Daily Wine News: Frost & Fires

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-29-2016

Frost and vines. (Flickr: epeigne37)

Frost and vines. (Flickr: epeigne37)

Burgundy has been hit by the “worst frost since 1981,” which may have already cut the potential size of the 2016 harvest, reports Decanter. Jeremy Parzen also shares a few photos of the frost on his blog, Do Bianchi.

W. Blake Gray considers why Parker’s 100-point wines don’t sell out anymore. “Parker and the Wine Advocate starting doling out 100-point scores like Oprah gives out free books, and while there is an audience willing to shell out for these mouth-bruisers, we’ve come to learn that they’re a niche like everything else.”

Caroline Henry looks at how some Champagne producers are following the En Primeur model to show off last year’s vintage in Wine-Searcher.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov features the wine list of Freek Mills in Gowanus, Brooklyn, “which has one of the deepest, most narrowly concentrated selections I’ve seen.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan talks with cookbook author Dorie Greenspan about French food with wine.

In VinePair, Rachel Signer offers a primer on different styles of sparkling Limoux, and shares Dom Pérignon’s relationship to the wines.

Hannah Walhout explores the tradition of Georgian wines for the Alcohol Professor.

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds finds values from Vacqueyras.

Elsewhere in Decanter, Jane Anson shares a few benchmark wines from Chile.

Daily Wine News: Charm & Challenge

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-28-2016

Rioja terroir.

Rioja terroir.

“The concept of terroir does sound a bit magical…To a wine cynic, it was a red flag to a bull.” Andrea Frost considers the charm and challenge of terroir. “The ability of wine to capture and express landscape and transport the drinker to it is a thing of wonder… It’s enough to make your world smaller, larger and more pleasant all at the same time.”

David Rogers wonders if wine can lose its mojo in Grape Collective. “If we assume that modern packaging, transportation and storage are sound enough for a wine to be tasted “equally” all over the world…it is not a stretch to suggest its quality therefore is determined not only by the physical combination of fruit, soil, aspect, climate and …but also the physiological inputs of human condition and one’s response to our environmental surroundings.”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy profiles the women changing Bordeaux’s historic wine traditions.

François Audouze, one of the best-known wine collectors and advocates of older wine in France, talks with W. Blake Gray about trust in a post-Rudy world.

Rachel Signer suggests Picpoul wines from the South of France as an affordable alternative to Chablis in the Food Republic.

Suzanne Mustacich questions the likelihood of Americans buying 2015 Bordeaux futures in Wine Spectator.

Joe Roberts explains why you should care about the recently published study on “Wine O’Clock.”

Decanter recommends Bordeaux 2015 white wines, the best being found in Pessac-Léognan.

In Palate Press, Becky Sue Epstein reports on her experience at ProWein 2016.

Daily Wine News: Of Two Minds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-27-2016

Bordeaux wine. (Source: Wikimedia)

Bordeaux wine. (Source: Wikimedia)

Antonio Galloni offers an in-depth review of Bordeaux’s 2015 vintage in Vinous. “Winemakers are of two minds with the 2015. Some believe the fruit had little tannin, so the wines required more work in the cellar to extract. The much more commonly held view is that the wines were naturally quite rich and easy to extract.”

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne looks at the rise of Amador County’s reputation.

W. Blake Gray considers the wines of the West Bank in Palate Press. “An optimist could see a real chance for cooperation, with Palestinians growing the grapes to Israeli specifications, and everybody being happy. That, unfortunately, is not what’s going on.”

“A collection of Nazi-era German wines has been discovered in a secret cellar in Russia after a construction worker fell through the floor of the house he was repairing,” reports the Drinks Business.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reflects on the Portuguese wine industry. “Portugal has great history, great terroir, great wines — but that greatness isn’t always recognized…”

The Telegraph reports that an English sparkling wine beat Champagne in a blind tasting.

Bloomberg highlights winemaking pioneers in Thailand’s mountainous Khao Yai known for sweet, light wines.

John Legend talks wine in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Arguing Over Amarone

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-26-2016



Amarone Families and the Valpolicella Consortium are at odds over the name “Amarone.” But who controls the elite Italian wine name? Robert Camuto investigates in Wine Spectator.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence closely looks at the future of Australian wine. “A closer analysis of Wine Australia’s export data suggests that the country’s future isn’t perhaps quite as rosy as one might initially conclude.”

Financial Times’ James Pickford pens a profile of Neal Martin. “Mr Martin, 45, says he was unprepared for the intense media interest in his elevation to the high-profile role, as he assumes responsibility for the Bordeaux region.”

