Daily Wine News: Glorious Whites

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-09-2018

White-wineJancis Robinson explores the glory of dry Riesling. “The main lesson I drew from both the Alsace and German tastings was that top-quality dry Riesling, wherever it comes from, is a truly thrilling drink, with – generalisation alert – more pace and variation than white burgundy.”

Emma Balter pens an ode to white Bordeaux in Wine Spectator. “I’ve been beating this drum for a long time now. Bordeaux’s reds are so well regarded that even the region itself sometimes forgets about its whites.”

In Decanter, Ellie Douglas summarizes a new report from the oenology unit at Bordeaux University on weather conditions in the Bordeaux 2017 growing season.

For the New York Times, Paul Sullivan goes inside Mana Wine Storage, and delves into the importance of storage in the world of high-end wine collecting.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explores the meaning of the “California Certified Sustainable” label, and why we should care about it. “As of last November, 127 wineries producing 74 percent of California’s wines are certified as sustainable under the program, as are 1,099 vineyards farming 134,000 acres, nearly a quarter of California’s vineyard land.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague joined serious collectors at a wine authentication seminar to learn the secrets of sniffing out fakes and outsmarting counterfeiters. (subscription req.)

Grape Collective talks to Whitecliff Vineyards owners Michael and Yancy Migliore about the potential of New York’s Hudson Valley as a wine region.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence explores whether consumers have really lost their sweet tooth.

Daily Wine News: Role of Wild Yeasts

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-06-2018

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

In VinePair, Jamie Goode looks at recent research and considers the role that wild yeasts play in terroir. “Our understanding of microbes and their role in winemaking is currently exploding, largely because of new genetic fingerprinting technologies. Next-generation sequencers have opened up new — and affordable — ways of investigating microbial ecology.”

In the New York Times, Sam Roberts pens an obituary for Robert Haas, who died on March 18 at the age of 90. “As early as 1960, Craig Claiborne described him in The New York Times as “widely traveled and knowledgeable.””

In Decanter, Jane Anson tastes a vertical of the Bordeaux Right Bank’s Château Corbin, a St-Emilion estate which won’t be producing a 2017 vintage because of the frost.

“Foley Family Wines has purchased Oregon’s Acrobat wine brand from King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon,” reports WineBusiness.com.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sorrel Moseley-Williams rounds up high-altitude vineyards and considers the effect the altitude has on its wines.

Verve, the New York wine shop from master sommelier Dustin Wilson, is heading to San Francisco. Esther Mobley has the details in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Grape Collective talks with Emmanuel Charrier of Domaine de l’Epineau about the Coteaux du Giennois.

The World of Fine Wine reviews Salvador Dalí’s eccentric guide to wine, The Wines of Gala.

Daily Wine News: Canned Wine Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-05-2018

underwood wineShanken News Daily reports on the success of the entire canned wine category. “Last year, canned wine’s dollar growth surged at a rate of 54% in the 52 weeks ending December 30, 2017, the highest of any alternative wine packaging. Today, canned wine is a $28 million industry.”

Meininger’s talks to Maureen Downey about the world of wine fraud, Rudy K, and how to prevent counterfeit purchases.

On his blog, W. Blake Gray shares notes from a recent vertical tasting of Charles Krug’s top wine, Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Sauternes estate Château Guiraud has fired the first round in this year’s en primeur campaign, releasing its 2017 wine with a 4% increase on last year,” reports the Drinks Business.

Elsewhere in the Drinks Business, Rupert Millar reports on the Liv-ex Fine Wine report for March. “The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index took another slight wobble in March, down 0.5% which marks the fourth consecutive month of decline for the index.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Lenn Thompson says New Jersey is producing some of the best wines on the East Coast.

In Punch, Megan Krigbaum goes inside the wine cellar at Houston’s One Fifth.

Treasury Wine Estates is expanding its use of augmented reality on their wine labels. Michael S. Lasky shares more details on WineBusiness.com.

Daily Wine News: The Golden Age of Burgundy?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-04-2018

Burgundy vineyards near Beaune, France. (Wikimedia)

Burgundy vineyards near Beaune, France. (Wikimedia)

Are we still living in the golden age of Burgundy? Jasper Morris explores his answer in the World of Fine Wine. “Just when the world has taken Burgundy to its heart, supply has been threatened to a degree not seen for more than a generation. Yields have been significantly reduced across most recent vintages… After all those years trying to persuade potential customers that it was not just in Bordeaux that wonderful wines could be found, worldwide demand has made the fine wines of Burgundy both much scarcer and much more expensive.”

