Daily Wine News: Galician Reds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-27-2017

Mencia growing in Ribeira Sacra. (Wikimedia)

Mencia growing in Ribeira Sacra. (Wikimedia)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Bandol, and announces what’s up next: Ribeira Sacra. “The world of wine has changed greatly in the last 25 years. Few places illustrate these changes better than our next subject, the red wines of Ribeira Sacra.”

Jon Bonné is also thinking about Ribeira Sacra in Punch, where he covers the red wines of Galicia. “Few corners of the wine world offer so much character without also falling prey to pretense.”

Jancis Robinson looks at the state of Chilean wine. “Just as in most wine-producing countries, a revolution is under way. The best and most thoughtful Chilean winemakers are not content to emphasise quantity at the expense of quality.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre gives a few reasons to seek out tap wines when you dine out. “The primary reasons are cost and freshness… you don’t know whether the bottle they’re pouring from was opened two minutes or two days ago.”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy looks at the new wave of white wines coming out from Napa Valley’s cult producers.

“Flow Kana, a California distributor of sustainably sun-grown cannabis, has agreed to purchase Fetzer Winery’s old stomping grounds in Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley,” and some neighbors have expressed concerns, reports the Wine Spectator.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray talks with filmmaker Nicholas Kovacic II about his new documentary, Decanted.

Brian Freedman on how sustainable wine producers are making an impact in Forbes.

Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 02-25-2017

We’re back with another grab bag of wines from all over the world. This report features some bargain Riesling from Mosel, a killer South African Chardonnay, some inexpensive Mendoza goodness, some Portuguese reds, and a few interesting blends from Locations Wines.

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

Weekly Interview: Luis Pato

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-24-2017

Luis Pato

Luis Pato

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Luis Pato, the famed Portugese winemaker at the eponymous Luis Pato Winery.

The Pato family has been making wine at Quinta do Ribeirinho since at least the eighteenth century.

Luis was born and raised in Portugal, though in several different parts of the country, from Coimbra, to Alentejo, to Lison. After serving in the Navy, Luis was a teacher, until he joined the family business. As you likely know, Luis Pato’s wines have been leading the surge in interest in, and quality of, Portugese wines. Luis continues to invent and to reinvent, making his first single-vineyard sparking wine in 2008, Baga sparking wines in 2010, and so on.

Check out the interview below the fold!


Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Storytelling in Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-24-2017

Cabernet Franc on the vine (Wikimedia)

Cabernet Franc on the vine (Wikimedia)

Felicity Carter explores the importance of storytelling in the wine industry in Meininger’s. “If all else fails, tell an animal story: The cat that slept in the fermenter is more of an anecdote than a story, but it has a quirky and memorable quality to it, that will keep customers talking about it every time they pull out your wine.”

“Studies by the centre of viticultural research in Navarra suggest that Cabernet Franc may have originated from the Spanish wine region,” reports the Drinks Business, “although the grape is not authorised by Navarra today.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson explores Corsica’s native grape varieties with the help of local winery owner Jean-Charles Abbatucci and finds the islands is one of the most exciting places to drink wine in France.

In Wine Enthusiast, Ari Bendersky looks at the partnerships between restaurants and wineries to develop exclusive, custom wines.

In Forbes, Brian Freedman considers the unexpected benefits of the recent weather California wine country has been experiencing.

W. Blake Gray also chimes in about how California’s rain will determine the vintage quality in Wine-Searcher.

In Vinous, David Schildknecht shares his reviews of Austria’s 2015 Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners. “Can conditions be too good and the resulting crop too uniformly excellent?”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Carson Demmond talks with Matt Whitney of Eastern Standard Kitchen about baseball and wine, and German orange wine.


Daily Wine News: Selling Students’ Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-23-2017

(Source: UC Davis)

(Source: UC Davis)

UC Davis is now able to start selling students’ wine, reports Decanter. “The recent implementation of the Senate Bill 683 law late last year means that the students’ finished product can now be to be sold to local producers, and served by the bottle at special occasions.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Jamie Goode reviews John Szabo’s book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power. “It is refreshing to see a wine book that focuses not only on place, but also on soil and geology—what vines stick their roots into. The wine world needs more books like this.”

W. Blake Gray gets a taste of Roussin de Morgex, which he says is “the world’s rarest wine grape.”

The Drinks Business considers the many styles of rosé, and looks at the new wave of winemakers “bucking the trend” by using various methods to add complexity to the wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen explore the history of wine in Morocco.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, considers the importance of supermarket wine sales in British Columbia.

The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Austin looks at the quality of Alsatian Pinot Noir.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess debunks the low yield myth, and explains why low yields doesn’t always equal better wines.

Daily Wine News: Define “Luxury Wine”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-22-2017

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

What price is luxury wine? Liz Thach, Janeen Olsen, Laurence Cogan-Marie, and Steve Charters analyze wine marketing literature and current pricing structures in an attempt to answer the question.

Liv-ex looks at how the prices of Right Bank 2007 wines have moved since release.

In Decanter, Ellie Douglas highlights a house that Champagne built. Literally. A builder from western Russia’s Ural Mountains has built a house with 12,000 Champagne bottles.

In the Drinks Business, frontman of the band Tool, Maynard James Keenan, talks about making wine in Arizona. “People ask should I be drinking your 2008 Cabernet now or later? I don’t know. We don’t have years of history to draw from and look at specific changes over that last 300 years. We have been absolutely on the edge, and then there’s another edge. We haven’t fallen off yet. But that friction is where that art happens.”

