Daily Wine News: Champagne Chatter

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-26-2016

Vineyards at AR Lenoble in Champagne. (Source: AR Lenoble)

Vineyards at AR Lenoble in Champagne. (Source: AR Lenoble)

In the New York Times, Ann Mah shares what it was like to be a volunteer working harvest at AR Lenoble in Champagne. “Picking grapes requires no particular skills or training, only a measure of agility. This work was the inverse of my daily deskbound grind: It taxed my body and left my mind free.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at the California wineries that have begun importing grower Champagne.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Joel Peterson, who founded Ravenswood winery in 1976, and talks to him about California’s wine industry growth.

Elsewhere in the Washington Post, a look at the rise of new vine plantings in Virginia as a result of a booming demand for Virginia wines. ““It’s a good time to be a Virginia winery… We’ve been planting as quickly as our pocketbook will allow.””

Wines & Vines on “a new era for wine sales in East,” and the recent legislation that is liberating wineries in Pennsylvania, New York, and elsewhere.

Matt Kettmann considers how drought, climate change, and smoke taint will continue to affect California wines — and what can be done about it — in Wine Enthusiast.

Jancis Robinson is excited about Grenache Gris, the pink-skinned cousin of Grenache Blanc.

More than three quarters of châteaux in Bordeaux’s Cru Bourgeois classification have voted to create a new three-tier system by 2020, reports Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Grapevines in Space

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-23-2016



TIME reports that China launched Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir vines into space in an experiment designed to see if vines can become more drought, cold and virus resistant.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague recommends Oregon’s Willamette Valley for a wine-country trip. “In almost everything—from wineries to hotels to dining locales—travelers will find a disarming lack of pretension.”

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue profiles several young and talented vintners who are evolving Washington’s wine industry. “Here in Washington, you can still leave your fingerprints on the industry. And that is what these three have every intention of doing.”

W. Blake Gray offers updates on the Wine Advocate sake scandal he reported on last week.

In Rioja, winemakers are standing up in defense of traditional, blended wines — resisting the single-vineyard cuvées that are in fashion. Adam Lechmere has the details of the enduring debate in Wine-Searcher.

In Grape Collective, fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente talks about how a Chardonnay clone his family brought into the US in 1915 is responsible for 80% of America’s Chardonnay plants.

USA Today considers how French wine might be benefiting from global warming.

In Decanter, Jane Anson makes several interesting white wine discoveries in Bordeaux.

Daily Wine News: The J-Lo of Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-22-2016

Bottles of pétillant-naturel

Bottles of pétillant-naturel

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan wonders about the trendiness of Pét-Nat, “the J-Lo abbreviation of Pétillant Naturel,” and thinks their popularity is partly due to being the wine that’s most like craft beers.

According to the Drinks Business, Burgundy is anticipating a smaller 2016 harvest, with yields potentially dipping by around 25%.

Will digitizing wine open it up to more consumers? In Forbes, Eric Annino explores the new frontier of wine digitization and how it can revolutionize the wine industry. “The database of words describing food may be immense, but wine’s is bigger. Accordingly, it demands powerful algorithmic technology to make it usable.”

In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at the slightly off-dry German Rieslings, which are often bottle as “feinherb.”

The Napa Valley Register continues its 2016 harvest coverage, with reports that cabernet sauvignon is being harvested in some parts of the Napa Valley.

“The defeat of a proposal to expand the production zone of Nebbiolo in Piedmont is a victory for consumers,” says Bruce Sanderson in Wine Spectator.

In VinePair, Carson Demmond talks to somms about their guilty wine pleasures.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews Jerry Lockspeiser’s new book Your Wine Questions Answered: the 25 things wine drinkers most want to know.

Daily Wine News: Wine Label Changes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-21-2016

(Flickr: alexbrn)

(Flickr: alexbrn)

W. Blake Gray reports on a small rule change the federal TTB made regarding wine labels, and he argues that “wine will be better” because of the rule change. “The rule change is a simple, smart one. When applying for federal label approval for wine, producers and importers no longer must list the alcohol level on the application. Wine companies also no longer need to list the vintage on the application, which makes sense.”

“It can’t be said often enough: This really is a Golden Age of Fine Wine,” writes Matt Kramer in Wine Spectator, where he recommends must-try wines from unfamiliar or unconventional places.

