Daily Wine News: Grüner’s Possibilities

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-29-2016

Grüner Veltliner. (Wikimedia)

Grüner Veltliner. (Wikimedia)

“I actually loved these wines, or at least the possibilities they offered. And I loved that whatever I had been missing about grüner veltliner before now seemed obvious to me.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers his notes on the latest Wine School, and announces what’s up next: Albariño.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Jamal Rayyis explores Lebanon’s wine industry, and chronicles the country’s search for a flagship red. “Despite its ancient heritage, the Lebanese wine industry is defining itself anew, especially around questions of which grapes and what styles of wine best reflect the country.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson looks at how the garagiste movement in Bordeaux still lives on today.

Josh Raynolds speaks highly of Beaujolais’ 2013 vintage in Vinous. “I can’t imagine any wine lover who enjoys great Beaujolais not being thrilled to have a healthy stash of these wines in their cellar.”

In Food & Wine, Christina Pickard shadows Deirdre Heekin, proprietor of Vermont’s La Garagista Farm + Winery, during a frigid spring in Vermont.

Jancis Robinson shares her story of the last time she saw Denis Dubourdieu, at a lunch in his honor at Ch Haut-Bailly to celebrate his appointment as Decanter’s man of the year.

How did Premier Cru accrue $70 million in debt? Frances Dinkelspiel investigates how the business operated, and discovers where shortcuts were taken and mistakes were made.

Grape Collective talks to Sean O’Callaghan of Chianti’s Riecine about being an outsider pushing innovation in Chianti Classico.

Daily Wine News: Single Estate Cava

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-28-2016

Glass of cava. (Source: Consejo Regulador del Cava)

Glass of cava. (Source: Consejo Regulador del Cava)

In Harpers, James Lawrence reports on the mixed reactions to Cava’s new classification, Cava de Paraje Calificado (Single Estate Cava), which will come from vineyards that must be at least 10 years old with a maximum output of 8,000 kg per hectare, and hand harvested.

In Decanter, Jane Anson reflects on the life of Denis Dubourdieu, nicknamed the Pope of Wine. “He was the true successor to the legends of 20th century Bordeaux oenology Emile Peynaud and Jean-Ribéreau Gayon.”

Susan H. Gordon looks at the top sommeliers that have turned to winemaking in recent years in Eater.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patricio Tapia explores the wines of Asturias in Spain, which is well known for its cider production but not its wine.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan catches up with cookbook author, Lucinda Scala Quinn, in a discussion around cooking, growing up with an “old-school Italian wine snob” for a father, and encountering unfortunate situations with incredible wines.

Aaron Ayscough of Not Drinking Poison in Paris profiles Leynes vigneron Jean-François Promonet. “Promonet professes to being a poor salesman of his own wines, a situation worsened by his contrarian decision to bottle his wines in clear glass, and partly in Bordeaux bottles. The wines look cheaper than they taste.”

W. Blake Gray considers the politics of California wine country.

Vicki Denig covers the history of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and French AOCs in The Back Label.

Daily Wine News: Denis Dubourdieu

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-27-2016

Denis Dubourdieu.

Denis Dubourdieu.

Professor Denis Dubourdieu, one of the most respected winemakers and wine researchers of his generation, has died in Bordeaux, reports Decanter. He was 67.

In Forbes, Tom Mullen remembers Denis Dubourdieu. “He helped re-shape modern appreciations of how the production of good wine relies not only on grapes and technical techniques, but on how land is managed.”

In Punch, Megan Krigbaum looks at the sommeliers who are fashioning wine lists that change daily in an effort to better compliment the kitchen.

In Wine-Searcher, Caroline Henry explores “méthode ancestrale” sparking wines and the rapid growth of pét-nat.

According to the Guardian, Australia’s De Bortoli Wines aims to be the country’s first zero-waste winery by using solar energy, no sodium and organic fertilizer.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, shares what he learned at Riesling Rendezvous, which he says “revealed a wine world taking the next step from dichotomies to richer ways of thinking.”

A new wine label transcription project called Label This is now crowdsourcing assistance to help establish a searchable database out of UC Davis.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer reports on the 2015 and 2014 Chablis vintages.

Rachel Signer visits Les Vignerons Parisiens, Paris’s first urban winery, in Food Republic.