According to the Drinks Business, Robert Parker has given the 2009 Pape Clément 100-points in the most recent Hedonist’s Gazette, after a “fun” tasting of some wines from the vintage.

Steve Heimoff wonders if California is running out of new AVAs. “My own view? The Coast is pretty much nearly out of new AVA candidates, with a few important exceptions…”

Panos Kakaviatos offers an intro to the barrel samples of Bordeaux 2015.

Rosé in a can has arrived, according to VinePair.

Daryna Tobey surveys the history of field blends to understand their popularity today in Eater.

Italy drinks less wine than Germany in historic drop,” reports the Telegraph.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford is charmed by Sardinia, “Italy’s ‘other’ wine island.”

Daily Wine News: Status of Cult Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-25-2016

Esther Mobley visits Harlan Estate and questions the relevancy of cult wines today. (Source: Harlan Estate)

Esther Mobley visits Harlan Estate and questions the relevancy of cult wines today. (Source: Harlan Estate)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley explores whether Napa’s cult Cabernets are still relevant today. “Have these wines transformed from beverage to currency? At what point does wine stop being wine?… And what are the cults today, in an age that champions populism and transparency?”

“The Drouhins have achieved what many family-run companies find difficult—even impossible—to pull off: They have not only maintained the family business but have expanded and improved upon it, in terms of land and wines, as well as sales.” Lettie Teague profiles the Drouhin family of Burgundy in the Wall Street Journal.

In Eater, Susan H. Gordon on the new generation of winemakers in Bordeaux. “Armed with today’s desire for sustainability; in dialogue with a whole new market of well-educated, value-seeking wine drinkers; and with a contemporary mixture of traditional and modern winemaking techniques, they are reclaiming pride in Bordeaux’s unsung areas and uniting local terroirs with today’s market demands.”

Sophie Barrett has fallen back in love with rosé Champagne.

In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere offers an update on Spanish producer Torres’ Ancestral Vines project, which is working to revive and recognize ancestral varieties.

“For the first time in five years, in 2015 the Bordelais have a vintage worth making a fuss about,” says Jancis Robinson.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre is amused by Maryse Chevriere’s illustrations of wine tasting notes on the Instagram profile, freshcutgardenhose.

Rachel Signer suggests giving darker rosés a try in VinePair.

Daily Wine News: Reclaiming Terroir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-22-2016

Winter on Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

Winter on Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

“My feeling has increasingly been over the last few years that Bordeaux will never connect with the next generation of wine drinkers in significant numbers until it admits that it lost its way over terroir, and that it is slowly but surely finding its way back.” In Decanter, Jane Anson looks at how Bordeaux is reclaiming its terroir.

In Punch, Jon Bonné on Etna Rosso. “…Etna offers something for everyone: plenty of staunch traditionalists; a few posh types, imposing their sense of style; at least one zany but charismatic super-naturalist to satisfy the whims of that crowd.”

“What drives the natural-wine movement is a sort of combustion reaction between ethics and aesthetics…” In Vogue, Rob Haskell explores the rise of natural wines, and explains why they “are the toast of the cognoscenti.”

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

“Foley Family Wines has reached a deal to purchase Stryker Sonoma Winery in Alexander Valley,” reports Wine Spectator.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on recent California winery purchases.

Yossie Horwitz pens VinePair’s “Official Guide to Kosher Wines For Passover.”

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle chats with Peter Gago of Penfolds about wine and travel.

Daily Wine News: Chenin’s Success

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-21-2016

Chenin Blanc (Wikimedia)

Chenin Blanc (Wikimedia)

Rachel Signer on chenin blanc’s success with sommeliers in Eater. “As more winemakers began to concentrate on quality vineyard management, their wines improved, and it slowly became clear that chenin blanc was one of the world’s most unique and worthy white grapes.”

“As Robert Parker relinquishes Bordeaux tasting at the The Wine Advocate to Neal Martin, does an even greater cult following beckon for his ‘perfect’ 100-point clarets?” The Drinks Business investigates.

Avrid Rosengren, sommelier at Charlie Bird in New York City, has been named Best Sommelier in the World, reports Decanter.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer tastes through a vertical tasting of Joseph Phelps Insignia and offers a few thoughts.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks at a study that “finds a kind of “Overton” effect in restaurant wine programs and suggests that many restaurants may be leaving money on the table by the way they bind themselves to a particular narrow wine “window.””

