Daily Wine News: All Eyes On Beaujolais

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-11-2017

A glass of Beaujolais. (Flickr: kohrogi34)

A glass of Beaujolais. (Flickr: kohrogi34)

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto talks to Beaujolais’ Mathieu Lapierre about what’s important—and natural—in wine. ““Today, Morgon is more of a gauge of quality than ‘natural,’” he says on a clear frozen winter’s day in the appellation’s gently rolling granitic hills. “It is too bad that many vignerons think the opposite.””

In Wine-Searcher, Lisa B. Zimmerman on how Beaujolais Crus are finding success in the U.S.—despite being in Burgundy’s shadow—and how sticking together to promote all of the Crus is a better avenue than trying to promote individual terroirs.

In Bloomberg, Mark Ellwood looks at how Changyu, China’s winemaking powerhouse, is building French-style chateaus and Italianate castles around the country—and an entire “Wine City”—to encourage the country’s passion for the grape.

GW Magazine, out of GWU, profiles sixth-generation winemaker Steven Mirassou. “Mr. Mirassou admits that it’s strange to see his name on a bottle of wine that he didn’t make and that he doesn’t endorse, except to say that it’s fine for the price. The wine Mr. Mirassou makes today starts at $65 and goes up to $165 for his flagship.”

In Decanter, Amanda Barnes offers updates on the Argentina 2017 vintage: small but promising,

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, questions the conventional wisdom about the Spanish wine industry: that it is an Old World wine country.

In Punch, Jon Bonné is impressed with the 2015 vintage for Austria’s grüner veltliner.

HelloFresh jumps on the wine delivery service bandwagon.

Daily Wine News: Beer For a Wine Crowd

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-10-2017

Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio. (Flickr: Bernt Rostad)

Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio. (Flickr: Bernt Rostad)

“Culturally, Cantillon shares more with the wine world than with the craft beer world, which heavily relies on adjuncts, laboratory yeasts and flat-brimmed hat bros to spread its message. Cantillon represents the opposite: European tradition, a sense of place and unmistakable provenance.” In Punch, Justin Kennedy on why the world’s most sought-after sour beers, Cantillon, has become a totem of beer greatness for today’s wine crowd.

Does Bordeaux deserve its reputation? Aaron Menenberg explores his answer to the question. “It’s interesting that my generation has not latched on to Bordeaux the way previous generations have because it comes at a time where a number of other regions from the around the world are, or already have, caught up to Bordeaux’s general level of quality without demanding the same prices.”

Decanter delves into the newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron’s knowledge of France’s wine heritage.

Elsewhere in Decanter, Jim Budd reports that the 2017 Loire vintage is in trouble after being hit by heavy frosts.

Jordan Vineyard & Winery announces the official launch of Jordan Cuvée, which is “100 percent produced by Champagne AR Lenoble.”

In Reuters, Andrei Khalip reports on how Portugal’s cork industry is making a comeback.

In the Sacramento Bee, Michael Dunne finds plenty to love in Paso Robles beyond cabernet.

In Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson talks to Patrizio Cencioni, president of the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino about its 50th anniversary and how far Brunello has come since 1967.


Daily Wine News: The Other Right Bank

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-09-2017

Vineyards in Côtes du Vivarais. (Source: Rhone-wines.com)

Vineyards in Côtes du Vivarais. (Source: Rhone-wines.com)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford checks out the right bank…of the Rhône. “The right bank’s problem, if you like, is that it has no bowl.  There are terraces but, relatively swiftly, they clamber up into the first foothills of the Cévennes, followed by the pasture and forest associated with altitude.  There are certainly points of interest, but no uniformity.”

According to Reuters, Bordeaux wine industry predicts a €2 billion loss this year due to massive frost damage.

“Volumes of English wine dipped nearly 20% below the average production in 2016, due to a combination of cool conditions during the summer and a lack of moisture in the later part of the growing season,” reports the Drinks Business.

Alfonso Cevola considers the potential of the 2014 Barbaresco vintage. “Yes, there will be blood, when the 2014 wines get into the system. And there will be more blood, when the Barolo wines are arraigned within the commercial vein.”

Kerin O’Keefe explores Alto Piemonte and its underappreciated nebbiolo wines in Wine Enthusiast.

Alder Yarrow attended the Sonoma County Barrel Auction and shares his thoughts on the event and the wines. “The fact of the matter is that Sonoma county is a rather fractured and divided wine growing region… Sonoma wines are world class, and deserve a lot more attention than they get.”

