Wine Reviews: Values from Spain & Portugal

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 11-26-2016

It’s no secret that Spain and Portugal are home to seriously delicious wines at very reasonable prices. If your annual wine budget is getting maxed out, some of these wines might be a great way to make it through the holiday season.

This week we’re focusing on a few wines apiece from three producers. Senda/Verde is a group of Spanish wines sourced from Bierzo and Galicia, while Bodegas Carlos Serres is a purveyor of solid, inexpensive Rioja. Lastly, Faisão producers good, cheap wines from Vinho Verde and Dão in Portugal.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Thanksgiving Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-23-2016

Brown_Turkey“Sorry. I’m here to tell you that no single “unity” Thanksgiving wine exists.” In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy chimes in about pairing wine with Thanksgiving, and suggests five rules you “must (almost) always obey.”

In Edible Brooklyn, Eileen M. Duffy makes a case for drinking Georgian wine for Thanksgiving.

The Splendid Table talks to Jancis Robinson about pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner.

Wine-Searcher reports about which wines people are searching for in the U.S. just before Thanksgiving.

“Sussex sparkling wine has climbed the next rung of the ladder to protected name status, but its application for EU-wide name rights may overrun the timeline set out for Brexit by the UK government,” reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth offers a harvest report on the 2016 vintage in the Rhône Valley: “France’s Northern and Southern Rhône Valleys share a river, but are very different otherwise. And 2016 delivered two different growing seasons for them.”

There may be wineries making great wines in unlikely places, but does anyone care? W. Blake Gray explores the answer in Wine-Searcher.

The Los Angeles Times looks into the world of wine-themed cruises, including one to… Alaska.

According to Harpers UK, the 2016 Rioja harvest has “proved exceptional in both quality and quantity.”

Daily Wine News will return on Monday, Nov. 28. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Cheers! — Shelby

Daily Wine News: Lebanon, Weed & Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-22-2016

Vineyard in Lebanon. (Source: Wines from Lebanon)

Vineyard in Lebanon. (Source: Wines from Lebanon)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at Lebanon’s white wines. “One of the handicaps faced by Lebanese wine producers is that the country no longer possesses the variety of indigenous varieties which, we must assume, made its wines so notable in Biblical times… Many Lebanese whites are blends of different varieties, often given an aromatic lift from Muscat: a help, but not salvation.”

Wines & Vines reports that California vineyards are losing labor to marijuana growers, who promise easier work for better pay.

Five wine farms in South Africa have been served non-compliance notices following the documentary Bitter Grapes, reports the Drinks Business.

After Stanko Radikon’s death, Wine Spectator’s Robert Camuto considers what the Friui winery’s future holds.

“Hospices de Beaune 2016 auction bidders have failed to reach the dizzying heights of 2015 but still drove the annual, Christie’s-hosted sale to its second highest total on record.” Panos Kakaviatos reports on the auction in Decanter.

Tom Mullen explains why he foresees a rise in popularity for Loire Valley wines in Forbes.

Wine & Spirits Magazine talks with David Speers about Côte des Blancs Champagne.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess drank weed wine and shares her thoughts on it.

According to Joe Czerwinksi in Wine Enthusiast, shiraz is back.

Daily Wine News: Sequencing Grapes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-21-2016

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa. (Wikimedia)

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa. (Wikimedia)

Wine Spectator reports that scientists have sequenced the genome of Cabernet Sauvignon. “Cataloging the genetic makeup of various grape varieties will also help pinpoint genetic markers associated with specific flavors winemakers may want, healthy chemical compounds found in wine, resistance to vineyard pests and disease, and other desirable traits of a given variety.”

In Beverage Media, Jeffery Lindenmuth looks at the steps being taken to initiate crus in the Languedoc AOC. “Like any political wine system, the AOCs of Languedoc and its crus are imperfect… certain regions with superb producers fail to achieve cru status simply because of the existence of their large co-op neighbors.”

Christian Navarro considers the advantages of different wine bottle sizes in the Robb Report.

Wine Spectator talks with Erin Scala, wine director of Fleurie in Charlottesville, about the emotional ties of music and wine, and the rise of Virginia wines.

In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Austin shines a spotlight on Virginia wines.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre talks with David about his new book, But First, Champagne.

