Daily Wine News: Alsace’s Identity

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-24-2016

Village of Kaysersberg in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

Village of Kaysersberg in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

In Decanter, Jane Anson ventures into the disputed territory of sugar levels in Alsace wine, and finds two sides still struggling to negotiate a peace settlement. “The reason that it provokes such a heated discussion is because the attitude towards residual sugar is right at the heart of Alsace’s identity.”

Prince Robert of Luxembourg, owner of Château Haut-Brion, speaks with Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy about his big expansion plans for this family business.

Deborah Parker Wong examines the chemistry behind the sensation of bitterness in SOMM Journal.

Alder Yarrow reflects on a lesson about drinking and driving in light of the news that revealed Denis Malbec’s blood alcohol level was above legal limit at the time of his death.

Wines & Vines looks at how Washington state wineries have been turning their attention to Oregon, as producers in the two states forge closer relationships.

In Eater, Susan H. Gordon on the transformation happening in the quality of Vinho Verde wines.

Reuters reports that online sales and frugal customers are impacting China’s wine sales.

Elaine Chukan Brown of Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews shares the results from the 2nd Annual Judgment of BC.

“New Zealand must promote both grape varieties and its varied regionality if it is to continue its success,” according to a recent debate covered in the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: Wine Drinking Cities

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-23-2016

ParisDecanter shares data presented in a French study that lists the world’s cities that drink the most wine. In first place? Paris, of course.

In Punch, Jon Bonné finds some of the “world’s best rosés” hiding in places like Germany and Austria. “We like to think of rosé being from warm places, Mediterranean places… But if you think of rosé this way, well, stop.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan talks to cookbook authors Jane and Michael Stern about food writing, and explores how their influence has extended to wine writing. “Their food writing, then and now, focused on the connections of the food to the place it comes from, the people who make and serve it, and who farm the ingredients. Those characteristics also started showing up in wine magazine writing, and these days are the main focus of writing outside of wine reviews.”

Wine Enthusiast offers a guide to “the best 2015 rosés for summer.”

Wine Spectator reports that new research from UC Davis suggests an insect may be responsible for the spread of the red blotch virus.

Joe Roberts advises women in the wine world to “stop handing over your power…and start taking the time to do it yourself.”

Oliver Roeder pines data from Vinfolio, a fine wine retailer and analyzes the “weird world of expensive wine” in FiveThirtyEight.

Daily Wine News: Next Gen Vinho Verde

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-22-2016

Vinho Verde. (Wikimedia)

A bottle of Vinho Verde. (Wikimedia)

Long synonymous with slightly fizzy wines meant to be thrown back with abandon, Portugal’s Vinho Verde region is looking to prove that it’s capable of a whole lot more. In Punch, Zachary Sussman on the region’s dueling identities, and the search for what will come to define the next generation of Vinho Verde wines.

Matt Kramer wonders if Gamay could be the next big grape in the U.S. in Wine Spectator. “Has Pinot Noir peaked? No one can say for sure, of course. But if I was to put down a bet, I would say “yes”…So what next? I think the answer to that question is Gamay Noir.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, James Molesworth discovers how Pinot Blan proved to be a smart planting for Long Island’s Lieb Cellars.

In Forbes, Parmy Olson explains how Vivino is planning to become the Amazon of wine.

Jeremy Parzen shares the press release from the Elvio Cogno winery, which announces the death of wine producer Elvio Cogno.

The Drinks Business announces the results of Prosecco Masters 2016, in which 130 proseccos were tasted and judged.

Wine Folly delves into the topic of wine additives.

Wine-Searcher reports on the 2016 vintage in Chile, Argentina, and South Africa.

And… more news about “Pinot Meow,” wine for cats. Because wine for cats is what the world needs?

Daily Wine News: Hipster Somms

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-21-2016

(Flickr: Daniel Gasienica)

(Flickr: Daniel Gasienica)

Stuart Pigott shares his feelings about the rise of the hipster sommelier in Grape Collective. “Of course, the hipster somms are a special sub-group of the Hipsters as a mind-boggling, jaw-dropping whole… For me meeting a hipster somm was often like a blind date with a stunningly beautiful android that went horribly wrong.”

What are today’s affordable California cult wines? James Lawrence takes a look at the category in Wine-Searcher.