Daily Wine News: Teague on Jersey

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-26-2016

New_Jersey_PhysiographyIn the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague clearly isn’t very impressed by the New Jersey wine scene. “That brings up another problem with many New Jersey wines: They tend to be rather expensive, given their quality. I tasted some wines that cost more than $40 but weren’t as good as wines from around the world that cost far less.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford heads to Alsace’s Niedermorschwihr and discovers great winemaking at Albert Boxler. “…the greatness of Jean Boxler’s wines is as close to Nordic perfection as you’ll find in the region.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray on words like “organic” and “biodynamic” can often be seen as a drawback in marketing Napa wines.

Spanish wine producer Bodega Torres is reintroducing indigenous Catalan red grape Moneu in Penedès following trials to determine the variety’s potential, reports the Drinks Business.

Robert Camuto gets a taste of Domaine Tropez’s Grégoire Chaix’s new trendy pink wine cocktail, “Ice Tropez” in Wine Spectator.

On Tim Atkin’s website, Andrea Frost reflect on Europe’s influence on wine and wonders where we’d be without it.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kara Newman profiles Paso Robles husband-and-wife Alex and Monica Villicana, winemakers turned distillers.

The Los Angeles times offers a rosé wine guide for beginners, experts, and “weirdos.”

Daily Wine News: Somms & Sulfur

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-25-2016

Flickr, jenny downing.

Flickr, jenny downing.

“If more owners would hold their wine buyers to a standard of better business practices, we’d start seeing a shake-out of these overly esoteric wine lists… That’s great for your Instagram feed. But someone needs to be out there, talking about the wines, telling the guests why these wines are on the list. A list alone isn’t good enough. It needs ambassadors to move the conversation forward.” Alfonso Cevola shares a few opinions, and a few words of advice for younger sommeliers.

Jancis Robinson considers the lower levels of sulfur in wines. “The majority of winemakers nowadays try to minimise their sulphur dioxide use… So nowadays it is quite a shock to experience the catch in the throat that signals perceptible sulphur in wine.”

W. Blake Gray wants to save sylvaner in Palate Press. “Sylvaner is very high on the list of wines that don’t thrive in the mass-tasting process… [it] is not very aromatic. What it gives you instead is great texture: good freshness and structure. You have to put Sylvaner in your mouth to appreciate it.”

Authorities in Champagne have set a higher yield this year, despite the difficult growing seasons, reports Caroline Henry in Wine-Searcher.

Less than a week after announcing his candidature, Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger is pulling out of the race to be French president.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reflects on 50 years of the Robert Mondavi winery, and celebrates the man who started it all.

Reuters tells the story of the Zimmermann family’s role in Hungarian winemaking.

Bertrand Celce profiles Judit & József Bodó, who started making wine in Tokaj in 2005.

Wine Reviews: California Pinot Noir

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-23-2016

We’re back with more California Pinot Noir! Since my last report, I’ve tasted through a range of Cali Pinots. This batch is stacked with goodies.

This report includes some stunners from three excellent Sonoma producers: Three Sticks, La Pitchoune, and Alma Fria. I find the latter to be a seriously impressive effort, and their Chardonnay is amazing, too.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted single-blind. (The rosé was tasted sighted.) Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Disappointing Douro

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-22-2016

The Douro Valley (Wikimedia)

The Douro Valley (Wikimedia)

The New York Times wine panel tasted through Douro reds and found that too often something seemed to be lacking from them. “It was as if some of the wines had been presented like living room furniture sets in plastic slipcovers. Regardless of the occasional danger of a stain, you want to liberate those couches so you can feel the unmediated textures and angles of the upholstery.”

Champagne house Veuve Clicquot has just launched its 2008 vintage, the first vintage for 50 years to use oak-aged wine in the blend, reports Adam Lechmere in Wine-Searcher.

In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at the past and future of Savoie, “France’s great mountain region,” and covers the producers to know.

In Decanter, Jane Anson explores the rising reputation of cool climate wines in Australia’s Victoria region.

According to Wines & Vines, Allied Grape Growers president, Nat DiBuduo says “it appears [the 2016] total tonnage in California will be about 4 million tons, more than the small harvest of 2015.”