Alfonso Cevola discusses both American and Italian politics and the challenges they present for Italian wine.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence discovers Rioja bodega Lopez de Heredia owes its origins to phylloxera.

In Palate Press, Simon Woolf pens a personal reflection on Stanko Radikon.

Wine Reviews: California & Oregon Pinot

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 11-19-2016

You’ve likely been bombarded by media about Thanksgiving wine pairings. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Just open up all sorts of bottles and let the crowd and food sort it out.

But, thinking back over the past few Thanksgiving meals, I can’t remember a dinner that lacked at least one California Pinot Noir. Willamette Valley, and of course Burgundy, will also do. For me, Pinot Noir exudes crisp autumn weather and makes me hunger for warm, hearty foods.

A lot of 2014 California Pinot Noirs are hitting shelves, and they’re tasting darn good — lots of freshness and red fruits but some show serious concentration.

This tasting includes a host of Pinots from Etude, which has been producing vibrant Carneros Pinot Noir for three decades. In recent years, they’ve expanded into a range of Pinot Noirs from other sites in California (and even a Willamette Pinot and a zinger from New Zealand). The wines taste so site-specific, and each stood out as unique in a single-blind tasting, but they maintain a house style focused on crisp acidity, juicy red fruit and lots of spice. This was my first time tasting the Willamette Valley Pinots from Lenne, a producer focused on two estate Pinot Noirs from a site near the town of Yamhill. (I’m impressed.) And we also have some late releases from Clos de La Tech and Holman Ranch.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted single blind. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Meditation & Reflection

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-18-2016

(Source: RAW Wine)

(Source: RAW Wine)

Eric Asimov meditates on natural wine after attending RAW Wine in Brooklyn. “…the significance of natural wine has been its role as an insurgency, inspiring the public to think more about what goes into the wines it is drinking and, through commercial pressure, to force the mainstream wine industry to confront and modify its own practices.”

Alder Yarrow reflects on winegrowing in the wake of Trump, and how his presidency will impact the California wine industry and its workers.

Steve Heimoff offers his opinions on IPOB. “IPOB had an overall negative impact. It divided Pinot Noir people into two opposite, warring camps. IPOB’s tastings never made any sense… My biggest problem with IPOB was the way the mainstream wine media treated it so worshipfully, without questioning the process or the assumptions behind it.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson thinks Long Island wines deserve more recognition. “There’s no argument that the North Fork’s magic lies in feeling a world away from both New York and the Hamptons. But there are exciting wines here that deserve to be better known.”

In Grape Collective, Alexandra Kuderski talks to Mikołaj Tyc of the Srebrna Góra winery about the growing Polish wine industry and the Camaldolese Hermits from Cracow.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague makes the case for sparkling wine at the Thanksgiving table.

In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman discovers white wine’s promise in the Douro Valley, the land of port.

W. Blake Gray investigates Champagne-related deaths, and finds that no one has every died from a Champagne cork.

Daily Wine News: The End of IPOB

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-17-2016

IPOB-Logo“In Pursuit of Balance was, on a basic level, a wine club… But in reality, the group more closely resembled an art movement: manifesto-driven, unified by theory, designed to upend the hegemony of a dominant system.” Esther Mobley considers the legacy of IPOB after the group’s last tasting in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Punch, Jon Bonné checks in on the current state of orange wines. “Today that original generation of orange wines now feels canonical, as evidenced by the widespread grief at Radikon’s death in September. And it’s easy to locate their descendants in nearly every corner of the wine world.”

An intern at Bollinger recently discovered an abandoned chamber in the cellars, containing personal wine collections of past family members dating back to 1830. Lauren Mowery shares details about the discovery in Forbes.

R.H. Drexel profiles Cameron and Marlen Porter of Amplify Wines, a young married couple making natural wines in Santa Barbara County.

In the Portland Mercury, MJ Skegg explores wineries in Southern Oregon, “Oregon’s Other Wine Country.”

In Decanter, Richard Woodard features Clare Valley-based Jim Barry Wines, which has produced Australia’s first commercial bottling of Assyrtiko.

In the Financial Times, Alan Livsey offers tips on how to get started when investing in wine.

In Bloomberg, Justin Kennedy talks about natural wine and the recent Raw Wine fair in Brooklyn.

