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

Riesling!

Riesling!

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.

Daily Wine News: Reputation in Question

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-18-2016

(Source: Perrier-Jouet)

(Source: Perrier-Jouet)

Jancis Robinson revisits the acclaimed 1996 Champagne vintage 20 years later to find out how the wines have aged, and reconsiders the vintage’s greatness. “…it seems to me that you have to head for the crème de le crème of Champagne to be guaranteed a really outstanding 1996, and that yes, there are indeed disappointments to be found.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre is impressed with Austria’s 2015 white wines. “These are among the best white wines in the world in terms of value and quality, and they’re enjoying the best vintage in recent memory.”

Wines & Vines reports on the current state of California vineyards.

In Munchies, Amy E. Robertson discovers the winemaking culture of Lebanon, and considers the impact of war on the area.

In the Financial Times, Alan Livsey considers the Bordeaux wine market after this year’s en primeur and the Brexit vote.

Lettie Teague on how great the quality and price of Sonoma Cabernet is in the Wall Street Journal.

In Vinous, David Schildknecht reports on the 2014 Saar vintage.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman talks to David Adelsheim about his decision to renew his Oregon winery’s Pinot Noir focus on the Chehalem Mountains AVA.

Wine Reviews: Arinzano

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-16-2016

IMAG394d1Sancho Fortuñones de Arínzano first produced wine in this Navarra site in the 11th Century. So, yeah, there’s some history behind this special spot.

Arinzano received a Vino de Pago classification in 2007, a heralded designation for certain estate-grown and produced Spanish wines.The vines are planted in loam, sand and limestone soils in a cooler area of the Pyrennes, and the vines climb to 1,600 feet.

In brief, these wines are exciting and delicious. Vibrant, bright, complex, full of earthy spice and complexity. And, considering the price, Arinzano is easy to explore.

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

Daily Wine News: Salty, Savory, Sicilian

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-15-2016

Carricante grapes. (Source: Tenuta delle Terre)

Carricante grapes. (Source: Tenuta delle Terre)

“Eastern Sicily, including Etna, is dominated by red wines. Yet the whites, made primarily if not entirely of carricante, may be even more distinctive. The best carricantes, like Benanti’s Pietra Marina, are profoundly savory, with a striking saline flavor. In a word, salty.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov is impressed with the whites coming from Etna, and especially those coming from Milo.

“Generally a well-kept secret, in the past few years, partly thanks to special attention in the 2015 documentary film Somm: Into the Bottle, cru Beaujolais’ star is steadily rising,” says Susan H. Gordon in Eater.

According to new Nielsen data, canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, growing 125.2% in sales in the 52 weeks ending on June 18.

Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr. is experimenting with dynamite to monitor its effects on sub soils in his vineyards, reports the Drinks Business.

Tom Wark comments on a recent Sonoma County board meeting, in which local residents supported new restrictions on wineries being able to serve food in tasting rooms. “It appears the primary criticism of wineries offering food pairings with their wine tastings is that it works; that is, visitors like it and it might encourage more visitors to come to wineries.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson reflects on the Bordeaux 2015 campaign, which “showed this traditional method of selling still has some resonance with the market.”

In Palate Press, David Rogers profiles Will Berliner, an American winemaker making wine in Australia who is “producing low-output wines of unique garagiste appeal.”

In Edible East End, Richard Olsen-Harbich tells the story of cabernet franc on Long Island.