Daily Wine News: Orange, Diversified

Orange Glou in New York City.

In SevenFifty Daily, Rémy Charest has some advice for how to navigate the growing diversity of orange wine. “One reliable guidepost for determining the style of an orange wine is whether it is made from aromatic or non-aromatic grapes…With such stylistic diversity, lumping all orange wines together seems just as accurate as saying all Riesling is sweet. The way skin-macerated whites are categorized and presented should evolve to showcase style, variety and even terroir.”

Drought is already a challenge or this year’s French wine harvest, according to Vitisphere.

In Decanter, Rupert Joy reports on how Catalan producer Torres is experimenting with new innovations to tackle climate change in the vineyard.

Is Franken (Franconia) Germany’s most underrated wine region? TRINK says so.

When Gene Pierce and his partners opened Glenora Wine Cellars in 1977, it was the first winery on either side of Seneca Lake and one of just a handful in the Finger Lakes. Today the region is home to well over 100 wineries, and, as Don Cazentre reports, Pierce and partner Scott Welliver have put the 64-acre property up for sale for $10.8 million.

On JancisRobinson.com, Spanish wine specialist Ferran Centelles offers a guide to the wonders of Monastrell. (Paywall)

In VinePair, Katie Brown highlights sparkling red wines.

A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers

A couple of weeks ago I resumed something that has been a regular periodic activity of mine for more than 15 years: traveling for wine. More specifically, I embarked on my first press junket in more than 20 years to attend a wine event that I was supposed to join in April of 2020, and that, like so many events, has been postponed multiple times in the past 24 months.

Put on every year by InterLoire, the regional organization in charge of promoting the Loire Valley, Val de Loire Millésime is a convocation of journalists and members of the trade brought together to learn and experience the breadth of what the Loire Valley has to offer. This event happens in conjunction with the Concours de Vins du Val de Loire, the region’s annual wine competition.

The evening of our third day, we attended a wine tasting that was remarkable in two respects. The first was that every single wine at the tasting was worthy of attention. This was particularly notable given the nature of these large regional press events, which usually have to include wines from all of their constituents, regardless of quality or reputation.

The second thing that made this tasting notable was that it was on a boat.

It turns out that the second fact was responsible for the first. The tasting wasn’t just on any boat, it was on BarcoVino, the floating wine bar in Angers, France that is my new favorite wine bar in the world. And instead of simply renting out the venue, the Val de Loire Millésime organizers did something clever. They asked the owners of BarcoVino to select a bunch of wines from their (excellent) list, and then they invited all those producers to come pour their wines for us.

The result was a near-perfect event for wine geeks like me. Gorgeous setting on the river (with the Angers cathedral and old city walls rising up to catch the evening light), fabulous wines made by small, thoughtful producers, and great food in the form of charcuterie, cheeses, bread, and other small snacks prepared by BarcoVino.

A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers

If you ever find yourself within striking distance of Angers, I highly recommend a stop at BarcoVino for a few hours of serious drinking tasting.

In the meantime, here are the wines we tasted that evening and what I thought of them.

Tasting Notes

Sparkling and White Wines
A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers

2020 Domaine Vincendeau “Loire Gold” Crémant De Loire, Loire Valley, France
Pale gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of nutty herbs and wet chalkboard. In the mouth, the wine is deeply stony, with flvors of citrus pith, herbs and a touch of lemongrass all borne on a soft mousse. Excellent acidity. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $36. click to buy.

2018 Domaine Vincendeau “Le Carré Du Puits” Anjou Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of poached pear and dried herbs. In the mouth, flavors of baked apple and quince have a distinctly tannic grip to them and a deep stony underbelly. Notes of herbs linger in the finish. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $??

2018 Domaine Les Grandes Vignes “La Varenne De Combre” Anjou Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of smoky herbs and roasted nuts. In the mouth, gorgeously bright saline flavors of lemon and grapefruit mix with a flinty quality. Fantastically juicy with acidity and stony minerality. Delicious. Spends one year on its fine lees in an amphora. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 9.5. Cost: $64. click to buy.

2020 Les Sables Verts “Les Rouères” Saumur Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Pale blonde in color, this wine smells of bright quince and lemon aromas. In the mouth, incredibly juicy flavors of lemon pith, membrillo, and grapefruit burst on the palate with a hint of salinty and fantastically bright acidity. Lovely crackling minerality. 100% Chenin Blanc ages for 12 months in an old oak foudre. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $??

2021 Mathieu Cosme “Le Facteur Su’L Vélo” Vouvray, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Near colorless in the glass, this wine smells of wet stone and lemon pith. In the mouth, lemon pith, wet stones, grpefruit, and pear flavors have a nice hint of salinity and a dash of peach aromatics. Excellent acidity and depth. Delicious. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 9. Cost: $20. click to buy.

