Daily Wine News: Piquette’s Potential

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-05-2020

Bottles of piquette. (Source: Wild Arc Farm)

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Sydney Love takes a close look at the rise of piquette, and highlights the American producers making it. “The curiosity about piquette’s potential reaches across the winemakers’ board, whether it be wineries natural-identifying, natural-adjacent or artisanal, and [Wild Arc Farm’s Todd] Cavallo believes it’s inevitable that more producers will get into the game: “Companies are going to realize they’re sitting on a gold mine of waste product they could turn into another beverage.””

Drinkers are supporting black-owned wine businesses right now. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley considers whether that will last.

Wine Enthusiast put together a directory of black-owned food and beverage business lists.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Oregon Chardonnay, and announces what’s up next: a range of rosés.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague turns her attention to American rosés. (subscription req.)

A French brand launched a non-alcoholic sparkling wine called “Nosecco.” Now Italian producers are fighting over the name, which they believe evokes “Prosecco,” protected by EU rules, reports Jonathan Browning in Bloomberg.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kathleen Willcox explores how temperatures in the vineyard affect the acidity of a wine.

Daily Wine News: Opening a Winery in the Middle of a Pandemic

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-04-2020

(Source: Bricoleur Vineyards)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley profiles Bricoleur, the Sonoma County winery that opened in the middle of a pandemic. “Delaying an opening would have been a setback for any new winery, but for Bricoleur it had a particular impact. It is a winery that exists to be seen, its business model built on the notion that customers will spend hours here devouring farm-to-table food pairings under vine-wrapped trellises, feasting on views of the Russian River Valley… Bricoleur feels very much of the moment. It’s representative of a growing trend among Sonoma County wineries to offer ever-more-lavish visitor experiences in settings that feel like luxury farmsteads.”

In VinePair, Tina Caputo reports on how wineries are preparing for harvest in a year like no other. “To keep laborers healthy in the vineyards, growers are implementing physical distancing practices and stepping up sanitation… the situation for small, independent producers is likely to be more difficult. For some, the question isn’t how to safely harvest or how to get enough workers, it’s whether to harvest at all.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone explores the wines made in the volcanic Moon Mountain District, located outside Sonoma. “Several marquee vineyards, and the people who farm and work with them, have just begun to make its impact clear.”

In the Buyer, Peter Dean says to believe the hype of the Barolo 2016 vintage.

In Decanter, Michael Apstein recommends a few value Burgundy alternatives, and why they could become the more reasonably priced face of Burgundy. (subscription req.)

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews Laura Catena’s book, Gold in the Vineyards.

Daily Wine News: Covid-19’s Impact

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-03-2020

(Source: Wikimedia)

The pandemic has already brought changes to how we drink wine, but will they be permanent? James Lawrenced explores the answer in Wine-Searcher.

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carters looks at how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Chinese consumer wine habits.

“Champagne may very well be the drink of celebration, but with little to celebrate since the advent of COVID-19, sales have been dealt an almighty blow, says Tyson Stelzer, who explores the value of virtual Champagne tastings in the Buyer. “E-sales and virtual tastings are Champagne’s new ‘normal’, seizing the moment to engage would-be diners who find themselves increasingly bored and socially frustrated by life at home.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Julekha Dash reports on how the pandemic has shifted what and how retailers stock wine.

In the Oregon Wine Press, Paul Omundson reports on how Oregon tasting rooms are reopening slowly and carefully.

In Decanter, Chris Mercer looks at what’s making Barolo and Piedmont hot property for buyers in 2020.

In Vinous, Neal Martin revisits the 2003 and 2004 Burgundy vintages, and also checks in on how the 2010s are tasting.

The French government has announced further Covid-19 aid for the wine industry on top of the €140 million already promised, including funds to enable wineries to store rather than distill wine.

