Daily Wine News: The Golden Mile

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-13-2018

Bodega Valdeviñas in Ribera del Duero. (Wikimedia)

Bodega Valdeviñas in Ribera del Duero. (Wikimedia)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patricio Tapia covers the so-called milla de oro (golden mile) of Ribera del Duero, along the Ruta Nacional 122 between Peñafiel and Quintanilla de Onésimo, where you’ll find some of the region’s most important names: Vega Sicilia, Arzuaga, Matarromera, Alión and others that are directly responsible for the fame of Ribera.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth explores the geology of Gigondas with consultant Georges Truc. “…of all the terroirs I’ve seen, few fascinate me as much as that of Gigondas. As dramatic as the Dentelles de Montmirail are (the jagged, teeth-like outcroppings that rise above the town and vineyards of Gigondas), the story of their creation is even better.”

Jancis Robinson surveys the 2018 growing season in France.

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand checks in a year after Guigal’s expansion into Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

In Wine Enthusiast, Carrie Dykes guides you through offbeat adventures in Virginia wine country.

In VinePair, Tim McKirdy covers Argentina’s under-the-radar wine regions.

In Forbes, Per and Britt Karlsson discover Morellino di Scansano.

Grape Collective’s Marco Salerno catches up with Alice Bonaccorsi of ValCerasa in Mount Etna.

In SevenFifty Daily, Vicki Denig talks to Minwoo Kwon of Frederick Wildman & Sons about how he draws on his finance background to pitch accounts.

Daily Wine News: Hybrid Movement

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-12-2018

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

In SevenFifty Daily, Peter Weltman looks at the group of American winemakers pioneering non-vinifera wines. “Because the attention paid to hybrid varieties has yet to reach a critical mass, it’s difficult to characterize winemaking with these grapes as a bona fide movement. And yet it’s the most essential work happening today on the path toward defining truly American wines.”

Wine Spectator announces a few changes in California wine reviewers. James Laube is stepping back from reviewing new releases, and Kim Marcus has been appointed lead taster for the state’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, and senior editor James Molesworth will become lead taster for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Esquire reports that Barack Obama has resurfaced to talk about wine—specifically, urging Portuguese winemakers to adopt and share climate-friendly practices.

Well that was quick. On Tuesday, it was announced that Lot18 was launching a line of wines inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale. Less than 24 hours later the line of wines was cancelled. “Social media backlash immediately followed the wine’s announcement, and this seems to have been the driving force behind the wine’s cancellation.”

Liv-ex provides a report on Burgundy prices. “Over a one year period, it has vastly outperformed all other regions. The Burgundy 150 Index, which tracks prices for 15 top wines from the region, is up 23.7% over 12 months and 10.7% year to date.”

On JancisRobinson.com, Elaine Chukan Brown presents the first in a three-part assessment of the impact of wildfires on the California wine industry.

Peter Mitham reports on the effects of Nova Scotia’s recent frost on the wine region in Wines & Vines.

In Wine Enthusiast, Marshall Tilden III recommends a few summer reds for when you’re sick of rosé.

Daily Wine News: The Women of Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-11-2018

(Flickr: noviceromano)

(Flickr: noviceromano)

“Alexis Percival, one of the beverage directors and a partner at Ruffian Wine Bar, created this women-only wine tasting group in March, after years of frustration with the outright and subtle examples of sexism in her industry.” In the New York Times, Valeriya Safronova reports on a women-only wine tasting group that meets every other week in New York. “Women who choose wines for restaurants and direct beverage programs at bars have not been immune to the abuse… In the company of female peers, many of the women said, those concerns fall away.”

In Chicago Magazine, Whet Moser profiles the Tribune’s Ruth Ellen, who launched the nation’s first newspaper column on wine. “It debuted on February 16, 1962, the first major newspaper wine column…Her first column, granted, was “So You’d Like to Know Wines! It’s Really Simple; Let’s Start with Sherry.””

“I elicit a particular brand of contempt from men who are that serious about wine. Behind my back they talk about how I’m ruining wine by drinking straight from the bottle on Instagram. To my face they say things like “You don’t know how to taste. But if you take off your shirt, I’ll teach you.” And they never forget to tell me it’s “cute” that I wrote a 300-page book about wine, as if it didn’t require any hard work or skill. But I wouldn’t let that stop me from learning everything I could from this Marcucci character.” In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross pens a personal essay about what she learned about how to make wine—and what she learned about herself—from Umbrian natural winemaker Danilo Marcucci.

In Wine Spectator, Simone Madden-Grey reports on the new Appellation Marlborough Wine certification, launched to protect the reputation of the region’s sauvignon blanc.

In Bloomberg, Daniela Guzman reports on how Chilean winemakers are focusing on expanding shipments to China after the country imposed an additional 15 percent tax on U.S. wines in April in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at what makes Josh Perlman’s wine list at Giant in Chicago one of the country’s most exciting.

