Daily Wine News: Bordeaux Awakening

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-16-2017

La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

“Despite being one of the world’s major wine industry capitals, the city was known for years as La Belle Endormie, or Sleeping Beauty, as much for the smoke-blackened walls of its center as for its sleepy, overlooked reputation.” In the New York Times, Charly Wilder celebrates the state of food and wine in Bordeaux. “But in the last two decades, Bordeaux has come awake.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan offers a few more thoughts on sustainability and wine—this time about non-environmental aspects of sustainability, and the additional cost that consumers claim they’ll pay for wines from producers that are certified sustainable.

Meg Houston Maker tastes through four decades of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and wrestles with how to describe the experience. “Some say wine is bottled poetry, but it’s just a bottled liquid…the infinity of its other qualities, the vectors of flavor and affect and essence, are riotously incalculable. All we have for any wine is what we taste right now, descriptions of a genie released.”

“This generation, mine, is the one that will shape wine programs going forward. So what exactly does that mean?” In Seattle Weekly, Zach Geballe reflects on what millennials want from their wine.

Wine coolers are back, says Adam Erace, who explores artisanal offerings in Bloomberg.

In Edible Manhattan, Eileen M. Duffy gives a short recap of this year’s Slow Wine Tour.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima covers the growing world of New York State wines—from Long Island to the Finger Lakes.

In Vogue, Michaela Trimble on the new era of wine production in Argentina.

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Daily Wine News: Assyrtiko & Copycats

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-15-2017

(Wikimedia)

(Wikimedia)

“Greece has long been seeking a crossover hit—a Shakira, if you will—to add it to the roster of important and widely embraced wine nations.” In Punch, Jon Bonné explores assyrtiko from Greece. “Assyrtiko is a survivor, prolific and relatively easy to grow in the tough conditions.”

AR Lenoble’s Christian Holthausen shares a report of their 2016 vin clairs, and looks back on the 2016 growing season.

In Forbes, Thomas Pellechia explores “replicated wines”, essentially copycat wines made through chemical cloning. “What exactly would be the appeal of a line of wines created through chemistry? Is there really a market for replicated wines?”

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy covers the best wine lists at chain steak houses.

On Tim Atkin’s site, Natasha Hughes explores whether meat really is made for Malbec.

Willamette Week reports that Oregon’s wine industry is thriving, but unfortunately the state is broke. “The Oregon Wine Board, which spends about $2.2 million annually on marketing, education and research, is asking state lawmakers for a $1.5 million annual subsidy to encourage wine tourism and help it sell more bottles to out-of-state customers.”

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph considers the death of the wine expert, and the growing importance of the crowd.

In Grape Collective, Peter Zusman speculates that Molise could be Italy’s most obscure wine region.

Kara Newman finds a number of Irish whiskeys are being aged in former wine casks in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Wine Forecast

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-14-2017

13-wine-forecast.w710.h473.2xIf you live anywhere in the Northeast, I hope you’ve prepared for the blizzard with enough bottles of wine. ABC Philadelphia meteorologist, Chris Somers photoshopped a “wine forecast” map in advance of winter storm Stella.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley explores her love affair with older wines. “The joy of aged wine can’t be merely chemical, because I know that it rewards knowledge. This joy began to reveal itself to me only once I began to speak wine’s language of aroma, flavor and structure. In a cruel paradox, the more old wine disappoints me — and boy, does it love to disappoint — the more I’m drawn to it.”

“Is Champagne’s prestige reputation under threat from within?” asks Caroline Henry, who looks at how low Champagne prices are damaging the region’s reputation in Wine-Searcher.

Andrew Jefford looks at the success of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation in Decanter.

In Wine Enthusiast, Michael Schachner on Chile’s pioneering winemakers who are taking big steps with small production wines.

Wine Folly’s Madeline Puckette makes the case for drinking wine on St. Patrick’s Day.

BBC’s Will Smale profiles Rowan Gormley of Naked Wines and UK wine retailer Majestic Wine.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle recommends rosé for Easter.

Daily Wine News: Winners & Losers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-13-2017

bordeaux-wine-cork-984x500Jancis Robinson considers the “winners and losers” of Bordeaux 2005. “There is no doubt that in 2005 wines, particularly red wines, were made differently, and with very different ambitions, to how they are made in Bordeaux today. Sheer mass and, in some quarters, high alcohol was seen as a virtue, as was ripeness at any cost.”

