Daily Wine News: A Fallen Emperor

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-23-2017

Robert_Parker“Robert M. Parker Jr. hasn’t exactly disappeared… Yet, his pervasive influence has receded — markedly… Like all empires, Parker’s turned out to be difficult to defend.” Douglas Hillstrom argues that the “emperor” has fallen. “The final words on Robert M. Parker are yet to be written, but it is not too early to look back and consider his legacy.”

Why doesn’t anyone want dark rosé? Jonathan Lipsmeyer theorizes. “It’s entirely possible that France has convinced the world that pale salmon is what rosé should be, given their market dominance.  Although even Provençal producers have had to render their own rosés paler to meet market demand.  Which begs the question: who’s driving, here?  The consumer or the producer?”

Victoria James explains her unabashed elation for rosé in an excerpt from her new book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé.

Robert Camuto talks to Burgundy’s David Duband about his winemaking journey in Wine Spectator.

David Morrison of the wine blog, The Wine Gourd, looks at the variation of grape varieties in Opus One through time.

Miquel Hudin has won the Drink Writer of the Year title at the annual Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards for his contributions to The World of Fine Wine and Jancisrobinson.com, reports the World of Fine Wine.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford takes a closer look at the Languedoc’s Château Puech-Haut.

In the Washington Post, Jim Barnes profiles Mike Carroll, who opened the wine shop Leesburg Vintner in 1988.

Daily Wine News: Impact of Consultants

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-22-2017

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

In the Harvard Business Review, Jerome Barthelemy turns to the Bordeaux wine industry to look at the impact of hiring consultants and when doing so offers the most value. “My study found that wineries with low-quality terroir benefit more from the help of winemaking consultants than wineries with high-quality terroir.”

Jancis Robinson tastes through 2008 white Burgundies and shares her impressions. “In general I found myself wondering how some of the finest Chardonnays made outside Burgundy would have shown in this line-up.”

W. Blake Gray shares some facts that came from the Silicon Valley Bank’s annual Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales Videocast in Wine-Searcher.

Sophie Barrett visits Arbois and shares a few notes from her trip, including how its vines fared after the frost.

Alfonso Cevola has a few opinions about the wine labels you’re posting on Instagram.

Sam Radford explores the arguments surrounding “international wines” in Grape Collective.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov delves into vermouths.

In Decanter, Michael Edwards gets a taste of the newly released Bollinger Grande Année 2007.

VinePair finds the world’s oldest wine barrel, which still has wine inside it.

In Barron’s, Michael Kennedy, former sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, picks five wines for summer.

Wine Reviews: Bobal

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-20-2017

Bobal - credit Utiel-Requena dot org

Bobal. Credit: Utiel-Requena.org

Here’s a grape and appellation you may not know much about: Bobal from Utiel-Requena.

At some 2,400 feet in elevation, this appellation in Spain’s Valencia region experiences short, dry summers and a climate that combines Mediterranean and continental elements. This is red wine country — about 95% of the 35,000 hectares of vines are planted to red grape varieties, and the Bobal grape counts for about 80% of Utiel-Requena’s vino.

Even though Bobal is one of Spain’s most commonly-planted varieties (behind Airen and Tempranillo), it’s not as well-known, perhaps due to its use as a blending grape with other varieties. Historically, it has been used in the production of bulk wine, usually sourced from flatter, lower elevation vineyards. But in the higher elevation vineyards of Utiel-Requena, producers take this native grape variety seriously, and it’s evident in the glass.

Bobal is a hardy and highly productive red grape with high levels of anthocyanins and resveratrol in its skins. The grapes tend to be dark colored, packed with black fruit and loaded with spice flavors. I’ve found surprising balance in many Bobal wines, stemming from the combination of sturdy tannins and frequently vibrant acidity. And these wines are even more attractive when you look at the price points.

I recently tasted a half-dozen Bobals, and found a whole lot of wine for not much money. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Another Jackson Family Purchase

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-19-2017

(Source: Brewer-Clifton Wines)

(Source: Brewer-Clifton Wines)

Wine Spectator has learned that Jackson Family Wines is acquiring Brewer-Clifton, one of Sta. Rita Hills’ top Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers.