Emma Janzen talks to sommelier Miguel de Leon about chilled reds for summer in Imbibe.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, ponders the future of the Italian wine industry.

Daily Wine News: Rosé Fraud

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-10-2018

Flickr, Noodle93.

Flickr, Noodle93.

According to BBC, up to 4.6 million bottles of Spanish rosé wine have been labeled as French and sold in French cafes, hotels and restaurants

“High prices for Bordeaux 2017 compared with similar prior vintages, and restrained demand from buyers focusing on a few top labels, is leading to wine stocks backing up at merchants in the French port and a squeeze on margins,” reports Guy Collins in Bloomberg.

Ernest J. Gallo, the son of current president and CEO Joseph Gallo and grandson of co-founder Ernest Gallo, has been appointed chief operating officer, and is scheduled to become president and CEO effective May 1, 2020. Shanken News Daily recently caught up with Gallo to discuss his new appointment.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford reviews Alex Maltman’s recently published book, Vineyards, Rocks, & Soils. “No student of wine should be without this book; every wine writer and sommelier should read it, several times.”

Does Napa Valley have too much Cabernet? W. Blake Gray explores the answer in Wine-Searcher.

Grape Collective talks to Antón Lorenzo, the winemaker of Mas d’en Gil about the terroir of Priorat; especially focusing on Bellmunt del Priorat, where Mas d’en Gil is located as well as their philosophy of viticulture and viniculture.

Tom Wark looks forward to the release of four upcoming wine books.

In Punch, Robert Simonson on the new wave of pink gins that seem to be trying to appeal to the rosé crowd.

Daily Wine News: Madeira, Napa & More

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-09-2018

Madeira wine. (Wikimedia)

Madeira wine. (Wikimedia)

In Saveur, Megan Krigbraum explores the wines of Madeira. “I’ve been to many wine regions, but I’ve never seen a banana tree in one before. Somehow, for the past several hundred years, Madeira has balanced its roles as being a storied wine producer—world-renowned for its fortified wine that’s unmatched in ageability—and a warm-weather escape for mostly northern Europeans…”

How green is Napa Valley? Jancis Robinson explores the answer. “Despite the green credentials now being so widely touted by California’s wine growers and producers, there is still so much more to do…The reality, however, is that the stereotypical Napa Valley recipe of making high-alcohol, highly priced wines from irrigated grapes farmed by third parties using temporary labour is one of the most successful in the world.”

While the overall sale of magnums has been on the decline, U.S. sales of French wine in magnum bottles have risen 16.5%. David Lincoln Ross reports on the trend in SevenFifty Daily.

“Hail and heavy rain have caused at least some damage to several vineyards in Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, mostly in the communes of Prémeaux-Prissey and Nuits-St-Georges,” reports Yohan Castaing in Decanter.

W. Blake Gray shares what one of the most interesting wines he’s tried this year, made from “wild grapevines climbing up tree trunks over a river.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at the ways our wine consumption in restaurants in shifting.

Michael Austin explores Michigan’s wine scene in the Chicago Tribune.

Lettie Teague on German Riesling in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Shades of Pink

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-06-2018

glassofrose“In these mad times when rosé-mania reigns over summer, the sad fact of the matter is that most rosés are not made for people who love wine.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov finds American rosés worth drinking. “If anything, the best American rosés today are exactly what one would want: brisk and refreshing, subtle and savory, never cloying or fatiguing.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Vicki Denig looks at the ways American winemakers are embracing the northern Italian tradition of macerating Pinot Grigio must with its skins to produce copper-hued Ramato.

In Decanter, Jane Anson talks to Jenny Dobson, the New Zealander considered to have been one of the first female cellar masters in the Médoc and who was subsequently nicknamed the ‘queen of red wine blending’ for her consultant winemaking work in her home country.

In Vinous, Neal Martin turns his attention to Château Latour and offers notes on various wines from 1887–2010.

Dr. Cecelia Muldoon, a physicist with a passion for wine, is researching a way to shed light on old problems. Felicity Carter reports in Meininger’s.

In the Courier Post, Robin Shreeves reports on the current state of New Jersey wine.

In Forbes, Courtney Schiessl on what makes the wine club Winc unique.

Daily Wine News: Outcry in France

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-05-2018



A deportation threat to Japanese winemakers has caused an outcry in France. In the Drinks Business, Rupert Millar reports on the case. “Back in April French authorities issued a deportation order, saying that they do not consider the vineyard economically viable; the suggestion being that the pair could become burdens on the state purse should they struggle to pay their taxes etc… Locals involved with the local on and off-trades have been widely quoted as saying what a “shame” and a “great loss” it would be to the area if the Shojis were made to leave.”

A move away from the keyboard to voice commands means winemakers will have to think carefully before they name a wine, says Robert Joseph in Meininger’s.

