A picture whose orign I would cite, but it’s been on my hard-drive for so long I can’t remember!
Anyway, p.ox, Aussie-style…
This piece, posted yesterday by Tyler Coleman on Winesearcher is at first glance a ‘holding story’ about p.ox; one that keeps (justifiably) the story in the (wine-)public conscious, and perhaps brings a new angle or two to the story, adding a little red-scare-mongering, but essentially, nothing new.
Nothing new except, perhaps, a fairytale flashback due to a quote from the University of Bordeaux’s Denis Dubourdieu (a.k.a. ‘the Emperor’)
“Vines that are too weak, and with a poor nitrogen intake, produce grapes low in glutathione. Summer drought conditions and/or competition from grass left to grow between the vine rows also worsens this deficit,” he explains.
This statement immediately struck a chord in my mind, being a paraphrasing of the reason that leading scientists (of the day) attributed to the death of vines due to phylloxera – it wasn’t the bug that was directly responsible, phylloxera was only having an effect because the vines were already tired or diseased! I mean, is this the best that we can expect from academics (with strong financial ties!) these days? Of-course Tyler Coleman may be short-changing us, and Prof. Dubourdieu might have full data to back up exactly what age a vine becomes tired, and due to what level of competition from grass, or ‘how much drought’ causes a problem – though, by the way, my 1976 whites are still brilliant, and I’ve never seen a p.oxed 2003 despite plenty of otherwise bizarre ones!
Maybe Denis has a real point somewhere along the line, and can explain why vines are tired today when they weren’t 30 years ago, and why his quote only looks bad because it’s out of context and has been dumbed down… Maybe…
As a scientist, I’m simply taken aback!