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.

Daily Wine News: Worthy of Attention?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-12-2016

Charles Banks

Charles Banks

Philosopher Barry Smith shares his thoughts on wine, art, and subjectivity in Quartz. “Not every wine is worth our attention, just as not every piece of music or painting is worth our attention… It has to have enough complexity to fascinate you. To challenge you, to beguile you, to make you think more about it, to want to know more about it. That’s what we mean by a fine wine.”

Wine Spectator reports that Charles Banks, financial advisor and founder of Terroir Capital, has been charged with defrauding NBA star Tim Duncan.

According to Decanter, “Total Wine & More will pay $37,500 to the government of Connecticut after breaking the US state’s minimum pricing rules.”

Jancis Robinson features English sparkling wine producer, Nyetimber, which will be launching “an English fizz at more than £100 a bottle, the sort of price that prestige champagnes such as Dom Pérignon and Krug command.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reviews Jancis Robinson’s new wine book, The 24-Hour Wine Expert.

Alfonso Cevola reflects on “the so-called international style and just where and hot it came about.”

Adam Lechmere reflects on 40 years of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide in Wine-Searcher.

In the New York Times, Paul Sullivan looks at businessmen who have invested or purchased wineries, and considers the financial realities of producing and selling grapes.

Daily Wine News: Whole Bunch Trend

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

(Flickr: stefano lubiana wines)

(Flickr: stefano lubiana wines)

“There is today a small but notable band of Bordeaux winemakers who are questioning whether the use of stems might just have come of age in Bordeaux,” says Jane Anson in Decanter. “The idea is even getting some attention from the First Growths.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Michael Doyle looks into the efforts being taken to tighten wine-labeling rules and protect the value of names like Napa Valley.

The World of Fine Wine considers subjectivity in wine: “any attempt to make objective statements about the quality of wine is fraught with problems… subjectivity in wine is positive and nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, subjectivity is to be celebrated.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter gets the dish on Kevin Zraly letting go of Windows on the World Wine School. “Stepping away from the Windows on the World Wine School, which he founded 40 years ago and through which he taught more than 20,000 students, doesn’t mean he’ll stop teaching about wine, he said.

According to a recent study published in the journal, Frontiers, specialized training in wine might actually enhance your brain. Researchers studied the brains of Master Sommeliers and discovered enhanced areas in the regions impacted by many neurodegenerative diseases.

Lauren Mowery checks out Stockholm’s wine scene in Forbes. “Unlike a lot of hipster sommelier wine lists of the world, there will always be a great love for the classics here.”

The Washington Post reports on recent research published on beer, wine, and sake yeasts. Apparently, “beer yeast is tame. Wine yeast is wild.”

W. Blake Gray tastes through Whole Foods’ offerings of Chilean wines and offers his thoughts of them on his blog.

Daily Wine News: More Fire in France

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-08-2016

Vineyards in Corbières. (Flickr: www.zogy.net)

Vineyards in Corbières. (Flickr: www.zogy.net)

In Decanter, Yohan Castaing reports that a fire broke out in Corbières on the eve of harvest, damaging grapes and destroying vegetation and wildlife in some vineyards. “Some vineyard properties saw at least some damage on up to 50% of their vines, with co-operatives the worst affected.”

According to the Napa Valley Register, a Napa winery employee was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics after a stack of metal wine barrel racks fell on him at Joel Gott Wines.

Tom Wark reviews Sour Grapes, a film that documents the rise and fall of Rudi Kurniawan, which opens on September 16.

Wine Enthusiast talks to musician-turned-winemaker Michael Savage about his winemaking philosophy, the Columbia Gorge, and the similarities between music and wine.

Eric Asimov on the new Rouge Tomate, and its bigger wine list, in the New York Times.

Grape Collective talks with winemaker Elisabetta Fagiuoli of Montendioli in the San Gimignano region of Tuscany about the soul of Chianti and the work of her foundation.

According to Adam Lechmere in Wine-Searcher, Bordeaux producers are praying for rain. “Whatever happens, it will not only be interesting, it will be a classic “winemaker’s vintage.””

