Daily Wine News: Rosé Exhaustion

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-07-2017

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

“While no one can deny that rosé rhymes with #allday and #yesway and s’il vous plait, for me, the truly telling coincidence is that it rhymes with okay.” In Eater, Sarah Miller is exhausted by the rosé madness. “Rosé’s ability to be firmly grounded in its basicness while somehow simultaneously transcending it is its most profound metaphysical feat…”

Tonight’s episode of American Greed is about the story of John Fox, his Ponzi scheme and Premier Cru. Wine writer Frances Dinkelspiel, who covered the story and trial in Berkeleyside, is interviewed in the episode, which airs at 10p ET/PC on CNBC.

In SevenFifty Daily, Katherine Cole looks at how some producers are experimenting with making Black Chardonnay. “To make Black Chard, you’ve got to be brave enough turn the prevailing protocol inside out. It feels almost like an act of violence.”

In the World of Fine Wine, Zachary Sussman considers the exclusivity of unicorn wines. “Rather than cultivating a more nuanced attitude toward wine, are we simply offering a new incarnation of the same old snobbery and one-upmanship that has always attended the pursuit of trophy wines? If all we’ve done is shift focus from the expensive to the esoteric, has anything fundamentally changed?”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explores the links between French and South American wineries. “I was interested in exploring French-influenced wineries to see how the Old World was influencing the new in this reach for quality. Instead I found the opposite…”

Italian wine giant Marchesi Antinori has bought Haras de Pirque winery in Chile, reports Yohan Castaing in Decanter.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on the Napa Valley harvest kickoff.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague taste tests wines from Costco, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s in an attempt to determine whether their private-label wines deliver. (subscription req.)

Wine Reviews: Cadaretta

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

When it comes to delicious red blends, Walla Walla seems inexhaustible. One producer that has popped up on my radar over the years is Cadaretta, whose rich but suave wines I’ve enjoyed and reviewed in the past.

Cadaretta is owned by the Middleton family and their Anderson & Middleton Company, which began in the timber business near the turn of the 20th Century, before expanding into table grapes and, eventually, wine.

Their estate Southwind Vineyard is home to some 60 acres of grapes, with future plantings planned. The wines are made by Kendall Mix, who studied enology and viticulture at UC Davis and has worked at Robert Mondavi, R.H. Phillips. Kendall also spent 10 years making red wines for Washington wine heavyweight Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate, among other jobs.

These are dark and saucy red wines with a good amount of new oak evident, but they show a lot of complex non-fruit elements and some serious potential for cellaring. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Winemaker Interview: Lisa Strid

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 08-04-2017

Lisa Strid

Lisa Strid

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Lisa Strid, the winemaker at Aridus Wine Company in Arizona.

Aridus is a new winery in an emerging wine region. Currently it makes wine from purchased grapes, but Aridus has owned 40 acres of estate vineyards since 2009. The winery is just beginning to figure out how best to express the grapes from there.

Lisa Strid will therefore have a significant role in developing Aridus’s portfolio. Lisa joined Aridus just a year ago, after spending some time at Gallo.

Check out the interview below the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Spain Embraces Terroir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-04-2017

Vineyards in Rioja. (Flickr: thirstforwine)

Vineyards in Rioja. (Flickr: thirstforwine)

In Decanter, Jane Anson explains the new Rioja single vineyard designation and looks at what it may mean for Spanish wine. “It’s a decision that I feel pretty sure the Spanish wine industry will look back on as the moment that the country embraced the idea of terroir and all that goes with it.”

Eric Asimov visits Colares and writes about its distinctive wines and history in the New York Times. “The grapes are grown today just as they have been for centuries, except far fewer of them can be found. As recently as the 1940s, vines covered almost 2,500 acres of these sandy soils. Only about 50 acres remain…”

W. Blake Gray tests out Coravin’s new screwcap version for Wine-Searcher. “The one-word review for the Coravin screwcap: Unnecessary.”

People are spending less money on beer, and wine has something to do with it, says Fortune Magazine.

A Byzantine-era wine press was found by archaeologists in Israel’s Negev desert, reports Brigit Katz in Smithsonian.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne looks at the Greek grape varieties like assyrtiko and moschofilero that are taking root in California.

