In the enological discipline to which we have dedicated our professional lives, a ‘theory’ is a rigorously tested statement of general principle that explains observable and recorded aspects of wine, wineries and winos.
In wine science, a theory stands until it is proven wrong.
Now, I will state for the record that I do not support conspiracy theories on general principal, especially those relating to Nazis. I do not believe that Hitler survived the bunker beat-down and died in Argentina in 1962, nor that the Third Reich invented exoatmospheric flying saucers of the Miethe and Schriever type, nor that das Führer was an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, nor that the carpet-chewing Teppichfresser had only one testicle and that other one resides in Albert Hall.
Nor that the Nazis buried billions of pounds of gold in the Auklands, nor that Hitler was using New Swabia, the German-claimed portion of Antarctica, to communicate with Hyperboreans, ethereal beings who he claimed were the ancestors of the Aryan race.
In fact, I am a practical man of erudition and breeding, and the only reason that I do not have a Nobel prize on my mantelpiece is because the surströmming-scarfing Selection Committee was too obtuse—frankly, too stupid—to appreciate my academic research into Alice Feiring’s hit squad made up entirely of homosexuals who have been injected with wolf DNA and who target other, more talented wine writers like yours truly.
That’s not ‘conspiricism’, silly: That’s investigative journalism.
Achtung, Niner Wine Estates! You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time, But…
So, that said, I hope you will take me in deadly earnest when I suggest that there are wineries operating in Southern California as we speak that are funded, controlled and entirely administered by Friends of New Germany, operating out of Berkeley. This Neo-Nazi organization, which split from The Free Society of Teutonia following their 2004 sedition trial, was founded in the late sixties by J. Edwin ‘Nine’ (a reference to the symbolic significance of the numeral ‘9’—a refactorable number *—to the Nazi movement). The avowed goal of ‘FoNG’ is to chemically brainwash America’s power elite via the addition of hypnotic pharmaceutical agents like LSD and benzodiazepine to the kinds of upscale wines that rich people drink.
* A refactorable number or tau number is an integer n that is divisible by the count of its divisors, or to put it algebraically, n is such that: tαυ (η) / η
Niner Wine Estates: J’accuse!!
Last week—on the 73rd anniversary of Belgium’s ignominious surrender to the German Wehrmacht—I received a long, rambling press release manifesto from a total stranger named Jennifer ‘Bavarian’ Hamm, purporting to announce the award of the largely honorary title Oberster Richter des Kalifornien Volkes (Supreme Judge of the California People) to Niner Wine Estate vintner Patrick Muran.
In fact, I believe it to be a covert, encrypted message being sent to FoNG sympathizers, especially those who are fans of fermented grape products. If you know the ‘code’ and have the open-minded perspicacity to ‘read between the lines’, you will easily see that Pat Muran is less interested in making a batch of Paso Robles grenache rosé than in destabilizing the American system of democracy and ultimately, in a militaristic nationalist mindset, seeking to create and glorify a Fourth Reich.
A ‘Theory’ Is Only as Good as its Empirical Evidence, Right?
Right. So, I will bullet my reasons for accusing Herr Muran and the Niner Chancellery of trying to foment insurrection among the American people via mind-controlling wine while simultaneously spreading a white supremacist ideology and recruiting members for the local chapter of FoNG.
In the meantime, you may well ask why, if they are such Aryan-o-philes, Niner Estate does not have a Riesling, a Müller-Thurgau, a Spätburgunder, a Weißer or a Dunkelfelder in its wine portfolio?
Well, that would be just a little obvious, don’t you think?
Anyway, here we go. Nine (in keeping with the ‘Niner’ motif) benchmarked facts. Individually, they are compelling. Taken as a whole, they are indisputable.
1) The significance of the number nine. (Try to follow me here):
Kristallnacht occurred on November 9, 1938.
1938 x 9 = 17,442.
1 + 7 +4 +4 + 2 = 18. (18 was the Nazi code for Adolf Hitler. The number comes from the position of the letters in the alphabet: A = 1, H = 8)
18 = 3 x 6
Coincidence? I think not.
2) The visionary initiative of estate owner Richard ‘Niner’ (this has to be an alias, showing solidarity to FoNG founder J. Edwin ‘Nine’ whose followers were known as ‘niners’) is to ‘create world-class wines’. How far removed is this from announcing a categorical wish to create a perfect race of wines that will dominate the world? Not far at all, bubbie.
3) Speaking of weird monikers, do you know what the vineyard is called from which Niner Estates draws its pinot noir? Jespersen. Hmmm, where have we heard that name before? Oh yes, serial killer Keith Hunter Jespersen, the ‘Happy Face Murderer’, who plagued California in the early nineties.
4) And if that’s not bad enough, do you know what Niner Estates named its very first vineyard and olive grove? Bootjack Ranch. Seriously, Niners? You think the average Joe and Jane Mixed-Breed American is so thick-headed that they can’t see that you merely juxtaposed the words in ‘jackboot’? Who’s that kicking down my door, people?
5) ‘Muran’ is a mnemonic acronym in texting shorthand: May U Reign Always, Nazism.
