Daily Wine News: Wine Zines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-04-2019

(Photo credit: Pipette Magazine)

(Photo credit: Pipette Magazine)

In the New York Times, Lauren Messman highlights the wine zines that are aiming to “make natural wine as fun to read and talk about as it is to drink.”

“The spirituality of natural wine is clear when you drink a bottle that has the ability to sincerely move you. It’s in the pull, in the buzz, it’s back to something that feels sacred and supportive of agriculture and the earth, making it a holistic experience drinking it.” Elsewhere in the New York Times, Fariha Roisin explains how natural wine has “become part of my self-care routine.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley and Melia Russell report on the mounting controversy over a possible ballot measure that would legalize commercial cannabis cultivation in Napa Valley—and consider what it would mean for the wine industry.

Maya Weeks explores Sweden’s growing wine scene in Wine Enthusiast.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence ponders how Sauternes is looking to a change of style to stay relevant to consumers.

This year’s Auction Napa Valley raised nearly $12 million for local charities.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague admits she’s not a fan of orange wines. (subscription req.)

In Decanter, Stephen Brook offers a deep dive into Alsace’s top riesling grand crus. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: What is “Winey”?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-03-2019

redwineglassesmoodyIn Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand breaks down what it means for a wine to be “winey.” “”…winey” is not the world’s most helpful adjective, but to me it meant a sort of Platonic ideal of what a wine should be: if you were going to invent wine for the first time, this would be it. It would be the opposite of fruit juice; it would be sublime, the apotheosis of fruit juice; the point at which fruit juice becomes divine.

Jancis Robinson explores Canada’s Okanagan wines. “The collaborative and creative spirit that fuelled Napa’s pioneers is certainly very evident in BC today. To outsiders they may seem to be generating new appellations a little faster than world-beating wines, but at least the decisions are being made with the full consultation of everyone involved – and the wines are increasingly impressive.”

Transregional and transnational blends of terroir products like coffee can creating exciting new tastes. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph asks why can’t we try the same thing in wine. “Why shouldn’t the inexpensive red wine I serve along with the sausages and spicy barbecue ribs not be a blend from Chile and Argentina, or Spain, France and Italy?”

Wine production can have a considerable environmental impact, so the industry needs to lead by example in addressing a global issue, says Rupert Joy in Decanter.

In SevenFifty Daily, Julie H. Case explores the new ways drones are changing vineyard management.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks with Alessandro Job of Villa Job about his journey into skin contact winemaking in Friuli.

Dave McIntyre highlights celebrity-backed rosés in the Washington Post.

Daily Wine News: Cult Cloudburst

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-31-2019

In the New York Timescloudburstwine, Eric Asimov profiles Will Berliner, the proprietor of Australia’s Cloudburst. “If Margaret River had a cult wine producer, it might well be Mr. Berliner and Cloudburst… Mr. Berliner prefers not to pigeonhole his form of agriculture as organic, biodynamic or anything else. His idea is not to follow a recipe, but simply to respond to what he perceives the vineyard wants.”

Seven Percent Solution’s Kevin Wardell explains why more California winemakers are embracing varietal diversity in SevenFifty Daily. “Not all of the seven-percent grapes are obscure varieties… But most of the seven-percent varieties prompting renewed interest from winemakers have historically been relegated to a specific country rather than planted internationally.”

In Wine Enthusiast, I highlight four American producers rediscovering the beauty of white field blends.

In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox looks at how winemakers are increasingly moving from pesticides to pests to combat disease and create better wines.

In the Napa Valley Register, Tim Carl dives into Relic Wines, owned by winemaker Mike Hirby and his wife Schatzi Throckmorton. “Here we have a husband-and-wife team who have grown their business slowly, maintained their identity and are fighting the good fight when it comes to making honest wines in a manner that might help sustain some of the valley’s historic vineyards. You can certainly purchase flashier wines from the Napa Valley, but you can’t purchase any that have more soul or honesty.”

“After talking with a bunch of wine and food writers, I’ve come to the conclusion that wine writing has much higher barriers to entry than food writing,” writes Tom Natan, who considers the financial, structural, and institutional barriers involved on the blog for First Vine.

In Decanter, Jane Anson reports on ambitious renovation work at Clos de la Commaraine in Pommard and tastes through wines being made elsewhere in Burgundy by its new American investors. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Sniffing Out Cork Taint

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-30-2019

100708-F-0295S-127In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy discovers cocaine- and contraband-sniffing dogs are being trained to sniff out cork taint and vineyard pests. “Now, before the company loads its barrels into a shipping container for transport to wineries around the globe, dogs make sure there’s no TCA, TBA, or other harmful chloroanisole or bromoanisole molecules hanging around in it… Dogs also turn out to be an essential weapon in grape growers’ wars against vineyard pests and diseases.”

