Daily Wine News: Several Reflections

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-24-2019

winecheers“I probably wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for Parker: if he hadn’t turned the masses into wine drinkers. If he hadn’t championed wines from California alongside the established greats from France. The wild pleasure he conveys in his tasting notes is contagious. I don’t score wines, and I don’t always share Parker’s taste in wine, but I can only hope to evoke some of that energy in my own writing.” Esther Mobley pens a tribute to Robert Parker after his retirement announcement.

What’s next for Long Island wine? Courtney Schiessl explores the region’s potential in SevenFifty Daily.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Christy Canterbury MW considers what’s next for women in wine.

In Wine Spectator, Augustus Weed says the quality of canned wines has vastly improved.

In Forbes, Liza B. Zimmerman provides a summary of a video broadcast in which Rob McMillan address current wine industry trends and data, including how to do a better job of attracting millennials.

Caroline Henry shares data from Champagne’s detailed 2018 sales report in Wine-Searcher. “Indeed, while sales value was at its highest, volumes were at their lowest since 2009, the last time sales volumes dropped below the 300,000m-bottle mark, at the height of the economic crisis.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Charles Passy explains how wine shops will survive the online-shopping era. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Activist Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-23-2019

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

A new breed of winemaker wants to do more than make good wine. They want to change the world, L.M. Archer reports in Meininger’s. “There’s a new concept taking root in the wine industry: activist wines. Unlike traditional special bottlings produced for wine industry charity auctions and special events, activist wines serve a specific social purpose. They do good. But do they make good business sense?”

On WineBusiness.com, notes from a UCD forum about the need to preserve and utilize grapevine plant material with genetic and varietal diversity to maintain a sustainable wine industry and to meet the challenges presented by climate change, environmental issues and consumer trends.

Alder Yarrow pens a tribute to Robert Parker after his retirement announcement. “For me personally, Parker was an inspiration and a source of great education early in my wine consuming career. As I grew in knowledge and experience, and began to write about wine myself, I found some occasions to disagree with what could be very polemic opinions on his part, but despite that, I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for what he has accomplished personally.”

What are America’s all-time favorite wines? Wine-Searcher shares some of the data.

In the San Bernardino Sun, Anne Valdespino explores the new PBS Documentary, Harvest Season, featuring Gustavo Brambila, one of the first Latinos to graduate from the prestigious U.C. Davis wine program, and Vanessa Robledo, a fourth-generation grower who defied her family’s patriarchal ways to strike out on her own.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Karen Moneymaker considers the ways in which packaging wine in a can presents a different set of challenges than bottling it.

In Fortune, Rachel King shares details about a new luxury wine from the owners of Whispering Angel.

Daily Wine News: New-Wave Monterey

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-22-2019

(Photo credit: Albatross Ridge Vineyard)

(Photo credit: Albatross Ridge Vineyard)

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann highlights Monterey’s new-wave winemakers. “There’s an electricity buzzing across the county, as a growing contingent of adventurous vintners settles into urban wineries in Salinas and Marina, and established brands enlist the next generation of winemakers.”

Growers and wineries in Australia’s Yarra Valley are struggling to contain a phylloxera outbreak, reports Vicki Denig in Wine-Searcher.

In Meininger’s, Michelle Bouffard takes a look at wine’s emerging water crisis.

Christopher Barnes discusses the evolution of Beaujolais with Thibaut Girin of Domaine Girin in Grape Collective.

In Wine Spectator, Lexi Williams talks with singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis about why she loves the Loire, and which wines qualify as “indie,” “punk” or “funky,” and more.

Antonio Galloni offers notes on the best new releases from Sonoma County and its neighboring regions in Vinous.

On JancisRobinson.com, Laura Catena, winemaker Alejandro Vigil and viticulturist Luis Reginato provide a report on the cool, dry 2018/19 vintage conditions in Mendoza.

The owner of Château d’Yquem, Bernard Arnault, announced that the benchmark Sauternes property was to undergo conversion to biodynamic viticulture and St Emilion property Cheval Blanc may follow suit, reports the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: Parker Reactions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-21-2019

Alcohol Drink Wine Glass Red Wine Wine GlassSteve Heimoff reacts to Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s announcement of Robert Parker’s retirement. “That Parker was the most famous and influential wine critic of the last 35 years, as Perrotti-Brown writes, cannot be disputed… I would not challenge a single word of Ms. Perrotti-Brown’s encomium. Bob Parker absolutely was “the father of modern wine criticism”; he did indeed “raise the bar” for all of us who followed. But where I part ways with Perrotti-Brown is in her unfettered denial that Parker created an “international style” of ripe, high-alcohol wines. This is not a “big lie,” as she asserts, but the pure, unadulterated truth—and everybody in the wine industry knows it.”

