Daily Wine News: Oldest Ruinart Found

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-16-2015

(Champagne Ruinart)

(Champagne Ruinart)

Ransacked by the Nazis, Ruinart had no pre-World War II bottles — until now. In Wine Searcher, Adam Lechmere reports that bottles of 1929 Champagne Ruinart were found in a private cellar in Alsace.

Wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan appeals conviction, reports Wine Spectator. “’Dr. Conti’ argues FBI search of his home was unlawful and counterfeiting evidence should be suppressed.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Tim Fish talks to Ian Brand about blazing new trails on California’s Central Coast, and his labels Le P’tit Paysan and La Marea.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan dissects a study on pesticides in wine conducted by Que Choisir, a French consumer organization, in 2013. “Reading the study (in French) and some of the supporting documentation, I think the study is far more significant than the news reports indicate.”

“Andrea Calek Is a Lazy Bum and That’s Why His Wines Are So Good,” says Rachel Signer in Eater.

Rosé season is back! In Serious Drinks, Maryse Chevriere recommends 8 rosé wines to drink right now.

“Blind Book Review: Lettie Teague’s “Wine in Words”” on the HoseMaster.

The Rabobank Wine Quarterly report was just released, which showed that domestic wine outperformed imports as value rises faster than volume in the U.S. More findings and trends are included in Wines & Vines.

Wine Enthusiast picks the best sherry bars in the nation.

“For premium flyers, the era of mediocre vino is (mostly) over,” says Justin Bachman in Bloomberg.

Science has not really spoken on the study of big flavor wine, says Joe Roberts.

In Forbes, recommendations for hidden, ‘natural’ wine bars and restaurants in Paris.

Daily Wine News: Summer of Trocken?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-15-2015

(Flickr: dpotera)

(Flickr: dpotera)

“I believe I speak for many fans of good Riesling when I say: “Sweet Jesus, thank the lord it’s over!”” In Wine Searcher, Jason Wilson reflects on the end of the Summer of Riesling campaign, and makes a case for drinking more trocken Riesling.

“Raise a toast to Madame Pommery,” says Bill Daley in the Chicago Tribune. “For it was she…who steered the world’s taste in sparkling wine from sweet to drier styles — a preference that stuck.”

As the natural wine movement enters its second generation, the techniques and principles that define it are changing. In Punch, Alice Feiring talks to some of natural wine’s icons about now-popular techniques and what they believe to be fad, or the way of the future.

“Is the current U.S. wine market the new “new normal” — can the recent upmarket shift in wine sales be sustained into the future?” Mike Veseth, the wine economist, explores the answer.

“Scientists show glass geometry controls where and how vapor rises from wine, influencing taste,” reports Jennifer Newton in Scientific American.

According to the Drinks Business, Rhône producer, Michel Chapoutier, has bought Beaujolais negociant La Maison Trénel.

In VinePair, Adam Teeter explores how China inflated a global bubble in fine wine and spirits — and then popped it.

Bon Appétit lists “7 Wine Bars You Need to Drink at Now.”

Stunning Wines on the Edge of American Viticulture

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 04-14-2015

finger_lakesAs regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

These columns are hosted by Grape Collective. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).

In my latest column, I praise the wines of the Finger Lakes region in New York — and highlight the collaborative nature of the winemakers there.

Stunning Wines on the Edge of American Viticulture

Finger Lakes’ wine pioneer Hermann Wiemer released his first wine 35 years ago. While his wines helped the New York region gain critical acclaim, he never curried much favor with local winemakers. And he had little patience for collegiality. In a 1985 interview with the New York Times, he described most Finger Lakes wine as “rubber hose” quality.

Things have certainly changed. Today, consumers everywhere consider Finger Lakes Riesling to be on par with the best offerings from Germany and Austria. Serious oenophiles recognize that other wines from the region show tremendous potential. And ironically, the region’s winemakers credit the collaborative spirit Wiemer shunned for the surge in quality.

