Daily Wine News: Hermitage Conundrum

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-02-2015

Perhaps Hermitage just needs an image consultant? (Flickr: jamesonf)

Perhaps Hermitage just needs an image consultant? (Flickr: jamesonf)

“One of the most frequent laments I hear from wine producers during my annual visits in the northern Rhône is how difficult it is to sell Hermitage.” Jancis Robinson on the Hermitage conundrum. “This is particularly strange since Hermitage is the acknowledged birthplace of the Syrah grape, currently one of the most fashionable all over the world.”

In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank sees craft beers’ popularity as an opportunity for winemakers.

Food Republic lists “16 Important Names to Know in Natural Wine.”

“Will the market notice if Robert Parker’s palate declines?” asks W. Blake Gray.

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka shares Billy Collins’ thoughts on writing, which he presented in a keynote address at the Napa Valley Wine Writer Symposium.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre visits Siduri Wines in Somoma County and talks with Adam Lee about the recent company sale. “In any other business I can think of, this would be a positive thing,” said Lee. “In the wine business, we think of it as a loss.”

Lettie Teague calls Madeira “The Historic Portuguese Wine That’s Hip Again” in the Wall Street Journal.

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Ross Kelly looks at how Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates unusual marketing strategy appears to be working.

Wine Searcher profiles Philippe Dhalluin.

Daily Wine News: Napa’s on a Run

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-27-2015



In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers tasting notes for the last Wine School on Langhe Nebbiolo and announces what’s up next: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The news will have huge ramifications for a futures system that is already floundering after three vintages…” In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons comments on Parker’s big announcement. “Mr. Parker stepping aside…may even have an effect on the style of wines being produced.”

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons says Napa has been on a run lately, with three strong vintages, including a 2013 that’s been described by winemakers as ‘epic’.

“Can a return to winemaking save Kentucky’s soul?” asks Sarah Baird in Eater.

Neal Martin says his approach to en primeur reporting for the Wine Advocate “may be a bit more funky than in the past.”

In Grape Collective, Rachael Doob rounds up a range of reactions to Robert Parker’s recent announcement.

Kyle Schlachter chats with Gary Vaynerchuk about getting back into the wine game and potentially rekindling WineLibraryTV.

Pennsylvania representatives vote — yet again — for privatization of liquor stores. “Governor’s veto likely,” reports Wines & Vines.

In Palate Press, Mike Madaio discovers Pecorino (no, not the cheese) from Marche.

Jane Anson lists “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste” in Wine-Searcher.

Daily Wine News: Passing the Torch

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-26-2015

Neal Martin, taking over for Parker (Flickr: epeigne37)

Neal Martin, who is now taking over for Parker (Flickr: epeigne37)

“Robert Parker announced Wednesday that he will no longer cover Bordeaux’s en primeur tastings, handing over the reins instead to Wine Advocate team member Neal Martin,” reports Wine-Searcher.

Wine Turtle lists the “103 Best Wine Blogs That You Can’t Miss.”

“What would the perfect wine critic look like? asks Jamie Goode.

In Grape Collective, Bill Ward tracks the evolution of the California Garagistes.

In honor of tax season, Tim Fish picks out a case of value wines under $25 in Wine Spectator.

According to Beltran Domecq, the president of the Sherry wine council, “Sherry producers need to help consumers understand more about the vineyards behind their wines.”

Elin McCoy offers tips on how to find prosecco that isn’t terrible in Bloomberg. “Italians don’t make it easy to distinguish luxury bottles from the merely gaseous. You have to read the label—closely.”

In the Wall Street Journal, author Michael Paterniti goes looking for his lost heritage—with detours through ancient medicine and the cafes of 18th-century Turin—in a bottle of Alessio Vermouth di Torino Rosso.

In Forbes, facts and photos from a record-breaking week in Napa.

Jerry Lockspeiser reviews An Unlikely Vineyard by Deidre Heekin in Harpers.

BREAKING: Robert Parker Steps Back From Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-25-2015

Robert Parker, 2014 Wine Writers Symposium.

Robert Parker, 2014 Wine Writers Symposium.