“Beaune has developed a small but growing Japanese expat community, at least 100 strong with another couple hundred living just north in Dijon—not just chefs but winemakers and negociants, all thriving.” In Saveur, Jon Bonné looks at how a Japanese wine community has taken root in the heart of Burgundy.

The Economist shares the results of the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity blind-tasting match. “Given the thousands of potential country-variety pairs, a monkey throwing darts would have virtually no hope of getting a single one right. But 47% of the Oxbridge tasters′ guesses on grape variety were correct, as were 37% on country of origin.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson highlights new Bordeaux wineries to watch.

Tim Atkin considers the future of South American wine. “The thing that really strikes you about the South American wine scene at the moment is the extent to which the best young producers speak the same language and are keen to taste each other’s wines.”

Kate Krader on the trend of breakfast wines and low-alcohol cocktails in Bloomberg.

In Wine Enthusiast, Bryce Wiatrak and Jim Gordon offer tips for traveling to Mendocino and Lake Counties.

In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl explains what “wine product” is and how it differs from wine.

Daily Wine News: Canned Wine Trend

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-18-2017

PUhi5t3Jm3mu8FqkDHGnpLAr2UEFrances Dinkelspiel looks at the rising sales of canned wine, and traces the trend’s origins in the Daily Beast. “While canned wine may be the hot thing to drink this summer, this trend actually stretches back to 2004, when Niebaum Coppola put its Sofia Blanc de Blancs in cans.”

“Hugel, whose opposition to the Alsace Grand Cru regulations has been unwavering since 1983, has finally relented, and is prepared to label its wines grand cru from the 2015 vintage,” reports Margaret Rand in Wine-Searcher.

In Punch, Jon Bonné explores the ambitious producers looking for greatness in Saint-Joseph syrah, and the trouble they face in crafting its identity.

Wines & Vines considers the potential of teroldego in California.

In Palate Press, Simon Woolf finds “rarer curiosities” in the wines of Dalmatia, a region in Croatia.

In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports on recent attacks on cheap Spanish wine by winegrowers in Southern France. “Violent protest by winemakers in the Languedoc is nothing new. It dates back a century. And for more than a decade now, a group called the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole (CRAV) has been attacking targets.”

Ian D’Agata is impressed with the 2016 vintage for Italian rosatos in Vinous.

Maximiliano Morales of AndesWines.com reports on floods in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile in Purple Pages.

Daily Wine News: Notes & Observations

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-17-2017

womanmanwineOn the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan reflects on 10 years of selling wine, noting the increase in first-time millennial customers in recent years. “What makes millennials different from my slightly older customers is that they’ll run through completely mixed cases of wine and I don’t see them ordering the same thing twice.”

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer says these three words must be present in a “great” wine: transformation, layered, persistence.

Jeremy Parzen offers a few thoughts on the importance of sparkling wine, and wonders why they are still misunderstood today.

Aleksandr Iugov was sentenced to four years in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of two years, for selling fake bottles of prestigious Burgundy estates, including of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy, reports Wine-Searcher.

In Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz considers the effect of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017, a bill that could lead to higher-alcohol wines.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, ponders the potential of sherry.

In GQ, Jeremy Repanich looks at comedian Eric Wareheim’s California wine project, Las Jaras Wines.

VinePair’s Vicki Denig talks to 10 sommeliers across the country about which wines are generally a safe bet to order on any list.

In Haute Living, Marika Vida-Arnold, wine director of the Ritz-Carlton New York and owner of Vida et Fils Wine Consulting, speaks about 2017 trends in wine and Champagne.


Daily Wine News: Reactions & Reports

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-16-2017

(Flickr: piker77)

(Flickr: piker77)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reacts to Bianca Bosker’s piece in the Opinion pages of the New York Times. “I would never fault people for the wines they choose to drink, or for not making good wine a priority in their lives. But if you do care about drinking good wine, then you ought to take serious issue with these arguments, as I do.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford wonders why big spring frosts are back, looking to global warming and climate change research for an answer.

