Daily Wine News: A Mission Revival

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-24-2017

Mission grapes growing around Santa Barbara, California, circa 1875. (Wikimedia)

Mission grapes growing around Santa Barbara, California, circa 1875. (Wikimedia)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esthey Mobley explores the mission grape revival in California, and wonders if there’s any weight behind the trend. “It all makes a good story, maybe too good of a story. The ur-vine, the parent of California viticulture — the history of the Mission grape calls irresistibly to our nostalgia… But as a wine drinker, I fear that Mission wine, whether dry or fortified, delivers more pleasure from novelty than from taste.”

E. & J. Gallo has agreed to buy Stagecoach Vineyard, a 1,300-acre site on Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley, reports Mitch Frank in Wine Spectator.

In Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt and Sean P. Sullivan look at the Oregon and Washington winemakers that are crossing state lines to find the best grapes.

Champagne Mumm has released its anticipated 2002 vintage of the Cuvée R. Lalou, the house’s grand marque. In Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson gets a taste and calls it “an exceptional wine.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson meets with “the last little guys of Pauillac.”

Aaron Menenberg puts together a tasting of 24 wines from Ontario and attempts to come to some conclusions about the region as a whole. “There are clearly people in Ontario making good and interesting wine, and if more can sharpen their craft it’s a region that could well rise in status in the wine world.”

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross ponders what makes a good lunch wine.

In Vinous, Ian D’Agata offers his thoughts on the 2015s and late-released 2014s from Alsace.

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Daily Wine News: A Drip-Free Bottle

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-23-2017

(Flickr: theloushe)

(Flickr: theloushe)

“Current wine bottle designs date to the early 1800s and haven’t changed much since. About 200 years of drips, drabs, stains and spots may be coming to an end” because a Brandeis University biophysicist has developed a drip-free wine bottle.

Food & Wine’s 2017 Sommeliers of the Year select their favorite wines.

Isaac James Baker hit the trails—including wine trails—in Arizona, and discovered that a combination of elevation, climate, soil and a long wine history makes the area an exciting wine destination for the adventurous.

W. Blake Gray is feeling overwhelmed by wine education. “It’s all so much. My favorite type of wine education is to drink a glass of wine and THEN learn why it is the way it is.”

The Alcohol Professor’s Christine Campbell talks terroir with terroir expert Pedro Parra.

In Wine Enthusiast, Michael Schachner looks at how Chile’s recent wildfires have impacted local wineries and vineyards.

In Palate Press, W. Blake Gray dives into Brunello and now feels like he finally understands it.

Jeannie Cho Lee profiles Lalou Bize-Leroy, “the Queen of Burgundy.”

In the New York Times, Jennifer Senior reviews Bianca Bosker’s book, Cork Dork.

Daily Wine News: Fake Rossi Products

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-22-2017

One of the Facebook posts promoting fake Carlo Rossi products.

One of the Facebook posts promoting fake Carlo Rossi products.

Adweek looks at Carlo Rossi’s strange Facebook success with posts about products that exist only in the minds of the marketing team—like “Rossi bath bombs” and “Rossi on tap.” “The team has more than doubled the brand’s fan base without spending a dollar on follows while also introducing the wine to a young audience.”

A group of ten people have been arrested by police in Modena, Italy for stealing more than $250,000 in fine wines and gourmet cheeses (16,000 bottles of wine—worth about $140,000—and 168 wheels of parmesan). According to TIME, the sting is being called “Operation Wine and Cheese.”

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer considers the influence of context—our companions, the time of day, accompanying food, glass shape and size—on our experience of a wine.

In Punch, Wayne Curtis traces the relationship between sherry and Scotch, and explores the importance of sherry barrels to Scotch’s flavor profile.

Ed Sheeran has purchased a property in Umbria with a vineyard. ““I didn’t want to buy in Tuscany because there are too many English people there,” he said.

In the Drinks Business, Mike Edmunds discusses how the beverage industry can better track allergen awareness in drinks.

Decanter tracks international Champagne sales and exports.

Josh Raynolds offers his thoughts on 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape in Vinous.

In Wine Enthusiast, Maggie Hoffman gets to know Barolo Chinato.

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Daily Wine News: Fermentation Vessels

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-21-2017

Amphora. (Flickr: Khuroshvili Ilya)

Amphora. (Flickr: Khuroshvili Ilya)

“…have you ever heard of a wine tasting “concrete-y?” Or “amphora-y”? Concrete, clay and glass vessels have their own unique impact on a wine’s flavor.” In Wine Enthusiast, Rachel Signer looks at the ways winemakers are experimenting with different ways to ferment wine—from amphorae to eggs and even glass.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford provides argues that the Crozes-Hermitage appellation offers some of the best value in the highly praised 2015 Rhône vintage, and offers tasting notes on some of his favorite wines.