2020 Mathieu Cosme “Le Facteur Su’L Vélo” Vouvray, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of wet stone, flowers and lemon pith. In the mouth, wonderfully saline flavors of lemon pith grapefruit and Asian pear have a faint tannic grip. Excellent acidity and minerality. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $20. click to buy.

A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers

2019 Mathieu Cosme “Le Facteur Su’l Vélo – Bénasse” Vouvray, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flower, citrus pith, and vanilla. In the mouth, vanilla and citrus flavors mix with pear and a hint of lemongrass as the wine flows silkily across the palate but with a nice stony underbelly. Great acidity. Grown on limestone soils. Spends 12 months in oak. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 9. Cost: $??

2019 Terra Vita Vinum “Grandes Rogeries” Anjou Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of smoky lemongrass and citrus pith. In the mouth, the wine is positively explosive with flinty lemon pith, grapefruit, and a crackling, crystalline saline quality that is positively mouthwatering. Incredible acidity and deeply stony depths are accompanied by a light tannic grip on the palate. Grown biodynamically on rhyolite soils, this single plot of grapes ages for 18 months in a combination of barrels and amphorae. Only some of the juice goes through malolactic conversion. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: between 9.5 and 10. Cost: $34.

2020 Domaine Ogereau “Saint Lambert” Coteaux du Layon St Lambert, Anjou, Loire Valley, France
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of honey and white flowers. In the mouth, honey, asian pear, and white flowers have a clean, bright mineral quality to them. This wine tastes basically dry, though the aromatics let you know in the end that it’s a little sweet. Made from a selection of lightly botrytized fruit. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 9. Cost: $??

2020 Domaine Ogereau “Bonnes Blanches” Anjou Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Palest gold in color, this wine smells of quince, flowers and vanilla. In the mouth, the wine has a round fullness, with flavors of vanilla, quince, grapefruit, and citrus pith. Very good acidity and a light tannic grip. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $??

2019 Domaine Aux Moines Roche Aux Moines, Savennières, Anjou, Loire Valley, France
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of bruised apples and herbs. In the mouth, savory yellow herbs mix with apple and pear flavors with a decent acidity and nice clean minerality. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $38. click to buy.

2021 Domaine Arnaud Lambert “BrézéClos De Midi” Samur Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Pale blonde in color, this wine smells of vanilla cream and pear. In the mouth, that creamy sensation contninues with lemon puth, grapefruit, and pear flavors. Excellent acidity and brightness. Made without any added sulfur. Spends 6 months in tank. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 9. Cost: $30.

2021 Manoir de la Tête Rouge Tête D’Ange Saumur Blanc, Loire Valley, France
Pale blonde in color, this wine smells of apples and pears. In the mouth, bright pear, apple and lemon pith flavors have a nice snap thanks to good acidity. Somewhat straightforward, but good flavors. 100% Chenin Blanc. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $23. click to buy.

Red Wines
A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers

2019 Domaine Arnaud Lambert “Clos Tue Loup” Saumur Rouge, Loire Valley, France
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of earth, plums and wet leaves. In the mouth, soft, plushy tannins wrap around a core of plum, cherry and earth that has the bright sour tinge of plum skin. Notes of dried flowers and the freshness of green herbs linger in the finish. Juicy acidity. Very tasty. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: around 9. Cost: $39. click to buy.

2018 Manoir de la Tête Rouge “Enchantoir” Saumur Puy Notre Dame Rouge, Saumur, Loire Valley, France
A medium hazy garnet in color, this wine smells of plum and dried flowers. In the mouth, there’s a rustic honesty to this wine, whose fleecy tannins wrap around a plummy core of earth and plum skin. Made from vines planted in 1959, and ages for 12 months in amphorae with no added sulfur before bottling. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $38. click to buy.

2020 Les Sables Verts “Les Poyeux” Saumur-Champigny, Saumur, Loire Valley, France
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of nut skin, spices, plum and dried flowers. In the mouth, the wine has great freshness even as fleecy tannins wrap around a core of plum, dried flowers, herbs, and the bright tang of plum skin. Grown on clay studded with limestone. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $??

2019 Domaine Grosbois “Clos Du Noyer” Chinon, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Medium purple in the glass, this wine smells of dried flowers, plums and herbs. In the mouth, the wine is incredibly smooth and supple, with powdery tannins that wrap around plum and earth and dried herbs. Dried flowers and herbs linger in the finish but the wine has a great stony, mineral depth to it that is fantastic. Excellent acidity and length. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: around 9. Cost: $52. click to buy.