Earlier today, Robert Parker announced (subscription required) that he’s taking a step back from his Bordeaux coverage. As Parker explains:

As just part of the planned coverage for this year, Neal will review the 2014 en primeur releases from Bordeaux. Meanwhile I plan to review the newly bottled 2012 vintage wines and produce a comprehensive 10 year retrospective on the incredible 2005 Bordeaux vintage.

Parker’s decision makes sense. He’s reviewed virtually every Bordeaux vintage for nearly four decades and could surely use a break. But winemakers in Bordeaux must be nervous. No critic will ever have Parker’s influence. And one must assume that he’s now done with en primeur — and will likely move away from all Bordeaux reviews in the near future.

Daily Wine News: Highs and Lows

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-25-2015

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

W. Blake Gray thinks wine under $10 sucks. “As recently as 2007 I wrote an every-other-week column about wines under $10. I found plenty of delicious wines… I’m glad I don’t have to write this column now.”

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka provides an overview of what was discussed at this year’s Napa Valley Wine Writer Symposium. “Never forget how many people never think about wine.”

In Wine-Searcher, Tim Atkin highlights his top 10 Brunellos from 2010. “One of the unusual features of the vintage in Montalcino is that it was good everywhere – from north to south, east to west.”

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth offers notes on the California Chardonnays he tasted at the In Pursuit of Balance tasting.

The Drinks Business rounds up five wines you never knew were ‘natural’.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, deconstructs Italian wine. “Italy is incredible diverse among the regions and…equally diverse within each region. Or at least that’s what I hope because that makes my terroirist soul happy.”

Wine Folly compares the best places to buy wine online.

Early signs suggest that South Africa’s 2015 harvest could be one of the best in recent memory, reports Decanter.

Grape Collective talks to Count Sebastiano Capponi of Villa Calcinaia about Silence of the Lambs, the historical conflicts with the French, and Chianti Classico.

Daily Wine News: Terroir vs. Tradition

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-24-2015

The rebel himself (Source: Langdon Shiverick Imports)

The rebel himself (Source: Langdon Shiverick Imports)

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles Laurent Macle, a “rebel” defying Jura family tradition by making Burgundy-style Chardonnays. “The dispute within the Macle family is important because it pits two revered pillars of the wine world against each other: terroir vs. tradition.”

Jancis Robinson finds many similarities between the wine scenes in South Africa and Chile. “In the last few years in both countries a new generation of much smaller-scale, younger, iconoclastic producers has emerged…” On her blog, she explores Chile’s new generation of wine producers.

In Harpers, Matthew Dickinson predicts, “in three years’ time, every wine company with any form of communications strategy will be using YouTube (or similar) to communicate its message.”

In Wine-Searcher, Christian Holthausen presents his insider’s guide to the best wine spots in Paris.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy names “The World’s Next Big Wine Regions.” Virginia made the list!

Jonathan Lipsmeyer makes up with Sancerre.

Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite explain “Why You Should Drink Rosé All Year Long” in Grub Street.

In Forbes, Shellie Karabell offers a look into man leading the Krug family business: Olivier Krug, the sixth generation of the founding family.

In Punch, Mark Johanson looks at the battle over Chilean pisco and Peruvian pisco, and the divergent styles it has produced.

Daily Wine News: Shifting Lines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-23-2015

Vineyard in the Loire Valley (Wikimedia)

Vineyard in the Loire Valley (Wikimedia)

“If you think you know the Loire — and whether it’s Sancerre or Muscadet, a lot of folks do — the lines are shifting almost faster than anyone can keep up with,” says Jon Bonné in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the New York Times, Paul Sullivan looks at what makes a good sommelier. “It all starts with the wine list, of course, but in many fine dining restaurants the list is an absurdly long tome for a decision that needs to be made in a few minutes.”

Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Auction raised a record $6 million.

Lettie Teague tells how The Withers winery sprang from a personal venture by executive Andrew Tow in the Wall Street Journal.

According to Reuters, Hungary’s Tokaji wine, dubbed the “king of wines, the wine of kings,” is getting ready for a makeover.

Alder Yarrow offers his thoughts on a lineup of Bordeaux wines from the 2010 vintage he recently tasted.

