Daily Wine News: Competive Co-ops

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-18-2017

A vineyard in Alsace. (Flickr: Trubble.)

A vineyard in Alsace. (Flickr: Trubble.)

As part of his search for the best wine co-op in France, Decanter’s Andrew Jefford takes a look at Alsaces’s wine-cooperative scene. “Why, though, are co-operative standards in Alsace high?  Competition drives up quality, of course; if one or two achieve outstanding results, others are forced to compete… Less obvious, perhaps, is…the fact that everyone in Alsace must produce appellation wine is in itself an impetus to quality.”

In the Guardian, David Williams believes Grenache is too often undervalued. “Grenache’s reputation has also suffered more than most at the hands of incautious winemakers…When it’s good though, it certainly deserves a place at the top table – indeed, over the past decade, it’s made more strides than any other grape variety…”

W. Blake Gray wants to know why producers still call wines “Meritage.”

On RobertParker.com, R.H. Drexel tells the story of L.A. Lepiane Wines, launched by winemaker and surfer Allison Thompson.

Château Lafite’s price premium over its fellow first growths continues to shrink, reports the Drinks Business. “The premium now is just 24.6%, having slipped from 44% in 2014 and down to 35% in 2015.”

Lower 2016 Champagne sales are being blamed on Brexit, says Caroline Henry in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer makes his picks for today’s top wine regions for value.

The Wine Enthusiast staff survey the canned wine scene and recommend those worth trying.

Daily Wine News: California Changes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-17-2017

2000px-Flag_of_California.svgIn Decanter, Oz Clarke looks at the changes happening in California wine. “But it’s not only balance. This is just part of the movement. There are an increasing number of wines that thrill and inspire regardless of balance. They’re often low alcohol, but not always, and they’re wines of such unbridled perfume or tantalising flavour that tannins or acidity being a bit out of kilter scarcely seems to matter. The thrill’s the thing.”

“The forthcoming annual DTC Wine Shipping Report shows that the average bottle shipped by Napa County producers in 2016 was worth about $62, around 60 percent above the industry average of $38.69,” reports Henry Lutz in the Napa Valley Register. “According to the report, the region shipped more than 1.5 million cases of wine directly to consumers in 2016.”

In VinePair, Keith proposes a “radical thought” for 2017: “The good news is, natural wine, biodynamic wine, and organic wine aren’t going anywhere…I suggest we make this year the year we begin to explore everything else.”

Aaron Menenberg talks to Shane Moore, winemaker at Oregon’s Zena Crown Vineyard, about the time he spent working at Israel’s Golan Heights Winery and how the experience prepared him for making wine in Oregon.

Lauren Mowery offers a month-by-month guide to 12 underrated wine regions to visit this year in Forbes.

According to the Drinks Business, “Burgundian vintner Etienne de Montille is planning to build a winery in southern Hokkaido in Japan to produce cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”

Wine & Spirits Magazine talks to Tim Kweeder, wine director at Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia, about why Lambrusco and Beaujolais are wines of the moment.

Wine Enthusiast’s Paul Gregutt offers wine collecting tips.

Daily Wine News: Burgundy 2015 Reports

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-16-2017

Vineyard in Côte de Nuits. (Wikimedia)

Vineyard in Côte de Nuits. (Wikimedia)

Jancis Robinson shares her thoughts on 2015 white Burgundies, and explores the problems with old vines.

In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere also gets a taste of Burgundy’s 2015 vintage and says it’s “beguiling, charming, seductive and eminently drinkable… This is a vintage for everyone: there is quality at every level and in every appellation.”

Since first being identified in November, phylloxera in Colorado has now been found in four vineyards, reports Lynn Alley in Wine Spectator.

“Italian wine hasn’t died from natural causes (or any other causes). In my view of things is still in its infancy,” says Alfonso Cevola. “Italian wine is walking, talking, and has taken on an independent streak. But, like all things Italian, it’s complicated.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on Old Westminster’s acquisition of Burnt Hill’s 117 acres, and talks to owner Drew Baker about the promise of “iconic Maryland wines.”

In Forbes, Brian Freedman explores how new ownership of Burgundy’s Domaine Bonneau du Martray could impact the wine.

In Grape Collective, Barbara Sturgis seeks out affordable wines from smaller regions in South Africa.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess makes a case for buying large format wine.

Tom Wark on what wine-related things he’s looking forward to in 2017.