6) And speaking of Muran, prior to taking the Reichswehreid Oath of Allegiance in the White Christian Supremacist movement, the ‘winemaker’ had a prominent position at a small Santa Ynez producer called Blackjack Winery. Now, who among you—except for the really old and out of touch—does not know that the ‘blackjack’ is the latest wonder-weapon in the Studio der Alptraume from the fan fiction classic ‘Nazi Zombies’.
Say What? Ze Gun, She Smokes!!
…Even with all this proof, you are still not convinced that there is a subculture Aryan Nation faction who have infiltrated California wineries and are currently tainting consumer potables with diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam, Spamapam and Ninerpam? You probably said that about fluoridated water, too. Call me paranoid if you want. And I will call you ‘naïve’.
Here are the clinchers, ye of little faith:
7) Pat Muran’s vision for the future could have been lifted verbatim from Mein Kampf: “We are uniquely positioned as a vertically integrated company to control every aspect of winemaking.” Buzzwords here? ‘Control every aspect of…’ Merely substitute the word ‘Reich’ for company and ‘Lebensraum’ for ‘winemaking’, and you are right there on the Eastern Front, brother.
8) A direct, unedited quote from Richard ‘Niner’: “With Patrick at the helm, the future for Niner Wine Estates looks brighter than ever. We couldn’t be more delighted to see him at the helm.”
Don’t give me any crap about the ‘nautical’ connection between ‘helm’ and the dude who steers a boat. You know, I know and Auntie Bonquawalaqweisha knows that ‘Niner’ is referring to the great horned helmet worn by medieval Teutonic Knights in the Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens.
9) And finally, from the halls of California’s wine mecca San Francisco, comes the aggrotech/black metal band Psyclon Nine. This is getting so transparent it is tedious. Psyclon Nine happily admits that their name is a malapropism of Zyklon B, the poison employed during the Holocaust. Really, boys? I get the Psyclon part, but ‘Nine’ as a malaprop of ‘B’? Not so you’d notice. So, where did the nine come from?
I think we all know the answer to that one by now.
So, What Are We To Do? Boycott the Product?
No! Never! We can’t let on that we have sussed them out, otherwise they will simply reform under another name, like V-2 Vineyards or Cyanide Cellars. What we should do is buy their products as use them as a legal form of Rohypnol. Once chemically brainwashed, you should be able to convince any coyote-ugly barfly you scam upon that you are indeed, the Über-date.
Therefore, I will review a quartet of Niner winers just as though my head was still stuck in the sand—which is essentially how I review all wines anyway.
BTW, do you know how many German war criminals fled to South America after the war? According to recently released documents, 9,000—yet another time the number nine rears its head.
But you see, by mentioning that, I offer ten talking points instead of nine, thus breaking the cycle of neo-Nazi numerology forever.
Happy days are here again!
Niner Wine Estates Sauvignon Blanc, Bootjack Ranch, Paso Robles, 2011, around $20: ‘If you tell a big enough lie frequently enough, it will be believed.’ Lie, I believe, is the singular form of ‘lies’ upon which this rich, aromatic sauvignon blanc aged following a stint in neutral French oak. A yield of less than a ton per acre makes for a super-concentrated wine redolent of lemon, pink grapefruit and Key lime mellowed by melon and ripe green apples.
Niner Wine Estates Grenache Rosé, Paso Robles, 2012, about $20: ‘I can fight only for something that I love, love only what I respect, and respect only what I at least know.’ Well, I happen to love, respect and know rosé, and this one is a corker. The nose is dominated by tart strawberry with a bit of watermelon in the rearview; the palate is clean, crisp and Made from the scary-sounding, Mengele-approved ‘saignée method’ in which juice is bled from the red fermenter before it has reached its final color. This technique can also be used for turning brown eyes blue if you can get to them in time.
Niner Wine Estates Syrah, Bootjack Ranch, Paso Robles, 2010, around $25: ‘The art of reading consists in remembering the essentials and forgetting non-essentials’. Winemaking, too. Paso Robles is a marvelous AVA for Rhône Ranger wines like syrah, and this one is dusty, delightful and delovely; inky, creamy and black-fruit-dominated with an aromatic cedary oak throughout. As a sequitur aside, the south of France remained a Free Zone during Nazi occupation, and even the Italians stopped their advance at the Rhône during their day in the sun: 1942 – 1943.
Niner Wine Estates ‘Super Paso’ Red, Bootjack Ranch, Paso Robles, 2010, about $32: It would be Übergang rot in German, although any Hunnish red-blooded blueblood would rather be dead than red. Super Paso does blend into the Master Blend ideology; this one has been a dream of Richard Niner’s since he planted the vineyard. Predominately sangiovese (69%), it is rounded and enlivened with malbec, carménère, syrah and petite sirah and winds up as a Nietzschean hyperkrasí—Greek for Super Wine.
Überdisclaimer: Oh, lighten up people, it is all schtick, all in good, clean, all-American conspiratorial poor taste. Niner Estate is not a neo-Nazi hornet’s nest and I for one, hope they wind up as a Tausendjähriges Reich and that Dick Niner is not a whiner—not even a minor whiner—and doesn’t give me a shiner, but instead, reigns supreme for a thousand years before the Final Judgment, of which I am exempt, being one of God’s favorites.