Daily Wine News: Disappointing Douro

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-22-2016

The Douro Valley (Wikimedia)

The Douro Valley (Wikimedia)

The New York Times wine panel tasted through Douro reds and found that too often something seemed to be lacking from them. “It was as if some of the wines had been presented like living room furniture sets in plastic slipcovers. Regardless of the occasional danger of a stain, you want to liberate those couches so you can feel the unmediated textures and angles of the upholstery.”

Champagne house Veuve Clicquot has just launched its 2008 vintage, the first vintage for 50 years to use oak-aged wine in the blend, reports Adam Lechmere in Wine-Searcher.

In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at the past and future of Savoie, “France’s great mountain region,” and covers the producers to know.

In Decanter, Jane Anson explores the rising reputation of cool climate wines in Australia’s Victoria region.

According to Wines & Vines, Allied Grape Growers president, Nat DiBuduo says “it appears [the 2016] total tonnage in California will be about 4 million tons, more than the small harvest of 2015.”

Jamie Goode offers his thoughts on Underwood’s canned wines. “It feels a bit odd to be tasting wine from the same sort of can that you’d normally be consuming soft drinks from. Super weird, actually… But these cans are just so practical. Why shouldn’t wine be served this way?”

In Food & Wine, Anthony Giglio gets angry when he hears people insult pink wine.

The Corkscrewer Report profiles Napa Valley’s TOR winery and wonders whether Tor Kenward is the “Dr. Dre of wine producers.”

Daily Wine News: Riesling Reports

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-21-2016



Wines & Vines reports from Riesling Rendezvous about climate change’s impact on Riesling production. “Some changes affect how vines respond during the day, others affect how vines behave at night, and others will make vines more vulnerable during specific seasons… And when it comes to Riesling, the answers aren’t at all simple.”

Jamie Goode explains why analytical data doesn’t always give you a clear idea of what to expect from a Riesling wine, in particular with regard to sweetness levels.

Kelli White covers the rise of Finger Lakes wine in Vinous: “with every vintage it is more and more apparent that the Finger Lakes truly is becoming America’s premiere cool climate grape growing region.”

Liv-ex looks at the one-year impact of Robert Parker’s ten-year retrospective review of Bordeaux 2005. “Between June 2014 and June 2015, when Parker’s report was released, the 2005 vintage wines of the Bordeaux Index gained 10.3%. Since then, increases have been slower.”

According to Decanter, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, the president of Taittinger Champagne has told a French newspaper that he plans to run as a candidate in the French presidential election in 2017.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer pens “An Open Letter to Normal Wine Lovers.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Tim Fish pays tribute to Ben Pearson of Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa. Pearson, 56, died unexpectedly this past weekend.

Wine Enthusiast celebrates the strides being made to improve cava.

Daily Wine News: Sabotage & Theft

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-20-2016

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

Sancerre. (Wikimedia)

In what French media has termed “war in Sancerre” — over who should be allowed to grow Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire — one wine producer has complained to police after vandals sabotaged between 5,000 and 6,000 of young vines. Decanter has the details.

Wine Spectator reports that thieves broke into two Barolo wineries, Armando Parusso and Cordero di Montezemolo, in the past three weeks, stealing wine worth more than $200,000.

Last week, news broke that Vietti had been sold. In Wine-Searcher, Luca Currado shares his side of the story, and explains the reasons behind the change in ownership.

Jay McInerney shares how he combined his love of writing and wine. “My ambition to be a novelist and my interest in wine were both inspired by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Everyone in the book was drinking wine all the time, and all the characters were young, jaded, and good-looking. I wanted to write like Hemingway and drink like Jake Barnes.”

Who uses label-scanning apps the most? And which country? Jancis Robinson’s team delves into the data to find out.

In the future, winemakers may be able to select a natural cork closure with a specific concentration of phenolics to positively influence a wine’s development in the bottle. The Drinks Business looks into current research being done on natural cork.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, dissects a recent Liv-ex analysis of Bordeaux’s dismal “new normal.”

When your favorite winery is sold to a large outfit, what questions should you ask? Thomas Pellechia investigates in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: U.S. Market Growth

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-19-2016

The top U.S. wine brand...

The top U.S. wine brand…

The U.S. wine market is expected to continue its long-term growth streak in 2016 and add over 3.5 million cases this year, according to Shanken News Daily.