Daily Wine News: Putin’s Wine Collection

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-13-2017

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visiting Cricova collection of wines. (Wikimedia)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visiting Cricova collection of wines. (Wikimedia)

In Paste Magazine, Molly Hannon takes us on a tour through Cricova, the second-largest cellar in the world and where Putin stores his private wine collection.

James Laube talks with Dave Phinney about the sale of his California wine company, Orin Swift, to E. & J. Gallo in the Wine Spectator. “I want to disprove that just because a big winery buys a small winery, it goes to shit. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

Following in Bordeaux’s footsteps, Burgundy’s wine bureau has approved a project to build a network of wine tourism centers in the region, named the ‘Cités des Vins de Bourgogne’. Ellie Douglas has more details in Decanter.

Wine Enthusiast talks to journalist Bianca Bosker about her new book, Cork Dork, sommelier certification, and the defining moments of her deep dive into the world of wine.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov presents his red winter picks for “20 Wines Under $20”.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague offers advice on how to navigate cruise ship wine lists.

“Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has won a landmark legal case in a Chinese court, affirming TWE’s lawful right to use the Chinese translated trademark name – “Ben Fu ” for its flagship wine brand Penfolds,” reports the Drinks Business.

Fiona Beckett explains why it makes sense to pair what wine you drink with music as well as with food in the Guardian.

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Daily Wine News: Aged Two Buck Chuck

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-12-2017

Cases of Charles Shaw wine.

Cases of Charles Shaw wine.

Ever tried a 14-year-old bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet? In VinePair, Laura Burgess gets a taste of aged Two Buck Chuck and shares her thoughts. “This was a mellow, simple, pleasant red wine, something I imagine Carson serving the servants on Downton Abbey, but not the noble family upstairs.”

In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich on how Bordeaux winery buyers are seeing great potential in less-famous appellations and buying small estates. “Another attraction at smaller estates is innovation. No one wants to mess with a classified growth’s identity.”

“The Mount Veeder estate bought by the Tesseron family of Château Pontet-Canet in Bordeaux is to bottle its Napa wine under the name Pym-Rae. This is the name given to the vineyard…by the previous owner, the late actor Robin Williams,” reports Decanter.

Most enology graduates are women, so why aren’t there more women winemakers? James Lawrence explores the wine industry’s persistent sexism in Wine-Searcher.

In Vinous, Kelli White profiles Dick Steltzner, who was one of the key founders of Stags Leap.

WineFolly’s Madeline Puckette covers the six most prevalent “impact compounds” in wine.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, explains what Brexit means for global wine markets.

Decanter rounds up images from the latest snowfall in Sicily.

Daily Wine News: Fire & Fraud

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-11-2017

Source: Vergelegen Wines.

Source: Vergelegen Wines.

A wildfire near to Cape Town in South Africa has damaged up to 40% of the 300 year old Vergelegen wine estate, which dates back to 1700 and is regularly named as among South Africa’s best wineries.

“Wines Til Sold Out (WTSO), is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming it defrauded customers by offering wines for discounted prices that were not based on the wines’ true value,” reports Wines & Vines.

In Food & Wine, Hannah Walhout covers the Satèn style of Franciacorta. “This silky bubbly is unusual: sparkling but smooth, dry but distinctly creamy. It’s one of the softest sparkling wines out there…”

In Edible Manhattan, Eileen M. Duffy does a deep dive on three Seneca Lake rieslings by Boundary Breaks, Hermann J. Weimer and Anthony Road.

Tom Wark looks at the current top 15 selling wine books on Amazon.

In the Huffington Post, Joseph V. Micallef delves into the history of Valle de Guadalupe, and how it has become Mexico’s center of fine wine production.

In Wine Spectator, James Laube remembers Debbie Lewis.

Nick Hines dishes out the problems with celebrity wine in VinePair.

Chuck Hayward on Clare Valley Riesling in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In Palate Press, Roger Morris gives “9 Reasons Merlot Will Rule the World.”

Daily Wine News: Collecting Conundrums

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-10-2017

(Flickr: market208)

(Flickr: market208)

After over 30 years of collecting Italian wine, Alfonso Cevola pens “a very personal, and specific, guide for the 30-year-old collector on a budget.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto also reflects on years of collecting wine, and fears that he can’t drink enough wine to keep his cellar current. “…in general, as I’ve gathered more wines, I haven’t dealt with one obvious fact: Most of the wines in my cellar weren’t meant to last decades.”

A weekend storm dumped more than a foot of water on parts of Northern California, causing flooded fields and vineyards. Sonoma County was among the hardest hit areas, with up to 12 inches of rain since Friday.

