Daily Wine News: California’s History

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-26-2017

2000px-Flag_of_California.svgIn the Daily Beast, Frances Dinkelspiel delves into the history of enslaved Native American workers in California’s vineyards during the 1850s gold rush.

Jancis Robinson tells the story of Champagne Jayne and her lawsuit with the CIVC over use of the name Champagne. “The CIVC lawyers are the most active in the world of wine. Attempts to restrict the name champagne to the sparkling wines of the Champagne region are legendary, and have by and large been notably successful… The harder the CIVC pushed, the more she dug in her heels.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Morris looks at how wineries are meeting a worldwide environmental challenge to converse water, and how less water use impacts the wine.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on Maryland’s burgeoning wine industry after attending Taste Camp.

Martin and Olivier Bouygues, owners of Bordeaux second-growth Château Montrose, have acquired Clos Rougeard in a deal that closed on June 22, reports Wine Spectator.

Alfonso Cevola explores how old Italian-American restaurants feel about new Italian wine.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores the savory side of rosé.

In Vinous, David Schildknecht reports on Mosel’s 2015 vintage.

Wine Folly’s Madeline Puckette on the benefits of low tannin reds.

Daily Wine News: Bond, Books & Beyond

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-23-2017

Bond Estate labels.

Bond Estate labels.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer had the opportunity to taste ever wine bottled under the Bond Estates name—67 in total—and offers a brief history of the Bill Harlan project.

Bertrand Celce visits the Languedoc to focus on the appellations Corbières-Boutenac and Minervois-La Livinière.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague revisits past wine fads and elicits predictions for future trends. (subscription req.)

A new book on the wines and winemaking culture of Georgia by wine writer Miquel Hudin has been released, reports the Drinks Business.

The Napa Valley Register’s Henry Lutz says the grapes in Napa are thriving in the recent heat wave, despite it being hard on most humans.

Reagan Daly writes in defense of the half-bottle of wine in VinePair.

In Wine Enthusiast, Bryce Wiatrak and Jim Gordon discover Livermore’s vibrant wine culture and offer tips on what to do during a visit.

In Meininger’s, Liza B. Zimmerman on why prosecco is an appealing bubbly buy for airlines.

In the Guardian, Fiona Beckett looks at how orange wine, or amber wine, is growing in popularity and normalizing.

Jeff Kralik, aka the Drunken Cyclist, blind tastes 29 American “true rosés” and offers his thoughts on which are the best.

Daily Wine News: Pondering Greatness

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-22-2017

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Today’s greatest wines aren’t necessarily the “great” wines, says Matt Kramer in Wine Spectator. “Thanks to a seriousness of purpose on the part of producers—meaning lower yields, nursing old vines, selecting superior clones and exacting winemaking—we are today seeing numerous great wines that are not conventionally recognized as “great.””

Meanwhile, over on 3 Quarks Daily, Dwight Furrow uses art as a lens to ponder the question: What makes a great wine great?

Jeremy Parzen reports that Slow Wine will publish its first-ever guide to the wines of California in early 2018.

In the Press Democrat, Chris Smith reports that Christopher Silva, president and CEO of Sonoma Valley’s St. Francis Winery, died Tuesday morning. He was 52.

Speaking to the Drinks Business, Italian winemaker and consultant Alberto Antonini says winemakers need to gain more confidence and feel comfortable making authentic wines instead of “Justin Bieber” commercially focused wines made to suit the market.

VinePair talks wine with Marissa A. Ross, author of the new book Wine. All The Time — The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking.

In Punch, Jon Bonné offers a guide to the best of summer’s first-wave rosés.

In Fortune, John Kell profiles Drew Barrymore and her position in the wine business.

Daily Wine News: Pre-Revolution Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-21-2017



In Architectural Digest, Nick Mafi reports that the oldest bottle of Bordeaux, dating back to the 1700s—a time before the French Revolution and Napolean—was discovered at Château Coutet.

Alfonso Cevola has a message for the Italian winemakers experiencing a rosé identity crisis: “So please, dear producers in Puglia (and Basilicata, Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Sardegna, Abruzzo and so on..), please get over your Provence envy in regard to the color of your rosé and keep making what it is you became famous for. Follow not the trends.”

