Wine Reviews: California White Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 08-27-2016

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, blends, this report features a bunch of California white wines from all over the state. The Dragonette Cellars Duvarita Vineyard 2014 was shockingly good, while Sonoma Chardonnay purveyor La Pitchoune continues to impress me with their 2013s. Toss in some newly-released Sauvignon Blancs and a few blends, and you’ve got a nice selection of late summer sippers.

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

Daily Wine News: Evolution in Etna

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-26-2016

Frank Cornelissen (Flickr: FrankCornelissen2)

Frank Cornelissen (Flickr: FrankCornelissen2)

Eric Asimov profiles Frank Cornelissen in the New York Times. “Perhaps as surprising as this modest wine, Mr. Cornelissen over the years has also evolved, and his winemaking has matured. Far from the dogmatic winemaker many imagine, he has let experience dictate which methods work and which do not. He is no less dedicated to making wines without artifice that he believes will convey the essence of Etna.”

“France has revived a controversial rule allowing winemakers to buy in grapes to cover extensive losses from severe frost and hailstorms in some areas,” reports Caroline Henry in Decanter.

Variety reports that USA Network is developing “Connoisseur,” an hourlong drama that centers around a brilliant con artist who dupes the wealthiest, most powerful people in the country into paying millions for fake wine — which sounds like it was inspired by none other than Rudy K.

On the blog for Melville Winery, Chad Melville shares his disappointment at the recent Sta. Rita Hills AVA expansion. “Truly legendary places and institutions are built upon strong foundations. If a foundation is ever-shifting, how can permanence and true greatness ever emerge there?”

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Michael Steinberger offers an in-depth look at the fall of Premier Cru and how owner John Fox scammed his clients.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, offers a preview of his next book, Around the World in Eighty Wines.

In Forbes, Tom Mullen explains how the shape of a glass shapes the taste of a wine.

Fiona Beckett on Nero d’Avola from Sicily in the Guardian.

Daily Wine News: The Wines of Summer

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-25-2016



What is the quintessential summer red wine? Jon Bonné considers the options in Punch. “If it seems like we’re fixated on the idea of light summer reds, that might be because just a few years ago, this subset of wine was still a novelty. It was only too recently that the era of big reds was upon us, and lightness, in the view of that era’s critics, equalled weakness.”

In Decanter, Michael Edwards compares 1996 Champagnes to 2006 Champagnes.

Adweek considers how wine in a can and “brose” are helping marketers appeal to millenials.

Wines & Vines looks at what wine retailers like in wine packaging, and finds that wine in cans is gaining popularity but going to trendy can backfire.

Ray Isle highlights seven female winemakers running some of Italy’s top vineyards in Food & Wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl MW shares the story behind Crémant d’Alsace.

Dorothy J. Gaiter explores the ageability of California Chardonnays in Grape Collective.

In Wine-Searcher, winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and music executive Jay Boberg reflect on their road from a lucky encounter in 1988 to their first release of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

According to VinePair, wine coolers are making a comeback

Daily Wine News: Champagne Shortage?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-24-2016

Glass_of_champagneAccording to Decanter, there’s no need to panic about a Champagne shortage. “Jean Marie Barillère, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, said that he does not expect any shortage of Champagne ‘for the next five or six years’. But he added that prices will still rise.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto finds that famed enologist Carlo Ferrini’s small private vineyard may produce Montalcino’s best-kept secret.

Patrick Cappiello, the wine director at Rebelle in New York City, blind tastes cheap sparkling wine under $15.

“Abruzzo, long a sort of sleeping giant of Italian wine in which producers were content with making big, hearty reds and inoffensive, simple whites with no staying power, is fast becoming one of Italy’s most exciting wine destinations,” says Ian D’Agata in Vinous.

The Napa Valley Register looks at the new startup Winecrasher, an online wine retail website that follows a “crash-pricing” model. “Customers receive all the relevant information about the wine they’re about to purchase, including region, vintage, varietal, tasting notes and an external critics score. However, the label of the wine is only revealed after the purchase is complete.”

In Grape Collective, Monty Waldin talks with Michael Schmelzer of Monte Bernardi about the marketing challenges Chianti Classico faces.

Tom Wark responds to the news of Steve Heimoff’s retirement.

In Palate Press, W. Blake Gray takes on affordable white Burgundies.

Daily Wine News: Retirement News

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-23-2016

Kevin Zraly.

Kevin Zraly.

According to the New York Times, Kevin Zraly will be teaching his last class at the Windows on the World Wine School this fall.

Steve Heimoff retires, quitting his job at Jackson Family Wines. “I will continue this blog. But there will be changes. Big ones. Going forward, I’ll write about anything that interests me. It won’t necessarily be about wine.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan reflects on past orders and remembers those that stand out. Have you ever given too much information in a gift note? You’ve probably not been forgotten.

Is the future for nebbiolo in Piedmont under attack? Alfonso Cevola investigates.

California Wine Institute is not pulling out of the UK after all, according to Decanter.

