Daily Wine News: 2018 Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-22-2019

France Wine Barrels Storage Vine Red BordeauxHow is the 2018 Bordeaux vintage shaping up? Jane Anson takes a look in Decanter. “I can still remember the cartwheeling in 2009 and 2010, and the triumphalism over pricing – something that has thankfully been toned down a little now. I have to confess to being more sceptical than most of the châteaux owners I’ve been speaking to about the upcoming Bordeaux 2018 en primeur tastings.”

In SOMM Journal, Elyse Glickman explores the future of the Israeli wine industry.

Kentucky has long been one of the most conservative states in terms of its interstate alcohol-shipping laws, but according to Liza B. Zimmerman in Wine-Searcher, the State senate just passed a bill slated to allow wineries to ship into the state.

In Wine Enthusiast, Nils Bernstein offers a wine lover’s guide to Charleston, South Carolina.

Michelle Williams delves into the history of Sutter Home’s white zinfandel in Forbes.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles Italian natural winemaker Angiolino Maule.

Veronica Meewes reports on how women are changing the world of wine and the upcoming Wonder Women of Wine conference in the Austin Chronicle.

On her blog, Laurie Daniel compares a recent vintage to a 1991 Dry Creek Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Daily Wine News: Appellation For Sale

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-21-2019

Cole Ranch AVA

Cole Ranch AVA

In a remote canyon valley rimmed with oak-dotted rolling hills two hours north of San Francisco, Cole Ranch is the country’s smallest wine appellation with 150 acres and 50 of them planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling vines. And the whole appellation is on the market for $3.3 million, according to SFGate’s Amy Graff.

With his movie-making years behind him, Francis Ford Coppola is turning his attention to his next production: reviving the storied Inglenook winery in Rutherford. Alan Goldfarb reports on his plans in Alta.

“Chilean winery Viña Santa Carolina has discovered a vine of Plant de Chaudefonds in one of its vineyards, a vine so rare just three other plants exist in the world,” reports Rupert Millar in the Drinks Business.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that for white wines, screwcaps are the closure of choice, be it for reasons of convenience, freshness, absence of cork taint or potential longevity,” says Tim Atkin. “Reds are a different story.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray talks to Qupé founder and winemaker Bob Lindquist less than four months after Vintage Wine Estates acquired the winery. “Losing Qupe is like losing one of your children,” Lindquist told Wine-Searcher. “It’s something I developed from scratch. Coming up with the name, coming up with the logo. Coming up with everything. It’s not an easy thing to walk away from.”

In the Robb Report, Anna Peele profiles Vermont winemaker Krista Scruggs.

In Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz discovers that Chilean wine barrel maker TN Coopers has a trained team of dogs to sniff out TCA.

Daily Wine News: Canada’s Ice Wine Dilemma

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-20-2019

Snow covered vineyards in Canada's Niagara wine region. (Source: Tawse Winery)

Snow covered vineyards in Canada’s Niagara wine region. (Source: Tawse Winery)

In Wine Enthusiast, Jodi Helmer reports on how climate change is affecting Canada’s ice wine production. “New research claims that 60% of Canadian wine growers believe climate change has an impact on their vineyards. Some have implemented changes to adapt, but others remain skeptical.”

Does meeting consumer expectation lead to routine winemaking? Oliver Styles explores the answer in Wine-Searcher. “The top Bordeaux consumer is likewise unlikely to want innovation. But more broadly, the consumer is as inconsistent as the weather itself. Despite attempts to have us believe otherwise, I don’t believe people function as blocks, separated by arbitrary delineations of generations (Boomers, Millennials, Gen-Xes and so on).”

On his Do Bianchi blog, Jeremy Parzen remembers Brunello grower Gianfranco Soldera. “Soldera will be remembered, no doubt, as both a champion and denigrator of Montalcino. The wines he grew, raised, and bottled were among Italy’s and Europe’s best.”

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter speaks with Laurent Delaunay about what opportunities he sees remaining in wine — and the threats on the horizon.

In its quest for millennials, has the wine industry ignored Generation X? Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen look at what the wine industry is doing to capture and retain Generation X in Forbes.

In SevenFifty Daily, Peter Weltman explores how the drinks industry is stepping up to provide jobs for ex-offenders.

Daily Wine News: Whole Bunch Fermentation in Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-19-2019

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

“There is today a small but notable band of Bordeaux winemakers who are questioning whether the use of stems might just have come of age in Bordeaux.” In Decanter, Jane Anson reports on the movement towards whole bunch fermentation in Bordeaux.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig looks at the challenges facing three French wineries trying to keep it in the family.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni takes a close look at the 2015 Barolo vintage. “Interestingly, while the 2015 Dolcettos and Barberas (both of which ripen earlier than Nebbiolo) are very clearly wines from a warm year, the Barolos are much more mixed in style and also harder to speak about in general terms.”