“France’s devastating spring frosts will cut into the crop size; Napa’s hailstorm won’t.” In Wine Spectator, James Laube looks at how little variation there is in most vintages, especially in California, and says “vintages hardly matter anymore.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Jamie Goode reviews Alice Feiring’s new book, The Dirty Guide to Wine: Following Flavors from Ground to Glass. “Feiring does a good job in describing some of her favorite wine regions and producers, as well as the soils she encounters along her travels. But what she fails to do is make any convincing case for matching soil type and wine flavor.”

The Drinks Business reports on a speech made by Miguel Torres at Vinexpo this week, in which he took the opportunity to defend wine’s importance in the world.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence checks out a Brunello di Montalcino project headed by Richard Parsons, the former CEO of AOL Time Warner. “In 2000, to the surprise of many, he purchased a small estate in Brunello di Montalcino, Il Palazzone.”

W. Blake Gray says Roero Arneis is Italy’s overlooked great white wine in Palate Press.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, offers a few impressions of wine and wine tourism in Cyprus.


Daily Wine News: A Look at Acquisitions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-20-2017

(Source: Schrader Cellars)

(Source: Schrader Cellars)

“As both large producers and mid-sized players like Huneeus Vintners, Vintage Wine Estates and others continue to seek footholds in the local wine industry, the spate of high-profile acquisitions of Napa properties has helped curate a favorable position for sellers. “ In the Napa Valley Register, Henry Lutz looks at the increasing acquisitions of Napa Valley wineries by large wine producers.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray talks to those in shock by the news that Constellation Brands has purchased Schrader Cellars.

Wine Spectator reports on the “Fire and Rain: Climate Change and the Wine Industry” presentation at Vinexpo, in which Miguel Torres, Gaia Gaja, Kathryn Hall and Harvard professor John Holdren discussed environmental issues facing vintners today and in the future.

Andrew Jefford looks at how Burgundy is shaping up in 2017 in Decanter.

R.H. Drexel remembers Richard Ward on RobertParker.com.

Robert Joseph on “the art of wine wrestling” in Meininger’s.

The Tax Foundation looks at how high wine taxes are in every state.

In Palate Press, Simon Woolf takes on the issue of winery tasting fees. “The challenges are twofold: What constitutes a reasonable fee, and how flexible does one need to be?”

Ian D’Agata offers his thoughts on wines from Abruzzo and Molise in Vinous.

Daily Wine News: Biodynamic Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-19-2017

(Source: Château le Puy)

(Source: Château le Puy)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov visits Château le Puy, a biodynamic producer in Bordeaux. “Almost all agriculture was organic until after World War II, when chemical agriculture became the norm. But not at Le Puy, where the soil has never felt the sting of fertilizers and herbicides.”

Elsewhere in the New York Times, Lucas Peterson chronicles his journey to what is known as “the Sherry Triangle.”

Jancis Robinson looks at the exciting possibilities for Greek wine. “You only have to look at a wine list in Greece to see what treasures (and unfamiliar names) it has to offer the curious wine drinker.”

“Constellation Brands has purchased Napa Valley cult winery Schrader Cellars,” reports James Laube in Wine Spectator.

Grape Collective talks to Steve Matthiasson about balance, organics and philosophical wine movements.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on Old Westminster Winery’s redevelopment of Burnt Hill Farm and the crucial decisions being made before planting a vineyard.

In Vogue, Christine Pérez asks: “Is it really so wrong to put ice in your wine?

Paul Franson profiles Delicato Family Vineyards, ranked seventh largest wine company in America, in the Napa Valley Register.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettman explores both the allure and challenges of old vines on the Central Coast.

Daily Wine News: A Love Letter to Pinot

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-16-2017

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

In Purple Pages, Richard Hemming reflects on his obsession with Pinot Noir. “When I open a bottle of wine, it is in ultimate pursuit of exactly what has been suppressed: a deep, raw, emotional reaction – something charged with passion and spontaneity and animal instinct. And no type of wine promises such ecstasy more than Pinot Noir.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson says the Bordeaux négociant system is in flux. “What will happen now isn’t clear. As châteaux change their business model to selling older stock that has been held back at the châteaux, they are taking on négociants’ roles as stock holders – which must surely mean they will be more closely exposed to consumers’ reactions to prices.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Comiskey explores why blending wine is one of the fastest growing trends in the wine industry. “For the big wine companies, with their vast vineyard holdings and surplus juice, the trend has been downright liberating. Tied neither to variety nor place, the wines can be made from anything, come from anywhere, and consumers no longer seem to care about what they don’t know.”

Newsweek reports that Israeli scientists have discovered an “invisible” ancient Hebrew transcription on a shard of pottery dating back to 600 BCE. It read: “If there is any wine, send it.”