With news of Angelina Jolie filing for divorce from Brad Pitt, Decanter’s Chris Mercer wonders about the future of the couple’s Château Miraval rosé wine.

The 23rd Parallel’s David Rogers tastes through half a dozen Second Growth Bordeaux wines from the 80’s and offers his thoughts on the aging process of the wines.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle recommends Bordeaux châteaus that are open to public visits, not just to those in the wine business.

Brian Freedman reflects on the expanding world of American wine in Forbes.

According to the Huffington Post, “women are driving the wine revolution in India.”

In Food Republic, Ethan Fixell explores how Abruzzo’s Masciarelli winery is working to improve the international appeal of the light and pink Cerasuolo.

Daily Wine News: Auctions & Purchases

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-20-2016

Part of Aubrey McClendon's wine collection that was auctioned. (Source: Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.)

Part of Aubrey McClendon’s wine collection that was auctioned. (Source: Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.)

According to Bloomberg, the wine collection of late Chesapeake Energy Corp. co-founder Aubrey McClendon sold for $8.44 million on Saturday, breaking records for some of the rare French bottles in the collection, which included Bordeaux wines and several Napa Valley cabernets.

French wine firm AdVini buys 51 percent of Stellenbosch’s Ken Forrestor, reports Wine Spectator. Founder Ken Forrestor will remain as CEO.

Wines & Vines looks at how this year’s drought is impacting New York’s grape harvest. “Berry size is a bit smaller overall, and the crop size is down a little bit… The good news is that New York vineyards have had very little disease pressure.”

In Decanter, Simon Woolf remembers natural wine pioneer Stanko Radikon, who died from cancer at age 62 on Sept. 11.

The Drinks Business asks a variety of winemakers from around the world about their opinions on the use of extended skin contact with white wines.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni reports on a comparative tasting of the white wines of J. F. Coche-Dury and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. “The objective of this tasting was to take a look at two of Burgundy’s benchmark whites across a number of vintages in order to gain a better understanding of how the style of the wines is expressed in those years.”

WineFolly looks at the lifecycle of a grapevine and explains what each season contributes to that year’s vintage.

Courtney Schiessl suggests seven off-the-beaten path wine countries in VinePair.

Daily Wine News: Pairing Wine + Place

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-19-2016

Bottle of German Silvaner. (Wikimedia)

Bottle of German Silvaner. (Wikimedia)

In the World of Fine Wine, Jacqueline Friedrich considers the notion of matching wine and place. She reflects on the different contexts in which wines are consumed, and remembers the restaurants, homes, and other places that have played host to some of her most satisfying wine experiences.

Jancis Robinson surveys the white wines of Germany beyond Riesling — grapes such as Silvaner, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, and more — but finds them to be “a bit monotone” in comparison to the “nervy, concentrated, expressive 2015 Rieslings.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague sheds light on the reality of winemaking during the season of harvest winery visits.

Eric Asimov offers notes on the latest Wine School, Albariño. Up next is Oregon Pinot Noir.

In the New York Times travel section, Seth Sherwood spends 36 hours in Burgundy.

Winemakers in Priorat have moved from a Bordeaux approach to winemaking to a Burgundian approach according Scala Dei’s chief winemaker Ricard Rofes.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford hears the Napa Mountain story from one of its most thoughtful practitioners, Chris Howell of Cain.

Dave McIntyre talks with Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker about the similarities in his team, wine, and baseball in the Washington Post.

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman visits the distilleries in California wine country, and considers the overlap in spirits and wine tourists.

Daily Wine News: Nebbiolo News

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-16-2016

Nebbiolo (Wikimedia).

Nebbiolo (Wikimedia).

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe explores the beauty of Barbaresco and offers and comprehensive guide to the communes and bottles to know. “The recent fascination with Nebbiolo and Piedmont has further shined a light on the denomination…”

Jeremy Parzen reports on the “Nebbiolo war,” and shares a statement made by Barolo-Barbaresco-Alba consortium president Orlando Pecchenino: “Inclusion of Nebbiolo in the Piemonte DOC has been definitively shelved.”

W. Blake Gray recently wrote about the Wine Advocate releasing its first sake ratings since 1998. Now, he’s noticed a curious situation: all sakes rated 90 and above come from a single exporter, and he wonders about the connection between the two.

Chad Melville makes an interesting connection between music and wine: “Someday, I’m hoping to explain things like vintage variation to my kids, using the Grateful Dead as a device for analogy… Oftentimes, the structure will change according to vintage. But, no matter what, I can always go back and recognize the Terraces signature.”