The rosé boom continues… Wölffer Estate is now producing rosé gin. Alex Beggs has more information in Bon Appétit.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer offers quick tips for buying reserve wines, universal serving temps, wineglasses and more

Daily Wine News: Grow Up, Pét-Nat

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-03-2017

Bottles of pét-nat

Bottles of pét-nat

“In order to endure, pét-nat must mature as a category, and be taken a bit more seriously,” says Jon Bonné in Punch. “Otherwise, it currently stands the risk of hitting peak-fad and fading, and I don’t think anyone wants pét-nat to be remembered as the steampunk of wine.”

Alice Feiring continues the discussion about the issue of mousy natural wines. “Now, the stuff is everywhere, even on sparkling wines. This mouse has gone wild. Right now it is a far larger problem than cork taint… Something must be done. And probably the thing to do is to stop the silence. Mention it when you taste it. Bring it up to winemakers, importers.”

Is Chile’s troubled past the reason its wine’s future is so bright? Batya Ungar-Sargon investigates in VinePair.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports that Bedrock Wine Co. has taken over the Evangelho Vineyard in Antioch. “In the deal announced Tuesday, Bedrock purchased 10 acres of the vineyard from Evangelho. The remaining 26 acres are owned by PG&E and leased to Evangelho; Bedrock has taken over that lease.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann features the garagiste winemakers of Paso Robles.

The Drinks Business reports that Santa Margherita Wine Group has become the major shareholder of the white wine producer Cà Maiol, as it expands into the Lugana DOC.

In Forbes, Lisa Kocay reports on the new wine concierge service, Wine Larder, founded by Joey Letchinger, former sommelier at Maialino and Del Posto.

In SevenFifty Daily, Lana Bortolot profiles MS Fred Dexheimer.

Daily Wine News: UPS & FedEx Crack Down

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-02-2017

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports that UPS and FedEx are cracking down on wine shipping laws. “The crackdown is not a new law; instead UPS and FedEx are enforcing existing laws in many states that have not been friendly to wine shipping… Consumers may not have noticed the UPS crackdown until now because, it turns out, individual retailers have separate contracts with the delivery company.”

In Wine Spectator, Emma Balter looks at how Burgenland has been quietly molding Blaufränkisch’s identity. “The grape has the elegance of Burgundy Pinot Noir, the pepperiness of Northern Rhône Syrah, and the structure of Nebbiolo from Piedmont. The consensus, however, is that Blau is as much a vehicle for terroir as, say, Chardonnay.”

Are the wines from Costco, Whole Foods, Amazon, or Hyatt any good? Elin McCoy samples the private-label wines in Bloomberg.

In SevenFifty Daily, Jim Budd shares how fraudsters pretending to work for legitimate wine companies are using theft to target unsuspecting wine producers.

Grape Collective talks with fourth generation winemaker Alicia Lini about what makes classic Lambrusco and the challenges of the ‘cheap’ reputation Lambrusco suffered in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sommeliers share their biggest faux pas and service mistakes in Decanter.

CNN Money considers the success of the Vivino app.

The Weekly Standard chats with Lawrence Osborne about writing, wine, Europe’s migration crisis and his new novel, Beautiful Animals.

Daily Wine News: Direct-to-Consumer

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-01-2017

(Flickr: candescent)

(Flickr: candescent)

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explores the rise of direct-to-consumer sales. “The direct-sales channel has increased 75 percent in value and 70 percent in volume since 2011… And that probably underestimates the amount of wine delivered each year by FedEx and UPS, because it does not include online sales by retailers, who sell imported wines as well as domestic.”

UPS has expanded its ability to ship alcohol, wine and beer to consumers around the world, now shipping to 39 wine importing countries.

Andrew Jefford attempts to grasp the personality of Vacqueyras in Decanter. “Vacqueyras is the Prince Charming of the south, set alongside dapper, spruce, intense Gigondas and the broad-chested, bass-voiced Châteauneuf.”