W. Blake Gray pays tribute to Robert Parker in Wine-Searcher. “There will never be another Parker, and that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean the one who just retired wasn’t a great man whose life is worth celebrating.”

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter reflects on what Robert Parker’s retirement means for the world of wine.

In SevenFifty Daily, winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis explains why native yeast fermentations are critical for expression terroir. “For us—and for many of our neighbors—using commercial yeast would mean introducing flavors that did not come from our vineyards, therefore eradicating some aspect of the terroir. That’s why we prefer native yeasts, even though they require patience, a bit of faith, and meticulous attention to detail.”

David Schildknecht follows vintner Jochen Clemens, chronicling his discovery of what may be the world’s oldest riesling vines, in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In Decanter, Jane Anson compares the 1986 and 1988 vintages in St-Julien. (subscription req.)

A 30% drop in the number of exhibitors and visitors at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2019 has prompted soul searching from Vinexpo.

Daily Wine News: Parker Officially Retires

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-20-2019

Robert_ParkerLisa Perrotti-Brown announces that Robert M. Parker Jr. is “formally hanging up his wine criticism boots and retiring from Robert Parker Wine Advocate.”

In Grub Street, Chris Crowley looks back on Parker’s reign. “Whatever your feelings are about Parker’s approach, taste, and power, his influence on the world of wine is tangible and undeniable.”

“People in Texas may talk about a sense of place, but the experimental attitude and tools for expressing terroir have taken a back seat to imitating other regions. But the Meadors, by taking risks and exploring, may demonstrate a truer path for expressing Texas in a bottle.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores how Southold Farm and Cellar has started anew in Texas Hill Country after being forced to leave the North Fork of Long Island after a zoning dispute. “

In the Sacramento Bee, John Lindt reports on how California wine sales are being hurt by trade wars with China.

Marissa A. Ross profiles Bradford Taylor, owner of natural wine shops Ordinaire in Oakland and Diversey Wine in Chicago, in Bon Appétit. “No matter which of these sister shops you’re in, the selection of natural wines is expansive, and Taylor uniquely emphasizes offering as many releases from a single producer as possible to give customers an opportunity to explore the entirety of a winemaker’s work.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Carrie Dykes looks at how founder Charlie Woods sets Bonhomie Wine Imports, based in South Orange, New Jersey, apart from the rest with a laser focus on finding value in terroir-driven, value-oriented wines.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray visits Cornas and finds an appellation that is changing its old ways.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan looks at how wine marketing language has evolved.

Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-18-2019

This week I have a few wines from around the globe that didn’t fit nicely into a larger tasting theme. But, these are wines I want to highlight for several reasons.

Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet is a producer I’ve grown to associate with quality wines and very low prices, and the 2018 “Virgen” red blend for $13 is a great example.

M. Chapoutier’s Bila-Haut label returns once again with an exceptional L’Esquerda red blend. And I also enjoyed some wines from Maryland’s Big Cork Vineyards, a reliably good producer in this state.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Arizona’s Wine Scene

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-17-2019

(Photo credit: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards)

(Photo credit: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards)

In the New York Times, Alex Schechter hits the wine trail in northern Arizona. “The Verde Valley is on the periphery of Grand Canyon National Park, a place known for extremes… On this stretch of Arizona’s wine trail, a largely experimental and free-spirited vineyard scene is growing more serious by the minute. While only three vineyards existed here in the early 2000s, the Verde Valley Wine Trail today includes two dozen venues, spread over 450 square miles.”

Christopher Ross profiles Gary Vaynerchuk, and looks at the impact he had on the wine world in PUNCH. “In the wine world, where a bourgeois sense of decorum still reigned, the show was unprecedented. Outside those traditional confines, Vaynerchuk activated and energized new audiences.”

In Eater, Stefanie Tuder looks at how top New York City natural wine destinations, like Frenchetter, are getting in on the wine game by creating their own custom blends. “Not many natural winemakers have publicists, so they’re pouring the wines at events themselves and communicating directly with buyers and sommeliers. Both Frenchette and Four Horsemen’s wines came out of relationships with winemakers.”

On his blog, Alfonso Cevola is happy to see that ramato is having a moment. “It’s part of the cool kids club now, because it’s also having a renaissance moment – It is once again ramato – which depending on which cool kids club you shower in, is either a rosé wine or an orange wine.”