“Gianfranco Soldera, the outspoken winemaker and owner of Montalcino’s Case Basse winery in Tuscany, died the morning of Feb. 16. According to Italian media reports, Soldera was driving on a road near Montalcino when he suffered a heart attack. Efforts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful. He was 82,” reports Mitch Frank in Wine Spectator.

Miquel Hudin pens a post: “How that “wine influencer” might very well be a fraud.”

While consumers may know Prosecco as an off-dry, fruity fizz, new styles are emerging. Giles Fallowfield took a look at them in Meininger’s.

Also in Decanter, Sarah Jane Evans looks at Sherry country’s quiet revolution. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Austria is “In the Eye of the Storm”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-18-2019

Sunset in Burgenland, Austria. Photo courtesy of Austrian Wine

Sunset in Burgenland, Austria. Photo courtesy of Austrian Wine

Jancis Robinson looks at how climate change is affecting Austrian wine. “In Europe, one country known for its fine wines is in the eye of the storm: Austria. As wine producers Austria and Germany have had much in common, but Austrian wines are always rather softer and lower in acidity than German ones. In cooler times, this was an advantage but, having tasted about 50 Austrian whites from the 2017 vintage recently, I suspect Austrian vine growers are starting to regard their warm climate as a bit of a curse.”

A new study overturns previous thinking about sex-based differences in wine tasting, concluding that male and female judges award much the same points to the same wines. Liza B. Zimmerman reports on the findings in Meininger’s.

“I’ve celebrated new grapes, new regions and new ideas of all sorts. The question is always, what next?” In Decanter, Hugh Johnson looks ahead to what’s next in wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima says the vintages from 2015 to 2017 are “some of the best red wines in recent decades throughout the southern and northern Rhône.”

“In a market jammed with producers desperate to stay (or become) relevant, winemakers are turning to the government in a desperate bid for desirability. Winemakers in the US and elsewhere are lining up to get the region in which they grow their grapes officially recognized.” In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox looks at the pros and cons involved with getting an official AVA approved.

On JebDunnuck.com, R.H. Drexel discovers Stolo Vineyards, “a small gem of winery that lies within the San Luis Obispo appellation…”

Author and wine lover Jeanette Winterson shares what’s in her cellar in the Guardian.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on what you need to know about cabernet sauvignon.

Daily Wine News: Climate Change Research in Germany

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-15-2019

Uploaded to flickr by Kyle May

Uploaded to flickr by Kyle May

In Quartz, Michael Taubb reports on how German scientists are simulating future climate change to save wine. “The researchers at Hochschule Geisenheim University, an applied science school focused on crop production, have spent years on the simulated ecosystem. They’ve built six rings of ventilators, 12 meters in diameter, which blow carbon dioxide into rows of riesling and cabernet sauvignon grapes… They’ve already noticed substantial changes in their crops…”

Sean P. Sullivan makes a case for why you should pay attention to Washington’s white wines in Wine Enthusiast. “Today, 50 years into the state’s development as a wine producer, white bottlings seem both imperiled and ascendant. Some white varieties are being ripped out, while there are also winegrowers exploring new varieties and locations with impressive results. And the exceptional 2017 vintage illustrates just how good the state’s white wines can be.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson checks in on the Bordeaux 2009 wines to see whether they’ve lived up to the initial hype at the time of their release. (subscription req.)

Georges Vigouroux, a winemaker considered by many as a pioneer of French Malbec who helped revive the Cahors region, has died aged 83. Rupert Millar remembers Vigouroux in the Drinks Business.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague breaks down some of the verbiage found on wine bottles. (subscription req.)

“Harry Price, the visionary who helped launch downtown Napa’s rebirth, dead at 77,” according to the Napa Valley Register.

Daily Wine News: Parker’s 2019 Recs

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-14-2019

(Flickr: winestem)

(Flickr: winestem)

In Robb Report, Robert Parker offers a handful of wine recommendations for 2019. “When I started tasting in the late 1970s and early ’80s, probably 60 percent of the wines I tried were substandard. They were either diluted, made from underripe fruits, or tasted like some sort of vegetable juice. Today, there’s so much competition and so many critics looking on, wines have to be good. And they are. Ninety-five percent of the famous appellations in the world are producing bottles of high quality.”

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer conducts a vertical tasting of Joseph Drouhin’s Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc from 1979-2016. “While some wine oenophiles may turn up their noses at the very idea of white wine from Beaune—not to mention the appellation in particular, as it possesses no Grand Crus, red or white—this Premier Cru is way more interesting, and serious, than it has any right to be.”