Chile’s 2018 vintage has been tipped by several winemakers as one of the best in recent years,” reports Amanda Barnes in Decanter, “with a good crop, moderate temperatures and relatively few weather-related dramas.”

In VinePair, Tim McKirdy talks to La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels’s James Sligh about his love for chenin blanc.

Brian Croser reviews Wine and Place by Tim Patterson and John Buechsenstein on JancisRobinson.com.

In SevenFifty Daily, Courtney Schiessl talks to importer Athena Bochanis about how she carved out a niche for Hungarian wine.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy encourages chilling red wines.

Ray Isle offers a travel guide to Australia’s Hunter Valley in Travel + Leisure.

On Good Vitis, Aaron Menenberg tastes through and offers notes on healthy amount of Oregon wines.

Daily Wine News: The Rosé Spectrum

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-03-2018

(Flickr: andyket)

(Flickr: andyket)

Elaine Chukan Brown explores the rosé color spectrum in Wine & Spirits Magazine. “Whether wine drinkers are choosing based on taste or reputation, the popularity of pale Provençal pinks on the marketplace has had one clear effect: light-colored rosés have become de rigueur—to the point where vintners feel pressured to keep colors light.

“The County Fire is huge: 44,500 acres as of Monday morning, with only 3 percent contained. It is already larger than the Tubbs Fire that last year devastated northern Napa Valley and neighboring Sonoma County, and it is growing at a faster rate.” W. Blake Gray offers updates on two Wine Country fires in California in Wine-Searcher. “To the north of Napa, however, the Pawnee Fire has already destroyed 22 structures in Lake County.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at Madeira’s role in American history, and proposes a toast to it as “the wine of American Independence.”

Kelly A. Magyarics explores what makes Georgia the “it” region for wine lovers in Wine Enthusiast.

In SevenFifty Daily, Adam H. Callaghan explores the reasons why some American winemakers are using acacia wood barrels for the production of certain white wines.

Matt Kettmann on the allure of old wines in the Santa Barbara Independent.

In Forbes, Tom Hylan says Taurasi is Italy’s unsung great red wine. “Yet despite its magnificence, Taurasi does not have the marketplace recognition it deserves.”

The Drinks Business reports that Jancis Robinson is launching her own wine glass.

Daily Wine News: Inside Importing

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-02-2018

Flickr, Frank Fujimoto.

Flickr, Frank Fujimoto.

So you want to be a wine importer? Guild Somm’s Kelli White talks to the owners of five different companies about the perils and pleasures of building and running an import portfolio.

In the Oregon Wine Press, Michael Alberty reviews Jason Wilson’s book Godforsaken Grapes. “Fight the monoculture power, defy Robert Parker, and go find your epiphany wine. Wilson has given you the perfect map.”

Is it time to give up on points, ratings and medals? Or do they work for consumers? In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph offers his opinion.

Jamie Goode is also thinking about wine scores. “Should wine scores be absolute? That is, should a 95 point Bordeaux be the qualitative equivalent of a 95 point Douro red or a 95 point Chilean Cabernet? I think: yes. I can’t see a sensible alternative.”

Jancis Robinson reports from a visit with Gianfranco Soldera in southern Tuscany. “Soldera may take it to extremes but being fanatical about quality (and, like Soldera, preoccupied by the effects of climate change) is not so unusual in wine producers today. What is unusual is the breadth of his vision.”

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning talks to Randall Grahm about his attempt to capture California’s terroir and the challenges of doing something original.

AFP reports on the popularity of graphic novels for adults about wine in France.

In Wines & Vines, Stacy Briscoe explores how Lodi grapes can avoid a commodity trap.

Daily Wine News: Asimov on Aligoté

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-29-2018

Aligoté wine from Burgundy. (Wikimedia)

Aligoté wine from Burgundy. (Wikimedia)

“It turns out that aligoté is just like any other sort of wine. You can find good examples, great examples, bad examples, even horrendous examples.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, aligoté, and announces what’s up next: frappato.

Why is wine tasting so hard? Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, Professor Barry C. Smith attempts to establish the full extent and limits of wine tasting in the World of Fine Wine, challenging the currently fashionable, skeptical view of connoisseurship, and explaining why it is such a difficult skill to master.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on native Burgundian Jean-Charles Boisset’s new project—a winemaking collaboration in India with Fratelli Wines.

David Schildknecht offers his thoughts on the top Pflaz Rieslings of 2016 in Vinous.

In Punch, Zachary Sussman gets a look inside the cellar at Passionfish, a seafood-focused restaurant in Pacific Grove, California.

In VinePair, Cat Wolinski looks at Bern’s Steak House’s wine collection.

In SevenFifty Daily, Kathleen Willcox talks to the Scale Wine Group about their approach to selling cult California classics.

CNBC looks at how winemakers all over the world are adapting to climate change.