Daily Wine News: Rejected Grapes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-21-2018

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

“Large wineries, most notably Constellation Brands and Treasury Wine Estates, are now exercising the option to skip a vintage with many growers. They’ve been rejecting a significant share of the wine grapes they source from Lake and Mendocino counties,” reports Wine Business. “The amount of fruit that has been rejected over possible smoke exposure is unknown at this time, but it appears to be quite substantial.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Carrie Dykes looks at how a group of Virginia winemakers are making noteworthy wines with petit manseng and petit verdot.

Vitisphere reports the French AOC wine board has authorized the introduction of new varieties—under certain conditions. “INAO has validated the creation of a third category of grape varieties called “grape varieties for climate and environmental adaptation.””

Some of Rudy Kurniawan’s counterfeits are still floating around, but Stuart George questions the amount in Wine-Searcher.

In the Oregonian, Michael Alberty looks at how the success of NOVUM Ceramics, a new local venture involving the production of large amphorae.

Liza B. Zimmerman reports that the white wine emoji is finally here.

In Food & Wine, Jonathan Cristaldi highlights 30 bottles of pinot noir from Burgundy and California to Oregon, Italy, Australia, and Germany that “will turn you from a fan into a pro.”

Eric Asimov recommends 20 wines under $20 in the New York Times.

Daily Wine News: Taste & Texture

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-20-2018

glass of red wine“We still talk about wine primarily in terms of taste, which is to say flavor, and our language for that is hacky. Too often it lands on comparison… Our language for texture is even more rudimentary.” In Punch, Jon Bonné argues that texture is one of wine’s most essential—and also the most overlooked—attributes.

“As producers and winemakers in Washington continue to explore the boundaries of what is possible for viticulture in the state, a number are looking in a new direction: up.” In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan looks at how Washington winemakers are turning to high-altitude vineyards to cope with climate change.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray shares details about Red Mountain Elevated, a project led by two Microsoft alumni on Washington’s Red Mountain. “The project has been 14 years in the making; the first grapes are being harvested this month.”

Copper Cane LLC of Rutherford’s Elouan Wines has sparked concern in Oregon over labeling. Peter Mitham reports on the details in Wines & Vines, and Kerana Todorov also delves into the issue on WineBusiness.com.

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes looks at how winemakers in Argentina are carving a new niche with old-vine and terroir-driven whites.

In Forbes, Tom Mullen explores the popularity of wines from Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova.

Marian Bull offers yet another beginner’s guide to natural wine in GQ.

Daily Wine News: Pre-Phylloxera Prestige

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-19-2018

Vines on Mount Etna during winter (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

Vines on Mount Etna during winter (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

Tom Hyland explores the prestige of pre-phylloxera vines in Etna in Wine-Searcher. “The fact that wines are produced in Etna on such poor stony soils, comprised of volcanic ash, pumice and sand make Etna Rosso wines so intriguing… Add in the fact that a few producers are working with pre-phylloxera vines…and you have a recipe for highly distinctive wines that are highly sought after by sommeliers, wine critics and connoisseurs alike…”

At the end of this year, the EU must decide whether to reapprove the use of copper in organic farming. In Meininger’s, Darren Smith reports on the controversy and what the final decision could mean for organic winegrowing.

In Decanter, Peter Richards looks at how a new generation has been fighting to save some of Chile’s oldest vineyards from industrial pine forests and pulp factories. (subscription req.)

In SevenFifty Daily, industry professionals share the most awkward and obnoxious situations they’ve encountered at winery tasting rooms.

Tom Mullen on the sparkling wines made in Trentino in Forbes.

Joe Roberts visits Troon Vineyard in Oregon. “…it was with a sort of mixed fascination and trepidation that I recently observed firsthand Troon Vineyard‘s Biodynamic compost preparations (#502-507) in the gorgeous (but, at the time, quite smokey) Applegate Valley, to literally see “the good sh*t”…”

In Condé Nast Traveler, Mark Ellwood explores how to navigate wine tourism in China.

In Chicago Mag, Maggie Hennessy offers a natural wine primer for rookies.

Daily Wine News: Tension in Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-18-2018

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford explores the nature of tension in wine, and its relationship to concepts of energy, precision and focus. “Of one thing I’m sure: tension isn’t, as so often simplistically assumed, related to prominent acidity or modest alcohol levels in a wine.”