And in Decanter, Elin McCoy delves into Château Montrose’s 200-year history, and how its new green credentials are setting a new standard in Bordeaux. (subscription req.)

Mike Pomranz reports on an upcoming auction of shipwreck wines in Food & Wine. The two “wines were among 14 bottles recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Germany in 2010” and have estimated prices between $32,942 and $38,010.

The New York Post reports that a New Yorker who stashed her collection of wine claims Chelsea Wine & Storage dumped all 65 cases after a credit card mishap. There’s now a lawsuit against the facility.

In Travel + Leisure, Andrea Romano looks at how Britain is growing as a wine destination.

Reuters also looks at the growing English wine industry. “As English Wine Week gets underway, the industry’s trade body announced 3 million vines had been planted in England and Wales this year – three times the number planted in 2017 – making the country one of the world’s fastest growing wine regions.”

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning caught up with chief winemaker Gabriele Tacconi to find out how he keeps Ruffino’s quality consistent year after year at one of the largest wineries in Italy.

Daily Wine News: Wine on Wheels

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-29-2019

wine_white_wine_glass-499579.jpg!dIn VinePair, Emily Saladino profiles sommelier Yannick Benjamin, who was in a car accident and paralyzed from the waist down in 2003, and explores the ways in which the wine restaurant scene can be a more equitable industry. “Inclusion is important to Benjamin. He’s the co-founder and director of development of Wheeling Forward, a nonprofit organization that supports newly disabled people. Its hospitality-focused offshoot, Wine on Wheels, raises capital and awareness for disabled people in the wine industry.

Jancis Robinson compares the last four Bordeaux vintages. “I have to say that in general the initially overpriced 2017s definitely seemed the weakest of these four vintages for the red wines… It was particularly interesting to compare the 2016s and 2015s side by side. Both vintages have excellent reputations and this London tasting showed why, and why generalisations are dangerous.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard explains what piquette is, and why more American producers are embracing it.

Sarah Jane Evans explores Spain’s undiscovered white wines in Decanter. (subscription req.)

“Sometimes you don’t need a wine with an incredible story behind it. Sometimes you just want a $20 wine that tastes like a $50 one.” Alder Yarrow finds some of the best value in Chilean wines.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre writes glowingly about the 2017 port vintage.

Margaret Rand also delves into the 2017 port vintage in Wine-Searcher.

GuildSomm’s Kelli White explores the major role of minor grapes.

Daily Wine News: Seductive Sancerre

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-28-2019

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

“Sancerre…has become so popular that it’s easy for producers to coast. Poorly farmed and overcropped grapes, subjected to formulaic winemaking, result in simple, generic wines. Yet no matter how one-dimensional, they sell, a lot, to the exasperation of sommeliers. Still, sauvignon blanc as expressed in Sancerre can be a wonderful wine.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov and the tasting panel sample an assortment of 20 Sancerres.

Lettie Teague explores the charms of rosato in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)

Ian D’Agata continues his exploration of 2018 Italian rosatos in Vinous.

In SevenFifty Daily, Betsy Andrews profiles Master Somm and Corkbuzz owner Laura Maniec Fiorvanti.

Tom Wark looks at the Willamette Valley Wineries Association’s successful marketing campaign that combines promotions with a single artist’s touch, and considers what other wine marketers can learn from it.

Jamie Goode blogs about recently released figures that chart the growth of UK vineyards.

The first steps are already being taken to introduce new, climate-appropriate grapes in French regions, reports Roger Morris in Meininger’s. (subscription required)

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray explores the Burgundization of Barolo.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, delves into Pennsylvania wine.

Daily Wine News: Several Reflections

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-24-2019

winecheers“I probably wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for Parker: if he hadn’t turned the masses into wine drinkers. If he hadn’t championed wines from California alongside the established greats from France. The wild pleasure he conveys in his tasting notes is contagious. I don’t score wines, and I don’t always share Parker’s taste in wine, but I can only hope to evoke some of that energy in my own writing.” Esther Mobley pens a tribute to Robert Parker after his retirement announcement.

What’s next for Long Island wine? Courtney Schiessl explores the region’s potential in SevenFifty Daily.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Christy Canterbury MW considers what’s next for women in wine.

In Wine Spectator, Augustus Weed says the quality of canned wines has vastly improved.

In Forbes, Liza B. Zimmerman provides a summary of a video broadcast in which Rob McMillan address current wine industry trends and data, including how to do a better job of attracting millennials.