A case of Château Latour ’45 sold for $32,570 at Bonhams London Wine Sale, reports Guy Collins in Bloomberg.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre focuses on how technology accentuates terroir at Château Pichon Baron in Bordeaux.

In Grape Collective, Rachael Doob profiles Robert Sands, president of Constellation Brands, the biggest seller by volume of premium-category wines price under $15.

Daily Wine News: Useful Troublemaking

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-20-2015

Nicolas Joly (Coulée de Serrant)

Nicolas Joly (Coulée de Serrant)

Last week, Nicolas Joly was fined nearly 6,000 euros for not paying his dues to a Loire body. Lyn Farmer offers insights into the controversy. “I think it’s not so much he’s not a team player, he’s just playing on a different team…Joly argues that he doesn’t want to support efforts to make a blander product.”

Sophie Barrett finds nostalgia and surprise in the Jura during a tasting and visit with Géraud Fromont.

“Ribera del Duero’s ruling council has launched a bid to permit the production of white wine in the Spanish DO wine region,” reports Decanter.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke profiles the Diodoros Project. Grapes to make the wine are grown on the archeological site of the Valley of the Temples in Sicily.

In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons offers “A Wine Lover’s Guide to the Oscars.”

According to Robert Taylor, TV influences what we drink more than we think.

“There’s more to wine in movies than just Sideways.” Wine Enthusiast details 5 Academy Award-Nominated films featuring wine.

After years of marketing uncomplicated, fruit-forward Australian wine, Jacob’s Creek is teaming up with Ehran Jordan to create “Two Lands,” a wine that is expected to help increase sales in the U.S.

In Wine-Searcher, a Q&A with Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux.

Daily Wine News: Dropping Wine Wisdom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-19-2015

Gamay in Beaujolais (Flickr: dyfustifications)

Gamay in Beaujolais (Flickr: dyfustifications)

“Countless restaurants have great food. Plenty also have great service. And more open each day,” But, as David argues in Grape Collective, “By imaginatively leading with wine, a restaurant can become a destination — even in a neighborhood where one expects dive bars with canned beer and killer jukeboxes.”

“Reinvention is in Beaujolais’ blood,” says Jon Bonné in the San Francisco Chronicle. “If you think you know the names to know in Beaujolais, think again.”

In Harpers, Damien Wilson takes a look at how crowdfunding is impacting the wine industry.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan shares the ideas for future wine industry trends that came out of last month’s Unified Wine and Grape Symposium.

NPR’s Gabrielle Emanual reports on blind wine competitions held between Oxford and Cambridge students. “We treat wine tasting as a sport. We train for it, the way we train for a competitive sports match.”

“The French national appellation authority is examining a dossier that would create Cru and Premier Cru tiers in Alsace,” reports Decanter, “but not all winemakers agree with the proposal.”

Madeline Puckette investigates the claim that drinking red wine fights obesity and finds that it’s not true with just any red wine.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray profiles Cayuse Vineyards.

Daily Wine News: India’s Top Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-18-2015

Rajeev Samant of Sula Wines

Rajeev Samant of Sula Wines

Meet Rajeev Samant, the man who wants the world to drink Indian wine. Samant’s Sula Vineyards were the first in India to be featured in Wine Spectator, and is now India’s top wine producer.

“For Parker all that matters is in the glass,” but in Wine-Searcher, Mike Steinberger “argues that the wine’s backstory gives a large part of the pleasure.”

Several Rioja wine producers are expanding to Rueda to produce “top of the range white wine from Verdejo,” reports Decanter.

In Forbes, Per Karlsson explores which countries produce and consume the most wine. France and Italy are still the top wine producing countries. But for how long?

“Faux Luxury or the Real Thing?” In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer distinguished between wines of quality, and those that are merely expensive.

Rosemary George profiles Michel Laroche of Chablis’ Le Domaine d’Henri in Zester Daily.

In the Wall Street Journal, Wayne Curtis reviews Wood, Whiskey and Wine, which “tells the surprisingly complicated story of barrels in 14 somewhat erratic chapters.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at Walla Walla Valley’s quiet revolution.

Forty years after the first plantings, Wine Enthusiast looks at how Washington State’s Red Mountain wine region is coming of age.