David Marcus explains why Burgundy is the thinking person’s wine.

In the World of Fine Wine, Anne Krebiehl reports on a class she attended on wine authentication, and shares the best ways to spot the fakes.

Experts yet again “weigh impacts of millenials” on Napa wine in the Napa Valley Register. “They’re experiential. They want to understand where your wines come from. They want to know, what are your social values?” (No new news here…)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Elaine Chukan Brown on her fascination with the Sonoma Coast. “From the steep, redwood-dense slopes of the north, mere meters away from the Mendocino border, to the exposed high-elevation peaks of Fort Ross–Seaview, all the way south to the fog-dripped slopes near Freestone and Occidental, each vineyard feels like its own isolated sovereignty.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Italian wine critic Daniele Cernilli, author of The Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine 2017.

Jodi Helmer explores the terroir of honey in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Mercury News, Mary Orlin makes a case for half-bottles.

Weekly Interview: Theresa Heredia

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-10-2017

Theresa Heredia

Theresa Heredia

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Theresa Heredia, the winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery.

Gary Farrell founded the eponymous winery and debuted the label with a 1982 Pinot Noir. Since then, the winery has added more and more to its portfolio of vineyards, working with multiple viticulturalists.

Theresa Heredia was studying at UC Davis in its Chemistry program when she met other graduate students in the Enology program and decided that she wanted to apply her knowledge and techniques to study wine. So she transferred programs soon thereafter and, after graduating, began working at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and specifically helped launch the Pinot Noir bottlings of Freestone Vineyards. Theresa then joined Gary Farrell Winery in 2012, where she has been a winemaker since.

Check out the interview below the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Wine Bar Sues Trump

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-10-2017

Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross, owners of Cork Wine Bar in Washington D.C. (Source: Cork Wine Bar)

Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross, owners of Cork Wine Bar in Washington D.C. (Source: Cork Wine Bar)

Washington D.C.’s Cork Wine Bar owners Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross announced a lawsuit against President Trump, “arguing that his ownership of the Trump International Hotel is driving business to him and away from small restaurants like theirs,” reports USA Today.

The Napa Valley Register highlights the work of UC Davis professor James Lapsley, who explores the history of wine through labels.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at Napa Valley’s reliance on immigrant workers. “Census data estimates that 23 percent of Napa County residents were born outside the country, and 33.9 percent of county residents are Hispanic or Latino.”

Wines & Vines reports that Napa Valley growers and wineries are at the top of the pay scale for agricultural workers in California: “the average starting wage is $14.10 per hour, well above the minimum wage and close to the $15 minimum wage mandated in the future for California employees.”

According to Wine Spectator, Laurent Ponsot, the fourth-generation winemaker at Burgundy’s Domaine Ponsot has left the family business to open a new winery, which will begin selling wines this year.

In Decanter, Jane Anson looks at what’s new and highlights some things to look out for during Bordeaux 2016 en primeur season.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni offers his thoughts on Sonoma’s 2015 wines. “The best 2015s are exotic, viscerally thrilling wines endowed with phenomenal purity, depth and intensity.”

In the Record, Esther Davidowitz on the quality of New Jersey wines.

Daily Wine News: FLX Reds + Women

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-09-2017

Sunrise overlooking a vineyard in the Finger Lakes. (Wikimedia)

Sunrise overlooking a vineyard in the Finger Lakes. (Wikimedia)

Douglas Hillstrom makes a bold prediction: “Looking ahead, say twenty years from now… The Finger Lakes will become known as a premier red wine region.”

Santa Clara University professors Lucia and John Gilbert highlight 47 of “California’s Trailblazing Women Winemakers” from 1965 to 1984.

Condé Nast Traveler looks at how women winemakers are changing the way we drink wine.

In Purple Pages, Richard Hemming explores alternatives to tasting notes. “Perhaps wine needs its own language; a set of original words that provides a precise, holistic description of wine…What about pictures?…Perhaps the solution is the emoji tasting note?” Hemming ultimately finds that there is no better alternative.

An Italian company called Revino is marketing a wine it boasts contains even more benefits than your average vino, reports Lexi Williams in Wine Spectator, who explore whether the claim is based on sound science?