Indeed, it’s a struggle to get vintners there to talk about their own wines. Virtually every Finger Lakes winemaker is more interested in promoting the industry as a whole — and praising colleagues — than talking about himself.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: New York State of Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-14-2015

NY-State-Terroir-and-Growing-Regions-MapIn the New York Post, Tom Wark shares his opinions on New York State’s “out-of-control” regulations concerning the wine industry. “It simply boggles the mind to think the authority would want to shut down a New York retailer for the crime of committing no crime at all.”

Wink Lorch notices the natural wine movement is spreading to Brazil in Purple Pages.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford checks in on the Douro’s development and prosperity. “For what it’s worth, I’m convinced that the Douro has the potential to rival Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Rioja and Napa as a table-wine region – it is a rare world ‘great’ – and that we will all realise as much in fifty years.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter profiles Gavin Chanin, “the youngest winemaker in Santa Barbara, and yet this is his 14th harvest.

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka spends a day with Andy Smith in his DuMOL vineyards of West Sonoma Coast and Green Valley.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles Tiziano Mazzoni, who is rising to become “Ghemme’s star for Nebbiolo.”

Jonathan Lipsmeyer chats with winemaker Olivier Clape about the changing faces of Cornas, and how Alsatian barrels ended up in the Clape cellar.

Nick Trend sets out to Alsace in search of “the world’s greatest white wines” in the Telegraph.

What do you really think of that wine? Ask your brain, says Erika Szymanski in Palate Press.

Daily Wine News: Past, Present, Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-13-2015

Barboursville Vineyards founder, Gianni Zonin, overlooking his Virginia vineyards

Barboursville Vineyards founder, Gianni Zonin, overlooking his Virginia vineyards

Lettie Teague uncorks a few bottles of Gavi to see if the Italian white retains the romance it held decades ago in the Wall Street Journal.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre addresses the current state of Virginia wine. “High-quality Virginia wine may surprise some, but it shouldn’t.”

“A visit to Cape winelands earlier this year left me both excited and concerned about the future of South African wine,” says Jancis Robinson, who thinks the “young guns of Cape need ammunition.”

Alfonso Cevola makes the case for darker rosé wines. “Perrin (and Brangelina) said “Let there be light.” And it was a game changer…But. Wait. There are some of us who still like the deeply colored rosė (or light red) wines.”

Wine Searcher chats with Angelos Iatridis, “Greek Wine’s Alpha Male,” about the challenges of selling Greek abroad and why he prefers the term ecosystem to terroir.

The Guardian reports that for the first time in the UK, prosecco outsold champagne. In 2014, £181.8m of prosecco was sold, compared to only £141.3m of champagne.

Some vineyards in Lodi suffered extensive damage after a storm dropped dime-size hail, reports Wines & Vines.

UK wine merchant, Majestic, has bought Naked Wines for £70 million ($102.89 million). And W. Blake Gray has a few opinions about it.

In Eater, a look at affordable wines produced by premier vineyards.

Wine Reviews: Bubbles and Port

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 04-11-2015

American bubbles, Champagne, Port, and a Sherry thrown in for good measure. Some samples are distinct in style and sporadic enough that they don’t fit into a designated category. Although, one could argue a common thread among these bottles is that they all scream: Invite people over and open me!

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

Weekly Interview: Steve DiFrancesco

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-10-2015

Steve DiFrancesco

Steve DiFrancesco

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Steve DiFrancesco of Glenora Wine Cellars. With Steve, we continue our series of interviews of Finger Lakes winemakers, following our interviews of August Deimel at Keuka Spring Vineyards and Peter Bell at Fox Run Vineyards.

Steve is a veteran in the region, with more than thirty-six Finger Lakes vintages under his belt. So we were particularly delighted that, in his interview, Steve gave us some historical background of the region as an important reason why the Finger Lakes is such a special community and viticultural region.

Check out the interview below the fold!


Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Cali’s Vintner Monks

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-10-2015

Cistercian monks in vineyards at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in California

Cistercian monks in vineyards at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in California

In NPR, Lisa Morehouse profiles the owners of New Clairvaux, a winery run by a community of Cistercian monks in Vina, California. “The monks need to work to survive. They live off their own labor — not donations — and winemaking is one of their efforts.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers tips on how to pick the right wine to drink with a sandwich.

In Decanter, Jane Anson suggests a way to combat unfairly high 2014 Bordeaux prices: Pay more attention to the “1855 classified properties out there who seem to price for the consumer rather than their neighbours.”

Will Lyons recalls the moment he first fell head over heels for fine wine in the Wall Street Journal.

Harvey Steiman remembers Australia’s gourmand-vintner, Bob McLean, in Wine Spectator. McClean died on Wednesday. He was 67.

In Newsweek, Lucy Shaw on how Chile takes its wine to extremes. “There is more to Chilean wine these days than the Maipo Valley. Adventurous producers are planting vines close to the Pacific Ocean and up the Andean hillsides, stretching winemaking to its limit.”

With a new wine guide from Vivino, you can now drink like a Game of Thrones character.

Jancis Robinson updates her guide to London for wine lovers.

Audrey D. Brashich explains why she “will always accept invitations to ‘Mom Wine Nights’” in the Washington Post.

Daily Wine News: An Electronic Taster

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-09-2015

In the vineyards at Domaine Leflaive

In the vineyards at Domaine Leflaive

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov’s obituary of Anne-Claude Leflaive. “Under Ms. Leflaive’s leadership, the reputation of Domaine Leflaive soared, as Burgundy evolved from a connoisseur’s passion to a worldwide luxury good.”

“What makes me want to work in wine is its connection to agriculture, far more than its connection to fancy restaurants and baller bottles.” Sophie Barret ruminates on life in the wine business and looks ahead to sharing Champagne news.

Not a fan of tasting a wine for its astringency levels? Soon, an electronic “tongue” might make wine tasters’ jobs a little easier. “Scientists have developed a nanosensor — a device that detects molecular interactions at tiny, nanoscale levels — that they say mimics how our tongues experience astringency,” reports OZY.

In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank blasts the arsenic-in-wine suit for faulty science and scare tactics.

W. Blake Gray reviews Sean Christopher Weir’s new memoir, The Mad Crush: A Memoir of Mythic Vines and Improbably Winemaking.

In the Observer, “wine entrepreneurs share their vintage secrets.”

Merchants are nervous over Bordeaux 2014 prices ahead of en primeur campaign, reports Decanter.

“Hey elites,” says Steve Heimoff, “Ordinary people love California wine!”

“10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About d’Arenberg” in Wine Searcher.

Daily Wine News: Spilling Obama’s Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-08-2015

Sorry, Obama. (Flickr: husbandunit)

Sorry, Obama. (Flickr: husbandunit)

Colby Itkowitz realizes that “people are always spilling Obama’s red wine” in the Washington Post.

Tim Atkin MW gives his impression of the eagerly awaited 2014 wines and picks his favorites of the vintage in Wine Searcher.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks into why sales of wine above $9 are strong, while the ones below $9 are in decline. “What accounts for the transformation of the U.S. wine market? And is this the “new normal” that we should expect for future years?”

“In the end, it is not the writers, the critics, the sommeliers, the retailers nor the peripatetic tweeters and bloggers that will decide what is worth drinking,” says Stephen Eliot in the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine. “It is the people who actually buy and enjoy wine and whose curiosity is not co-opted by rigid philosophy.”

According to the Associated Press, “Lettie Teague’s new book educates the masses, dresses down wine snobs.”

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer observes that wine epiphanies might come from increasingly unexpected places.

“How well do you know legal regulations for winery social media?” asks Wine Business.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne profiles Bogle Vineyards. “While the Bogles continue to stand for direct and accessible interpretations of mainstream varietal wines, they aren’t averse to shaking up their portfolio on occasion.”

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe offers tops for traveling in lesser-known wine regions.