“After a career spanning more than 70 vintages, Bordeaux winemaking icon André Lurton has died,” reports Suzanne Mustacich in Wine Spectator. He was 94.

Rémy Charest explains how sulfites affect a wine’s chemistry in SevenFifty Daily.

Rebecca Holland heads to Franciacorta to explore the region’s sparkling wines in the Guardian.

Daily Wine News: Changing Terroir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-16-2019

wine_white_wine_glass-499579.jpg!dIn Mark Bittman’s new publication Heated, Jason Wilson considers how the definition of terroir must evolve as climate change progresses. “As we move deeper into this era of severe climate change, the notion of what is “standard” and what is “flawed” may also have to evolve… “Flawed” or “tainted” labels are often an attempt by vested interests — influencers, sommeliers or buyers, trade groups, corporate beverage conglomerates — to control taste. What is positioned as “standards” excludes flaws that may not be flaws at all.”

“Nobody actually says Make America Great Again during the 103 agonising minutes of Wine Country, but one suspects it’s mostly because the writers are not self-aware enough to have a character do so.” Peter Pharos reviews the new Wine Country film on Tim Atkin’s website.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss shares why he believes Chablis is the purest Chardonnay.

Tim McKirdy gets exciting about Spanish wine in VinePair. “Don’t be fooled into thinking Spain’s renaissance is confined to obscure, lesser-known regions, either.”

Wine & Spirits Magazine critics pick their favorite canned wines.

In Vinous, Neal Martin gets a taste of Burgundy dating back to the 19th century.

Chloe Sorvino takes a look at the sizable growth of the natural wine movement in America in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: Priced Out of Napa

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-15-2019

(Source: Visit Napa Valley)

Welcome? (Source: Visit Napa Valley)

Napa wine industry veterans Diana Lucz and Steve Lawrence were priced out of Napa. So they bought a French chateau instead. Esther Mobley shares their story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In SevenFifty Daily, Julie H. Case explore why some producers still use the name Fumé Blanc to convey style, and to set the wine apart in the market. “Sometimes, it serves to clue consumers in on a lack of sweetness in the wine; other times, it’s used to avoid association with the pyrazine notes common in Sauvignon Blanc. And many times, it’s all about name association—whether to play up a positive or create distance from a negative.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Julie H. Case discovers how the tannic grape of France’s Madiran has found its New World calling in refreshing and bright coastal reds in Uruguay.

In the Wine Spectator, James Molesworth and Cassia Schifter compile data about the 2018 Bordeaux futures prices.

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher pen a love letter to chenin blanc in Grape Collective.

Stephen Brook recently tasted some recent and older vintages from Littoria’s range of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnays and offers his impressions in Decanter. (subscription req.)

Wine Enthusiast editors take a look at California’s up-and-coming grapes.

Daily Wine News: In Defense of Pairings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-14-2019

Pasta_with_Pork_and_Amarone_and_Eggplant_ParmeseanIn reaction to Tim Hanni MW calling food and wine pairing “bullsh*t,” Anthony Mueller pens a defense of wine and food pairings on Robert Parker’s Wine Journal. “A thoughtful food and wine marriage will make both elements come alive while creating lasting memories for the taster. And the science of how food and wine molecularly bind together, equalize, neutralize and/or enhance the flavors of one another is not bullsh*t, nor is the enjoyment that it delivers.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl explains the importance of a wine’s acidity. “Heaviness in wine just doesn’t do it for me. I want depth rather than strength, and usually this comes with higher acidity and lower alcohol. I believe both these elements allow the fruit that goes into the wine to shine through more clearly.”

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Jill Barth explores Michigan’s five appellations and the future of the state’s wine industry.

In NPR, Shana Clarke looks at why some wineries are becoming “Certified B Corp”—and what it means. “While organic or biodynamic certifications are big buzzwords in winemaking today, B Corp calls for full transparency in the way a company conducts business — and not just in the vineyard. B Corp companies strive to be stewards of social change. As conversations around mindful winemaking continue to evolve, more wineries are aspiring to receive this certification.”

Tom Hyland takes a look at Burgundy’s 2017 offerings in Wine-Searcher. “Is there a recent vintage these vintners can compare to 2017? For Patriat, “maybe 2011, but with more concentration.”’

On JancisRobinson.com, Alder Yarrow reports on the renaissance of sparkling wine production in California. (subscription req.)

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes explores how indigenous varieties and dynamic flavor profiles are among the factors helping Turkish wine break ground in the U.S.