In Grape Collective, Marco Salerno talks to winemaker Tom Lubbe of Matassa about natural wine, his winemaking philosophy, and what brought him to Roussillon.

VinePair delves into “The 700-Year History of the Court of Master Sommeliers.”

Wines & Vines looks at the growth of the Georgia (state) wine industry.

Tom Hyland shares some of his favorite 2012 Brunellos in Wine-Searcher.

Daily Wine News: Booming Bubbly

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

(Flickr: ajroder)

(Flickr: ajroder)

In Decanter, Elin McCoy reports on how English sparkling wine is doing in America. “We love bubbles in New York, and we’re adventurous about where they come from…The overall quality was impressive but, sorry to say, the Champagne level prices of $35 to $75 a bottle – despite a weaker pound and Brexit – are less appealing.”

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand checks out the two new cuvées Champagne Ruinart just launched. “Dom Ruinart has changed; will it change further? In two respects, yes. One is climate, which allows more releases of Dom Ruinart than historically… The other respect in which Dom Ruinart is changing is that, from 2010, they’ve put everything under cork for the second fermentation in bottle.”

James Suckling is excited about the wines from the Finger Lakes. “The FLX quality revolution is largely the work of a new generation of winemakers, many in their 20s or early 30s.”

Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer wants to know your most underused—and overused—wine descriptors. “You can never go wrong portraying a wine as rich, luscious, intense, mouthfilling and dense, among many other descriptors….Yet those very same words, however accurately applied, are also a bit of a trap.”

In the Florentine, Emily O’Hare talks to Ian D’Agata about his transition from doctor to wine writer, the point system, and the future of wine and winemaking in Italy.

Tim James on “the unusual pleasure of sweet wine.”

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reads Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman and starts thinking about the flavors associated with wine.

Michael Austin explores the wines of Roero in the Chicago Tribune.

Daily Wine News: Super Bowl Ad Success

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-07-2017

From Yellow Tail's Super Bowl ad.

From Yellow Tail’s Super Bowl ad.

Sales jumped after Yellow Tail’s Super Bowl ad, according to Wine Spectator. “January sales reached their highest levels in 12 years, 10 percent higher than the recent average…. Plus, the company’s Twitter and Instagram accounts experienced a 30 percent jump in followers.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers advice for how to choose better wines: “All you have to do is remember three words: Wine is food…. To drink better wine, you must ultimately find a better wine source.”

Aaron Menenberg explores his theory that wine is performance art. ““Performance art is a real-life, high-risk form of artistic expression,” and you can very easily swap out “performance art” for “wine” and make it as applicable…”

For some odd wine news…skeletons founds underneath a wine shop in St. Augustine, Florida may be some of America’s first colonists.

Wines & Vines reports that Pinot Grigio grapes in Fresno are the first to reach bud break.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe sings praise for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford catches up with Alain Razungles, long-serving Professor of Oenology at Montpellier SupAgro.

In VinePair, Vicki Denig looks at what organic wine really means, and debunks the myth that organic wines taste better.

Daily Wine News: White Wine & Gender

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-06-2017

White-wineIs the millennial market all it’s cracked up to be? In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter talks with Silicon Valley Bank’s Rob McMillan about millennials’ wine spending habits.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores why women drink more white wine than red. “Everywhere I turn lately I’m meeting yet another woman who is white-wine exclusive for reasons ranging from refreshment to health.”

Jason Wilson is also thinking about white wine, and convinces the Maxim crowd that white wines can be just as serious and sought-after as red wines.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Michel Gassier of Chateau de Nages in Costières de Nîmes, located at the southern end of the Rhone Valley. “Those of us who love to experience this singular expression of the grape but can’t always afford the most prestigious cuvées seek out wines from similar but less exalted regions. And when we find a talented winemaker in such a region, we hit the jackpot. Michel Gassier is such a winemaker.”

Alder Yarrow shares a video of his recent interview with Jancis Robinson at UC Davis.

“My affection for Finger Lakes wines has never been stronger,” says Lenn Thompson, who profiles Morten Hallgren, owner and winemaker at Ravines Wine Cellars.

Wine Enthusiast speaks with five women in the wine industry, who offer their thoughts on the status of women in the wine world today.

Remember blue wine? In the New York Times, Raphael Minder reports on all the challenges and labeling restrictions the Spanish company, Gïk, has dealt with since they started selling a blue wine in 2015.