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WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - TheEngineer - 10-22-2013 07:39 PM

Want me to say hi to him for you?

Mike


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - winoweenie - 10-22-2013 08:12 PM

He may or may not bemember me but he'll probably remember the fairly good size order that Dan Kruppa and I gave him for aged Musar going back to 1959,62, 64, 66, 70 etc when Dan started Colo Wine Merchant dist. Was a full container. Great Juice and every bottle was savored. BPR, VB


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - Jackie - 10-23-2013 01:50 PM

A true legend in wine making. What an honor.

Tell us of your visit please.

Jackie


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - TheEngineer - 10-24-2013 09:00 AM

Today, I left work early to go to a wine store to meet Serge Hochar. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting him several times in the past in several different locations. Each and every time that I had this opportunity to meet him, I have very much looked forward it. I mark each meeting with Serge in my outlook calendar. I make sure I don't look like a complete slob. I make sure that I'm going to make a good impression. Why so serious you might ask? See, he is one of my wine heroes

Lots have already been written about him and how he makes wine regardless of the tensions that are in the region. He has made wine in every vintage except for 1966 (except one other vintage that was never released and a vintage that was declassified). These stories are all over the internet, are worth reading but I won’t repeat them here. Also, I really believe that more than one person makes a wine. his picking team must be incredible. I cannot believe spirit of those people that go out into the vineyards year in and year out during the conflicts and pick the precious grapes that he then makes wine with. The same was true of France et al during WWII. We know that lives have been lost.

What I really like about Serge is his approach to life which is very visible in his wines. He acknowledges that there are a lot of variations in his vintages. He embraces that. For him different is just that, it's different. It is not necessarily better. Yes, we can also start on another tangent about VA (which for the record I believe is a fault), but that would be focusing on the specifics. With Serge, you need to step back and look at the big picture.

He lets his land and his approach to wine making filter in his wines. There is a complete an honest transparency for me in his wines. Unlike WinoWeenie who has tasted more Musar than anyone I know, I’ve only been able to taste more modern vintages. But even being allowed to go back into the 80’s. these are great wines, and I wish I had many many more 1994’s. Red and Whites, both are compelling wines. There is something that is just so honest about these wines and you can taste it. What is that you might ask that you can taste? I know there are imperfections in them.

And so what? In a world where we so cherish perfection, the 100 point wine, the perfect photograph, the perfectly presented morsel of food, why do I treasure imperfection? For the same reason I love burnt ends on BBQ, the slightly thicker cut bacon with that slightly juicier piece of fat, that completely non-linear shove you get from a turbocharged car past a certain RPM, the way a handmade rug is not perfectly flat and the way a blurred photos tells you more about the place than a perfectly stage photo could. In life, I enjoy the imperfections. They are the surprises, they are meaningful.

It is human to not be perfect. He does not use the most modern of wine making facilities. His facilities have the same scars and experiences that the man himself has seen. These are human products and I like the variation. I like these wines for the same reason I love Gravner’s Ribollas, Nicolas Joly’s efforts, Hubert Lignier for his determination, Christoph Kunzli in Boca and Daniel Vollenweider in Mosel. Talk to the man, drink the wine and you’ll get it.

So when I first introduced myself to him tonight, I told him about WW and his friend who went in for a container of his wine early in his career. He immediately gets up out of the chair and says, 'this is why I do this, after all these years, peple like you still are able to surprise me.' BTW, WW, he remembers you. I showed him this post. He was so happy that you even listed the vintages. Then he said when he knew you, you were not in Arizona . Take that for a memory! I enjoyed the company of his grandson Marc, a capable and equally charming man. Serge must feel great to have such capable help now. He will not have to keep up his travel schedule now that there are capable people to help out. But I do hope that he travels a bit more. For entirely selfish reasons I still want to see him with the bottle in his hands. A wine that he and his team crafts year in year out and is unique, just like the man. He is my wine hero.


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - winoweenie - 10-25-2013 05:04 AM

Amazing fellow. He came into our modest warehouse, looked around and said " Wonderful facilities with knowledgeable people commanding it ". Dan distributed his wines till he sold out to Southern in1994. Looked back and the vintages I missed were the 67 instead of the 66 and the 71 which was absolute killer and 72. Think I've told this story before but BOTH warring sides in the Beccah(sp) Valley stopped firing so his workers could get into harvest the grapes. Talk about a national hero. WW


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - Jackie - 10-31-2013 07:12 PM

How wonderful for you both!

Thanks for sharing this. Where did you meet? I'm curious.

Jackie


RE: WW, I'm seeing Serge Hochar tomorrow - winoweenie - 11-01-2013 05:43 AM

I met him in Denver Colo when he came to see a friend of mine that I was helping start a wine distributorship, Colo Wine Merchants. I ended up splitting a containor of old vintages with him. He was extremely gracious, generous, and helpful. We had a very long lunch featured by 2 bottles of sensational 72 Musar. WW