2020 Domaine Grosbois “Gabare” Chinon, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of earth, plum, and plum skin. In the mouth, cherry plum, and nut skin flavors are buffed by leathery tannins and scented of green herbs. Very good acidity. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $??

2018 Domaine Amirault “Le Fondis” Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of herbs, dried flowers and plums. In the mouth, flavors of plum and earth are nestled into smooth, velvety tannins, and there’s a slight saline quality to the wine. Made from 63 year-old vines grown in deep gravelly soils cut into terraces, this wine undergoes carbonic macertion in old barrels, which are rotated like a rotofermenter. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $??

2020 Domaine Amirault “Ferme Des Fontaines” Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Touraine, Loire Valley, France
Medium to dark garent in the glass, this wine smells of plum and earth. In the mouth, juicy plum and plum skin flavors mix with nuttier more herbal notes as soft tannins caress the edges of the palate. Great acidity and length, and a lovely stony depth. Aged in concrete tanks buried in the earth for 9 months. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: around 9. Cost: $??

2017 Domaine Les Grandes Vignes “Les Cocainelles Village” Anjou Rouge, Loire Valley, France
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of earth, plum, and wet leaves. In the mouth, earthy flavors of dried flowers, dried herbs and plum have a nice acidity and quite savory depth. Destemmed and spends one year in oak. 100% Cabernet Franc. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $??

2020 Terra Vita Vinum “Chant De La Pierre” Anjou Rouge, Loire Valley, France
Light to medium garnet in color, this wine smells of dried flowers and mulberries. In the mouth, flavors of blood oranges, raspberry and sour cherry are dusted with faint powdery tannins and notes of dried herbs linger in the finish. Great acidity and length. Grown on schist and quartz. Score: around 9. Cost: $??

The post A Boatload of Flavor: Tasting Some Smaller Loire Producers appeared first on Vinography.

How Flashy is American Wine?

A slowly growing number of American winemakers are relying on the winemaking equivalent of a secret weapon. It doesn’t feature prominently in most winery tours as it doesn’t exactly fit in with the romance of oak barrels and sweeping vineyard vistas. In fact, it usually requires its own building with a natural gas line, plumbing and, occasionally, a separate insurance policy. But from dealing with smoke taint, to handling some adverse effects of climate volatility, to shaping the flavours and textures of high-scoring wines, a once-esoteric European winemaking technology called flash détente (as it was named by the French) increasingly has a role as an indispensable tool for some winemakers.

A combination of thermovinification and flash evaporation, flash détente involves the rapid heating of grape must or juice to between 175 and 190 °F (79–88 °C) and then moving it into a vacuum chamber. When the hot must enters a vacuum, the cellular structures of the grape skins and pulp burst open, in the same way they might if they were brought to the boil. But because this happens in a vacuum, the instantaneous evaporation of water cools everything down, allowing the extraction of colour and flavour compounds that you could ordinarily get only by cooking the fruit, which would result in much less desirable flavours.

The evaporation and capture of water from this process produces three critical outcomes that matter to winemakers: a concentration of the processed must or juice (usually the equivalent of around 2 Brix in sugar accumulation), the removal of a wide array of unwanted volatile compounds (including pyrazines, various aerosols and some elements of smoke taint, all of which have conveniently low boiling points and end up in the captured steam), and the effective pasteurisation or denaturing of moulds, enzymes or other sources of grape spoilage.

Continue reading this article on JancisRobinson.Com

This article is my monthly column at JancisRobinson.Com, Alder on America, and is usually available only to subscribers of her website. If you’re not familiar with the site, I urge you to give it a try. It’s only £8.50 a month or £85 per year ($11/mo or $111 a year for you Americans) and well worth the cost, especially considering you basically get free, searchable access to the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and maps from the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs. Click here to sign up.

Image courtesy of Barry Gnekow.

The post How Flashy is American Wine? appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: What’s In a Name?

Syrah. (Flickr, McD22.)

In Club Oenologique, Oz Clarke draws back the curtain on the history—and mystery—behind a grape variety with two names and a thousand different personalities. “One sounds like a wine-tasting note, the other a call to arms. We’re not talking about the same thing here. Well, yes, we are. We’re talking one grape variety: Syrah in France; Shiraz in Australia.”

In TRINK, Matthias Neske explores the work of researchers and vintners working to return historic grape varieties to Germany’s vineyards.

New York’s Long Island AVA is now approaching its 50th anniversary. In Decanter, Charles Curtis provides an overview of the region. (paywall)

Also in Decanter, Chris Wilson surveys the world of celebrity wines to see how involved the celebrities are in the winemaking process and whether the wines themselves are any good.

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone considers the importance of biochar, a fine-grained charcoal and ancient technique used to cultivate healthy soils.

In the Drop, Jeff Siegel profiles David Parker, who’s on a mission to hunt and sell the rarest wines in the world.