Worldwide demand for hazelnuts is luring growers into planting nuts instead of barbera grapes in Piedmont, reports Tom Hyland in Wine-Searcher. “Certain hazelnut dealers decided to push growers to plant hazelnuts instead of Barbera, “offering high prices per ton, sometimes a more attractive price than even Nebbiolo”.”

In Palate Press, Mike Madaio reflects on the state of Pennsylvania wine.

Wine Business reports that wine writer Jim Hammett died on Thursday, July 20. He was 68.

Grape Collective talks with winemaker Jean de Boigne of Château de Pitray about Côtes de Bordeaux Castillon and the wine prices one can expect from the area.

In Vogue, Christina Liao offers a guide to wine tasting in Champagne.

Daily Wine News: Simple German Labels

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-31-2017

Dönnhoff Kabinett and Kabinett Trocken labels. (Source: Wikimedia)

Dönnhoff Kabinett and Kabinett Trocken labels. (Source: Wikimedia)

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence explores how some German producers are simplifying their labels in an attempt to reduce consumers’ confusion. “Growers who care about the Millennial vote now champion simple, clear and precise labels… It is this label evolution that the trade believe is Germany’s best chance of winning the hearts and minds of Millennials over the next decade.”

“I was not surprised that many readers said they loved New Zealand sauvignon blanc…I was also not surprised to see some grumpy reactions…These diverging views reflect the polarizing nature of sauvignon blanc, which does in general seem to inspire love or hate.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers his thoughts on the latest Wine School, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and announces what’s up next: Godello.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lenn Thompson writes about how Pennsylvania’s wineries are pushing up against Prohibition-era laws and still making quality wines. “After many years of stagnation, laws are changing, and renewed interest in Mid-Atlantic wines could mean a bright future for the Pennsylvania wine industry.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Julie H. Case delves into the science of smoke taint.

In Forbes, Susan H. Gordon explores the importance of blends in Alsace.

Wines & Vines reports on wine business research presented at a recent conference at Sonoma State University.

In the Guardian, Andrew Martin travels to Bordeaux on the new fast train from Paris and explores the region’s wines.

Tom Wark details “The Pros and Cons of Living in Napa Valley.”

Wine Reviews: McIntyre Vineyards

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-29-2017

Steve McIntyre (viticulturist, founder of McIntyre Vineyards) has extensive experience in California’s Central Coast. As owner of Monterey Pacific, his team farms 12,000 acres in Monterey County, and he has planted or farmed nearly a quarter of the vines in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

In 1987, Steve purchased an 80-acre site first planted in 1973-acre. This McIntyre Estate Vineyard is the source of some impressive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and Steve also bottles a larger appellation blend Chardonnay, an old vine rosé, and a Merlot sourced from Arroyo Seco, among others.

This was my first time tasting McIntyre Vineyards’ wine, and I found them delicious, vibrant, showing a tasty mix of rich fruit without being too overt or emblazoned with new oak. They seem like solid examples of the high quality Chardonnay and Pinot that always excites me about the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

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

Daily Wine News: Somms, Yachts & More

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-28-2017

Flickr: jenny downing.

Flickr: jenny downing.

“Wine service in the United States is more finessed than ever. But the old model of having a full-time person dedicated to wine doesn’t necessarily suit all restaurants.” In SevenFifty Daily, Jon Bonné explores whether we still need sommeliers in restaurants.

In Decanter, Jane Anson is fresh off the superyachts of France’s Côte d’Azur with tales of which wines billionaire superyacht owners are drinking. “The names that keep coming up are Bollinger rosé, Cristal, Moët Ice, Domaine d’Ott, Garrus. And Tignanello, the latest Super Tuscan star…”

Becca Yeamans-Irwin, aka the academic wino, breaks down the results of a study of the wine-specific crowdfunding platform Fundovino.

In Beverage Media, W. Blake Gray says it’s time to reconsider the ways to sell California wine.

And on his blog, W. Blake Gray explores the terroir of marijuana, and wonders if wine country has the best soil and climate for cannabis.

Lisa Denning talks volcanic soils with Antonio Capaldo,president of Feudi di San Gregorio, in Grape Collective.

In the Smithsonian, Jackie Mansky profiles Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards.

Lauren Mowery offers a primer on Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and makes a case for why you should consider drinking more of it.