Daily Wine News: Pondering the Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-11-2023

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov ponders the future of Albariño in Rías Baixas. “Since Rías Baixas became an appellation in 1988, growers and winemakers have been encouraged to produce albariño and plenty of it. The result has been a popular commodity wine: cheap, aromatic, easy to drink and forget. In many people’s minds, that’s all albariño can be,” he writes. “Yet, as is so often the case with wine, ideas about a grape’s potential for complexity and aging become fixed not because of a grape’s actual limits but because few people have tried make anything more of it.”

Meanwhile, Jenn Rice introduces Wine Enthusiast readers to Albarín, not to be confused with Albariño. “Albarín is often confused for Albariño because of its similar name, even though they are quite different. While both are refreshing and acidic, Albariño boasts zesty citrus notes while Albarín features floral notes.”

With options growing for low-carbon shipping and freight, the wine industry is looking for new ways to lessen the climate impact of its global transportation network, says Betsy Andrews, who reports on zero-emission wine shipping developments in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray takes a look at how the 2023 vintage is shaping up for Napa.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander reports on two wineries that decided to make wine from other countries after the devastating 2020 vintage.

In Esquire, Omar Mamoon explores zero-zero wines for summer. “Zero zero wines are wild. They’re alive. They make you feel.”

Lettie Teague offers tips for pairing red wine with fish in the Wall Street Journal.

Daily Wine News: Austrian Reds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-10-2023

Zweigelt grapes.

They may be overshadowed by the country’s much-celebrated whites but Austria’s red wines can be intriguing, distinctive and delicious. In Club Oenologique, David Kermode takes a closer look at three Austrian red grape varieties that every wine lover should know about.

Concrete egg or oak barrel? Stainless steel vat or clay amphora? In the World of Fine Wine, Benjamin Lewin looks at just how influential the winemaking vessel is when it comes to fermenting and aging fine wine.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray talks to German producer Erni Loosen about his quest making wine in Oregon.

“What’s the secret to being at the forefront of wine innovation for more than 2,500 years of winegrowing? With nine out of its 20 AOPs younger than 20 years old, Languedoc isn’t as beholden to restrictions as other wine regions.” Caroline Pardilla explores the French wine region of Languedoc in Imbibe Magazine.

Tom Wark adds his two cents to the news of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s decision to cancel 40% of their vineyard and grape contracts.

In Barron’s Penta magazine, Jake Emen falls for the island of Madeira and its wines.

In Decanter, Jane Foster explores Montenegro’s wine scene.

Daily Wine News: Old vs. New

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-09-2023

“One of the most glaring issues with the Old vs New dichotomy is historical inaccuracy…For instance, let’s say we adopt the mindset of some European winemakers and define “Old World” as places where Ancient Romans planted vines: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. Curiously absent from this list is Greece, which also produced wine during that time, but isn’t presently considered part of wine’s “Old World.” We’re also ignoring recent archeological evidence that the world’s first winemaking equipment was in what we now call Georgia, another country confusingly absent from the “Old World” umbrella.” In Food & Wine, Emily Saladino makes a plea to stop describing wine as “Old World” or “New World.” 

When large bodies of water, like the Pacific Ocean, create temperature inversions in the atmosphere, it upends growing norms for coastal and mountain vineyards. In SevenFifty Daily, Shana Clarke explores the impact of atmospheric inversion layers in viticulture.

France’s wine harvest in 2023 may end up around last year’s level, with above-average production in Champagne and Burgundy compensating for disease in the Bordeaux area, reports Rudy Ruitenberg in Decanter.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander gets a look inside Mondavi Winery’s temporary tasting room — with views of the Napa River — during the iconic estate’s renovation.

On WineBusiness.com, Pam Strayer reports on the celebration of life recently held for the late Paul Dolan, former president of Fetzer Vineyards and Bonterra founder.

With the quality of Turkish wines increasingly recognized, the Drinks Business talks to the CEO of Chamlija Wines about the region’s complex history of winemaking.

Shoshi Parks highlights off-the-beaten path wine regions in Smithsonian Magazine.

Daily Wine News: Science of Barrel Aging

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-08-2023

In SevenFifty Daily, Jacopo Mazzeo explores how cellar climate impacts barrel-aged wine, and talks to experts about the myriad ways that climatic conditions like temperature, humidity, and drought can affect the barrel-aging process.