Jamie Goode offers his thoughts on Underwood’s canned wines. “It feels a bit odd to be tasting wine from the same sort of can that you’d normally be consuming soft drinks from. Super weird, actually… But these cans are just so practical. Why shouldn’t wine be served this way?”

In Food & Wine, Anthony Giglio gets angry when he hears people insult pink wine.

The Corkscrewer Report profiles Napa Valley’s TOR winery and wonders whether Tor Kenward is the “Dr. Dre of wine producers.”

Daily Wine News: Riesling Reports

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-21-2016



Wines & Vines reports from Riesling Rendezvous about climate change’s impact on Riesling production. “Some changes affect how vines respond during the day, others affect how vines behave at night, and others will make vines more vulnerable during specific seasons… And when it comes to Riesling, the answers aren’t at all simple.”

Jamie Goode explains why analytical data doesn’t always give you a clear idea of what to expect from a Riesling wine, in particular with regard to sweetness levels.

Kelli White covers the rise of Finger Lakes wine in Vinous: “with every vintage it is more and more apparent that the Finger Lakes truly is becoming America’s premiere cool climate grape growing region.”

Liv-ex looks at the one-year impact of Robert Parker’s ten-year retrospective review of Bordeaux 2005. “Between June 2014 and June 2015, when Parker’s report was released, the 2005 vintage wines of the Bordeaux Index gained 10.3%. Since then, increases have been slower.”

According to Decanter, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, the president of Taittinger Champagne has told a French newspaper that he plans to run as a candidate in the French presidential election in 2017.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer pens “An Open Letter to Normal Wine Lovers.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Tim Fish pays tribute to Ben Pearson of Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa. Pearson, 56, died unexpectedly this past weekend.

Wine Enthusiast celebrates the strides being made to improve cava.

Daily Wine News: Sabotage & Theft

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-20-2016

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

In what French media has termed “war in Sancerre” — over who should be allowed to grow Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire — one wine producer has complained to police after vandals sabotaged between 5,000 and 6,000 of young vines. Decanter has the details.

Wine Spectator reports that thieves broke into two Barolo wineries, Armando Parusso and Cordero di Montezemolo, in the past three weeks, stealing wine worth more than $200,000.

Last week, news broke that Vietti had been sold. In Wine-Searcher, Luca Currado shares his side of the story, and explains the reasons behind the change in ownership.

Jay McInerney shares how he combined his love of writing and wine. “My ambition to be a novelist and my interest in wine were both inspired by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Everyone in the book was drinking wine all the time, and all the characters were young, jaded, and good-looking. I wanted to write like Hemingway and drink like Jake Barnes.”

Who uses label-scanning apps the most? And which country? Jancis Robinson’s team delves into the data to find out.

In the future, winemakers may be able to select a natural cork closure with a specific concentration of phenolics to positively influence a wine’s development in the bottle. The Drinks Business looks into current research being done on natural cork.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, dissects a recent Liv-ex analysis of Bordeaux’s dismal “new normal.”

When your favorite winery is sold to a large outfit, what questions should you ask? Thomas Pellechia investigates in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: U.S. Market Growth

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-19-2016

The top U.S. wine brand...

The top U.S. wine brand…

The U.S. wine market is expected to continue its long-term growth streak in 2016 and add over 3.5 million cases this year, according to Shanken News Daily.

Wine & Vines reports on top 20 U.S. wine brands, with Barefoot at the top of the list.

Alfonso Cevola profiles Giulio Galli, “the Franciacorta Guy” whose mission is to grow popularity of Franciacorta to America.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford hunts down value and quality in Tain l’Hermitage, where he finds an outstanding wine co-operative. “In Cornas, where land prices are prohibitive for any young grower not fortunate enough to inherit land, the Cave de Tain was recently able to set up four young growers with rental arrangements… these ‘domain’ holdings give the co-operative both a chance to compete at the very highest levels of quality, and a financial stability few others have.”

Wine Folly highlights four of Hungary’s most intriguing wine regions, and offers a quick guide to the country’s wines.

Tom Hyland features the Champagne house, Philipponnat in Wine-Searcher.

Peter Feld talks with Richie Allen, the Australia native who went from a Rombauer internship to top winemaker in Grape Collective.

In Food & Wine, Jane Sigal has a rosé-inspired guide to Provence.