A few weeks back I had a chance to sit down with Tim Spear, the co-proprietor/resident winemaking wizard/head philosopher of Paso Robles's Clos Mimi. The impetus was a recommendation I'd made for his 2005 Petite Rousse in this blog a while back; he'd read it and happened to be in town for a few days, so it made sense to sit down and taste the rest (or some of the rest) of his wines. (Geek alert: this entry is long and perhaps overly in depth, but the wines impressed the hell out of me, so why not?)
Spear's one of those appealingly ambitious winemakers who seems to prioritize trying to make great wine—"a wine that will be alive in fifty years" as he put it—over commercial concerns like actually selling the stuff. This puts him in a precarious albeit admirable position, as far as I can see, since the mundane world largely doesn't give a rat's ass if you're driven by a desire to create profound wine, but it certainly does care if you can't pay the mortgage on your winery.