Jim Clarke considers the rise of Spanish white wines in the US in Beverage Media.

Daily Wine News: Selling California Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-07-2016

2000px-Flag_of_California.svgTim Atkins on what he sees to be the perception of California wine in the UK. “If California is to raise its profile here – no country, not even Portugal with Mateus, ever built its image on rosé – then it has to be at the higher end. The problem is that many of its best wines are over-priced, sometimes ludicrously so, in international terms.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan talks with Victoria Price — Vincent Price’s daughter — about her father’s love for California wines and her parents’ cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes.

“Thomas Sullivan, billionaire founder of Lumber Liquidators and Cabinets to Go in the US, has bought just under 30 hectares of vines across three Bordeaux Right Bank estates,” reports Jane Anson in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer parses the differences between professional wine critics and other wine lovers. “All the great baseball hitters are connoisseurs of pitches. To us, a pitch’s magnitude of difference seems minor, even undetectable. But it’s really not. It’s the same with wine.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, James Laube remembers wine journalist Greg Walter, former president of WS and founder of the Pinot Report. Walter died on Thursday. He was 58.

There are 13 new Masters of Wine, coming from eight countries. This brings the total to 354 Masters of Wine in 28 countries.

Elin McCoy offers advice for how to buy wine at auction, finding hard-to-get vintages and scoring bargains in Bloomberg.

Jancis Robinson offers a brief update of the 2016 harvest in Bordeaux.

Daily Wine News: Slow Burgundification

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-06-2016

Vineyards close to the village Kaysersberg in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

Vineyards close to the village Kaysersberg in Alsace. (Wikimedia)

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford considers the “slow burgundification of Alsace,” and puts Alsace’s system of lieux-dits, communal appellations and projected Premiers Crus under the spotlight.

“Margrit Biever Mondavi, who alongside her husband Robert Mondavi helped to spearhead the rise to prominence of California wines and in particular its association with food and travel, has died aged 91,” reports Decanter.

The 23rd Parallel’s David Rogers gets his hands on a book from the 1970s, Wine in New Zealand by Frank Thorpy, and compares what the wine scene in New Zealand looked like several generations ago to now.

R.H. Drexel talks to Kashy Khaledi about Ashes & Diamonds, his Napa Valley project on RobertParker.com. “In Khaledi’s mind, all the vineyard owners, winemakers, architect/artists involved are collaborators.”

Wine-Searcher puts together a list of the most expensive wines in California.

Dave McIntyre visits Burgundy and reports on the region’s 2016 vintage in the Washington Post.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague parses the pros and cons of gewürztraminer and finds there’s much to pair with the rich and assertive wine.

On her blog, Rachel Signer shares her excitement for several “naturally-working Oregon producers.”

Food & Wine on the world’s biggest wine festival, which takes place in Durkheim, Germany.

Wine Reviews: Ernest Vineyards

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 09-03-2016

I’m a huge fan of Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and now I have another exciting producer to  follow.

Ernest Vineyards focuses on single vineyard-designated Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The brand was established in 2012 by husband-wife team Todd Gottula and Erin Brooks, who work with Sonoma growers and their winemaking team to produce wines from sites throughout the Green River, the larger Russian River AVA and the West Sonoma Coast. The wines are produced at a custom crush facility called Punchdown Cellars, but Erin and Todd have plans to launch their own facility, called Grand Cru, in the summer of 2017.

I loved both of the Chardonnays, but the Pinot Noirs are even better. The wines sport a low 12.5% alcohol, but these lighter-bodied wines are by no means lacking in structure, flavor or depth. For those Pinot-lovers who tend toward the zesty, red-fruited, earthy style, Ernest wines are worth checking out. They do use a good amount of new French oak (about 30-40%), but that seems to be the perfect amount for my palate — accentuating and harmonizing the wine but not stealing the show.

“Todd and Erin pride themselves on making Burgundian-style wines with bright acid, low alcohol, and balanced flavor,” their website proclaims. A bold statement, but the wines back it up. I thought all four of these wines were delicious, crisp, complex and flawlessly executed. Ernest Vineyards is one to watch if you appreciate Sonoma producers of this style.

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