Wine & Vines reports on top 20 U.S. wine brands, with Barefoot at the top of the list.

Alfonso Cevola profiles Giulio Galli, “the Franciacorta Guy” whose mission is to grow popularity of Franciacorta to America.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford hunts down value and quality in Tain l’Hermitage, where he finds an outstanding wine co-operative. “In Cornas, where land prices are prohibitive for any young grower not fortunate enough to inherit land, the Cave de Tain was recently able to set up four young growers with rental arrangements… these ‘domain’ holdings give the co-operative both a chance to compete at the very highest levels of quality, and a financial stability few others have.”

Wine Folly highlights four of Hungary’s most intriguing wine regions, and offers a quick guide to the country’s wines.

Tom Hyland features the Champagne house, Philipponnat in Wine-Searcher.

Peter Feld talks with Richie Allen, the Australia native who went from a Rombauer internship to top winemaker in Grape Collective.

In Food & Wine, Jane Sigal has a rosé-inspired guide to Provence.

Daily Wine News: Reputation in Question

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-18-2016

(Source: Perrier-Jouet)

(Source: Perrier-Jouet)

Jancis Robinson revisits the acclaimed 1996 Champagne vintage 20 years later to find out how the wines have aged, and reconsiders the vintage’s greatness. “…it seems to me that you have to head for the crème de le crème of Champagne to be guaranteed a really outstanding 1996, and that yes, there are indeed disappointments to be found.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre is impressed with Austria’s 2015 white wines. “These are among the best white wines in the world in terms of value and quality, and they’re enjoying the best vintage in recent memory.”

Wines & Vines reports on the current state of California vineyards.

In Munchies, Amy E. Robertson discovers the winemaking culture of Lebanon, and considers the impact of war on the area.

In the Financial Times, Alan Livsey considers the Bordeaux wine market after this year’s en primeur and the Brexit vote.

Lettie Teague on how great the quality and price of Sonoma Cabernet is in the Wall Street Journal.

In Vinous, David Schildknecht reports on the 2014 Saar vintage.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman talks to David Adelsheim about his decision to renew his Oregon winery’s Pinot Noir focus on the Chehalem Mountains AVA.

Daily Wine News: Salty, Savory, Sicilian

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-15-2016

Carricante grapes. (Source: Tenuta delle Terre)

Carricante grapes. (Source: Tenuta delle Terre)

“Eastern Sicily, including Etna, is dominated by red wines. Yet the whites, made primarily if not entirely of carricante, may be even more distinctive. The best carricantes, like Benanti’s Pietra Marina, are profoundly savory, with a striking saline flavor. In a word, salty.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov is impressed with the whites coming from Etna, and especially those coming from Milo.

“Generally a well-kept secret, in the past few years, partly thanks to special attention in the 2015 documentary film Somm: Into the Bottle, cru Beaujolais’ star is steadily rising,” says Susan H. Gordon in Eater.

According to new Nielsen data, canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, growing 125.2% in sales in the 52 weeks ending on June 18.

Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr. is experimenting with dynamite to monitor its effects on sub soils in his vineyards, reports the Drinks Business.

Tom Wark comments on a recent Sonoma County board meeting, in which local residents supported new restrictions on wineries being able to serve food in tasting rooms. “It appears the primary criticism of wineries offering food pairings with their wine tastings is that it works; that is, visitors like it and it might encourage more visitors to come to wineries.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson reflects on the Bordeaux 2015 campaign, which “showed this traditional method of selling still has some resonance with the market.”

In Palate Press, David Rogers profiles Will Berliner, an American winemaker making wine in Australia who is “producing low-output wines of unique garagiste appeal.”

In Edible East End, Richard Olsen-Harbich tells the story of cabernet franc on Long Island.

Daily Wine News: Rise of Spätburgunder

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-14-2016

Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder. (Source: Wines of Germany)

Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder. (Source: Wines of Germany)

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy is “blown away” by German Pinot Noir aka spätburgunder, and their “rose petal and spice aromas, cool minerality, silky textures, and unique savory flavors. (Those are the kind of wine words I usually reserve for the Cote d’Or.)”

Bertrand Celce shares photos that show the impact of herbicide on soils in French wine regions.

In Meininger’s, Panos Kakaviatos tracks the development of the Champagne region and how perceptions are changing.