Ulises Valdez, who emigrated from Mexico to work as a vineyard laborer in Sonoma County, then rose to become one of California’s most renowned vineyard managers and founder of his own family winery, died last week of a heart attack, reports Aaron Romano in Wine Spectator. He was 49.

“Ulises was one of the most gifted, knowledgeable and intuitive vineyard managers in California… His confidence around the vine underscored his ease with the natural environs of Sonoma County. His understanding of the entire growing region and its diverse topography and soils was breathtaking to behold, but he was very down-to-earth when sharing his knowledge.” Paul Hobbs remembers Ulises Valdez on his blog.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy looks at the widespread excitement over a high-volume, high-quality 2018 harvest in France’s top wine-producing regions.

In SevenFifty Daily, Betsy Andrews explores the ways in which larger wine companies are turning to biodynamics.

After years of being seen as a red wine country, Italy is making a big impact with its white wines. In Meininger’s, Wojciech Bońkowski analyzes the trend.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher have a small furmint epiphany.

Daily Wine News: Labeling Changes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-17-2018

Willamette Valley vineyards. (Wikimedia)

Willamette Valley vineyards. (Wikimedia)

In the Oregonian, Michael Alberty reports on the reasons why Willamette Valley winemakers are proposing major labeling changes. “Ken Wright and David Adelsheim are ringing the village church bells to warn Willamette Valley wineries about a pair of threats: colleagues who are losing sight of the value of the Willamette Valley name and outsiders looking to exploit it.”

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman talks to liquor attorney Rob Tobassien about the ups and downs of the three-tier liquor model.

The wine industry appears uneasy about — and could be threatened by — cannabis legalization. Dave McIntyre delves into wine’s newest competitor in the Washington Post.

The Martinelli family has bought out other family members to retain ownership of the Three Sisters and Charles Ranch vineyards in Sonoma County’s Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Esther Mobley reports on the news in the San Francisco Chronicle.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan takes a look at French vineyard subsidies. “It turns out that France, unlike Spain and Italy, doesn’t allow vineyards to get the general EU agricultural subsidy that pays farmers annually based on the amount of land they own and farm.  This means, all else being equal, that wine is cheaper to produce in Spain and Italy than it is in France.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Layla Schlack falls in love with the story of a tenacious Bordeaux winemaker. “I found myself rooting for her, like I would for a Jane Austen heroine trying to save her family’s fortune. There was such purity in her intentions, such care. I desperately wanted the wine to be good.”

Ryan Smith checks out Arizona’s wine culture in VinePair.

In the Guardian, David Williams explores what climate change means for the wine industry.

Daily Wine News: Standing Apart

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-14-2018

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

Ripe Pinot Noir (Flickr: docoverachiever)

Eric Asimov sings the praises of Anderson Valley pinot noir in the New York Times. “These regions, along with the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County, are the sources of California’s finest pinot noirs. The Anderson Valley may wish by nature to stand apart, but it has taken its place among California’s pinot noir elite.”

In Condé Nast Traveler, Mark Ellwood explores the world of Swiss wine.

Wine Enthusiast reports that Hubert Opici, founder and owner of Opici Wine Group, Opici Distributing and Market Street Spirits, died Tuesday at the age of 102.

What’s the difference between a popular wine and a perennially fashionable one? Lettie Teague delves into the answer in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Kelli White profiles Ulises Valdez in Vinous. “Valdez is one of California’s most prestigious grape growers, though you wouldn’t know it by just speaking with him…”

Andre Shearer talked with Grape Collective about the challenges still faced by the South African wine industry today.

In Decanter, Jane Anson meets Pierre Le Hong, who is making a name for himself in the region by producing detailed, digital maps of prized vineyards.

Daily Wine News: Evolving AVAs

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-13-2018

Cabernet Sauvignon. (Wikimedia)

Cabernet Sauvignon. (Wikimedia)

Joshua Greene reports on changes in farming and winemaking that are leading growers to turn out finely ripened, silken cabernet sauvignon in the Alexander Valley in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Sophia McDonald details the 5 new Washington AVAs on the horizon, and what you need to know about each one in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray explores the ageability of Italian verdicchio, and how its quality has changed in recent years. “In 2006, 58 percent of Verdicchio by volume in the Marche was made by co-ops, and only 42 percent by independent producers. By 2017, that number had shifted: 66 percent of Verdicchio was made by individual producers, who traditionally have much greater interest in making quality wine because it’s hard to sell otherwise.”