Lettie Teague talks to various wine professionals about the wines they’ll be drinking this summer in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

The Guardian’s Fiona Beckett believes Tasmanian wine has more in common with Burgundy than with the Barossa.

In SOMM Journal, Roger Morris looks at the rise of Alentejo.

In Punch, Jon Bonné on Portugal’s under-appreciated white wines.

Daily Wine News: Instagram’s Influence

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-15-2017

Instagram Global Networking Smartphone Mobile PhoneOn the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan wonders how Instagram and other social media might influence winery tasting room design in the future. “In my experience, winery tasting rooms are designed to show you the beauty of the surroundings – rolling hills, rows of grapevines, trees, lovely outbuildings…But very little in the tasting rooms themselves that will draw your eyes to the wine or the inside surroundings to make you want to photograph them.”

In the Napa Valley Register, Jennifer Huffman catches up with Violet Grgich, daughter of Miljenko “Mike” Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate.

In Wine Spectator, Lexi Williams summarizes the different messages of two recent studies that found links between wine and brain health.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy says these are the three bottles you should always have on your fridge door shelves: a crisp, aromatic white; an easy-drinking sparkler; and a Provencal rosé.

Jamie Goode reports from the Atlantic Wine Symposium in Nova Scotia, and offers a glimpse into the region’s wines.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss is betting on Cru Beaujolais’ future.

The Drinks Business considers the potential of nebbiolo in South Africa.

Money Magazine declares that canned wine is the drink of summer 2017.

In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Austin explores Carinena wines.

Daily Wine News: Mondavi Family & MWs

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-14-2017

Peter Mondavi Sr. with sons, Peter Jr., (left) and Marc (right) and his wife, Blanche in 1968. (Source: CK Mondavi)

Peter Mondavi Sr. with sons, Peter Jr., (left) and Marc (right) and his wife, Blanche in 1968. (Source: CK Mondavi)

Roger Morris profiles the Mondavi family in the Drinks Business. “Altogether, there are 16 Mondavi family members active in the wine business, clustered in the three branches of the family – five third generation and 11 fourth generation – producing 17 brands, and importing and selling wines from other countries.”

The Institute of Masters of Wine has released the questions from this year’s Master of Wine Examination. Could you pass the test?

Lettie Teague explores the long overshadowed category of Spanish rosados in the Wall Street Journal (subscription req.).

In the Napa Valley Register, Henry Lutz looks at the growing presence of female workers in Napa vineyards as a result of the labor shortage.

“Austerity is in for Napa Carneros Chardonnay,” says W. Blake Gray. The buttery days are mostly over, he says.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman talks to Gordon M. Shepherd, author of Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, about how we perceive wine.

Elsewhere in the Drinks Business, Rupert Millar reports that Beaujolais is closing in on officially recognized ‘climats’.

In Decanter, William Kelley reports on the hailstorm that hit California over the weekend.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke on Cariñena, the Spanish region that’s trying to differentiate itself from Rioja, Rías Baixas, and Ribera del Duero.

Daily Wine News: From the Rubble

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-13-2017

(Source: Trefethen Family Vineyards)

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter is moved by the 2014 Trefethen Merlot, which was still made and bottled after the earthquake that hit Napa Valley on August 24, 2014. “That it was bottled at all is a testament to the resiliency of the pioneering Trefethen family and the generosity of Nature even after it has seemed cruel and fickle.”

The Drinks Business reports that terroir-focused producers in Rioja have welcomed the new ‘vinedos singulares’ (single vineyard) classification that was given the go-ahead by the Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja last Wednesday.

Karen Moneymaker looks at how Côtes du Rhône continues to refine its appellation structure in SOMM Journal.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patricio Tapia on how cinsault is thriving in the coastal hills of Itata in Chile, “where it not only ripened well, but also quickly earned the nickname “cargadora” (the same word for a front-end loader) for its generous yields, the vines often packed with bunches.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford visits Dal Forno during a trip to the Veneto and is amazed. “In 30 years of wine reporting, I’ve never come across a story quite like this.”

Wine chemist Andrew Waterhouse talks to Chemical & Engineer News about teaching a generation of winemakers, and says the secret to great wine is understanding organic chemistry.

The wine website “I like this grape.” talks with designer Simon Frouws about what goes into designing a wine label, and how wine labels differ from spirits labels.

Tom Mullen explores the growing lure of golf and wine vacations in Forbes.