Daily Wine News: Avant-Garde in Alsace

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-27-2016

Vineyards in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

Vineyards in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

In Punch, Jon Bonné highlights the producers chasing the avant-garde in Alsace, and the wines that may come to define its future.

According to the Atlantic’s James Hamblin, millennial women have closed the drinking gap. “Men born between 1891 and 1910 were 2.2 times as likely as women to drink alcohol; among people born between 1991 and 2000, that ratio fell to 1.1.”

In Decanter, William Kelley features “California’s new garage sparkling” wine being made by Michael Cruse. “What’s going on in Cruse’s no-frills Petaluma facility, by contrast, has much more in common – in terms of its size – with the grower Champagne movement.”

Following airing of the film, “Bitter Grapes—Slavery in the Vineyards” on national television, Denmark’s supermarkets are pulling South African wines off the shelf, reports Lynsey Chutel in Quartz.

Tom Mullen considers why biodynamic wine is the future in Forbes.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles California WineWorks, a DIY wine company in Ramsey, N.J. “Almost every client makes red rather than white wine (and no one makes rosé).”

W. Blake Gray explores the answers to the question: “Is a $100 wine better?”

Jamie Goode visits Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin, and offers highlights of the museum.

Daily Wine News: In Favor of Reds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-26-2016



In a study analyzing more than 64,000 wine scores dating to the 1970s and taken from the major wine magazines, wine lover and data scientist Suneal Chaudhary found that there is a critical bias in favor of red wines. The Wine Curmudgeon, Jeff Siegel, explores what the study found.

“These young farmers with their tanned skin and leather bracelets are living a kind of bohemian utopia: Make beautiful wine using only the tools Mother Earth provides. Let the moon and the stars be your guide. Think small and waste nothing.” In the New York Times, Danielle Pergament visits biodynamic producers in Italy — “ones that are more farm than factory.”

In Decanter, Ellie Douglas shares how Stephen Selman, wine lover and horticulturalist, saved a UK vineyard by uprooting the vines and moving them 100 miles across the county.

Elsewhere in Decanter, William Kelley offers his thoughts on the Burgundy 2016 vintage after spending several weeks harvesting grapes in the region.

Wine-Searcher also looks at Burgundy’s 2016 vintage, and how a change of fortunate at the end of the vintage has left vignerons optimistic.

Michelle Locke tracks the progress of prosecco, and the “col fòndo” style (which means “with sediment”) in Palate Press.

Are wine critics, winemakers and somms at increased risk for cancer? The Prince of Pinot explores the answer.

Is the future of wine and food synthetic? Tim Carl investigates in the Napa Valley Register.

Daily Wine News: The Art of Storytelling

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-25-2016

Clos Saint Urbain, Range de Thann (Source: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht)

Clos Saint Urbain, Range de Thann (Source: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht)

“I have noticed for some time in wine blogs (which could hasten the demise of the genre): overreaching for melodramatic effect… The more I live, the more I realize for me the important story is “the story.”” Alfonso Cevola hopes to see new voices in wine rise to the occasion of better storytelling.

“No other single vineyard in Alsace comes close to Rangen for sheer force of personality, and if I was asked to nominate any vineyard anywhere in the world as producing “the ultimate terroir wine”, Rangen de Thann would be it.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford sings the praise for Alsace’s most southerly Grand Cru.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jameson Fink notices the many Champagne producers relying on Pinot Meunier to make distinct bottlings.

“I say: find the cheapest wine – and get it. Without hesitation or shame,” says Madeline Puckette, who explains her reasoning on Wine Folly.

Cathy Huyghe shares “All The Things I’m Not Supposed to Say About Biodynamic Wine” in Forbes.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto looks at how Pieropan is preparing for the next generation to take over the family’s Soave estate.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess makes the case that wine growers are just as important as winemakers. “These jobs require two different skill sets, and while the roles overlap, especially at the harvest hand-off of grapes, their key traits and critical skill sets are completely different and warrant separate college degrees.”

According to Eater, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are putting their French wine estate, Chateau Miraval, on the market.

Daily Wine News: New House Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-24-2016

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

Long associated with anonymous, notoriously cheap pours, the term “house wine” has a history of bad connotations. But that’s changing, according to Carson Demmond, who looks at the new wave of house wines in Punch.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Hugh Johnson, and talks to him about the 100-point system, and his disdain for modern wine trends like natural and orange wines.