In Wines & Vines, Peter Mitham reports on how grapegrowers and wineries in British Columbia are monitoring and testing for smoke taint.

In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Austin explores the wines of Texas.

Jon Bonné offers the “insider’s guide to orange wine” in Punch.

There’s another natural wine primer, written by Alex Erdekian, over on Thrillist.

Daily Wine News: Hess Collection is Back

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-12-2018

(Source: Hess Collection)

(Source: Hess Collection)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on Hess Collection’s reopening after weathering an earthquake, landslide, and fire. “Wineries are accustomed to being at the mercy of Mother Nature. But in recent years the Hess Collection, on Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder, has gotten a lot more of her than it ever bargained for…But now Hess is back, at long last. Just before Labor Day, the company unveiled Lion’s Head, its new winery and tasting room, a $5 million renovation of the building destroyed by the earthquake.”

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter reports on a new initiative by Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (ÖTW), or Association of Traditional Austrian Winemakers, who have been working together on a special project: the Erste Lagen (first growths).

The oldest grape varieties in South America have been sidelined for the past hundred years, but a new generation is now reclaiming its lost winemaking heritage as Criolla varieties re-emerge from the shadows. Amanda Barnes delves into the story in Decanter. (subscription req.)

America welcomes 24 new Master Sommeliers.

Michael Edwards reviews Champagne: The Future Uncorked by Gert Crum in the World of Fine Wine.

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman talks to Rob McMillan of the Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division about the future of wine marketing and sales.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, shares five surprising facts about U.S. wine sales.

On his blog, W. Blake Gray explores the “polarizing” Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.

Daily Wine News: Walla Walla Carmenère

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-11-2018

Carmenère. (Wikimedia)

Carmenère. (Wikimedia)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patrick J. Comiskey discovers carmenère from Walla Walla in Washington State. “The best of the Walla Walla wines are fresh, with savory notes hinting at lavender and lilac, and a core of fruit that’s not so much rich as enveloping. They show slightly less power than most Chilean versions…”

Sara Chodosh delves into the results of a recent study proclaiming there is “no safe amount of alcohol” in Popular Science. “It wasn’t long ago that the court of public opinion held that a glass of cabernet with dinner wasn’t just okay for you, it was actively good for you. Yet it seems like opinion is shifting. Suddenly moderate drinking is unhealthy. What happened?”

In Bon Appétit, Elyse Inamine profiles Haley Fortier, who is championing female winemakers and natural wines at Boston’s Haley.Henry.

In SevenFifty Daily, Courtney Schiessl explores the evolution of California chenin blanc. “Over the past decade, artisanal winemakers riding the “new California” wave have launched interesting, limited-production Chenin Blanc cuvees…With the popularity of Chenin Blanc rising among consumers, these small producers are striving to change the reputation of California Chenin for good.”

Alfonso Cevola meditates on memories of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. “Trebbiano Abruzzese isn’t going to supplant Meursault, or even Assyrtiko, as one of the great white wines of the world. But Trebbiano Abruzzese has been a great life lesson for me.”

In VinePair, Stephanie Cain reports on saperavi’s growing presence in the Finger Lakes.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan details the cabernet sauvignon wines of Washington you need to know.

Daily Wine News: Tasting Rooms

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-10-2018

tastingroomAccording to Virginie Boone in Wine Enthusiast, the traditional tasting room is dead. “Many of Napa Valley’s 3.5 million yearly visitors appear to want different things out of a winery experience than in days of old: More sit-down tastings, food pairings and places to hang out and Instagram their day. That’s not to mention more of a sense of belonging.”

Wired tests out the Coravin Model Eleven. “All told, the Model Eleven is clearly the best Coravin to hit the market to date. The catch is that this will cost you one thousand dollars…”

Stephen Tanzer offers his notes on 2017 White Burgundy in Vinous. “These are pure, easygoing, fruit-driven wines of considerable charm, and a good number of them are more serious than that.”

In the Los Angeles Times, John Henderson explores how Georgia’s centuries-old wine tradition is bringing new appeal to the republic.

Grape Collective talks to Chateau Grand Traverse’s Eddie O’Keefe about the challenges and triumphs of Michigan Riesling.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig chats with Chris Santini about his life as an American winemaker in Burgundy.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on the staying power of canned wine.

Ellie Douglas reports on the beginning of the 2018 English wine harvest in Decanter.