Alder Yarrow catches up with Nicolas Joly. “Joly lives and farms just outside the town of Savennières, in France’s Loire Valley. As a winegrower, he is known for two things: his family’s ownership of the 16-acre Clos de Coulée de Serrant, a walled vineyard so famously old and singular that it merits its own tiny appellation, and for being one of the earliest adherents of and proselytizers for biodynamic viticulture…Joly has attained something of a prophet-like status in the world of biodynamics, helped by the fact that much of the time he seems to speak like a prophet, describing forces at work in the world far outside the everyday consciousness of mankind.”

Yesterday, regulators auctioned off a roughly 1,900-bottle wine collection of Silicon Valley Bank at about 60% of its appraised value, reports Gina Heeb in the Wall Street Journal.

In the Buyer, Sophia Longhi looks at the innovations and traditions driving Argentine wine forward.

MGG Investment Group has set out plans to revitalize Spring Mountain Vineyard after recently announcing its purchase of the historic Napa Valley winery. Martin Green shares some of the details in Decanter.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores the art of gifting wine, and suggests a handful of no-fail gift bottles.

On JebDunnuck.com, R.H. Drexel heads to Lodi to meet with the mother-daughter team behind Lorenza and attend a dinner with the Victor Book Club.

Daily Wine News: Moon Mountain

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-07-2023

Monte Rosso Vineyard on Moon Mountain. (Source: Turley Wine Cellars)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Sara Schneider explore Sonoma’s Moon Mountain District. “For all the character and complexity of Moon Mountain District wines, the AVA has largely gone unnoticed — except for one historic vineyard in the heart of the region: Monte Rosso.” 

In Meininger’s, Chris Lost assesses the challenging times ahead for Washington State wine. “Growth over the last 30 years has been extraordinary: from 100 wineries to over 1000, from 4,500 hectares of vines to over 20,000 ha today. In terms of area under vine, it’s not far behind Burgundy. Until recently, this was the sign of an industry in the rudest of health and Walla Walla, the town at the heart of the vineyards was booming. But there has been a feeling for a while that things have grown too far too fast, with an imbalance between supply and demand.”

A warming Champagne means a change of approach, and for Roederer, it meant dumping the non-vintage blend. “All the rules we learnt don’t work any more,”Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, chef de cave of Roederer, told Margaret Rand in Wine-Searcher.

In the New Yorker, Lauren Collins explores the rise of vière in Paris, a mix of vin and bière drunk from a wineglass, whose name, its creators say, started out as a joke.

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard highlights the best Long Island wineries to visit right now.

Jamie Goode explores the cellars of Cava’s Codorníu.

Jancis Robinson explores the ageability of South African wines.

Daily Wine News: Bugs in Beaujolais

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-04-2023

The grape leafhopper.

An insect-borne disease has hit more than 80% of villages in Beaujolais, reports Sarah Neish in the Drinks Business, with producers forced to rip out vines. “Known as flavescence dorée, the disease is spread by leafhopper insects, which suck sap from the vines. It is thought that the pestilence has been able to spread more easily due to the high number of untreated vineyards in Beaujolais — flavescence dorée can be prevented using an insecticide, and applying it is mandatory in the region, but some organic winegrowers are reluctant to spray, despite the product being approved for organic grape production. Their reasoning is that the product will kill other ‘good’ insects in addition to the leafhoppers they are targeting.”

The new Women in Wine survey hopes to to identify both the positives and negatives that women feel about working in the wine industry and set out ways in which conditions and opportunities could be improved. You can take part in the survey here.

In Wine Enthusiast, Hannah Selinger goes behind the scenes of the 2023 State of the Wine Industry Report.

For Travel + Leisure, Ranjan Pal explores winemaking in Kakheti, the heartland of Georgian wine.

In the World of Fine Wine, Dr. Erik Skovenborg explores the link between high blood pressure and alcohol consumption.

Liz Thach has been appointed as the new president of the Wine Market Council, succeeding current president Dale Stratton.

Norm Roby explores the biodynamic winemaking legacy at Troon Vineyard.

Daily Wine News: Shifting Supply

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-03-2023

(Flickr: KBJPhoto)

“In a meeting last month with its growers, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE), the Northwest’s largest winery, informed growers that the company would be substantially reducing its fruit contracts. Specifically, SMWE plans to reduce its total anticipated grape supply by 40% over the next five years.” Sean P. Sullivan has the details.

In SevenFifty Daily, Samantha Maxwell on what you need to know about Albanian wine. “Between 2000 and 2016, grape production in Albania jumped over 250 percent. In 2022, the country produced 3.03 million liters of wine, 46.4 percent of which was exported, mostly to other European countries, according to Albania’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Exports to the United States have been sporadic and centered in Texas and Michigan, but are expected to increase in the coming years. As Albania’s wine industry continues to grow, some of the country’s producers hope to reach a wider audience through tourism.”

