Daily Wine News: Paul Draper Retiring

Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov announces that Paul Draper, who has been winemaker and chief executive at Ridge Vineyards for more than 45 years, is retiring. “Since Mr. Draper took charge of the winemaking at Ridge in 1969, the quality and style of Monte Bello has been remarkably consistent, even as prevailing wine styles shifted radically in the 1990s.”

Rachel Signer talks with several beverage directors about rosé’s ability to age in Wine & Spirits Magazine. “If a producer approaches rosé with the same careful winemaking and farming as their white or red wine—rather than treating it as a byproduct—why wouldn’t it age just as well?”

Andrea Frost considers the representations of gender in wine language on Tim Atkin’s site.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth checks in at Long Island’s Raphael winery, where winemaker Anthony Nappa is overseeing new plantings and graftings.

W. Blake Gray favorably reviews The Spirituality of Wine by Gisela H. Kreglinger.

What’s the fastest way to chill wine? Wine Folly tests the many different methods to find out.

Michigan Radio considers whether there’s a future for wine made in Detroit.

Adam Morganstern breaks down 11 common additives and techniques used by some winemakers in Eater.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

There was so much that I didn’t want to like about Sonoma’s storied Williams Seylem.

  • The too-cool-for-school exclusivity of their mailing list.
  • The imposing fortress-like facade of their “barrel-evoking” tasting room and its “wall of bottles.”
  • The fact that they used terms like “barrel-evoking.”
  • That current owners John and Kathe Dyson were former mailing list members (how cute!).
  • That the label typeface they use was so old that it had to be recreated from scratch when their printing went digital.
  • The way that their wines get collectors all google-eyed, shooting prices up on the secondary market.
  • The friggin’ goats.
Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases) Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

The problem with trying to be a Williams Seylem hater, though, is that when it comes to their affable, knowledgeable staff, and their consistently excellent wines, there’s just not enough bad there to hate…

And so, just like that, after sampling the first wine in the lineup, my stupid little agenda during my tasting room visit was all blown to hell.

John Dyson has stated that, after purchasing Williams Seylem from its original owners in 1997, “I’ve never worked harder to change nothing.” The bottom line is that Williams Seylem formula (their mission statement: “Make the Best Wines, from the Best Grapes, from the Best Growers”) isn’t broken. It works for just about everyone with the arguable exception of budget-minded wine lovers, who are unlikely to encounter the wines without some effort (and even more cash outlay).

By the numbers, Williams Seylem now produces about 30,000 cases across 36 wines, using fewer than 10 grape varieties, farming 80 acres on 4 estate vineyards and utilizing 19 sources of purchased fruit. That’s a little bit on the complicated side of things, from a winemaking perspective, but I’ve yet to really encounter an example of their wines where things aren’t working. Well. Usually very, very well.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2014 Williams Seylem Limestone Ridge at Vista Verde Vineyard Chenin Blanc (San Benito County, $35)

If you didn’t expect a Chenin to kick off the tasting notes for a WS visit, that’s understandable, and it’s by design; I didn’t expect to kick off my tasting there with a Chenin, either. But I’m happy that they decided to lead with this perky little number for my visit. The soils at Limestone Ridge are, predictably, limestone, and the wine sees some time in concrete eggs and about eleven months on the lees. With all of its crisp verve, it needs some of that creaminess. Tropical fruits, and flowers on the nose, but the mineral, juicy, focused texture steals the show here.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2013 Williams Seylem Unoaked Chardonnay (Russian River Valley, $40)

For being unoaked, this Chard isn’t lacking in rich, leesy yeastiness. It’s also not lacking in citrus, yellow apple fruit, white floral aromas, or Dr.-No-levels of laser-like acidity. The wine finishes with a hint of toastiness that’s actually welcome because of how lovely it is. If you like your Chablis, this is one of the closest U.S.-based impersonations that you’re likely to find.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2013 Williams Seylem Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley, $70)

White flowers, white peaches, and white-hot-bright purity. This is intense in its youthfulness, balancing opaque power with transparent energy. I’m not really sure what that means, either, I just know that i wanted to sit for a good long while in its lemon-rind-filled gaze.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2013 Williams Seylem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma County, $60)

My least fave of the lineup that I tasted at WS, but only because it was so closed off, young, and reticient right now. There are dark cherry fruit, leather, earth, and tea aromas working there way out of this, however, and in the mouth it’s substantial, structured, and grippy. Give it time, people, give it time…

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2013 Williams Seylem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, $70)