A new report forecasts strong demand for low to no alcohol wines. In Meininger’s, Sophie Kevany reports on whether the wine trade can meet that demand.

Can promise of lean, green sustainability lure Millennials back to wine? James Lawrence explores the answer in Wine-Searcher.

“But what happens if you lose your faith in wine and reject any explanation that is not supported by cold, hard science?” On JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming compares wine appreciation to being an act of faith.

Beverage Media talks with Brent Kroll about Maxwell Park, his D.C. wine bar that “combines whimsy with wine savvy, and stays fresh by offering 50 wines by the glass and a new offbeat theme each month.”

In GuildSomm, Jessica Dupuy explores the many sides of sustainability in wine.

In the Washington Post, Amanda Orr discovers a blossoming wine industry in Jordan.

Daily Wine News: Obscurity Finds Success

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-13-2019

(Flickr: piker77)

(Flickr: piker77)

“So how does a producer whose grapes are grown in places that have none of this built-in cachet have a chance of being recognised as a maker of great wines? How do they break through this off-the-grid, off-the-beaten-track barrier?” Making iconic wines and selling them at luxury prices is a challenging feat, especially in obscure regions, yet some wineries are managing it. Roger Morris maps their roads to success in Meininger’s.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy breaks down key findings in Sotheby’s 2018 Wine Market Report, released on Monday.

Rémy Charest reports on how Provencal winemakers are responding to climate change in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Spectator, Lexi Williams looks at new research that sheds light on the complicated relationship between migraine headaches and alcohol.

Does formal wine training matter? In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone looks at wine pioneers who didn’t earn degrees in viticulture before starting their winemaking careers.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray mulls over the Supreme Court wine case. “I’m pretty sure the Court will rule in favor of Total Wine and the Ketchum family. I just don’t see how there are five votes to take these companies’ liquor licenses away.”

Wildfires continue to burn across the northern tip of the South Island in New Zealand, throughout the wine growing region of Nelson, and could do so for weeks, according to Lauren Eads in the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: 2018′s Burgundy Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-12-2019

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's

Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

“For fine wine, the story of 2018 can be summed up in one word: Burgundy,” says Abby Schultz, who writes about Sotheby’s Wine increase in wine and spirits sales in Penta. “Much of this was driven by several extraordinary Burgundy sales in October, including a 1945 bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC, for US$558,000 and another DRC 1945 for US$496,000.”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy shares a list of overrate wines, plus a list of wines that offer great value. “I’ve found that popular, large commercial brands are usually a rip-off. You’re paying for the millions of dollars going to advertising instead of into the wine in the bottle. (I’m looking at you, Santa Margherita pinot grigio and Meiomi pinot noir.) You can find better and more exciting examples for the same price or less.”

Once an obscure wine, Picpoul de Pinet is rocketing up the charts. Elizabeth Gabay MW charts its rise in Meininger’s.

Using data from the American Association of Wine Economists, VinePair charts America’s top imported wines over the last 30 years.

Bill Foley, the owner of Foley Family Wines and the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, has purchased Mt. Difficulty Winery in New Zealand, known for its pinot noir and riesling, for $35 million, reports Wine Spectator.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne reports on the recent Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, which has become Sacramento’s largest annual convention.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Matt Walls explores “the hidden red of the Southern Rhone.”

On Sprudge Wine, Rafael Tonon pens a natural wine guide to São Paulo.

Daily Wine News: Rosé Champagne

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-11-2019

Flickr, Jérôme-.

Flickr, Jérôme-.

Is rosé Champagne ready to pop? In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague looks at a growing trend in advance of Valentine’s Day. (subscription req.)

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence talks to Austrian Wine Marketing Board’s long-serving chief Wili Klinger about why he’s stepping down at the end of 2019.

Eric Asimov highlights 20 wines under $20 in the New York Times. “Most of the wines on the list that follows are small-production, made by dedicated producers using traditional practices, without compromise or labor-saving automation. The question is not “Why are they so expensive?” It is “Why don’t they cost more?” That’s a pretty good definition of value.”

In Grape Collective, Monty Waldin talks to Kalyna Monnoyer of Casa Raia about making organic, low-intervention Brunello di Montalcino.

In the Drinks Business: “One of Sauvignon Blanc’s biggest problems is the fact that the wine trade views it “like a crossbreed puppy – cute but lacking in class and complexity”, according to New Zealander Sam Harrop MW.”

Stephen Tanzer writes about a vertical tasting of Louis Jadot’s Corton Pougets in Vinous. “The wines were even more scented and complex as a group than I had anticipated, but they were firmly structured too—clearly built for slow evolution in bottle. If you’re a long-time fan of this bottling, that news will hardly come as a surprise.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre suggests looking to Argentina for interesting and affordable wines.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider looks ahead at wine trends in 2019.