In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland reports on the wines of Etna beyond nerello mascalese.

Luke Sykora on the revival of Vermut de Jerez in Punch.

Kerry Potter details why she believes women are drinking less wine in the Telegraph.

Daily Wine News: Skeptic of Synthetic

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-08-2017

(Source: Ava Winery)

(Source: Ava Winery)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley profiles Ava Winery, producer of synthetic wine. “As I taste Ava’s Moscato prototype, I find it difficult to locate the precise source of my skepticism. Am I simply experiencing the age-old stubborn discomfort with futuristic technology? Am I getting defensive of wine, and of the very idea of terroir, on behalf of wine lovers everywhere?”

“We in the wine trade have a unique relationship with climate change. We see firsthand how a precocious spring followed by nights of frost in April can wreck our friends’ livelihoods.” Sophie Barrett reports on the post-frost conditions in Burgundy after a recent visit to France.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter profiles Eileen Crane of Domaine Carneros, “the best bubbly winemaker you’ve probably never heard of.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how tweaks to barrels and grapes impacted the cabernet sauvignon blend at Jordan Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County.

W. Blake Gray talks with Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan about rosé in general and her new book, Rosé Wine: The Guide to Drinking Pink in Wine-Searcher.

Does barrel fermentation improve red wine? Wines & Vines explores.

In Palate Press, Becky Sue Epstein on the wine discoveries she had on her recent trip to New Zealand, involving pinot noir, pinot gris, and syrah.

Zachary Sussman has a new Wine 101 column for Food & Wine. First up: the world of chillable reds.

Wine Reviews: Rosé

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-06-2017

I love a crisp, dry rosé any day of the year, but Spring and Summer are prime pink time for obvious reasons. Digging in to the first crop of last vintage’s rosé is fun yearly task, and I’ve got a whole bunch of (mostly) 2016 rosés to get your mouth watering as the weather heats up.

Some of these are very widely available (like the Chronic Cellars, Kim Crawford and Laurent-Perrier Champagne), while some (like the smaller production pinks from Virginia) aren’t easy to find. But here are my notes on a bunch of rosés that were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.  Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Napa Tourism Growth

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-05-2017

NapaAccording to figures released by Visit Napa Valley, Napa Valley tourism generated $1.92 billion in visitor spending in 2016, a 17.5 percent increase since the last survey was done in 2014.

Damage reports are coming in after ‘black Thursday’ and the impact looks severe, writes Jane Anson in Decanter, who also considers how Bordeaux’s worst frosts since 1991 might affect the Bordeaux 2016 en primeur campaign.

Meininger’s Ilkka Sirén considers the future of Sicilian wine. “Coincidentally, during the event the news broke out that the Italian winemaking legend Angelo Gaja is going to invest in Mount Etna. The news was received with mixed emotions; some saying a name like Gaja will bring much needed attention to Sicily, while others said that the region doesn’t need him to put Sicily on the map.”

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence looks at what happens when winery leadership is transferred from one generation to the next, and why it doesn’t always go smoothly.

In the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Comiskey profiles Helen Johannesen, who oversees the wine programs at various L.A. restaurants.

In Washington City Paper, Jessica Strelitz looks at the challenges, changes, and potential the Maryland wine industry faces.

In Forbes, Susan H. Gordon on why the most captivating rosés still come from Provence.

Fiona Beckett says there are gems to be found in Australia’s Hunter Valley in the Guardian.

Daily Wine News: A Wine For Kings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-04-2017

A bottle of red Coteaux Champenois wine. (Wikimedia)

A bottle of red Coteaux Champenois wine. (Wikimedia)

“That non-fizzy champagne has such a long, if largely forgotten, history is part of the reason this region is returning to its roots.” In Travel + Leisure, Adam Leith Gollner explores Coteaux Champenois, a sparkle-free wine from Champagne. “As soon as I tried it, I could tell that it is what wine used to be in Champagne: a wine for kings.”

Planting has officially begun at Domaine Evremond, the vineyard land in Kent purchased by Champagne Taittinger and partners, reports Decanter.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan talks to cookbook author and chef Joanne Weir about cooking with and serving wine, as well as about her wine awakening story.

Don Cazentre reports on an orange wine awakening in the Finger Lakes.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth provides an update on the vineyard damage in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne.

The Drinks Business looks at how severe frosts have impacted English wine producers, many of which have young vines planted in their vineyards.

