this tasting together. We'll plan to repeat it from time to time. All who attended were humbled by the experience. What did you think of those wood oven roasted grass fed rib eyes from upstate?

How could I possibly forget to mention the steak?!?

One of the top steak experiences of my life. The local. The grass-fed. The wood oven cooking. Just delicious.

I would like to take part in the blind merlot tasting too... but I think I need to get out tasting a lot more merlot.

As a long time silent reader of your site I was particulary struck by this article. Mainly I am wondering how you can continue to be an impartial critic of local wines while particpating in these kinds of staged events, wined and dined by winery owners and their like-minded friends. I feel that anything you write about or rate from this producer in the future will have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Also, after reading this, the main thing that came to mind was this:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/104282

John: Thanks for finally chiming in. It's always a pleasure to hear from a reader.

You actually have excellent timing, as we are working on an "Ethical Standards and Disclosure" policy that will be published soon. But even without a published policy, disclosure and transparency has always been at the core of how we operate.

I'm sorry to hear that you'll take anything I write about Shinn Estate in the future "with a grain of salt" because I -- unlike so many writers you may read -- have disclosed that I attended this tasting/dinner.

When covering and writing about any region, over time there are bound to be relationships formed, both professional and personal. Writers dine with winemakers/winery owners.

I stand behind anything that I write and would not attend these types of evenings if I were incapable of separating the proceedings from the rest of my job covering local wines.

It's ironic that you'd bring this up in commenting on this post in particular -- as I spent at least part of the evening defending the "Science of Biodynamics" series we've been running on the site.

Shinn believes strongly not only in organics but also in biodynamics. As a matter of fact, they just harvested their first grapes grown entirely through organic and biodynamic practices on their way to -- they hope -- certification.

As for the 'smug' comment (made via video link), I've been called a lot of things, but smug has never been one of them. I'm sorry you've read this post this way. I'm surprised that any long-time reader would, but we all ready things differently.

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