Elvio Cogno, winemaker from Italy’s Piedmont region who worked at Marcarini and his own winery, died June 12, reports Wine Spectator. He was 79 years old.

In Palate Press, W. Blake Gray discovers the pockets of Santa Barbara County growing cabernet.

Some restaurants in San Luis Obispo County are removing Justin Vineyards wines to show their disapproval of Justin’s environmental actions.

Carson Demmond dishes out some useful advice on how to keep your hot apartment from killing your wine in Food & Wine.

In the Huffington Post, John Mariani features Murrieta’s Well in the Livermore Valley, a winery that reportedly “refuses to make wines to wine ratings points.”

In Forbes, Thomas Pellechia talks to winemakers in several countries about the impact of climate change.

New Zealand’s 2016 vintage is up 34% on last year’s crop, but still below the record-breaking 2014 harvest, reports the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: Energy & Experiments

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-20-2016

Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Vittoria's only DOCG. (Wikimedia)

Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily’s only DOCG. (Wikimedia)

Alfonso Cevola focuses on Vittoria, “Etna’s little (and formidable) sister.” “’It’s flatter, warmer, not as sexy, and a bit more entrenched in the daily business of winemaking… But there is an energy that emanates from the wine region of Vittoria that feels new and unblemished.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre discovers Mid-Atlantic producers experimenting with small batch series and pét-nat. “The Mid-Atlantic is still defining itself as a wine region…But when we visit local wineries, we should not pass up these experimental wines. They may be the winemaker’s diversion, but they may also be unique and delicious.”

James Molesworth on how a rosé boom in New York’s Hamptons has allowed Roman Roth if Wölffer Estate to improve on his serious reds in Wine Spectator.

Jancis Robinson considers how Torres’ classified ads contributed to recovering indigenous vines in Catalan.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni checks in on the 2004 and 2005 Barbarescos and reflects on the vintages’ growing seasons.

NPR gets thinking about microbes’ role in terroir.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on the recent protest over tree removal at Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles and how it’s related to an ongoing issue of water rights.

In Palate Press, Simon Woolf explores the preconceptions he once had of Riesling.

Daily Wine News: Retiring “Champagne”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-17-2016

Alder Yarrow wants to know why labels like this haven't been retired yet.

Alder Yarrow wants to know why labels like this haven’t been retired yet.

“OK America, it’s time to put on your big boy pants, and start playing responsibly with the rest of the world,” says Alder Yarrow, who believes it’s about time companies like Korbel, Andre, J. Roget, and Cook’s retire using the term “Champagne” on their bottles.

In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant tastes wines with Sacha Lichine, the owner of Château d’Esclans in Provence. “What distinguishes today’s rosés from the often-candied “blush” bottles of the past, he said, is finesse. They are light yet floral, he said, with some richness, and the paler the better, a style that has conferred prestige.”

Steve Heimoff offers his thoughts about millennials and brand loyalty.

Decanter’s Jane Anson looks at the main reasons why Bordeaux châteaux are still holding stock back.

The Drinks Business looks at how the Italian bulk wine market is evolving.

According to Wines & Vines, direct-to-consumer shipments jumped 30% in May and off-premises sales increased by 5%.

Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles is being criticized for clear-cutting oak trees on a site planned to be used for an irrigation pond filled with well water and vineyards, reports the Paso Robles Daily News.

The 2016 Wine Blog Winners have been announced.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy considers what the world’s best wine lists are.

Daily Wine News: Growing Field Blends

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-16-2016

Vineyard in Vienna.

Vineyard in Vienna.

The Drinks Business looks at the rise of quality Gemischter Satz — the traditional field blend wine of Vienna. “Gemischter Satz now accounts for a quarter of Viennese vineyards, with the number growing says Wieninger, who predicts it could increase to up to a third. The grape has even overtaken plantings for Grüner Veltliner, which stand at around 22%…”

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth explores Long Island wine country. “The wines have made progress in terms of quality, but I can’t say they’ve come as far as other U.S. regions that started around the same time.”

Elin McCoy looks at how orange wines have matured from a “flash-in-the-pan trend to serious summer quaff” in Bloomberg.

Ian D’Agata reports on the new releases from Umbria in Vinous.

Thanks to a few Spanish entrepreneurs, “blue wine” is now a thing. But what is blue wine, exactly? Eater investigates.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Günter Seeger, a chef who “is as passionate about wine as he is about food.”

