1. Wines of Balance: This is a term coined as a knee-jerk reaction to the high-alcohol levels in some Calif wines, particularly PinotNoirs. Somm Raj Parr is maybe the primary proponent of this movement, featuring tastings of wines, primarily PinotNoir and Chard, that are more "balanced". Two yrs ago, there was a seminar up in Sebastapol before RhoneRangers that featured Syrahs of Balance. However, IMHO, the term "wines of balance" has become nothing but a code word for wines of lower alcohol. This is not that difficult to achieve. You just harvest grapes from vnyds that exist in very cold areas, or you simply harvest the grapes earlier, at lower sugar levels (assuming you are focused on making "natural" wines, w/o watering back or RO). It's all pretty simple.
But alcohol in only one component of "balance" in a wine. You can find wines that are lower in alcohol, yet still display a hot/fumey/overripe character. You can find wines that are low in alcohol but have such a strident/screechy acidity that "balance" is the last thing they represent. The Ridge Jimsomare '09 is a seamless/well-constructed/ polished Zinfandel that is the epitome of "balance". Crissakes...it's 15.7%...how can you call that a wine of "balance"?? You can find Syrahs that are low in alcohol, yet have such tannic/extraction levels that "balance" is the last thing that comes to mind. True, (maybe) with age they will come into "balance".
Anyway, wines of "balance", like "natural", are damnably tough to define. Unless you arbitrarily define them, as RajParr does, as wines below a xx.xx% level of alcohol. This tableau of wines was assembled to be such a collection of wines of "balance", featuring some wineries who make a great hoo-haw of making wines of "balance". The scores placed on the wines are the RajParr 100-pt scale of "balance", with 100 being a wine in perfect balance and 0 being a wine whose balance is so out of whack it's undrinkable. Unlike Monktown attourneys, I am insufficiently prescient at predicting the RPBS at peak drinkability; so these scores only apply to the wines at this current point in time.
2. Roses: The D&G was made from very old-vine GrenacheGris. To get any color; they must have left the skins on for the full fermentation. This probably gave the wine the slight tannic bite it showed. Nonetheless, I thought it a quite nice rose.
The Bedrock was mightly impressive; one of the best roses I've had in a long time. It had an incredible cranberry spiciness to it that made it very refreshing to quaff in large quantities; a classic rose.
3. Syrahs: I have found some of these Syrahs of Balance to be unpleasantly out of balance for current drinking; but certain to come into balance w/ btl age. So I was expecting this group of Syrahs to not be greatly appreciated by my group. However, they were, by and large, well-received. The WindGap was the clear favorite, closely followed by the A-R ClaryRanch. The AlderSprings was a bit of a puzzle to me. It's a very highly regarded vnyd by winemakers. Yet I don't quite share that enthusiasm. Most of the AlderSprings Syrahs I've had I thought pretty good...but I've yet to have one that blows me away. They seem to not have a lot of bright fruit, a certain herbal/earthy/Cab-like quality to the; a bit of forest-floor. It's a vnyd I'd like to walk sometime and get to know better.