In fact, I think about that controversy every time I taste a French wine and in the last 20 months I have tasted more French wines than I have in my whole life. It seems to me that almost every French wine I have tasted lately, and if they were to be compared to the wines of Cayuse, they would be in the same camp - - supposedly "flawed" or perhaps just misunderstood. The so-called "flawed" and funky French wines I usually purchase and the mundane, clean and clinical - and very "Americanized" wines from France, I typically do not purchase.
When it was all said and done of the Cayuse controversy, the lab concluded the sample vials of the wine had levels of volatile acidity that were "slightly" above the normal sensory threshold and the wine had a high pH level, which can make the wine more susceptible to bacteria. However, it is my understanding that the lab never said the wine was actually "flawed." That was the terminology given by the blog in question of the wine's stability and credibility.
While I had trusted the source of where the vials came from and I trusted that the vials had not been tampered with, the practical former legal assistant side of me (two years with the county defense attorney and 10 years with a private practice) could not get past the point of the liability of placing someone's wine into vials to prove a point ("Neener-neener-neener, I told you so"). To me the wise thing to remove oneself of liability, would have been to have sent an unopened bottle (label removed) to the lab instead. With only a empty bottle (and without a dead body and an autopsy report) sitting in a court of law you would be hard pressed to prove that the wine you drank and the one you sent to the lab was of the same.
So with the lab results, I guess one cannot fight with right of science - - right? However, can one fight with personal palates and - - just the romance and the personal experiences of wine? No.
The proof is that ultimately you cannot fight with personal palates no matter what a lab findings may be. For hundreds of years, and especially since Thomas Jefferson brought to America the wines from France, we have become enamoured with wines. More than likely, in the earlier wines that the wealthy Americans were coveting, the very same or similar lab conclusions as the Cayuse would have also been found. High levels of volatile acidity and high pH levels that are probably due to either yeast strains, fermentation tanks and barrels, and even extended lees contact -- or maybe even the vineyard practices of biodynamics. My bet is the majority of what we refer to as French "funk" is more than likely due to the yeast strains.
As they say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or in this case, "taste is in the palate of the beholder" and it is very apparent that wine lovers of vigneron Christophe Baron and his wines are not going to let a lab and their clinical findings or even bloggers tell them any different than what their palates already know and love.