Burgundy house Maison Louis Latour is about to release its first Pinot Noir from Beaujolais. Adam Lechmere has the details in Wine-Searcher.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague discovers the wine scene in Asheville, “Beer City U.S.A.”.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni says the best 2014 and 2013 Barbarescos are “exciting, thrilling wines,” but finds that “far too often, the gap between the top estates and the rest is simply too wide for a region with the potential to make truly world-class wines.”

Barry Dick MW talks to Decanter about New World wines being bottled in Europe and how the process impacts the wine.

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue profiles Brad Binko, owner and winemaker for Eternal Wines in Walla Walla.

Stuart Pigott talks to Grape Collective about his love of Riesling, hipster somms, and becoming a self publisher.

Daily Wine News: Saved from Extinction

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-21-2016

Altesse, a white wine grape variety found primarily in the Savoy wine region of France. (Wikimedia)

Altesse, a white wine grape variety found primarily in the Savoy wine region of France. (Wikimedia)

“In fact, 80 percent of the world’s wine is produced from only 20 kinds of grapes. Many of the other 1,348 currently known varieties face extinction.” In AFAR, Jason Wilson travels to the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps to discover how some winemakers are working to preserve these grapes for future generations — grapes such as altesse, verdesse, humagne blanc, servavin, mondeuse gris, himbertscha, and persan.

“I understand why people have been turned off Bordeaux. Nonetheless, I love the wines and always have,” admits Eric Asimov, who explores Bordeaux wines from the 2011 vintage in the New York Times. “…the region’s historical importance and the continuing quality of its wines are worth the occasional splurge, if only to create a mental context for Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style wines.”

According to the Guardian, “Global wine production is expected to fall by 5% in 2016 because of “climatic events”.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Mark Ellwood explores three ways to beat Champagne’s climate-change problem.

Cheese can, in fact, make wine taste better. A new study published in the Journal of Food Science found that consuming cheese while drinking wine impacted the description and preference of different wines.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, offers his impressions of the Georgian wine industry.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni looks back at the 2005 and 2004 Brunellos.

After writing a fantasy riff from Trump after the election, Rick Reeves pens one of Hillary’s rebuttal. “…come January 20th, my fellow Americans, I will be the only wine drinker sipping HER merlot in the confines of the Oval Office.”

Daily Wine News: JD vs. MW

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-20-2016

mw“I see the Master of Wine as an amalgamation of a law degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree that bridges reason, practicality and business with art. I spend time with the architects of liquid beauty. They deliver a product that links people across divergent cultures and puts a little happiness back into the world.” In Wine Enthusiast, former lawyer Lauren Mowery wonders whether earning a license to practice law was easier than studying to become a Master of Wine. “

In Punch, Megan Krigbaum features the wines of Gut Oggau, whose labels feature a line-drawn personification of the bottles’ contents. “For them, ascertaining the personality of a wine is as much an emotional response to the vineyards and the fruit they produce as it is a geological one.”

In Eater, Aaron Ayscough of Not Drinking Poison in Paris shares a shortlist of the best natural-wine bars in Paris.

Rick Reeves pens a “fantasy riff” on what would happen in Trump turned his attention to the winemaking portion of his business empire after the election. “My wine guy tells me harvests have been up like a thousand percent since I built my fence. Conservative estimate… But back to my precious grapes, as my wife calls them. The family jewels. It’s a beautiful thing. The harvest is in, the grapes are…whatever grapes do. Fermenting? Bubbling?”

In Munchies, Rachel Signer profiles falconer Rebecca Rosen, “the falcon-whisperer of Napa Valley wine country,” whose falcons help to preserve California vineyards.

Jamie Goode offers “five reasons why Provence rosé is like Champagne.”

Dwight Furrow ponders the influence of nature on wine, and whether wine can be art in 3 Quarks Daily.

Michael Austin explores a new generation of Soave wines in the Chicago Tribune.

Daily Wine News: O Canada

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-19-2016

Vineyards in Nova Scotia (Wikimedia)

Vineyards in Nova Scotia (Wikimedia)

“Who would ever have thought just a few decades ago that the Maritime provinces of Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) would one day be viewed as potentially distinguished wine-producing areas?” Ian D’Agata covers wine production in Canada’s Maritime provinces in Vinous.

Ashley Trout, a Walla Walla Valley winemaker, thinks that Washington needs more women winemakers. “Thank goodness for kind men. I have launched my career with the help of kind men in much the same way that I hope my grandson will launch his career with the help of kind women. But the wine industry doesn’t need nice men. It is laden with them. It needs women.”

“AdVini, a French wine company that owns more than a dozen wineries in France and South Africa, purchased the Burgundian négociant house Maison Champy Oct. 14,” reports Wine Spectator.