On Tim Atkin’s blog, Matt Walls says “New Zealand has developed a unique national style of Syrah…If Australian Shiraz has traditionally emphasised the variety’s black fruit flavours, weight and depth, then New Zealand Syrah underlines its red fruit register, acidity and fragrance.”

Sean P. Sullivan on the rocks of Walla Walla Valley in Wine Enthusiast.

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe reviews the new documentary, Decanted. A Winemaker’s Journey.

Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer challenges himself to find bottles $20 or under that he likes, and finds gems from Beaujolais and Australia.

Daily Wine News: New Wine Clubs

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-21-2017

(Source: Pour This)

(Source: Pour This)

“Today’s market is a new frontier… Rather than rely on the palate of one retailer or on Robert Parker 100-pointers, many of today’s digital newcomers promise personalized recommendations.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at “the new generation of wine clubs” for the Bay Area and shares her reviews of 10 different ones.

“It is true that the Loire suffers some disadvantages compared with other established wine regions. It is far from novel…But the Loire’s major problem is the direct result of its being able to produce wines of such vivacity: vintage variability.” Jancis Robinson reflects on the challenges Loire wines are facing.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford heads to Gaillac and discovers Bordeaux and Burgundy have not always produced France’s most luxurious wines. “From 1397, what is probably the wine world’s first brand – Vins du Coq – was created for Gaillac and given official recognition in the early C16…Then, alas, disaster.”

In Forbes, Tom Mullen reports on the evolving wine labels of Bordeaux. ““Today, we don’t need an image of a château…””

In Wine-Searcher, Wink Lorch explains why high-altitude wines are such a big deal.

In the Smithsonian, Karine Vann explores historic Armenian clay karases, and why a new generation of wineries is seeking them out.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman reports on more studies that support terroir.

WineFolly offers tips on how to amass a well-balanced, smart wine collection.

Daily Wine News: The Prosecco Problem

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-20-2017

(Source: La Marca Prosecco)

“We have a winner, both in popular and in electoral votes. And the winner is La Marca. Stick a fork in it – it’s done.” (Photo source: La Marca Prosecco)

Alfonso Cevola on the prosecco problem. “Never have I seen a category so overtaken and dominated in the market since the St. Margherita Pinot Grigio phenomenon. In fact the domination is so totally overwhelming that I have tried to advise hopeful producers to bypass the American market.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley catches up with Jancis Robinson about her recent donation of her life’s work to UC Davis, including wine tasting notes back to 1976. “Her scribblings describe a wine world that no longer exists.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre tastes 16 vintages of Château Montrose dating to 1970, and reflects on what one can learn from sampling different vintages of the wine.

In Bloomberg, Colin McClelland looks at how fine wine prices continue to climb. “Prices for fine wines have climbed to their highest levels since October 2011 on speculation that equities near record highs are poised to drop.”

Can wine be radical? Simon Woolf explores the answer in Palate Press.

In the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Comiskey suggests ways to expand your wine options for 2017.

“Western Australia’s Swan Valley area has been declared a disaster zone after some of the worst flooding for decades damaged urban areas and also vineyards,” reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

David Williams attempts to define “hipster wine” and offers advice on how to spot them in the Guardian.

Wine Reviews: Château du Moulin-a-Vent

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 02-18-2017

I buy, cellar, and drink a lot of Cru Beaujolais. I love the freshness, the food-friendly appeal, the crisp and complex flavor profiles. They perplex me with their seemingly contradictory traits: they age beautifully but can be so crazy expressive in their youth. On a weeknight, when I’m cooking dinner (it doesn’t really matter what I’m cooking), popping a bottle of Cru Bojo makes everything better.

I recently tasted through four wines from Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent. While not inexpensive, these wines delivered exactly what I love about wines from this region.

The estate and brand have undergone seismic changes since 2009, when grocery store chain owner Jean-Jaques Parinet bought the estate. More than 70,000 vines were replanted and the cellar equipment was updated. Parinet, now overseeing 37 hecrates of vineyards, also decided to vinify four different terroirs separately, emphasizing the diversity of expressions within the vineyards.

Two wines hail from 2012, and two from 2011. 2012 was a rough vintage, with yields way down, and while the finished wines managed to get a good amount of ripeness, the wines are dominated by this zesty acidity, with a lighter frame and more tangy-fruited. But these wines, for palates like mine, are a total blast to drink – bright, fresh, complex, lots of juicy red fruit but some fascinating herbal and savory elements even at a young age.

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

Daily Wine News: Pinot, Mataro & More

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-17-2017

Mataro/Mourvedre (Wikimedia)

Mataro/Mourvedre (Wikimedia)

“Despite the frustrating vagaries of the appellation, which make choosing wines difficult for consumers, the true Sonoma Coast shows great promise for pinot noir.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reviews Sonoma County Pinot Noirs.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patrick Comiskey talks to Steve Edmunds about his pursuit of “mataro” (or mourvedre) in California in the 1980s, partially inspired by the wines of Bandol and Domain Tempier.

Jane Anson checks in on 2007 Bordeaux wines 10 years later in Decanter. “No doubt lower down the scale, many wines in this vintage have had their day, so I wouldn’t start rounding up any 2007s you can get your hands on, but if you have been worried about any of the good quality names that you are holding on to, I would relax and find a corkscrew.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on how Bolla is shifting its focus away from cheap, expressionless wine.

In VinePair, Linda Gradstein profiles the couple behind Cantina Guiliano, a Tuscan winery that makes kosher wines.

Vinous’ Antonio Galloni finds value and everyday gems in Piedmont.

In USA Today, Lauren Mowery highlights wineries to visit in Calistoga, California.

Elsewhere in the New York Times, a look at the growing trend of cat wines.