Daily Wine News: Saving Napa Cab

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-02-2020

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa. (Wikimedia)

Can rootstock trials save Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon? In SevenFifty Daily, Jess Landers reports on how winemaker Andy Beckstoffer’s is conducting new research aimed to preserve its future. “Over the past 50 years, numerous smaller trials have been conducted all over the world to study the impact of rootstock on various grape varieties and clones, but none of them have been done at this scale…”

“Bordeaux has launched its annual en primeur campaign, and Château Pontet-Canet lit the fuse, releasing its 2019 futures at €58 per bottle, ex-négociant, down 31 percent on the 2018 opening price of €84,” reports James Molesworth in Wine Spectator. “After moving through the distribution system, U.S. consumers can expect to see the wine retail at about $70 per bottle, or $840 a case. That’s 41 percent less than the 2018 futures at retail. It’s also about half the current retail price for the 2016 and 2015 vintages currently on retail shelves.”

Alder Yarrow on Clarice Wine Company, the new project from Adam Lee, founding winemaker of Siduri Wines, which he sold to Jackson Family Wines in 2015. “Sure, there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the winemaking in these wines. They’re leaner, more whole-cluster influenced and debatably a bit more hands-off in their winemaking than Adam might have been at Siduri, but beyond that, they’re just (excellent) Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir… What makes Clarice Wine Company so interesting is the business model, which is unlike anything that anyone has ever done in the California wine industry.”

Robert Joseph considers how the pandemic could re-shape the on-trade wine scene in Meininger’s.

Jamie Goode looks at the wines of Ixsir, “the new star on the Lebanese wine scene.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Emily Saladino explores the meaning of “structure” in wine.

In PUNCH, Megan Krigbaum gets recommendations from retailers for a half-case under $150.

Daily Wine News: New York Riesling

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-01-2020


In the Buyer, Red Newt winemaker Kelby Russell, a self confessed Riesling obsessive, explains the styles of wine he is trying to make in the first of a new series looking at different producers and winemakers across New York State.

Italian winemakers see trouble ahead, according to a recent Mediobanca survey.

“This here pandemic is making us rethink our relationships with many things – workplace, travel, family, face masks, for instance – and alcohol,” says Jancis Robinson, who explores a range of low-alcohol wines.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at the rising sales of hard seltzer, which have eclipsed expensive wine sales.

In Decanter, Simon Field offers a profile of Champagne’s Perrier Jouët. (subscription req.)

Josh Raynolds explores several vintages of Northern Rhône whites in Vinous.

Grape Collective talks to Gideon Beinstock of Clos Saron winery about his journey to winemaking and why he believes a wine’s most revealing attribute is its expression of origin.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre offers some tips for how to taste wine—and have fun with it.

Daily Wine News: Reopening Rules?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-29-2020

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley ponders the convoluted logic behind California’s winery tasting room reopening plan. “In other words, for now it’s a patchwork, with some wineries allowed to open and others still prohibited. Why? Because winery tasting rooms aren’t included in California’s Stage 2 plans — part of the state’s phased-in process of reopening the economy after shelter-in-place — unless they serve full meals. Which turns out to be a thornier issue than many wine drinkers might expect.”

“Caymus Vineyards, one of Napa Valley’s best-known wineries, has filed a lawsuit against California’s governor and public health officer, alleging that the state’s reopening plan is treating winery tasting rooms inequitably,” reports Mitch Frank in Wine Spectator. “Chuck Wagner, the winery’s proprietor, is calling on a federal court to strike down the measure that has allowed some tasting rooms to open while others remain closed.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov profiles Dr. Pourfar, a wine lover and neurologist who found a deeper relationship with wine after losing his sense of smell with the onset of Covid-19.

“The COVID-19 crisis appears to have accelerated the shift of U.S. wine consumers to online buying, and several of the nation’s top retailers expect wine buyers to stay online,” reports Andrew Adams in Wine Business.

Does a great vintage make blending easier or harder? On the blog for Tablas Creek, Jason Haas explores his blending approach to the 2019 vintage.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann explores the wines from Santa Cruz Mountains.