In Bloomberg, Neil Weinberg pens a profile of Peter Deutsch and reports on how “Fidelity cheated him out of millions.”

Kerin O’Keefe offers impressions of 2011 Brunellos in Wine Enthusiast.

In Wine Spectator, Thomas Matthews talks with Argentine entrepreneur Alejandro Bulgheroni, who has wine properties on four continents.

Daily Wine News: Terroir & Supersomms

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-20-2016

Is terroir bullshit? Mark Matthews believes so.

Is terroir bullshit? Mark Matthews believes so.

“Comes now yet another book-length agony letter from the wine science establishment declaring how we in the popular press know nothing about wine, and furthermore, how you (and me) in the wine-drinking public don’t know a damned thing either.” Matt Kramer reviews and comments on Mark Matthews’ Terroir and Other Myths of Winegrowing.

“It is almost as unlikely a story as the Jamaican Olympic bob-sled team: young Zimbabweans leaving their country (‘things were bad’) and, after many hardships, re-inventing themselves in an altogether foreign field, as champions of wine, members of the crème de la crème of South Africa’s sommeliers.” For Purple Pages, Erica Platter features Zimbabwe’s Supersomms.

Wine Spectator reports that Washington’s Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has acquired Patz & Hall in Sonoma County.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne profiles Michael and Anne Dashe of Dashe Cellars.

Antonio Galloni remembers Denis Malbec in Vinous.

According to Decanter, “Burgundy producers have approved a new ranking system for sparkling wine Crémant de Bourgogne, to include ‘Eminent’ and ‘Grand Eminent’ levels.”

In the New York Times, Paul Post on how New York wineries are using cold-hardy grape varieties developed at Cornell, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Elsewhere in the New York Times, Ligaya Mishan offers insight into what a dinner part at Alice Feiring’s apartment entails. Guests must be “ready to down, in one gulp, all the wine that can fit inside a ram’s horn.”

Daily Wine News: French Wine’s Image

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-19-2016



In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at two recent political controversies for French wine, and considers their impact on French wine’s global image.

At Vinitaly, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, “Our wine is better than French Wine.” Alfonso Cevola comments on the remark, and looks at how far Italian wine is come in the past 40 years.

Alder Yarrow reports on 2013 Burgundy highlights from La Paulée, which “revealed a number of gems, including some wines that delivered exceptional quality at less than stratospheric prices.”

Jackson Family Wines has acquired Oregon’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars according to Wine Spectator.

Richard Hemming reviews a range of wine label scanning apps for Purple Pages.

In Eater, Daryna Tobey recommends rosés from Washington and Oregon.

In Punch, Kara Newman on how Manischewitz is finding a new audience amongst bartenders for its surprising versatility in drinks.

A Portuguese winery decided to age wine at the bottom of a lake. Chris Matyszczyk tasted it and shares what he thinks.

The Napa Valley Register reports that St. Helena winemaker, and former Latour winemaker Denis Malbec died in a car crash over the weekend. He was 46.

The Daily Mail predicts the prosecco bubble is about to burst as its popularity soars.

And in other news, Hillary Clinton can probably take some credit for the creation of wine ice cream.

Daily Wine News: Wine in China

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-18-2016

Chinese vineyards. (Wikimedia)

Chinese vineyards. (Wikimedia)

Jancis Robinson offers an update on wine trends in China, as well as a report on the quality of Chinese wine. “Among Chinese wine lovers, red burgundy seems all the rage, but the range of wines on wine lists and in stores is very, very much more eclectic than even two years ago – and not all wine is red!”

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence discovers California’s new wave of sparkling wine. “In addition, the rise of craft fizz is helping to debunk the long-standing perception that only select sites in Napa and Sonoma are suitable for premium sparkling production. This is of particular importance…”

In Grape Collective, Cristom’s Steve Doerner talks about how Oregon became the center of American Pinot Noir.

In Munchies, Barbara Woolsey delves into the history of the wine, Rotspon.

Bertrand Celce reports on his visit to Domaine Rousset-Peyraguey in Sauternes.

“Chenin Blanc is that magical animal of the wine world,” says Carson Demmond in Food & Wine.

Elsewhere in Food & Wine, James Oliver Cury features the work of a Serbian artist who paints with wine.

“Don Ross, who founded Shibumi Knoll in St. Helena and produced dynamic Chardonnays, died on April 8 at the age of 74,” reports Wine Spectator.

Dave McIntyre on the wide world of Italian white wines beyond pinot grigio in the Washington Post.