Elsewhere in Decanter, Amanda Barnes reports on Chile’s 2017 harvest. “While the affect of smoke taint is still being measured by vintners around central and southern Chile, the character of the fruit this year is reflective of a warm and sunny vintage.”

In Purple Pages, Edgardo Del Pópolo offers a concise summary of the last 22 vintages in Mendoza.

David Schildknecht looks at the 2014 and 2015 Muscadet vintages and offers his thoughts about them in Vinous.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy covers this year’s rosé trends and recommends a handful of serious rosé wines.

In Punch, Zachary Sussman gets a look inside Union Square Café’s cellar, and looks at which wines define wine director Jason Wagner’s list.

Wine Enthusiast rounds up 10 Champagnes under $40.

Daily Wine News: Tracing Zin’s Past

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-15-2017

Zinfandel (Flickr: naotakem)

Zinfandel (Flickr: naotakem)

“Tribidrag, Pribidrag, Crljenak, Primitivo and Zinfandel are one and the same variety.” Jancis Robinson traces the history of the zinfandel grape. “…because the mystery of its origins persisted for so long, this grape is in the unusual position of going under several different names commercially, even within Croatia.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre attends a tasting organized by eastern vintners, and is impressed by a sparkling wine from New Jersey, made by Heritage Vineyards.

Decanter on the new generation of winemakers taking the garganega grape to new heights in Soave.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at how tougher rules around immigrant labor could see a hike in wine prices in California wine country.

“Bordeaux estates are starting to price their 2016 wines for release to the international trade at a higher level than the 2015 vintage,” reports Guy Collins in Bloomberg.

Alfonso Cevola covers the last five vintages of Italian wine, from 2012-2016. “Never have we seen more great wine coming out of this land once called Oenotria… the last five vintages have bestowed a largess upon wine lovers almost to the point of excess.”

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks to Hardy Wallace about his label, Dirty and Rowdy, and his journey into wine.

Sales of rosé are higher than any other wines right now. Wines & Vines shares the details.

U.S. News looks at Wisconsin’s growing wine industry.

Wine Reviews: Troon Vineyard

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-13-2017


Credit: Troon Vineyard

Southern Oregon is home to some gorgeous wines. Case in point: Troon Vineyard. Dick Troon first planted vines in Applegate Valley back in 1972, and after selling his grapes to other winemakers for years, he decided to build a winery and make his own wines. In 2003, local businessman and wine collector Larry Martin took control of the winery, replanted to some new varieties, and built a new winery and tasting room.

Under the guidance of General Manager Craig Camp and Winemaker Steve Hall, Troon now produces an array of different wines, from Vermentino and Riesling to red blends, Tannat, Zinfandel and Cabernet. In the cellar, Troon focuses on indigenous yeasts, little to no new oak, foot-trodden grapes, and the result are crisp, vibrant, complex wines with deep fruit and rich non-fruit complexity.

Below are my notes on four of Troon’s new releases, which were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Burgundian Soul

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-12-2017

glassofroseIn Decanter, Jane Anson on Rosé de Riceys, a rosé with a Burgundian soul. “This is a rosé that you approach slowly, piecing together its history and its taste like a jigsaw. It’s little known even in France itself…”

In the World of Fine Wine, Alder Yarrow outlines what he looks for in a wine list, wine list trends he’s noticed, and what he looks for while judging on the panel for the World’s Best Wine Lists.

In Forbes, Susan H. Gordon looks at how Greek winemaker Vassilis Papagiannakos is experimenting with the grape Savatiano to make wines other than retsina.

Paula Forbes wonders if Texas wine will ever be able to make a name for itself in GQ.

Doug Frost, MS, MW talks about Ribera del Duero in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

The Fresno Bee reports that 125 workers were evacuated from the E.J. Gallo winery due to ammonia leak.

In Wine Spectator, Lexi Williams reports on the multiple studies that have found that wine may lower risk of dementia.

Ashley Ragovin, founder of the monthly wine club Pour This, offers a guide to enjoying wine in Life and Thyme.

Is glyphosate in vineyards dangerous? Wines & Vines investigates.

In the Sacremento Bee, Angela Hart looks at how California wine country is evolving into cannabis country.