In Munchies, Johanna Derry visits Fajã dos Padres, a vineyard enclave on the island of Madeira, and discovers the sweet Madeira wine called “Malmsey.”

Joe Roberts features the Soave and carmenere-based wines of the Veneto’s Inama Winery.

James Molesworth visits Julien Pilon in Condrieu in Wine Spectator.

Forbes considers the usefulness of wine ratings and explores whether they are good for wine investment.

Daily Wine News: Russian Winemaking

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-15-2016

rusiaWall Street Journal on the rise of Russian wine production. “Russian wine production—on the wane before the Ukrainian conflict—jumped nearly 25% in 2015 from the year before…Apart from a rise in demand, Russia’s fascination with its own grape varietals…is being fueled by the country’s elite.”

What does a gender-balance wine list look like? In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at the wine list at Tartine’s new outpost, Manufactory, to see how it is working to “quietly battle gender inequality.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley delves into the details of the Charles Bank fraud case, and reveals that Tim Duncan remains an investor in Terroir Capital.

According to Decanter’s Jane Anson, “Château Cheval Blanc will release its first white wine later this month, following nearly a decade of trials at the highly regarded Bordeaux estate.”

Tyler Colman reviews Sour Grapes, the new documentary about wine fraud being released on Netflix next month.

Wine & Spirits Magazine announces the Best New Sommeliers of 2016.

In Grape Collective, Daniel Brunier talks fruit bombs, climate change, and the evolution of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Tim Fish offers his impressions of Walla Walla in Wine Spectator.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne reflects on the rising image of blended wines in the American wine scene.

Daily Wine News: Winemaking in a Cave

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-14-2016

Entrance to the Areni-1 cave in Armenia. (Wikimedia)

Entrance to the Areni-1 cave in Armenia. (Wikimedia)

In Saveur, Adam Leith Gollner explores one of the world’s oldest known winemaking operations: “It’s in a cave. In Armenia. And not just any cave: a massive, primordial, bat-infested, Transcaucasian caveman cave… [which] contains a 6,100-year-old winery replete with fermenting vats, a grape press, and subterranean clay storage vessels.”

Eric Asimov discovers which wines pair well with Indian food in the New York Times. “While general notions of what sorts of wine will work with Indian foods can be helpful, the cuisine is too diverse and subtle to avoid numerous exceptions and surprises.”

“Following a string of acquisitions of small, boutique wineries, Jackson Family Wines has quietly purchased Field Stone Winery, in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley,” reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni remembers Stanko Radikon, who “carried a sense of gravitas acquired over many years of fighting against convention and dealing with the scorn his wines received in some circles.”

Barolo’s respected Davide Rosso buys a piece of Sicily’s prized terroir. In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto visits to find out what’s next.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Sadie Flateman, the Israeli wine buyer for 67 Wine & Spirits in Manhattan who wants wine drinkers to think of Israel as a winemaking country.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews Craig and Kathryn Hall’s A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul and Business of a 21st-Century Winery.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess shares the importance of the still wines behind your favorite bubbly.

Daily Wine News: A Lesson in Barolo

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-13-2016

The view of Barolo from La Morra (Wikimedia)

The view of Barolo from La Morra (Wikimedia)

In the World of Fine Wine, Margaret Rand shows how she learned to love Barolo, and looks at how the region’s winemaking and viticulture have evolved over time. “The new generation in Barolo is quite often female… This in itself is a quiet revolution. Theirs will be the task of doing things differently while keeping Barolo contradictory, contrary, tense. It was never supposed to be easy.”

What makes a great vintage? John Salvi MW ponders the question in Decanter, beginning with the six criteria the late Denis Dubourdieu believed were necessary.

After several years of poor performances, fine wines have returned this year as one of the most productive investments, Marketwatch reports.

In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant pens a brief review of Jancis Robinson’s new book, The 24-Hour Wine Expert.

In Imbibe, Jordan Winery shares a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process.

A new study conducted in Belgium has found that the wild ancestors of most modern beer and winemaking yeast strains were domesticated in around 1600, reports the Drinks Business.

Grape Collective features the sparkling wines of Raventós i Blanc.

Marissa A. Ross ruminates on the concept of house wine in Bon Appétit.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss covers the world of sweet French wines.