Daily Wine News: Opus One Sues Coopers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-18-2018

opusoneOpus One is suing its coopers over tainted barrels for close to half a million dollars, reports Liza B. Zimmerman in Wine-Searcher. “The sum includes the cost of lost wine because of TCA taint and testing expenses for the wines in barrel, which are likely to have been high with 10 barrels in question and some previous issues with barrels provided by the same coopers and barrel makers in 2016.”

Is Provence rosé under threat? In Meininger’s, Elizabeth Gabay investigates. “Provence cannot easily make more rosé, as almost all its production is already rosé. Producers are responding by making higher-quality, higher-priced rosés, moving upmarket.”

“The Van Duzer Corridor AVA in Oregon’s Willamette Valley has been officially approved by the TTB,” reports Elaine Chukan Brown on JancisRobinson.com.

In SevenFifty Daily, Paul Adams examines the science of bubbles in wine, and their influence on mouthfeel, flavor, and aroma.

“What I want to say is this: ignore anyone telling you not to taste and drink vintage Port in extreme youth. You should. There’s no other wine pleasure quite like this. By all means store it until “full maturity” if you wish, and appreciate it in a state of subtle, graceful and polite refinement, unwrinkled by time. That’s a pleasure, too.” Andrew Jefford explores the pleasures of drinking port in its youth in Decanter.

In Forbes, Lauren Mowery talks to sommelier Emma Farrelly of Perth, Australia, Gourmet Traveller’s Sommelier of the Year 2019.

Elsewhere in Forbes, Brah Japhe talks to Gerard Bertrand about biodynamic wines.

Daily Wine News: Hybrid Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-17-2018

Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape.

Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape.

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross explores the potential of hybrid grapes. “Today’s wine drinkers forego the “rules” of the old guard. We embrace experimentation, and we’re not afraid of grapes we’ve never heard of. We actively seek out new experiences in bottles of wine, and we want everything that hybrid wines represent. So, it’s up to us to spread the word and give these wines a seat at the table.”

In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports that winemaker Patrick Léon has died. He was 75. “The Bordeaux native enjoyed a career that spanned 50 years and four continents, crafting wines at iconic estates like Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Lascombes in Bordeaux, Château d’Esclans in Provence, Almaviva in Chile and Opus One in Napa Valley.”

After reading Terry Theise’s new book, Tim Atkin ponders Theise’s opinions about wines above 14% ABV. “I love low- and medium-bodied wines as much as anyone. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had several wonderful wines that were below Terry Theise’s 13.5% ceiling point… But I’ve also had plenty of bottles that he might well consider coarse and over-bearing.”

In Grape Collective, Valerie Kathawala reviews Terry Theise’s What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking: In Praise of the Sublime.

Jancis Robinson offers her 26 picks for festive sparkling wine.

Dave McIntyre tackles Champagne and its food-friendliness in the Washington Post.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, explores Romanian wine. “The thing about Romanian wine is that just when you think you understand it, you discover that there’s another layer and you have to start over.”

Daily Wine News: Future of Cigare

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-14-2018

(Source: Bonny Doon Vineyard)

(Source: Bonny Doon Vineyard)

“I am saying goodbye to Le Cigare Volant, at least to the wine that I’ve made in a certain, distinctive style for so many years,” writes Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm. “I think that perhaps what my Cigare experience has tried to teach me is a certain sort of humility. There are things that I can properly effect and things that I cannot; it is ultimately most useful to focus on that which one can potentially control, as well as, (very importantly) acknowledge the enormous power of that which is beyond one’s control.”

“As one who prizes the qualities of restraint, balance and refreshing acidity, which were in short supply in Ribera del Duero, I have not often gravitated toward the region’s wines. Yet I could not help but wonder whether this region, which had achieved such success with this particular style, had also evolved away from power toward more graceful, tense wines.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov finds harmony in the reds of Ribera del Duero.

In Wine and Spirits Magazine, Karen Moneymaker reports on ten collectible cabernets that sommeliers have come to love.

James Lawrence wonders why the British have lost their taste for Rhône as well as Burgundy passports in Wine-Searcher.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima offers a guide to Southern Rhône’s wines.

South Africa’s wine growers are seeing a new demand from China, reports CNN.

The Economist explores India’s growing wine industry.

Daily Wine News: A Unique Partnership

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-13-2018

Source: Gruet.

Source: Gruet.

