Daily Wine News: Walla Walla Carmenère

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-11-2018

Carmenère. (Wikimedia)

Carmenère. (Wikimedia)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patrick J. Comiskey discovers carmenère from Walla Walla in Washington State. “The best of the Walla Walla wines are fresh, with savory notes hinting at lavender and lilac, and a core of fruit that’s not so much rich as enveloping. They show slightly less power than most Chilean versions…”

Sara Chodosh delves into the results of a recent study proclaiming there is “no safe amount of alcohol” in Popular Science. “It wasn’t long ago that the court of public opinion held that a glass of cabernet with dinner wasn’t just okay for you, it was actively good for you. Yet it seems like opinion is shifting. Suddenly moderate drinking is unhealthy. What happened?”

In Bon Appétit, Elyse Inamine profiles Haley Fortier, who is championing female winemakers and natural wines at Boston’s Haley.Henry.

In SevenFifty Daily, Courtney Schiessl explores the evolution of California chenin blanc. “Over the past decade, artisanal winemakers riding the “new California” wave have launched interesting, limited-production Chenin Blanc cuvees…With the popularity of Chenin Blanc rising among consumers, these small producers are striving to change the reputation of California Chenin for good.”

Alfonso Cevola meditates on memories of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. “Trebbiano Abruzzese isn’t going to supplant Meursault, or even Assyrtiko, as one of the great white wines of the world. But Trebbiano Abruzzese has been a great life lesson for me.”

In VinePair, Stephanie Cain reports on saperavi’s growing presence in the Finger Lakes.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan details the cabernet sauvignon wines of Washington you need to know.

Daily Wine News: Tasting Rooms

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-10-2018

tastingroomAccording to Virginie Boone in Wine Enthusiast, the traditional tasting room is dead. “Many of Napa Valley’s 3.5 million yearly visitors appear to want different things out of a winery experience than in days of old: More sit-down tastings, food pairings and places to hang out and Instagram their day. That’s not to mention more of a sense of belonging.”

Wired tests out the Coravin Model Eleven. “All told, the Model Eleven is clearly the best Coravin to hit the market to date. The catch is that this will cost you one thousand dollars…”

Stephen Tanzer offers his notes on 2017 White Burgundy in Vinous. “These are pure, easygoing, fruit-driven wines of considerable charm, and a good number of them are more serious than that.”

In the Los Angeles Times, John Henderson explores how Georgia’s centuries-old wine tradition is bringing new appeal to the republic.

Grape Collective talks to Chateau Grand Traverse’s Eddie O’Keefe about the challenges and triumphs of Michigan Riesling.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig chats with Chris Santini about his life as an American winemaker in Burgundy.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on the staying power of canned wine.

Ellie Douglas reports on the beginning of the 2018 English wine harvest in Decanter.

Wine Reviews: Gonzalez-Byass Sherries

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 09-08-2018

thumbnail (1)Gonzalez-Byass is synonymous with Sherry. Dating back to 1840s, the renowned Sherry firm began as a partnership between Manuel María González Ángel and a British importer Robert Blake Byass. Gonzalez’s pale fino Sherry, Tio Pepe, made a big impression in the British market, and Gonzalez-Byass continued to gain traction with a wide export market.

Today, the winery is still run by Gonzalez family members, and they’ve expanded into other regions of Spain as well, like Bodegas Beronia in Rioja.

These Sherries power on, providing a lot of quality, value, and some historical perspective. Sherry has a lot of fans today, of which I am most certainly one, and it’s remarkable to think about how these wines have found fans all over the world, over the course of several centuries. It’s nice, I guess, to see some good things change very little over time.

I recently received four samples from Gonzalez-Byass, and found them all to be excellent. I tasted these wines sighted. Notes below. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Wine Spectator vs. Weed Spectator

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-07-2018

0706c318-2ecd-4e01-8fbe-cd8a3e6d4180“M. Shanken Communications Inc, the publisher of Wine Spectator magazine, has filed a lawsuit accusing the northern California-based operators of Weed Spectator of infringing its trademarks, and copying its familiar 100-point rating scale for wine to rate cannabis,” reports Jonathan Stempel in Reuters.

