On 23 May, Jasmine Hirsch and Rajat Parr issued a press release announcing their intention to end the massively popular ‘In Pursuit of Balance’ wine-tasting events that they initiated in 2011. In the past two years the event had expanded to several international locations, including London.
Hirsch, the daughter of pioneering Sonoma Coast winegrower David Hirsch, and Parr, a famous sommelier-turned-winemaker, conceived of IPOB as a way of shining the spotlight on what they saw as alternatives to the dominant style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay being made in California at the time. While extremely ripe and often heavily oaked wines of both varieties were garnering high scores from critics and dominating the market, Hirsch and Parr hoped to garner some attention for an alternative vision for how those two grapes could be made into wine.
‘If you look at the cover of Wine Spectator over the years for the best Pinot Noir [in California]’, said Hirsch, ‘it’s a very specific style, and not the style we celebrate at IPOB. All we were trying to do was to give voice to that other style of wine.’
This article is my monthly column at JancisRobinson.Com, Alder on America, and is available only to subscribers of her web site. If you’re not familiar with the site, I urge you to give it a try. It’s only £6.99 a month or £69 per year ($11/mo or $109 a year for you Americans) and well worth the cost, especially considering you basically get free, searchable access to the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs. Click here to sign up.