According to Wine-Searcher, Cameron Hughes Winery was sold this week by a bankruptcy court receiver to the highest bidder: Vintage Wine Estates.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford meets the duo behind Caves de Pyrene, the British wine importer more closely associated with natural wine than any other.

WineFolly interviews five people in the wine trade about their journey and what it takes to get there.

The Drinks Business features Spain’s top women winemakers.

Starbucks will no longer serve wine and tapas, and is nixing its “Evenings” program, reports Eater.

Daily Wine News: Confronting Questions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-09-2017

Veeder Peak, Mount Veeder, Napa. (Source: Jackson Family Wines)

Veeder Peak, Mount Veeder, Napa. (Source: Jackson Family Wines)

In the New York Times, David Gelles looks at how Jackson Family Wines is battling climate change with both high-tech and old-school techniques. “Climate change is forcing the Jacksons to confront questions both practical and existential: Can you make fine wine with less water? Will good grapes still grow here in 20 years? What will become of an industry central to California’s identity…”

In a recent biodynamic tasting calendar study, researchers concluded that “the findings reported in the present study provide no evidence in support of the notion that how a wine tastes is associated with the lunar cycle.”

Meininger reports on how various people in the wine industry reacted to the results of the above biodynamic tasting calendar study.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on the importance of knowing how to read a vintage chart.

Grape Collective talks to artisan producer Fabio Altariva and his son Alessio from Fattoria Moretto about the evolution of Lambrusco.

Wine Spectator reports that Lewis Cellars’ Debbie Lewis has died after a yearlong battle with various forms of cancer. She was 72.

MarketWatch considers how food and wine costs are going to rise when Donald Trump takes office.

In Punch, Jon Bonné lays out the wine stories he thinks will make a difference this year. “2017 is going to be a complicated—but potentially really great—year for wine.”

Daily Wine News: Soil Health Declining

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-06-2017

In Decantersoil, Jane Anson on why a decline in soil health should worry all wine lovers. “‘When we started out, no wineries were willing to spend the money on something so invisible as the soil. They preferred to invest in big name flying winemakers. But the proof comes through in the wine’.”

American billionaire Stan Kroenke, owner of Screaming Eagle and majority shareholder in Arsenal football club, has bought historic Burgundy estate Bonneau du Martray.

In advance of National Cassoulet Day (Jan. 9), Tom Natan delves into the history of the dish, and its connection to the wines from the Languedoc on the blog for First Vine.

Dwight Furrow considers the role of creativity in winemaking in Three Quarks Daily. “It has become popular among winemakers to be modest about their contribution to the final product…basically their idea is just don’t screw up the grapes and let them express themselves. But I’m not at all persuaded…”

Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski, who lives in Colorado, suffered severe injuries while on a cross-country adventure. If you can, please consider donating to help cover his medical expenses on his GoFundMe page.

“Emirates has invested $500 million to build a ‘Fort Knox’ of wine,” reports Bloomberg.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter chats with Rosemary Cakebread.

Wine Enthusiast rounds up recommendations for a mixed case of low alcohol wines.

Daily Wine News: Clos Rougeard Sold

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-05-2017

(Source: Clos Rougeard)

(Source: Clos Rougeard)

Martin Bouygues, French telecom billionaire and the owner of Château Montrose in Bordeaux — has acquired the Loire property Clos Rougeard, reports the Drinks Business.

Tyler Colman reacts to the news that the “481st richest person in the world” has purchased Clos Rougeard: “In a way it is kind of surprising that a billionaire is attracted to the Loire, which is generally a region that favors low-key wines and hasn’t attracted big fortunes to be tossed around since the day of Francois I. Perhaps that is changing? Doubtful.”

Is it time to leave the biodynamic calendar behind? Jamie Goode considers whether lunar effects really affect the way that wine tastes or not.

“As an ethnic woman, I can’t help but notice that whenever I’m at a restaurant or a beverage retailer, I am immediately directed toward the sweeter, lighter-bodied beverages.” In VinePair, Kimberly Marie Ousley says it’s time to stop gender and racial profiling in the beverage industry. “The bottom line is that wines, liqueurs and spirits have no gender, nor do they see color.”

It’s a good time to be buying Bordeaux, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Bertrand Celce rounds up wonderful photos of “anonymous wine scenes” — treasures he found in flea markets and sidewalk sales.

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds goes beyond Pinot Noir in Oregon, and explores the states “outlier varieties.”

In Forbes, Nick Passmore gets a taste of the $300 Chinese wine, Ao Yun, which is now available in the U.S.