The Harvard Business Review studies the history of organic wine. “We set out to understand how and why the category of organic wine failed to emerge, even as demand for other organic goods soared…we found several ways in which early stumbles in the organic wine market created marketing problems that the industry still struggles to overcome. However, we also found that the recent success of a related category — biodynamic wines — shows a possible way forward.”

In the New York Times, Natalie Kitroeff reports on how the retaliatory tariffs are a gut punch to winemakers marketing their wares to the mushrooming legions of young, recently wealthy Chinese.

In the Chicago Tribune, Kristy Kennedy reports on how women—especially millennial women—are driving wine trends.

Shanika Hillocks talks to André Mack about how he uses digital media to market his wines in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman explores whether too much Cabernet Sauvignon is being planted in California, and if so, what the potential consequences are.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer takes a closer look at Txakoli in Basque Country.

Daily Wine News: Colorado Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-03-2018

Vineyards beneath the palisades in Palisade, Colorado.

Vineyards beneath the palisades in Palisade, Colorado.

Alder Yarrow explores Colorado wine. “Now the idea of Colorado wine is not only plausible, it’s quite intriguing… Today, Colorado boasts more than 120 vineyards with 1000 acres of vines spread across several key winemaking regions and two official American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). More than 88% of the vines are in the high plateaus of Mesa County, which borders Utah in the western part of the state, but wine is now made in more than 9 different areas of the state.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford tastes his way through the latest wines that Georgia has to offer.

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand delves into why lower prices are expected for Bordeaux’s 2017 vintage. “The reason he believes that price reductions are needed is not because the 2017 vintage is not good…It’s also not because the market is weak at the moment: on the contrary, people are buying, and wines are moving.”

James Molesworth reports from France on the 2017 vintage Bordeaux barrel tastings. According to Molesworth in Wine Spectator, Châteaus Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion are early contenders in 2017.

In Wine Enthusiast, Nils Bernstein talks to sommelier and journalist Maryse Chevriere, founder of the @freshcutgardenhose Instagram account, about her illustrated tasting notes.

“Almost 400 hectolitres of wine from Margaux third growth Château Giscours has reportedly been seized under suspicion that part of it was illegally chaptalised,” reports the Drinks Business.

In SevenFifty Daily, Kathleen Willcox shores how the Chicago-based importer Cream Wine Company has built a profitable business on sustainability and quality.

Alice Feiring talks to Nicolas Joly about sulfur and the term “natural wine.”

Daily Wine News: The Next Serge Hochar?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-02-2018

A bottle of Château Musar (Wikimedia)

A bottle of Château Musar (Wikimedia)

“For many years Chateau Musar was the only Lebanese wine producer with an international reputation. But, despite constant audible reminders of the war in Syria only a few miles from the Bekaa Valley vineyards, there has been an explosion of another sort: in fine-wine production.” Jancis Robinson reports on the resilience of the vines in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, and speaks to Faouzi Issa of Domaine des Tourelles, touted by some as “the next Serge Hochar.”

“The push is not just some marketing gimmick. Volcanic soils account for only 1 percent of the world’s surface but contribute a much larger percentage of the world’s great vineyards…” In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy covers the rise of volcanic wines.

“When it comes to fine wine, soils trump climate,” says Jamie Goode. “If you don’t have great soils, you can’t make great wine…. The climate can get you most of the way there, but to cross the finishing line, you need some help from the soils.”

Bertrand Celce shares highlights from the 28th edition of the natural wine fair Salon des Vines de France de Villebarou.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter talks with Merry Edwards about women in the wine industry, American wine drinkers’ affection for vanilla, and more.

Vicki Denig talks to a wine sales rep about using storytelling as a tactic to sell wine in SevenFifty Daily.

In Bloomberg, Kate Krader explores why the MarkThomas Allround wine glass is gaining ground among certain sommeliers.

Dave McIntyre explains why Bordeaux illustrates how important a wine’s vintage is in the Washington Post.

Daily Wine News: Education is Key

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-30-2018

(Flickr: christophela)

(Flickr: christophela)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Rosso di Montalcino, and announces what’s up next: Etna Bianco.

“France’s first university diploma in wine studies has been launched in Strasbourg,” reports Reuters,”…a one-year course in wine-tasting, pedology – or soil science – and the neuroscience behind good wine.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Vicki Denig highlights Component Wine Company, an upstart company working with Château Lynch-Bages to make varietal wines. “…the goal of his company is simple: bottle varietal “blending components” to expose wine drinkers to unique varieties on their own.”

In Bloomberg, Kate Krader on Kosher wines you’ll actually want to still drink after Passover.