In SevenFifty Daily, Katherine Cole explores why New Mexico’s Gruet partnered with a Native American tribe to grow grapes. “While a few Native American–owned winemaking ventures—such as the Canadian Nk’Mip Cellars, Kitá Wines in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, and Séka Hills in the Capay Valley, northeast of Napa Valley—have started up in recent years, a grape-growing contract between a Native American tribe and a winery is a novel concept.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Elaine Chukan Brown tells the story about Rebuild Wine Country, created by Chris Strieter, Max Thieriot and Myles Lawrence-Briggs of Senses Wines in Occidental, who partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build and repair structures after the fires. This October, their efforts began to turn into homes.

“A cache of centuries-old Madeira discovered in New Jersey during renovation work has been auctioned by Christie’s, with one bottling from the late 1700s selling for nearly $16,000,” reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

Bordeaux’s wine growers are lowering their use of herbicides and pesticides, reports Sophie Kevany in Meininger’s.

In the Drinks Business, Julie Albin takes a trip Mokelumne Glen Vineyards in Lodi and reveals why German-Austrian grape varieties have ended up in the Californian region, and why it’s no longer typecast as only offering high alcohol Zinfandel.

“Doug Ernst, who had a 33-year career in Napa Valley journalism, died Tuesday morning after a short battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),” reports Kevin Courtney in the Napa Valley Register.

Shana Clarke pens a guide to sustainable wine certifications in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Changes in Champagne

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

Glass_of_champagneIn Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence explores the changing face of Champagne. “The idea of Champagne becoming renowned for Burgundy-style reds and whites seems ludicrous today, but it’s a thought increasingly being entertained by the region’s top producers.”

In Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz reports that James Suckling is teaching a wine appreciation class online through MasterClass. In the official trailer, he sells the class by saying: ““I try not to be pretentious about wine, but if you want to be, I can help you do that also.”

Wine Enthusiast highlights six producers creating small-quantity, vineyard-designated zinfandel bottles that reflect California terroir.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores Barbaresco in the third in a three-part series on wines from Italy’s Piedmont. (subscription req.)

Tom Wark shares the six people identified in his 2018 American Wine Writer Survey as the most influential wine writers.

In Vinous, Neal Martin writes about a tasting of Symington Family Estate’s Vintage and Tawny Ports.

Japanese wine consumers have a wide and deep range of buying options. Roddy Ropner explores the major outlets in Meininger’s.

Tom Hyland looks at the wines of Etna in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: Brunello’s Challenges

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-11-2018

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford gauges the challenges facing Montalcino. “In theory, Brunello should be easy to understand, at least by comparison with the complexities of Chianti: it is a single, unitary area, roughly square in shape, lying to the south of Siena and rather closer to the sea than does Chianti. That apparent simplicity, though, hides some intriguing complications.”

“Willi Klinger, the irrepressible head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (ÖWM), has announced that he will step down as Managing Director at the end of 2019,” reports Meininger’s.

Elsewhere in Meininger’s, Robert Joseph ponders the importance of a wine label.

“How did a dispute over appellations and marketing turn into a call to ban a wine brand? The answer may lie in competing visions of Oregon wine’s future.” Mitch Frank looks at what the pushback against Joe Wagner’s wines means in Wine Spectator.

Antonio Galloni offers a holiday gift guide with new books, wine glasses, maps and more in Vinous.

The California Aggie talks to Alecia Moore, more commonly known as Pink, and her assistant winemaker, Alison Thomson, about taking the pretentiousness out of the craft, the utter terribleness of Manischewitz and sharing their passion for winemaking with their children.

In Grape Collective, Dorthy Gaiter and John Brecher offer their sparkling wine picks for the holidays.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Lisa Denning chats with Christian Voeux of Domaine de l’Amauve about the Seguret appellation, in the process of becoming its own cru like neighboring Gigondas, and how simple his approach to winemaking is.

Daily Wine News: Reflections & Reports

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-10-2018

(Flickr: theloushe)

(Flickr: theloushe)

The Oregon ruckus over the Elouan and the Willametter Journal brands shows no sign of abating. Liza B. Zimmerman reports on the latest details in Wine-Searcher.

In VinePair, Gina Ciliberto pens a short profile of Zidanelia Arcidiacono, the 36-year-old assistant winemaker at Sonoma-Cutrer. “Her goal is to democratize wine for people of all backgrounds and professions, especially within wineries… Born in Texas to a Mexican mother and an Argentinian father of Italian descent, Arcidiacono identifies with the community of Latinas who harvest the grapes she makes into wine.”