Decanter highlights six Sonoma Coast producers to watch.

In the World of Fine Wine, Ella Lister reports on a tasting of the family-owned St-Emilion property, Château Larcis Durcasse that afforded unique insights into its different expressions over 70 years.

Daily Wine News: China’s Gold Rush

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-15-2016

Ningxia wine region (Source: Ningxia Wine Guide)

Ningxia wine region (Source: Ningxia Wine Guide)

“More than 100 of Bordeaux’s estimated 7,000 chateaux are reportedly owned by Chinese tycoons…Now, the chateaux are springing up back home too, with Ningxia…becoming ground zero for budding Chinese vintners.” In the Guardian, Tom Phillips reports on the “gold rush” to China’s Ningxia wine region.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne looks into the rise of petite sirah plantings in California. “Whether the additional acreage signals a significant shift from its customary role as supporting actor to star remains to be seen.”

Wonder what the 2016 MW examination papers entailed? Purple Pages shares what the test entailed, including the list of wines tasted.

Researchers have found that the microbial mix found in grape must may predict which metabolites, which shape a wine’s flavor and texture, will be found in the finished wine.

In WineFolly, Madeline Puckette highlights the work of Andrew Beckham, a winemaker in Oregon using amphorae to make wine.

Wine Enthusiast profiles six leading winemakers from Virginia.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, visits leading cork producer, Corticeira Amorim in Portugal and learns about innovations being made to cork closures.

Patrick Cappiello, operating partner and wine director of Rebelle and Pearl & Ash, shares 9 “hipster” Napa wineries to watch in the Drinks Business.

In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski suggests ten rules for defining a cool climate wine region.

Daily Wine News: Difference in Terroir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-14-2016

Lambrusco (Wikimedia)

Lambrusco (Wikimedia)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at the difference between the concept of terroir in Burgundy and Bordeaux. “The concept of terroir is France’s greatest single contribution to wine culture.  How strange, then, that terroir is defined in a strikingly different manner in Bordeaux and Burgundy.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto checks out the wines of fourth-generation winemaker Christian Bellei, who applies methods learned in Champagne to Lambrusco.

In Harpers, Erin Smith looks at how women are still under-represented in key roles in the wine industry.

Marissa A. Ross considers the pros and cons of boxed and canned wines in Bon Appétit.

According to the Drinks Business, “a group of cat lovers in Denver have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the opening of America’s first wine bar populated by rescue cats.

W. Blake Gray gets a taste of Columbia Crest’s crowd-sourced winemaking project and shares his thoughts.

Virginie Boone offers tips on traveling through the West Sonoma Coast in Wine Enthusiast.

“Bordeaux wine estates pushed prices higher as the sales campaign for the 2015 vintage quickened, with Chateau Haut Bailly increased more than 50 percent and Chateau Cos d’Estournel up more than 40 percent,” reports Bloomberg.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague shares a guide to 20 summer wines under $20.

Daily Wine News: Big Wine & Buzz

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-13-2016

Joseph Wagner (Source: Copper Cane)

Joe Wagner (Source: Copper Cane)

Esther Mobley profiles Joe Wagner — owner of Copper Cane Wine & Provisions who sold Meiomi for $315 million last year — in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Born an heir to one of Napa Valley’s most storied empires, Wagner is blazing a new trail, and the industry doesn’t quite know what to make of it.”

Should Mt. Etna worry about “Big Wine” coming to the region? Alfonso Cevola investigates. “Etna is a sexy flamethrower in the arsenal of today’s wine influencers. It might go the way of Gruner – back to its corner. But I don’t think so. There’s more to it than buzz.”

Decanter explores what makes the wines of Etna so special.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Rollin Soles, who co-founded Oregon’s Argyle winery and now makes “a new variation” of whole-cluster fermented pinot noir under his label, Roco.

Jancis Robinson considers what makes a good “food rosé” and recommends some of her favorites.

In Palate Press, Roger Morris explores the potential of Brazilian wines.

Liza B. Zimmerman on the advantages of importing wine directly from the producer in Wine-Searcher.

In Grape Collective, Giuseppe Sesti talks to Monty Waldin about how Brunello came out stronger following a very public wine scandal.