Steve Heimoff is glad he never joined the bandwagon of protest against California Cabernet Sauvignon. “They claimed Napa Cabs were too much of everything: too ripe, too oaky, too alcoholic, too extracted. I never could quite understand what they were talking about.”

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth profiles Fred Merwarth, owner and winemaker at Hermann J. Wiemer in the Finger Lakes.

Paul Draper talks to Decanter about his recently announced retirement.

Wine aged in a whiskey barrel? The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Austin tastes several wines that are part of an unusual trend.

In Wine Business, Liz Thach looks at the Scottish wine industry, and explores the major types of wineries in Scotland.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague is impressed by the all-American wine list of the newly opened Nordic restaurant, Agern, located in Grand Central Terminal and owned by Claus Meyer.

Daily Wine News: En Rama, Etc.

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-13-2016

Sherry cask with glassed-side to see interior. (Wikimedia)

Sherry cask with glassed-side to see interior. (Wikimedia)

In Punch, Jon Bonné looks at sherry’s en rama resurgence. “En rama is basically as close as you can get to tasting sherry as it tastes from the cask… a willful decision by the Jerezanos to return to an earlier way of doing things: a rejection of progress for the sake of progress.”

Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, died Monday after suffering a heart attack. He was 60.

In Grape Collective, Monty Waldin reacts to Stuart Pigott’s critique of “hipster” sommelier culture, and offers his thoughts on how he thinks “the whole natural scene as relating to somms could be improved.”

Barolo’s Vietti Winery has been sold to the Kyle Krause, president and CEO of Krause Holdings, Inc., reports Wine Spectator. Luca Currado will remain as CEO of the new company. Tyler Colman reflects on the Vietti deal.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan considers the flaws of restaurant cookbooks, and finds where they fall short in terms of wine information.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, offers up a mid-year report on the wine industry, and explains what he sees as risks for the rest of the year.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on Napa’s 2016 growing season, which has gone better than France’s.

Daily Wine News: Rosé Resisters

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-12-2016

Various shades of rosé. (Source: Wikimedia)

Shades of rosé. (Source: Wikimedia)

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles Eric de Saint Victor, who is part of Provence’s “smaller school of winemakers—let’s call them rosé resisters—who are bucking the trend by making darker, more substantial and complex rosés.”

A professor at Iowa State University has developed a “micro winery” capable of producing wine within one hour to better help quickly test different fermentation methods and yeast strains.

According to figures just released by the Wine Institute, sales of California’s wines to all markets, both domestic and international, increased by 276 million cases last year.

W. Blake Gray voyages through the new Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, and discovers a fascination with Idaho wines. “The climate and soils are, in many places, similar to Washington wine country: conducive to good grape growing… There’s little wine culture yet, but it’s one of the most promising states for the future.”

VinePair profiles the Croatian winemaker Ivo Vodopíc, and looks at Croatia’s post-communist wine industry.

Alfonso Cevola reflects on old memories and remembers why he got into the wine business.

Steve Heimoff wonders what the right amount of growth for wine country looks like.

Patrick Ogle talks with Michael Heny, winemaker at Horton Vineyards in Virginia, about the state’s winemaking history and challenges winemakers in Virginia encounter.

Daily Wine News: Land Protection

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-11-2016

Oak tree removal by Justin Winery.

Oak tree removal by Justin Winery.

Esther Mobley considers the impact of the Justin Winery tree removal controversy in Paso Robles in the San Francisco Chronicle. “At the heart of Napa’s dilemma, now in messy post-pubescence, and Paso’s own problem, still in its infancy, is this: The land gets protected because it is valuable. But the more valuable it gets, the greater the financial temptations are to develop it.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre visits Bollinger’s recently unveiled Galerie 1829, a wine library that showcases older wines that span the house’s history.

Harvey Steiman looks at different interpretations of balance and acidity’s role in it in Wine Spectator.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford experiences central Napa through Bordeaux eyes.

Tim Atkin explores what Brexit would mean for the wine business, and urges elected representatives to reconsider the decision about EU membership.

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman looks at what some wineries are focusing on in order to attract and keep wine club members

Jancis Robinson reflects on the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris.

Kerin O’Keefe sings praise for Italy’s great pinot grigios in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue features Champion Wine Cellars, Seattle’s oldest wine shop, which opened in 1969.