Laura Burgess attends the Sonoma County Barrel Auction and reports on her experience in VinePair.

Barbara Sturgis explores the Teroldego-based wines of Italian proudcer Foradori in Grape Collective.

LA Weekly profiles sommelier Maria Garcia, “the Wikipedia of Wine.”

Daily Wine News: The Wine Whisperers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-03-2017

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy explores the role of personal wine advisers. “Most wine whisperers operate on word-of-mouth recommendations. There’s no single business model for how they work, and the range of services they offer aren’t set in stone. Some will bid for you at auction; others won’t touch a paddle… Before you hire one, know what you want your adviser to do, and have specific ideas of what you like to drink and how much you want to spend.”

Matt Kramer ponders the future of wine in Wine Spectator. “If the past is instructive—and I think it is—there’s no reason to believe that today’s great-wine repertory will inevitably comprise tomorrow’s great-wine performances… allow me to note the one structural feature that will inevitably affect the choices of which wines will comprise tomorrow’s new great-wine repertory: the Millennial generation.”

In Food & Wine, Victoria James tells how America learned to love rosé in an excerpt from her new book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé.

Blue prosecco is sparking an outrage in Italy, reports the Drinks Business.

W. Blake Gray looks at what the marijuana industry is borrowing from wine marketing.

According to Caroline Henry in Wine-Searcher, the 2016 Champagne vintage is a hit and a miss.

Rachel Signer talks to three producers from the Côtes de Bordeaux appellation in Wine Enthusiast.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks with Ivan Miloš of Vinarija Miloš about the evolution of Croatian wine.

Daily Wine News: Recoveries & Revivals

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-02-2017

Historic photo of the McIntyre Building. (Source: Trefethen Family Vineyards)

Historic photo of the McIntyre Building. (Source: Trefethen Family Vineyards)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at how the Trefethen Family Winery has recovered after the 2014 earthquake, which has included a 2½-year renovation of the McIntyre Winery building. “When it was built, this winery was among the most technologically advanced winemaking setups of its time…. What’s most remarkable about the new McIntyre Winery is how much it still looks like itself.”

MarketWatch samples Martha Stewart’s new wine club and finds some wines are “lifeless” and others “quite tasty.”

According to Wine Spectator, “Sarah Marquis, half of one of Australia’s best-known wine partnerships, has acquired a controlling share of the prominent Australian winery Mollydooker from her ex-husband, Sparky Marquis.”

Emerging technology will put a personal servant in the hands of just about everybody, says Robert Joseph in Meininger’s, changing the way we order wine.

Trinity Hill’s chief winemaker talks about New Zealand’s varied climate and the Rhône roots of the Homage Syrah in Wine-Searcher.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford reviews the book French Wine: A History by Rod Phillips.

Vincarta rounds up “29 wine gurus you need to follow on Twitter.”

Bon Appétit tastes Trader Joe’s new line of canned wines, Simpler Wines,.

Stuart Pigott says the Finger Lakes are experiencing a Riesling revolution in JamesSuckling.com.

Daily Wine News: Fine Fizz & Sweet Spätlese

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-01-2017

(Flickr: ajroder)

(Flickr: ajroder)

“More than 99% of all the greatest blends of wine and carbon dioixide I have ever tasted have been champagnes, either prestige cuvées or the most blessed vintage-dated wines… Tasting it is one of the great rewards of being a professional wine writer,” says Jancis Robinson, who wonders if Champagne is losing its fizz among all the competing sparkling wines.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the latest wine school, Lambrusco, and announces what’s up next: spätlese riesling. “These wines are too thrilling, too delicious and too versatile with food to allow us to be deterred by a bunch of umlauts.”

Wine Spectator reports that Angelo and Gaia Gaja’s family wine company has partnered with Alberto Graci in Sicily in an effort to explore a new corner of Italy’s volcanic terroir.

In Grape Collective, Croatian wine blogger Željko Garmaz discusses how Croatia has had to overcome communism and war as it now re-establishes itself on the world wine stage.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer delves into the history of California’s Seavey Vineyard and offers notes on the estate’s wines.

Sarah Baird offers tips for travelling to the Dordogne in Southwest France, “France’s Chillest Wine Region,” in GQ.

Can China and Southeast Asia ever challenge the wine world’s established order? James Lawrence explores the answer in Wine-Searcher.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre recommends reds, whites, and rosés for summer drinking.