R.H. Drexel’s column has now joined The Wine Advocate team. The first entry, an excerpt about cellar hand Nico Fritz from the Paso Robles issue of Loam baby appears on

Wine-Searcher reports that after years of fighting, a few more wineries can now label their wines under the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

Grape Collectives talks to artisanal Franciacorta winemaker Giovanni Arcari about how he is able to make terroir focused, world-class sparkling wine without adding sugar, “as is the norm in Champagne.”

In Food & Wine, Anya von Bremzen finds Friuli to be one of Italy’s most exciting wine regions.

Daily Wine News: From Sports to Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-22-2016

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

In the Columbia Journalism Review, Bill Ward considers the group of sports writers who have switched to writing about wine. “You don’t root for the team. You root for the game. You root for the story. It’s similar in wine.”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy wants you to reconsider Argentine Malbec. “But for the past few years, restless, experimental winemakers have been intent on making more serious, elegant malbecs that are brighter, less oaky, and lower in alcohol than those from a decade ago. They’re very much in tune with the zeitgeist…”

Decanter reports that the Languedoc has suffered the worst hail in living memory.

Elsewhere in Decanter, Chris Mercer reports that a fire believed to have been started deliberately has destroyed the Tuscan Village winery in Lake County.

In Forbes, Thomas Pellechia wonders if the wine in kegs trend is here to stay.

The Drinks Business rounds up “Eight Irritating Habits of People in the Wine Trade.”

On Tim Atkin’s site, Henry Jeffreys studies the past in an attempt to better understand the future of wine.

Dave McIntyre considers the finding that organic wines taste better than others in the Washington Post. “Personally, I’ve found eco-certification is not a guarantee of high quality. But wines made from organic grapes or with biodynamic viticulture — or even those labeled “sustainable,” with or without certification — often taste more lively, even compelling, than other wines.”

Wine Reviews: California Bordeaux Reds

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 08-20-2016

Yes, California Cabernet is king, but this report includes some solid examples of Merlot, Malbec and Bordeaux varietal blends. Actually, a Malbec in this report blew me away with its awesomeness.

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

Weekly Interview: Christian Moreau

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 08-19-2016

Christian Moreau

Christian Moreau

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Christian Moreau of Domaine Christian Moreau Père et fils.

As you’ll read below, Christian spend eleven years in Canada before returning to his family estate in Chablis.

After forty vintages in Chablis, he has much to say about the uniqueness of Chablis, the value of Chablis, and the pleasures of Chablis. Nowadays, his son Fabien is in charge of winemaking at the family estate, and he has some words to share about Fabien, too. In these last weeks of summer, this may be the perfect time to reach for some Chablis Villages.

Check out the interview below the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Craft Beer vs. Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-19-2016

beer_food_bazaarCan Bordeaux ever really be for the craft beer generation? Jane Anson gives her view in Decanter. “Sommeliers in the US moved on from Bordeaux so long ago that the whole craft beer generation has grown up not having ever experienced Bordeaux wines… For Bordeaux wine to mean anything to these drinkers, the region needs to seriously work out a better way of connecting with them.”

The European grapevine moth — which has threatened crops valued at $5.7 billion, has been eradicated from the state of California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Stuart Pigott is back on Grape Collective with a new piece: “How the Hipster Somms Could Get Away with Murder and How We Can Stop Them.”

Wine Enthusiast’s California editors name some of the state’s best vineyards, including Ritchie Vineyard, Savoy Vineyard, and more.

The Wine Institute of California is to close its UK office next month following severe cuts in funding from the US Dept of Agriculture, reports the Drinks Business.

In the Napa Valley Register, Mary Thompson visits Germany and discovers the country is experience a “bit of a wine renaissance.”

Jennifer Fiedler looks at the different wine bottle designs in Punch.

R.H. Drexel talks to security guard turned wine educator, Dana Hunter about his unconventional entry into the world of wine.

Daily Wine News: Slovakian Tokaj

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-18-2016

Vineyards in Slovakian Tokaj. (Wikimedia)

Vineyards in Slovakian Tokaj. (Wikimedia)

In the New York Times, Miroslava Germanova visits Slovak Tokaj, “one of the smallest wine regions in the world, according to local tourism organizations and wine producers, with only 2,241 acres.”

James Suckling discusses the Vietti sale in Asia Tatler’s September issue. “What’s so bad about an American family buying a top Piedmont winery, especially if the Italian family no longer wants to own it?”

Renowned rosé producer Domaine Tempier purchases fellow Bandol estate, Domaine de la Laidière, reports Wine Spectator.

In Vinous, Ian D’Agata gives an overview of the 2014 vintage and late-release 2013 wines in Alsace.

Wine-Searcher checks in on the harvests in Washington, California, and Bordeaux.

“If Napa and Sonoma are the Beatles and Stones of California wine regions, Paso Robles must be Led Zeppelin,” says Chicago Tribune’s wine columnist Michael Austin.

In Vogue, Julia Felsenthal finds The Wine Show a bit bizarre and a bit charming. “The Wine Show then is best understood as a bromance undergirded by a sly educational mission: Sideways meets HGTV.”

Gavin Quinney of Chateau Bauduc offers a report on Bordeaux 2016’s bone-dry summer in Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages.

NPR features The Peter J. Shields Library at UC Davis project, which aims to trace the history of the wine industry in California and across the world through wine bottle labels.