Daily Wine News: Considering Differences

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-16-2016

Bottles of Barolo. (Wikimedia)

Bottles of Barolo. (Wikimedia)

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan considers the variations between two different bottles of the same wine. “Obviously, wine changes with each new vintage.   But two bottles of the same vintage of the same wine can taste different, too.”

Eric Asimov gets a chance to taste 14 bottles of 1964 Barolos in the New York Times. “…some of the wines were unforgettably gorgeous, beautiful missives from a year when the world salved its grief over the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy with the balm of Beatlemania.”

A 7.8-strength earthquake struck New Zealand on Monday morning. Wine-Searcher surveys the damage done to wineries in the northern half of New Zealand’s South Island in regions like Waipara and Marlborough.

In Imbibe, Jennifer Fiedler makes the case for merlot. “…something we should expect if Merlot manages to claw its way back into the consciousness of American sommeliers and consumers: It might not be the Merlot we remember from the wine’s first big boom.”

“A school and cultural center dedicated to preserving the ancient craft of producing qvevri has been built in Georgia’s main wine region, Kakheti,” reports Decanter.

Elsewhere in Decanter, biodynamic wine consultant and writer, Monty Waldin looks at the ways in which the Supermoon could change this year’s wines.

Matt Kramer confesses his wine-tasting blind spots in Wine Spectator.

Rachel Signer covers under-the-radar wine regions in Vogue.

Daily Wine News: Reasons to Be Cheerful

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-15-2016

Vineyard in Burgundy (Source: Wikimedia)

Vineyard in Burgundy (Source: Wikimedia)

“Yes: injustice everywhere.  Yes: the already dissuasive Grand Cru and Premier Cru burgundy prices will rise further.  Yes: Chablis 2016 will be in short supply.  But I came back from my post-harvest sweep through the region with considerable optimism.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford finds reasons to be cheerful about Burgundy.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at the trend of California’s nouveau wines. “It’s officially a thing. Poe started doing it in 2013, Scribe in 2014, Bedrock and Coturri in 2015. In 2016, Cruse, Stirm, Broc, Methode Sauvage and others are releasing one for the first time. Ordinaire, the wine shop in Oakland, is making a mini-festival out of it.”

“As Napa grape growers replace their vines, will the composition of varieties planted in the region change to accommodate the recent broadening of tastes?” asks Tom Wark.

Jamie Goode considers the importance of stories in wine writing. “As journalists, and as a wine trade, we need to be careful that we are telling the right sorts of stories.”

Last year, the future of Turkish wine looked to have a bright future. Now, winemakers are urgently working to figure out how to boost export sales. Henry Jeffreys reports on what has changed between then and now in Food & Wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettman highlights the winemakers and vineyards who are shaping the future of Arroyo Seco, Chalone and Carmel Valley in California’s Central Coast.

In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl is celebrating female winemakers in a post-election world.

Travel + Leisure offers a guide to traveling around the wine regions of Portugal.

Daily Wine News: Disappering Act

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-14-2016

Napa“In 1970, there were 1,380 acres of petite sirah (828 today), 743 acres of riesling (65 today)…chenin blanc, had 752 acres… Today, it has shrunk to 18.” In Palate Press, Roger Morris looks at Napa Valley’s disappearing grape varieties. “By contrast, cabernet was at 2,493 acres in 1970… Today, it is at more than 21,000 acres.”

Tim Atkin covers all the changes affecting Rioja right now. “The region is in the throes of profound changes that will affect the way it is labeled, marketed and made for the foreseeable future.”

Jancis Robinson recommends “pleasing pinots” beyond Burgundy.

“Marc Lazar, a former wine broker for convicted wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, was arrested in St. Louis last week on felony charges of selling wine without a license,” reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

In Grape Collective, Claudia Benazzoli talks about the terroir of Bardolino in Northern Italy and how two sisters make their mark in the male-dominated Italian wine world.

“A cottage industry of wine snobbery has developed around the concept that turkey is a wine killer. Nonsense.” Dave McIntyre offers Thanksgiving wine advice in the Washington Post. “My annual advice remains the same: Open one of everything.”

In Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson reports on the 2016 vintage in Tuscany.

Jamie Goode shares what he loves about Vinhão, red Vinho Verde.