Zinfandel icon Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars has died at 74, reports Tim Fish in Wine Spectator.

Esther Mobley pens an obituary for Kent Rosenblum in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Antonio Galloni pens a tribute to Beppe Rinaldi in Vinous. “One of the reasons I started writing about wine is because, at the time, there was very little information available about Rinaldi and other traditionally-minded growers, including so many names that today are among the most coveted producers not just in Piedmont or Italy, but the world. Pretty soon, the allure of these wines and the families who made them became an obsession.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov profiles John Lockwood of Enfield Wine Company in Napa, and looks at how “a number of young, intrepid winemakers” are demonstrating how to make wine with little money and no vineyards.

WineBusiness.com announces Duck Pond Cellars has sold its winery and vineyards to Great Oregon Wine Co.

Wine-Searcher caught up with James Millton of Millton Vineyards and Winery and Geoff Wright from Wrights Vineyard and Winery to talk about the future of New Zealand’s Gisborne region.

Daily Wine News: Trademark Battles

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-06-2018

Nero d'Avola. (Wikimedia)

Nero d’Avola. (Wikimedia)

The trademark battle over grape variety names continues. In SevenFifty Daily, Simone Madden-Grey looks at why Italy is trying to ban Australian Nero d’Avola in U.K. markets. “If the argument from Italian producers is ultimately successful, the implications will be significant for wine regions that are exploring grape varieties better suited to the world’s changing climate, as well as for New World countries increasing their share of the global market.”

In the Oregon Wine Press, Maureen Flanagan Mattistella reports on how Southern Oregon wineries are dealing with the high smoke alert.

In Punch, Jaya Saxena explores her obsession with Manischewitz. “I’m not being cute or ironic. I am not Jewish, and my drinking habits have evolved over the years to embrace a general urban inclination toward dry wines and crisp, refreshing cocktails. But once I started thinking of Manischewitz less as a table wine and more as a sweet fortified wine—like port for dirtbags—a whole world opened up.”

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan pens a profile of Marion Pla of Domaine Marion Pla in the Languedoc.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford visits Tonnellerie Cadus, a cooperage in Burgundy.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima explores German white wines beyond riesling.

For the Dallas Morning News, Alfonso Cevola offers his picks for the best grocery store wines.

In the Takeout, Gwen Ihnat reviews wine apps.

Daily Wine News: In Defense of Co-Ops

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-05-2018

(Flickr: theloushe)

(Flickr: theloushe)

“In the age of the grower-producer, with its myopic view that what’s smaller is better, what is the place of co-op wines? I know that some sommeliers and retailers avoid these wines, but what might they be missing out on? I decided to investigate the landscape by talking with buyers and co-op producers.” In SevenFifty Daily, Peter Weltman writes in defense of regional wine cooperatives.

“As a veteran writer about wine and vinous subjects, I understand that every wine I taste is fundamentally the same as every other wine, yet I also understand that every wine is different from every other wine in terms of its origins, its intentions and its making, its history and relationship to a place and a heritage,” says Fredric Koeppel in an exploration of why wine writing matters in Terroir Review. “Our purpose in writing about wine is to balance those aspects into a sense of completeness that satisfies us gustatorially, intellectually, and emotionally.”

In Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson remembers Giuseppe “Beppe” Rinaldi, who died on Sunday.

Will establishing the West Sonoma Coast AVA label persuade wine lovers to pay more? In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy explores the answer.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague talks to a financier, attorney, and videogame designer about their decisions to leave behind their careers to pursue their passion in the wine business.

In the World of Fine Wine, Steve Slatcher argues that “any attempt to make objective statements about the quality of wine is fraught with problems” and also that “wine appreciation is essentially subjective.”

The Washington Post tastes 14 supermarket wines in an effort to find the best affordable wine.