Henry Lutz reports on the springtime growing season in Napa vineyards in the Napa Valley Register.

In the New York Times, Thomas Fuller reports on the marijuana industry in California’s wine country. “Sonoma County, known to the world for its wines, is these days a seedbed of cannabis experimentation.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray meets the family behind Boscarelli, which he argues makes the best Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Joshua Green talks with Ed Zimmerman about Meursault in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In VinePair, Nick Hines on “a day in the life of a wine publicist.”

Elsewhere in VinePair, Nick Hines delves into the history of wine drinking in Japan.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre visits RdV Vineyards in Deplane, Virginia.

Daily Wine News: “Ignore the Snobs”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-20-2017

wine-890371_1280“Connoisseurs consider processed wines the enological equivalent of processed foods, if not worse. The natural winemaker Anselme Selosse maintains that chemical futzing “lobotomizes the wine. But they are wrong,” says Bianca Bosker, who pens a defense of mass-market wines in the New York Times. “These maligned bottles have a place. The time has come to learn to love unnatural wines.”

Alfonso Cevola reflects on gateway wines. “Don’t worry about how you got here. If Barefoot brought you, so be it. If Gaja was your gateway, count yourself lucky (and pecuniarily propitious). We are overwhelmed with commercially produced, industrialized wine. And as well, we are admonished, regularly, by influencers, to only place pure, organic, special stuff into the temples that are our bodies. But you have to start – somewhere.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Natalie Kitroeff and Geoffrey Mohan report on the desperate labor shortage California winemakers and farmers after facing after Trump’s immigration crackdown.

Jancis Robinson takes a journey to Mexican wine country. “Locals may hate the comparison but the Valle de Guadalupe reminded me of nothing more than a slightly untidy Napa Valley.”

In Grape Collective, Anthony Lynch, son of pioneer importer Kermit Lynch discusses joining the family business, natural wine, and growing up around iconic winemakers.

In Meininger’s, Jeff Siegel explores the slowdown of the U.S. wine boom.

Stephen Tanzer on the 2014 red Burgundies in Vinous: “this is a lovely classic midweight vintage with real éclat—the sixth or seventh best of the past 25 years…”

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand shares her thoughts of the 2015 Bordeaux wines.

Daily Wine News: Wine Club Challenges

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-17-2017

pouring-wine-1952051_1280“If wineries insist that clubs can only be built from people visiting the tasting room, you are purposefully ignoring the other 99% of the population that wont ever visit your tasting room.” Rob McMillan considers the tough questions wine clubs face.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Stacy Briscoe explores the Clarksburg AVA. “90 percent of the grapes grown in Clarksburg are sold outside the county, predominantly to neighboring Napa Valley. But you’d never know it…Despite that 90 percent figure, there has been a recent increase in the number of vintners who want to keep more Clarksburg fruit in Clarksburg.”

Wine-Searcher’s Adam Lechmere reports on Bordeaux en Primeur and the 2016 vintage. “This up-and-down season is reflected in the character of the wines. Many are delightfully perfumed, the aromas leaping out of the glass, presaging something soft, sweet and rounded on the palate. But then come mighty tannins, especially in the Cabernet-based wines”

In Wine Enthusiast, Risa Wyatt offers tips for bicycling through wine country.

Heidi Barrett reflects on wine, pirates, helicopters and what 100-point scores really mean in the Napa Valley Register.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov tests more than 50 different wine glasses and recommends the ones he liked best.

Ben O’Donnell looks a new wave of refined styles of grappa and their kinship with wine in Wine Spectator.

In Edible Manhattan, Eileen M. Duffy recommends wines made in New York State.

Daily Wine News: Bordeaux Awakening

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-16-2017

La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

“Despite being one of the world’s major wine industry capitals, the city was known for years as La Belle Endormie, or Sleeping Beauty, as much for the smoke-blackened walls of its center as for its sleepy, overlooked reputation.” In the New York Times, Charly Wilder celebrates the state of food and wine in Bordeaux. “But in the last two decades, Bordeaux has come awake.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan offers a few more thoughts on sustainability and wine—this time about non-environmental aspects of sustainability, and the additional cost that consumers claim they’ll pay for wines from producers that are certified sustainable.