Lettie Teague considers examples of bad wine advice in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: 100 Years of AR Lenoble

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-28-2020

(Source: AR Lenoble)

In the Buyer, Christian Holthausen retraces Champagne producer AR Lenoble’s family history through 100 years of hardship, puts COVID-19 into a global and historical perspective and brings us bang up to date with the last 25 years during which Anne and Antoine Malassagne set out a game plan on how to remain independent and ensure at least another century of great Champagne while many houses around them were selling up.

For a while, the rich, ripe style of Chardonnay from Australia’s inland regions was an unfashionable as shoulder pads and big hair. But the fashion wheel has turned again, says James Lawrence in Meininger’s.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher on the hidden treasures they’ve been able to scoop up as restaurants sell their wine collections.

There has been a “step-change” in Château Clarke wines and fresh investment at the Rothschild-owned estate in Listrac-Médoc that makes it one to watch, reports Jane Anson in Decanter. (subscription req.)

In a recent Wine-Searcher opinion piece, W. Blake Gray shared that he believes ingredient labeling for wine is the future. In a response piece, Sonoma winemaker Adam Lee disagrees.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jillian Dara delves into what’s behind the orange wine trend.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer offers notes on the 2010 Napa Valley Cabernets.

Daily Wine News: Natural Lambrusco

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-27-2020


In PUNCH, Zachary Sussman explores Lambrusco artisanal revival. “This new wave of Emilia-Romagna sparkling isn’t new at all, but a return to the old-school style of frizzante wines that were once more-widespread regional staples… The wines that have come out of this revival have recast Lambrusco as a complex wine of place…”

Will the wine industry learn the lessons of the pandemic? After attending a video conference by Rob McMillan, Alder Yarrow explores what wineries have—and still haven’t—learned.

A new category of Prosecco DOC Rosé has been approved.

Robert Joseph pens a defense of wine influencers in Meininger’s. “Scores, reviews, stories and packaging all work for some people, some of the time. Celebrities and Instagram influencers work for others.”

Anne Krebiehl delves into the science of wine aromas in Wine Enthusiast.

In People Magazine, Sophie Dodd highlights a range of wine clubs.

In Forbes, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen look at Burgundy’s influence in Oregon.

Daily Wine News: Fresh Faces

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-26-2020

In Wine Enthusiast, Michael Schachner looks at the fresh new face of Argentine wine. “Consumers, sommeliers and importers are seeking fresher, leaner, more food-friendly wines. Winemakers are happy to oblige, often with fruit from high-elevation vineyards blessed with limestone or rocky alluvial soils.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Katherine Cole reports on how producers are rethinking rosé in 2020. “Even before COVID-19 arrived, and before many European imported wines were hit with a 25 percent tariff, the outlook for rosé was, well, less rosey…The pool party is over. Festive summer outdoor concerts and sporting events canceled. And pink canned wines that previously competed to out-cute one another are now pivoting to a more serious tone. “

Jancis Robinson explores the wines of Australia’s Tumbarumba region.

The US wine industry is experiencing an unusually good time during the pandemic lockdown, according to W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

In the Atlantic, Ashley Fetters on the many faces of the “wine mom.”

Rosé is the only thing keeping Esther Mobley sane during the coronavirus, according to her San Francisco Chronicle newsletter.

In Travel + Leisure, Sarah Souli explores Serbia’s rich wine culture.

Dave McIntyre explains the importance of smelling a wine’s aroma in the Washington Post.

Wine Reviews: Rosé

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-23-2020

It’s the unofficial start to “summer” here in the northern hemisphere this weekend. But what even is summer in these pandemic times? My plans for everything are cancelled, but I’m healthy and thankful.

And the annual arrival of new rosé wines offers some sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. I’ve been receiving a lot of new pink wines from France and America, new and old (to me) wines that offer some solace in these strange times, which are reviewed below.

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