Once dismissed as a cheap ticket to an epic hangover, sangria has become an unlikely showcase for bartender creativity, reports Kara Newman in PUNCH.

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 5/15/22

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren’t Flipboard inclined, here’s everything I’ve strained out of the wine-related muck for the week.

From the Land of Bold Reds: 10 Superb Spanish Whites
Helluva lineup.

Rare Wines and the Man Who Hunts Them
I wonder what that German wine from 1727 tastes like…?

Transcending Our Binary Bonds
Good vs. bad vs….

Seeing clearly – alternative packaging
Jancis on LVMH’s new bottles.

Wine and Inflation: Will the Rising Tide Lift Wine’s Boat?
More questions than answers about why wine prices haven’t done the same as other goods.

The Myth Of Aristocracy
Oh, those classifications.

Ukrainian Cyberwarfare Targets Russian Wine Market
Hackers mess with distribution.

The Ancient Technique That Could Save a Vineyard from Ruin
A Biochar seminar.

Why I’ll always love a wine bar
Who doesn’t love “an old school drinking den?”

Colombia for wine lovers
On the bucket list.

Cheers to freedom: The drinks that embody one man’s fighting spirit
A refugee’s wine project.

What Does a Wine Consultant Do (And How Can You Become One)?
Same answer for both: drink a lot of wine.

Edmond de Rothschild Heritage purchases Central Otago winery Akarua
High profile M&A.

‘We Are All Part of the Same Cycle’: Winemakers Embrace Agroforestry Amid Climate Change
Adding geese. But don’t call it quackery.

Sonoma’s Battle for the Vineyard Workers
Who gets to represent the unrepresented?

Is Sicily the Underrated Wine Capital of the World?
Hard to say it’s underrated now…

Shining a Light on South African Wine
An interview with WOSA.

Turns Out a Ponzi Scheme Involving Rare Wine Bottles Is Still a Ponzi Scheme
Alas, far too common.

DO Penedès announces the first “Vi de Mas” wines
Yet one more thing for MS and MW students to memorize.

Making of a 100-Point Wine: A Barolo of Rare Elegance and Energy
Believe the hype, says Kerin O’Keefe.

The port house seeking out rare and hidden liquid to sell in perfume bottles
But is it still wine if you spray it out of a mister into your mouth?

Why the wines of Alsace shine so brightly
Barely scratching the surface.

Are Sheep a Crucial Ingredient for Vineyards and Ecosystems?
Eric Asimov on a pioneer of regenerative agriculture.

‘No longer hidden figures’: Association of African American Vintners celebrates 20th anniversary
Worth celebrating.

Devil’s Advocate – In Praise of Pink
I think rosé’s “dismissal” is a little overstated here.

Syrah or Shiraz: which camp are you in?
An excerpt from Oz Clarke’s new book. Call it a love letter.

California researchers say there’s a better way to detect wine ‘smoke taint’ from wildfires
Measuring phenols rather than precursors.

California North Coast wine grape season off to wild-weather start amid frost, water concerns
One heck of a ride.

Capitalist Kevin and Doomsday Dan
Robert Camuto meets…

How to Navigate the Growing Diversity of Orange Wine
It’s a wide, wide orange world.

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 5/15/22 appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: Regenerative Methods

Sheep grazing in a vineyard. (Flickr: Stefano Lubiana)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores the role of sheep (and other animals) in vineyards and ecosystems, and looks at how winemakers are starting to embrace regenerative agriculture. “Because wine is so often a product that heightens people’s awareness of agriculture, it can stimulate interest in the possibilities of regenerative agriculture as a tool to fight climate change and build more diverse ecosystems.”

Meininger has returned to the Ahr wine region nine months after the flood. Although piles of rubble still incite anger, sleeves are rolled up and the focus is firmly on the future. Simon Werner reports what he found there.

More then 4,200 bottles from Prince Robert of Luxembourg, owner of Bordeaux first growth Château Haut-Brion, his family and friends were put on sale at Sotheby’s in New York over th weekend. Elin McCoy has the details in Bloomberg.

In Wine Enthusiast, Emily Saladino shares how she learned to embrace the science of wine. “There are all sorts of ways in, and none more legitimate than the other. Plus, wine provides a lens through which you can explore everything from history to geopolitics to culture to chemistry.”

Fitou and Corbières are set to leave the Languedoc wine trade body over an ongoing spat, reports Wine-Searcher.

Jancis Robinson explores the many wineries and companies seeking out alternative wine packaging options.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague finds great value and Pinot Noir in California’s Anderson Valley.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks to Nicolas Ottin of Ottin Elio about the family farm and the evolution of the Valle d’Aosta.