Meg Houston Maker tastes through four decades of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and wrestles with how to describe the experience. “Some say wine is bottled poetry, but it’s just a bottled liquid…the infinity of its other qualities, the vectors of flavor and affect and essence, are riotously incalculable. All we have for any wine is what we taste right now, descriptions of a genie released.”

“This generation, mine, is the one that will shape wine programs going forward. So what exactly does that mean?” In Seattle Weekly, Zach Geballe reflects on what millennials want from their wine.

Wine coolers are back, says Adam Erace, who explores artisanal offerings in Bloomberg.

In Edible Manhattan, Eileen M. Duffy gives a short recap of this year’s Slow Wine Tour.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima covers the growing world of New York State wines—from Long Island to the Finger Lakes.

In Vogue, Michaela Trimble on the new era of wine production in Argentina.

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Daily Wine News: Assyrtiko & Copycats

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-15-2017

(Wikimedia)

(Wikimedia)

“Greece has long been seeking a crossover hit—a Shakira, if you will—to add it to the roster of important and widely embraced wine nations.” In Punch, Jon Bonné explores assyrtiko from Greece. “Assyrtiko is a survivor, prolific and relatively easy to grow in the tough conditions.”

AR Lenoble’s Christian Holthausen shares a report of their 2016 vin clairs, and looks back on the 2016 growing season.

In Forbes, Thomas Pellechia explores “replicated wines”, essentially copycat wines made through chemical cloning. “What exactly would be the appeal of a line of wines created through chemistry? Is there really a market for replicated wines?”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy covers the best wine lists at chain steak houses.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Natasha Hughes explores whether meat really is made for Malbec.

Willamette Week reports that Oregon’s wine industry is thriving, but unfortunately the state is broke. “The Oregon Wine Board, which spends about $2.2 million annually on marketing, education and research, is asking state lawmakers for a $1.5 million annual subsidy to encourage wine tourism and help it sell more bottles to out-of-state customers.”

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph considers the death of the wine expert, and the growing importance of the crowd.

In Grape Collective, Peter Zusman speculates that Molise could be Italy’s most obscure wine region.

Kara Newman finds a number of Irish whiskeys are being aged in former wine casks in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Wine Forecast

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-14-2017

13-wine-forecast.w710.h473.2xIf you live anywhere in the Northeast, I hope you’ve prepared for the blizzard with enough bottles of wine. ABC Philadelphia meteorologist, Chris Somers photoshopped a “wine forecast” map in advance of winter storm Stella.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley explores her love affair with older wines. “The joy of aged wine can’t be merely chemical, because I know that it rewards knowledge. This joy began to reveal itself to me only once I began to speak wine’s language of aroma, flavor and structure. In a cruel paradox, the more old wine disappoints me — and boy, does it love to disappoint — the more I’m drawn to it.”

“Is Champagne’s prestige reputation under threat from within?” asks Caroline Henry, who looks at how low Champagne prices are damaging the region’s reputation in Wine-Searcher.

Andrew Jefford looks at the success of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation in Decanter.

In Wine Enthusiast, Michael Schachner on Chile’s pioneering winemakers who are taking big steps with small production wines.

Wine Folly’s Madeline Puckette makes the case for drinking wine on St. Patrick’s Day.

BBC’s Will Smale profiles Rowan Gormley of Naked Wines and UK wine retailer Majestic Wine.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle recommends rosé for Easter.

Daily Wine News: Winners & Losers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-13-2017

bordeaux-wine-cork-984x500Jancis Robinson considers the “winners and losers” of Bordeaux 2005. “There is no doubt that in 2005 wines, particularly red wines, were made differently, and with very different ambitions, to how they are made in Bordeaux today. Sheer mass and, in some quarters, high alcohol was seen as a virtue, as was ripeness at any cost.”

David Marcus explains why Burgundy is the thinking person’s wine.

In the World of Fine Wine, Anne Krebiehl reports on a class she attended on wine authentication, and shares the best ways to spot the fakes.

Experts yet again “weigh impacts of millenials” on Napa wine in the Napa Valley Register. “They’re experiential. They want to understand where your wines come from. They want to know, what are your social values?” (No new news here…)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Elaine Chukan Brown on her fascination with the Sonoma Coast. “From the steep, redwood-dense slopes of the north, mere meters away from the Mendocino border, to the exposed high-elevation peaks of Fort Ross–Seaview, all the way south to the fog-dripped slopes near Freestone and Occidental, each vineyard feels like its own isolated sovereignty.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Italian wine critic Daniele Cernilli, author of The Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine 2017.

Jodi Helmer explores the terroir of honey in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Mercury News, Mary Orlin makes a case for half-bottles.