Lettie Teague offers her top 10 wine value wines for spring sipping in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

In Beverage Media, Amy Zavatto explores what it will take for Valdobbiadene-Conegliano DOCG prosecco to gain respect. “Where DOCG Prosecco does appear to be finding an enthusiastic foothold is in smaller, more boutique settings where the atmosphere is less about prestige than discovery.”

Stefano Ferrante, head winemaker for Italy’s Zonin family , tells the Drinks Business that “Chile has the perfect climate for Barbera.”

In Punch, Jon Bonné offers an essential guide to Muscadet.

Daily Wine News: A Third Somm Film

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-29-2018

sommA third Somm film is in production, reports Decanter, and features an all-star cast of wine’s most respected figures, including Steven Spurrier, the man responsible for staging the 1976 Judgement of Paris, Jancis Robinson MW and renowned master sommelier Fred Dame.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann looks at how Central Coast winemakers have optimized viticulture and dialed back the tonnage to produce varietal Grenache as nuanced and delicious as top-shelf Pinot Noir—often at half the price.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Sarah Sutel Looper convenes a tasting panel to put the most popular all-purpose wineglasses to the test.

The Economist covers how Moldova’s wine industry has transformed itself. “In 2017 exports were 19.4% higher than in 2015.”

On 3 Quarks Daily, Dwight Furrow looks at the obsession surrounding the wine descriptor, “smooth,” and wonders if it’s an appropriate aesthetic ideal for wine.

Henrique Almeida reports that Portugal is doubling down on cork production in Bloomberg.

In Fortune, Adam Erace hops aboard the natural wine train with a profile of Orenda and Peter Hale, owners of the wine shop, Maine & Lore in Portland, Maine.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews the documentary about Georgia qvevri wine, Our Blood is Wine.

Daily Wine News: Good But Not Great

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-28-2018

bordeaux-wine-cork-984x500Neal Martin assesses the 2014 Bordeaux vintage in Vinous. “The bottom line is that 2014 vintage is a good to very good vintage but not truly great. It does not belong on the mantelpiece with the 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 or the nascent 2016s.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan reports on the ways winemakers are adapting to climate change. “So far, farmers and winemakers are running ahead of their regional appellation authorities in adaptation to climate change.”

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman looks into the ways the TTB is targeting consignment wine sales. “According to a March release from the TTB: “The focus of this TTB investigation is on consignment sales arrangements, which, like other unlawful trade practices, are used to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding industry members and ultimately limit consumer choice.””

Vranken-Pommery has become the first of the big Champagne houses to release an English sparkling wine, according to the Drinks Business.

Retailers discuss their tips for staying competitive during rosé season—and beyond—in SevenFifty Daily.

On his blog, W. Blake Gray discusses the wine documentary, André: The Voice of Wine. “André Tchelistcheff died in 1994. He was hugely influential on many wineries in Napa Valley and elsewhere (one of the last and most controversial decisions of his life continues to pay dividends in Tuscany: see the film).”

In Bon Appétit, Marissa Ross and Emily Eisen highlight 11 natural wines whose labels look as good as they taste.

The Washington Post looks into the trend of “black wine.”

Daily Wine News: Georgia Evolves

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-27-2018


Qvevri buried in Chateau Zegaani’s winery in Georgia. (Source: Wikimedia)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford returns to Georgia after his first visit five years ago, and finds the wine industry is evolving. “The cultural appropriation of qvevri wine styles by advocates of natural wine, moreover, is the source of some frustration among Georgian wine producers, especially given the variable success rate of wines produced in this way by any but the very highest standards…During this second visit to Georgia, I concentrated on tasting a range of wines from larger companies, those comprising the bulk of the country’s export offer.”

Jameson Fink talks to Randall Grahm about his iconic wine labels in Wine Enthusiast.

The Drinks Business offers a summary of James Suckling’s new documentary, The Miracle of Alto Adige, which debuted at the Sonoma International Film Festival last week. His first documentary was about Cannubi in Piedmont.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles 31-year-old winemaker Francesco Ripaccioli, “Brunello’s young star.”

Jamie Goode provides “a template letter for wineries wanting to respond to two-timing critics.”

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni offers his thoughts on Napa Valley’s 2016 and 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon wines. “The 2016s continue to impress with their dazzling aromatic presence, finesse and nuance. Readers will have to be more selective with the 2015s, which are far less consistent.”

Paul Hobbs meditates on natural wines on the winery’s blog. “To be a winemaker is to be an interventionist… A wine that declares itself entirely natural as a matter of course, but is unstable, does little to please the palate, inform the intellect or honor its origins…When I intervene in the vineyard or cellar, it is to protect something elegant and fragile.”

R.H. Drexel catches up with Mary Maher of Harlan Estate.