Chris Mercer reports on Italy’s difficult 2023 season in Decanter. “Extreme weather events mean Italy’s 2023 wine harvest could be up to 14% smaller than in 2022…”

In the Drinks Business, Patrick Schmitt explains why regenerative viticulture is gaining traction among major wine producers.

Jane Anson looks at how Bordeaux plans to tackle its overproduction of wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jillian Dara on the beauty of aged Sauvignon Blanc.

Maggie Hennessy on “the timeless charm of cheap Chianti” in VinePair.

Daily Wine News: VermentiNO

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-02-2023

Vermentino. (Wikimedia)

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto highlights a Vermentino from the South of France, and gets into why it can’t actually be called that on the label. “All seemed to be going fine until the just-bottled 2022 vintage, when an Italy-instigated, European Union rule took full force; it banned the use of the name Vermentino on wines from outside of Italy (except for three countries that negotiated exceptions: Australia, the U.S. and Croatia).This, by some twisted logic, is supposed to protect the names of Sardinian appellations with the “Vermentino” embedded in them: Vermentino di Gallura and Vermentino di Sardegna,” he writes. “Vermentino deserves to be more widely planted and enjoyed. Sardinian versions of the wine are different from Corsican, Ligurian and those of Napa or Continental France. The more good Vermentino that’s out there, the more its international profile will be raised.”

The central question when it comes to climate change and wine is whether we are looking at a “predictable march toward a warmer world”or “a radical rise in uncertainty arising from more extreme weather—hot and cold, wet and dry,” says Michael Summerfield in the World of Fine Wine.

Is California considering getting into domestic cork industry? “…there are whispers that wine companies in California are making moves to establish their own domestic cork production industry, with the likes of E & J Gallo rumoured to already be actively purchasing raw oak material,” reports Sarah Neish in the Drinks Business.

Elin McCoy highlights great Burgundy wines under $70 in Bloomberg.

Antonio Galloni offers his notes on new released from Coastal Tuscany in Vinous.

In the Robb Report, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen explore the importance of acidity to a wine’s flavor and agreeability.

VinePair highlights Muscadet, which it calls a “quintessential summer white wine.”

Daily Wine News: Organic Demand

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-01-2023

(Photo from Nonfiction Wine)

Is organic production becoming a prerequisite for fine wine? In the Drinks Business, Arabella Mileham looks at the rise in consumer demand for organic wines.

In the New Wine Review, Virginie Boone tells the story behind the cult California sparkling wine Ultramarine. “What seemed to light up so many of Ultramarine’s admirers wasn’t just its ability to stand next to France’s best independent sparklers, though it certainly did that. It was that Ultramarine achieved the clarity and brilliance of the best site-specific Champagnes, but used those traits to showcase its distinctively Californian attributes.”

Two years after the death of her husband, Benjamin, Ariane de Rothschild — and the couple’s daughters — is expanding the wine empire he started, reports Suzanne Mustacich in Wine Spectator. “…in the two years since, they have been moving that empire forward. They may be the least-known branch of the Rothschild family in the wine world, but they are making a mark.”

Do we need new grape varieties? A recent panel of experts at UC Davis recently discussed the question.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle goes into everything you need to know about pét-nat.

In the Wine Independent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown profiles Argot Wines.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on the ongoing fight for interference-free wine shipping by looking at two in Rhode Island and Iowa.

Bordeaux is drowning in downy mildew, reports Meininger’s.

Daily Wine News: Covered Labels

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-31-2023

In her column on Greek reds, Jancis Robinson highlights a unique challenge Greek wine faces: “Greek authorities, unlike any others I have come across, have decided that if they give any funds to a wine promotional activity, that activity has to be strictly for the country or region. Any identification of an individual wine, they have decreed, could be interpreted as promoting a brand…And apparently, when wine professionals are invited by Wines of Greece on an official trip, to the island of Santorini for example, any bottles opened for them have to be completely masked. What a logistical nightmare!”

Is Austrian sparkling wine finally on the rise? In Club Oenologique, Sophia Longhi explores the growing reputation for Austrian sekt.

Disease and structural inadequacies have put Italian wine producers on edge in the lead-up to the 2023 vintage. Davide Bortone shares his report in Wine-Searcher.

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher ponder the beauty of vacation wines in Grape Collective.

In Wine Enthusiast, Nils Bernstein offers tips for pairing wine with uni.

In Vinous, Rebecca Gibb compares recent Sancerre vintages.

In SevenFifty Daily, Emily Cappiello talks to industry experts about how to build a premium by-the-glass program that sells.