Daily Wine News: Canned Wine…Fad?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-04-2018

(Flickr: Gnawme Lovely)

(Flickr: Gnawme Lovely)

Canned wine isn’t just a passing summer fad, it’s a $45 million business, according to Nielson,” says Sarah Whitten in CNBC.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig talks to “young, experimental” winemaker Jaimee Motley about winemaking, sexism and what’s next on the horizon.

“Beppe Rinaldi, iconic Barolo grower and outspoken natural wine advocate, has died,” reports Jeremy Parzen on his blog, Do Bianchi.

Walter Speller pens a farewell to Giuseppe Rinaldi on JancisRobinson.com. “I found Rinaldi exhilarating and confusing in equal measure, and perhaps would have felt more at ease had I known that his nickname was ‘ il citrico’, the acerbic one.”

In Vinous, Neal Martin turns his attention to South Africa. “I reiterate my claim that no country, no wine region has been as dynamic, progressive or indeed, as exciting as South Africa. It is almost unrecognisable compared to a decade ago.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher raise a toast to Stony Hill Vineyard.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe showcases barbera from Piedmont.

Fiona Beckett highlights a handful of wine podcasts in the Guardian.

Wine Reviews: California New Releases

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 09-01-2018

We’re headed back to California again for another roundup of samples I’ve received this summer.

This report includes some new releases from well-known Sonoma Chard and Pinot producer J Vineyards, Napa stalwarts Robert Mondavi and Trefethen, and a few other wines sprinkled in.

I received these wines as samples and tasted them sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Turnovers & Transitions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-31-2018



Bruce Cakebread is stepping down as CEO of his family’s Napa winery Cakebread Cellars, reports the Drinks Business.

Esther Mobley explains why the Stony Hill Vineyard sale matters in her weekly Drinking with Esther newsletter in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Time will tell what happens to Stony Hill in this next chapter of its life, but I have a hunch it’s in good hands.”

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth follows up to see how the turnover at Dunn Vineyards from Randy Dunn to his stepson Mike is going. “Today Randy decides when to pick; Mike handles the rest…Mike has kept some things the same…But he’s also tweaked and improved things as well.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent wine school, dry American rieslings, and announces what’s up next: Morgon.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan looks at how the truck driver shortage is impacting wine importers and distributors.

In Forbes, Susan H. Gordon reports from the first Borderless Wine Symposium, centered on the wines of Turkey.

Anne Krebiehl tastes an 1881 riesling at Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan’s Forster Ungeheuer vineyard and shares notes about it in Decanter. (subscription req.)

In Beverage Media, Jack Robertiello looks at how the Paso Robles region is gaining respect from the trade and consumers.

Daily Wine News: Visiting Rosé Mansion

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-30-2018

(Flickr: Susanne Nilsson)

(Flickr: Susanne Nilsson)

In VinePair, Emily Saladino visits New York City’s Rosé Mansion. “If you hate the Rosé Mansion on principle, you’re not wrong, but you are missing the bigger picture. It represents an enormous market of wine fans eager to self-identify with “rosé” as a brand. Instead of viewing them as digitally minded dolts, we should embrace them, and seek ways to translate their enthusiasm into support for the industry.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Giada Zampano reports on the 2018 forecast for Italy’s wine production. “Italian winemakers are picking their grapes and predicting a “very good year” for wine production, though prices are expected to remain flat or decline slightly after a spike in 2017, due to a particularly poor harvest.”

Atlas Obscura discovers a Chilean wine that’s aged with a piece of 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite in the barrel.

Wines & Vines talks to Ted Baseler, who will leave Ste. Michelle Wine Estates at the end of September, about the he “string of pearls” approach he took to guide Ste. Michelle’s growth.

Wine & Spirits Magazine assembles a list of words that annoy them most in wine and food writing.

SevenFifty Daily partners with GuildSomm to offer “A Guide to Becoming a Wine Importer.”

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne explores what Amador City has to offer in terms of wine experiences.