In Pursuit of Balance – 2013, Los Angeles


In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) was co-founded in 2011 by Rajat Parr of Michael Mina and RN74 restaurants, and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. Their purpose was to assemble a small group of like-minded wine producers they felt were “…striving to produce balanced pinot noir and chardonnay in California…non-manipulation in the cellar, and the promotion of the fundamental varietal characteristics which make pinot noir and chardonnay great – subtlety, poise and the ability of these grapes to serve as profound vehicles for the expression of terroir.”

The subjectivity of “balance” in wines has been a hot, even controversial, topic over the past few years, especially with the generally acknowledged perception that both ripeness and alcohols have been increasing in many wines. As a contrast to this apparent trend, IPOB’s desire involves “…seeking a different direction with their wines, both in the vineyard and the winery.”

Currently at 28 member wineries, IPOB seminars and tastings have been conducted in San Francisco and now Los Angeles, and primarily aimed at media and those in the wine-buying business. We were fortunate to attend the first Los Angeles event (which included an evening consumer tasting), held in February. Join us as we spend some time talking with co-founders Rajat Parr and Jasmine Hirsch, as well as producers Jamie Kutch (Kutch Wines), and Ehren Jordan (Failla Wines).

For more info:

In Pursuit of Balance:
Sandhi Wines:
Hirsch Vineyards:
Kutch Wines:
Failla Wines:

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Show #318
(45:33 min 41.7 MB)

5 Responses to “In Pursuit of Balance – 2013, Los Angeles”

  1. 1 Steve Mar 9th, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Can anyone tell me the difference in taste from stem tannin and barrel tannin? I struggle to distinguish between the two.

    Thanks in advance for your response,


  2. 2 Steve Mar 9th, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I’ll try this again, in case the first post didn’t come through. Can someone explain the difference in taste between stem tannin and barrel tannin? I struggle to distinguish between the two.

    Thank you in advance for your response,


    Love the shows.
    Glad to see they are more frequent now.

  3. 3 GrapeRadio Bunch Apr 13th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Sorry about the late reply; but glad you like the increased frequency of shows.

    About stem vs. oak tannins, I’m certainly no expert. But, I’ve always felt that stem, skin and seeds contribute most of the tannins to the wine. Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned grape, so naturally low in tannins. The stems themselves (if used) will usually contribute to the wine’s spicy taste as well as texture, and frequently give off some tell-tale aromas too, indicating the use of some % of whole cluster fermentation. The resultant tannins could also be bitter if stems or seed were not sufficiently ripe.

    Oak, OTOH, tends to round out the grape tannins, although it can also leave obvious “wood” qualities in both aroma and taste. The tannins extracted from the oak is dependent on the age and toast of the barrel.


  4. 4 Ken Apr 15th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Eric’s answer looks pretty good, although I have a couple other things to add. I think it’s not so much a taste issue between stem and oak tannins, though as Eric noted, each part certainly contributes to a wine’s aromas and flavors. Tannins themselves are perceived as a tactile sensation on the palate, with different levels of astringency. In general stem tannin will be more aggressive / astringent than oak tannin (and seed tannin will be on the more aggressive side while skin tannin tends to be less so). Like Eric, I’m not an expert on tannins, but I’ve heard that oak tannins are likely to be felt on the front to mid-part of the tongue, while the more astringent stem tannins will affect more the mid- to back of the tongue and mouth, and can also often be felt on the gums.

    Hope that helps.


  1. 1 Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Dynamic Wines pingback on Mar 5th, 2013 at 5:00 am

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