In the World of Fine Wine, Anne Krebiehl explores the world of German Sekt, and looks at the winemakers working to restore its former luster in a broad range of styles.

Live-ex sits down with Tim Atkin MW, chatting about how he got started in the wine industry, what led him to study for the Master of Wine, blind tasting, and the rivalrly among wine critics.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer points out three rookie mistakes often made by wine lovers.

Wine-Searcher reports that Brexit is already leading to rising wine prices in the UK.

Jonathan Owen brings attention to California’s Santa Ynez Valley in the Spectator.

Daily Wine News: Constellation & Cava

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-18-2016

Glass of cava. (Source: Consejo Regulador del Cava)

Glass of cava. (Source: Consejo Regulador del Cava)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at “the new face of Cava,” brought on by the new Cava de Paraje DO classification. “My view is that this is the best official news about Cava in my lifetime: a long overdue measure that finally brings producers the chance to communicate the extraordinary finesse, intricacy, refinement and, yes, pronounced ‘minerality’ which these wines are capable of expressing.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Constellation Brands has agreed to sell its Canadian wine business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for about US$784 million. Constellation is also buying the Charles Smith Wines collection for about $120 million.

In Forbes, Charles Smith talks to Cathy Huyghe about the acquisition.

Jamie Goode offers a short introduction to Provence rosé wine production, with insight into how certain winemaking decisions impact the final flavor.

Wine Folly’s Madeline Puckette reviews the different requirements for organic wine in the US and Europe.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Matt Walls ponders the best way to describe a wine, and suggests several points to address in tasting notes.

Tom Wark considers the remarkable rise of Napa Valley and wines role in its transformation.

Wine Enthusiast highlights five vineyards that “exemplify the top tier in Oregon viticulture.”

In SOMM Journal, Christine Havens explores Tokaj’s “new golden age”.

Daily Wine News: Endangered Lists

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-17-2016

(Flickr: :: Wendy ::)

(Flickr: :: Wendy ::)

Alfonso Cevola is concerned about the presence of Chianti and Bordeaux on “the new millennium wine lists.” “And while Chianti and Bordeaux aren’t the only ones on the endangered list, they seem have been singled out for their lack of edginess, for unsatisfactory coolness. They’ve been left out of the Instagram Generation.”

In the New Yorker, Bianca Bosker reviews the documentary, “Sour Grapes”: “What “Sour Grapes” does succeed in conveying is a detailed, and largely unsympathetic, portrait of the élite stratum of wine collectors that Kurniawan so spectacularly infiltrated.”

Jancis Robinson is “amazed by the growth in tourism” in the Douro Valley, and looks at how port is working to attract tourists.

In Forbes, Mark Oldman shares what he believes to be the biggest wine investing mistakes.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter profiles wine auctioneer and classical pianist Fritz Hatton, whocame to own Arietta, which produces Bordeaux-style wines in Napa.

According to the Drinks Business, “Santorini winery Domaine Sigalas has released an ‘experimental’ collection of seven Assyrtiko wines from seven different villages in a bid to highlight differences in the volcanic island’s terroir.”

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue profiles Kyle Welch, owner of Longship Cellars in Washington.

Josh Raynolds reviews the 2014 vintage of Santa Lucia Highlands wines in Vinous.

In VinePair, Vicki Denig talks Pét-Nat and how it’s produced.

Daily Wine News: Promise in Oregon

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-14-2016

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

“The issue is finding a place with the soils, climate, elevation and exposition that permit those sorts of wines to be made: terroir, in short. In a general sense, the Willamette has what it takes. The particulars will only reveal themselves with time.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Oregon Pinot Noir, and announces what’s up next: Montsant.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman says longtime top sommelier and winery consultant Larry Stone’s Lingua Franca Oregon Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays look promising.

Jane Anson tastes through Bordeaux 1982 wines from top Left Bank estates and offers her thoughts in Decanter.

In Seattle Weekly, Zach Geballe responds to Jeff Gordinier’s recent piece about the growing success of natural wine, and calls out a problem regarding “snobby somms” and natural wine.

Bill Ward looks at what goes into the pricing of wine — from land and labor to equipment and marketing — in the Star Tribune.

Gavin Quinney of Chateau Bauduc gives an overview of the quality and quantity of Bordeaux’s 2016 harvest in Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages.

Wines & Vines offers “overwhelmingly positive reports” on California’s wine grape harvest, which is almost complete.

In Punch, Jon Bonné covers Loire Valley cabernet franc.