Maybe you're speaking about within the idiom of CA pinot noir?
Well...yeah, I sorta thought that was understood, Rahsaan. How else could you talk about CA Pinot Noir, except within that idiom? Surely you don't compare Beaune and Nuits and New Zealand to Carneros and Russian River and Sonoma Coast and Santa Barbara? All different worlds.
For the benefit of anyone who doesn't know me, whenever I approach a wine I'm looking for three primary things that express (or don't express) themselves in some way: The grape, the place, the winemaker. I express it differently sometimes as the variety, the terroir, and the human element, but it's really the same thing.
Any good wine--any wine worth remembering and talking about and keeping in your sensory memory bank, evidences those three elements in some way (even if the ways are not necessarily clear and transparent).
So when I talk about Sainstbury Pinot Noir Carneros, I'm talking about the grape variety of Pinot Noir as it expresses itself in Carneros and under the hand of the winemaker/owner(s).
I look for the common characteristics that Pinot Noir should show. Then I look for any elements that might reflect or communicate the terroir (and by terroir I think it's obvious I mean ever tightening concentric circles of specificity, as in New World, West Coast, California, North Coast, Napa/Sonoma, Carneros for example). Then I consider the wine as a reflection of a person, the winemaker, and his or her decisions, as in how the grapes were grown, how the fruit is process, how the wine is made, and how it is aged. What does the winemaker or owner want the wine to be? As an example, if you take exactly the same grapes from exactly the same vineyard and divvy them up equally and hand them to two different winemakers, would you come up with two different wines? I think you would, because the wine should reflect those two 'visions' of what the wine should be.
So in a macro sense, I suppose you can say I compare Burgundy Pinot to Carneros Pinot, because it's all Pinot, right, and everyone knows that Burgundy is the, you should pardon the expression, sine qua non of Pinot? But the other two elements have to be considered as well, and that goes far beyond a simple Burgundy/Carneros paradigm. Of course, if you've already decided that you have a template for what Pinot should be, then you'll always be using that, consciously or unconsciously, as your model to which you compare everything. Shame if that's the case in one so young though.
As to Dick Ward---I talk about what I know (or think I know), and I know David Graves somewhat, having visited the winery and talked to him there, and elsewhere as well, and delved into his vision and philosophy. Plus I know him through the eyes of several people who were close to him. I don't know Dick Ward well, however, so I can't very well refer to him much. Simple as that.