Brothers usually share a last name. Never a first name. So maybe we were a tribe of Joshes. We were never sure how to define the connection. He called me Old Josh, and he was Young Josh to me. He certainly had more stamina. Josh and I became friends at the Wines of Chile awards in Santiago, a marathon tasting, followed, years later, by the 50th anniversary of Margaret River. Our travels and tastings together on the other side of the world brought us closer, and back in NYC, after a wine dinner, we often found ourselves sharing a beer at the Old Town Bar, or at another one of Josh’s favorite haunts well past midnight. For Josh could talk. He was fascinated by the world and shared that fascination, filtered through his humility and fierce intelligence.
Mourning his passing, I was comforted by a recording Adam Lee posted last year to youtube, an interview with Josh sharing his personal history as well as his perspective on a forty-year career in wine—including a stint with David Schildknecht at Pearson’s in DC, his role running national sales for Neal Rosenthal, his tasting with and then writing for Stephen Tanzer and, eventually, for Vinous. I had the honor of working with Josh on a number of stories on the Rhône, a region he knew intimately. He wrote beautifully on sérine (February 2014), on mourvèdre in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (February 2017) and on Crozes-Hermitage Nord & Sud.
Josh left us too soon. He leaves behind his wife, Merrie Louise, who worked with Stephen Tanzer longer than Josh had, their two daughters Frances and Barbara Ann, and friends across the wine community. I am not the only one of those friends who will miss his humor, his stories and his warm friendship.
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