Elin McCoy offers a list of the 50 best wines under $50 she tasted this year in Bloomberg.

As the end of the year approaches, Tom Natan reflects on four things he learned about wine this year on the blog for First Vine.

Andy Perdue writes about four new wine books that make for great gifts in the Seattle Times.

In Forbes, Lana Bortolot on what makes Georgian wines so unique.

Bon Jovi’s Hampton Water rosé is just one of two rosés to make Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines of the year.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre covers sparkling wine alternatives.

Daily Wine News: The New Burgundy?

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

Bottles of Barolo. (Wikimedia)

Bottles of Barolo. (Wikimedia)

“Is Barolo the new Burgundy? According to some members of the wine-world cognoscenti, the answer is yes. But do the Barolo producers themselves think this is true?” WSJ’s Lettie Teague asks the producers during a recent trip to the Piedmont.

“The Court of Master Sommeliers has welcomed six new Master Sommeliers to their ranks today,” reports Elaine Chukan Brown on JancisRobinson.com. “Yesterday’s blind tasting was the first of three possible special tasting exams offered by the Court following September’s breach.”

“By the time you read this, most, if not all, of the 2016 Vintage Port will have been sold, a very short crop of some of the most polished wines the Douro has ever grown,” writes Joshua Green in Wine & Spirits Magazine. “But it’s a vintage worth committing to memory: These wines will be around for many decades to come, their flavor impact grown out of an unusual season.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Sophia McDonald highlights 8 new California AVAs on the horizon.

In Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt analyzes Oregon’s Iberian connection. “The increased interest in Spain’s leading grape [tempranillo] has also benefited Grenache, which struggled initially in the Pacific Northwest due to harsh winters. The southern Oregon climate makes all the difference as far as its long-term potential.”

Courtney Schiessl on the changing face of carmenère in Guild Somm.

The PUNCH staff put together a list of the best magnums for your money.

In Decanter, Jane Anson enjoys a vertical of Domaine de Chevalier white wines and shares her notes. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: The Court Responds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-06-2018

courtmastersomm“The Court of Master Sommeliers has finally made a comment on the shocking scandal that rocked the wine world in October, but it has made no obvious attempt to actually investigate the matter.” Liza B. Zimmerman reports in Wine-Searcher. “The Court has clearly decided not to pursue legal actions. My MS source, along with Downey, agrees that no one who leaked or accepted a list of wines should ever have been or be allowed to become a Master Sommelier.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Shayla Martin looks at how Prohibition shaped American wine country.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt looks at British Columbia’s growing wine scene.

In Vinous, Ian D’Agata writes about the wines of Alto Adige. “In matters of wine, it is not an exaggeration to say that Alto Adige offers something for everyone. And it really could not be otherwise.”

Tim Atkin offers his full 2017 Burgundy en primeur report in Decanter. (subscription req.)

Michael Austin pens his final wine column for the Chicago Tribune.

Alder Yarrow delivers “The Holiday Gift Guide for Wine Loves Who (Already) Have Everything.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Rachel DelRocco Terrazas highlights a few spirits and wine books.

Daily Wine News: Better Bubbly

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-05-2018

(Flickr: ajroder)

(Flickr: ajroder)

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy says it’s time to move on from prosecco to what’s next: “under-the-radar, world-class bubblies from Northern Italy’s Franciacorta and Trentino regions.”

Spain’s Bodegas Valdemar is spending $18 million to develop a winery and vineyard in Walla Walla, reports Peter Mitham in Wines & Vines.

In Wine-Searcher, Château Lafleur’s Omri Ram gives his thoughts on the estate, recent vintages and Bordeaux prices.

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes highlights five South American grape varieties on the rise.

“To dedicate oneself to winemaking is to potentially have walked into a life-long vocation. It is impossible to master wine in one’s lifetime; a seemingly countless number of grape varieties, an infinite number of potential winegrowing sites, unimaginable terroirs that have yet to be discovered; the opportunities are endless.” Paul Hobbs reflects on his years as a winemaker, and how his 40 years of experience led to the Nathan Coombs estate.

In Decanter, Jane Anson talks to Château Palmer’s Thomas Duroux about converting the Margaux estate to biodynamics and about his quest for quality. (subscription req.)

Travel + Leisure suggests a shortlist of wine regions to visit in 2019.