Caroline Henry shares data from Champagne’s detailed 2018 sales report in Wine-Searcher. “Indeed, while sales value was at its highest, volumes were at their lowest since 2009, the last time sales volumes dropped below the 300,000m-bottle mark, at the height of the economic crisis.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Charles Passy explains how wine shops will survive the online-shopping era. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Activist Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-23-2019

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

A new breed of winemaker wants to do more than make good wine. They want to change the world, L.M. Archer reports in Meininger’s. “There’s a new concept taking root in the wine industry: activist wines. Unlike traditional special bottlings produced for wine industry charity auctions and special events, activist wines serve a specific social purpose. They do good. But do they make good business sense?”

On WineBusiness.com, notes from a UCD forum about the need to preserve and utilize grapevine plant material with genetic and varietal diversity to maintain a sustainable wine industry and to meet the challenges presented by climate change, environmental issues and consumer trends.

Alder Yarrow pens a tribute to Robert Parker after his retirement announcement. “For me personally, Parker was an inspiration and a source of great education early in my wine consuming career. As I grew in knowledge and experience, and began to write about wine myself, I found some occasions to disagree with what could be very polemic opinions on his part, but despite that, I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for what he has accomplished personally.”

What are America’s all-time favorite wines? Wine-Searcher shares some of the data.

In the San Bernardino Sun, Anne Valdespino explores the new PBS Documentary, Harvest Season, featuring Gustavo Brambila, one of the first Latinos to graduate from the prestigious U.C. Davis wine program, and Vanessa Robledo, a fourth-generation grower who defied her family’s patriarchal ways to strike out on her own.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Karen Moneymaker considers the ways in which packaging wine in a can presents a different set of challenges than bottling it.

In Fortune, Rachel King shares details about a new luxury wine from the owners of Whispering Angel.

Daily Wine News: New-Wave Monterey

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-22-2019

(Photo credit: Albatross Ridge Vineyard)

(Photo credit: Albatross Ridge Vineyard)

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann highlights Monterey’s new-wave winemakers. “There’s an electricity buzzing across the county, as a growing contingent of adventurous vintners settles into urban wineries in Salinas and Marina, and established brands enlist the next generation of winemakers.”

Growers and wineries in Australia’s Yarra Valley are struggling to contain a phylloxera outbreak, reports Vicki Denig in Wine-Searcher.

In Meininger’s, Michelle Bouffard takes a look at wine’s emerging water crisis.

Christopher Barnes discusses the evolution of Beaujolais with Thibaut Girin of Domaine Girin in Grape Collective.

In Wine Spectator, Lexi Williams talks with singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis about why she loves the Loire, and which wines qualify as “indie,” “punk” or “funky,” and more.

Antonio Galloni offers notes on the best new releases from Sonoma County and its neighboring regions in Vinous.

On JancisRobinson.com, Laura Catena, winemaker Alejandro Vigil and viticulturist Luis Reginato provide a report on the cool, dry 2018/19 vintage conditions in Mendoza.

The owner of Château d’Yquem, Bernard Arnault, announced that the benchmark Sauternes property was to undergo conversion to biodynamic viticulture and St Emilion property Cheval Blanc may follow suit, reports the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: Parker Reactions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-21-2019

Alcohol Drink Wine Glass Red Wine Wine GlassSteve Heimoff reacts to Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s announcement of Robert Parker’s retirement. “That Parker was the most famous and influential wine critic of the last 35 years, as Perrotti-Brown writes, cannot be disputed… I would not challenge a single word of Ms. Perrotti-Brown’s encomium. Bob Parker absolutely was “the father of modern wine criticism”; he did indeed “raise the bar” for all of us who followed. But where I part ways with Perrotti-Brown is in her unfettered denial that Parker created an “international style” of ripe, high-alcohol wines. This is not a “big lie,” as she asserts, but the pure, unadulterated truth—and everybody in the wine industry knows it.”

W. Blake Gray pays tribute to Robert Parker in Wine-Searcher. “There will never be another Parker, and that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean the one who just retired wasn’t a great man whose life is worth celebrating.”

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter reflects on what Robert Parker’s retirement means for the world of wine.

In SevenFifty Daily, winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis explains why native yeast fermentations are critical for expression terroir. “For us—and for many of our neighbors—using commercial yeast would mean introducing flavors that did not come from our vineyards, therefore eradicating some aspect of the terroir. That’s why we prefer native yeasts, even though they require patience, a bit of faith, and meticulous attention to detail.”

David Schildknecht follows vintner Jochen Clemens, chronicling his discovery of what may be the world’s oldest riesling vines, in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In Decanter, Jane Anson compares the 1986 and 1988 vintages in St-Julien. (subscription req.)

A 30% drop in the number of exhibitors and visitors at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2019 has prompted soul searching from Vinexpo.