Maybe if a cadre of super-powerful ninjas lived next door to you would you have neighbors that rival the grapes that made this chewy, spicy, leathery, and deeply aromatic Pinot. Sweet dark plums, violets, and structure for days.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2012 Williams Seylem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley, $70)

Cola? Earth? Deep, dark, plum and berry fruits and notable spice? Yeah, you’d expect that from really good Anderson Pinot. What you might not expect is how lithe this wine feels on the tongue, rather than coming up all powerhouse on you like so many AV Pinots. Overall, excellent and enticing; a heavyweight, but one that can move with deceptive rapidity.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2012 Williams Seylem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma County, $80)

Daaaaaaaammmmnnnnn. Red plums, funky earth, perfumed florals… this is serious, seriously delicious stuff. The mouthfeel is just as gorgeous, fantastic, and take-no-prisoners as the nose; structured, with great scaffolding for aging, both in tannic framework and lively acids.

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)

Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases)2013 Williams Seylem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River Valley, $60)

Quite a fun way to end things. While this is, for sure, an intellectual take on Sonoma Zin, there isn’t so much overthinking going here as to detract from its potential sexiness. Juicy black plums, tea leaf, spice, cherries, and even some bergamot… who’d have thought this 93-year-old vineyard could look so hot?

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Working Hard To Change Nothing (Williams Selyem Recent Releases) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Marais adds cafe | New Michigan wine tasting room | Al fresco dinner | Bake! marks first decade – Crain’s Detroit Business


Crain's Detroit Business

Marais adds cafe | New Michigan wine tasting room | Al fresco dinner | Bake! marks first decade
Crain's Detroit Business
The tasting room will offer wine tasting flights paired with small bites, plus take-home wine sales by the bottle. The facility also carries various Michigan-made snacks and products and will host events like wine education workshops, winemaker-led ...

I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar of Kanonkop, South Africa

Episode 371 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently.

We are at episode 371! Sort of can't believe it, it seems like just yesterday we were at 218 or something. But anyway, 371 is a bit of a departure because it goes full on 'TAGE MAHAL, as in Pinotage. I do not believe the word "Pinotage" has ever been uttered on IDTT before, but when we do something, we do it up big, and this was pretty much a full 40 minutes on Pinotage, with 5 minutes spent on hello, farewell, and how are you?: that sort of thing. As well as 5 minutes on an AMAZING Erin Scala recounting of how the fight against scurvy led to the foundations of South African wine. Really interesting, and well done by Erin. Should have mentioned that this interview is with Abrie Beeslaar, the winemaker at Kanonkop in the Stellenbosch, as well as for his own Beeslaar label.

Pinotage has a love it or hate it reputation, like a Marmite for the wine world. But Abrie Beeslaar wants you to know that if you have hated Pinotage in the past, you should probably blame the vintner, not the grape variety. Abrie, who specializes in Pinotage at Kanonkop, and has received numerous accolades for his achievements with the variety, feels that Pinotage is mighty particular. Basically, Pinotage is that cat whose fur you have to stroke in just the right way, or else it pees on your leg. As nobody like a sodden leg, it is probably best to listen to Abrie on this matter, and indeed he has a lot to tell you. From the best soil type for the vineyard, to the kind of rootstock, to the handling of the vines and the timing of harvest, this is an interview that revels in the details. Want to be a Pinotage geek? This is your opportunity to go deep on the grape variety. You may not ever pair Pinotage with Marmite again.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes, or NEW! stream it from in Google Play Music.

I'll Drink to That is the world's most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine



Police search for vintage Australian wine collection worth $5million after it vanished – Daily Mail


Daily Mail

Police search for vintage Australian wine collection worth $5million after it vanished
Daily Mail
Among the missing wines, believed to have been stolen, are bottles of prestigious Australian wines like Penfolds Grange, varieties of Henschke, Torbreck, and Chris Ringland/Three Rivers. A New South Wales Police State Crime Command spokesperson told ...
NSW police launch search for missing $5M wine collectionsInternational Business Times AU
Mystery of the missing Grange: $5 million wine collection feared stolenThe Sydney Morning Herald
Search underway for missing Hunter Valley wine collections worth more than $5mABC Online
dailytelegraph.com.au -NSW Police Online (press release)
all 11 news articles »

Winemaker, Brewer, & Distiller Triathlon: July 13th

You’re invited to Woodinville’s Winemaker, Brewer and Distiller Triathlon on Wednesday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m. Come watch Washington’s best booze-makers suit up and make a splash at Wilmot Gateway Park—all for a good cause!

Over 300 participants—including John Bigelow of JM Cellars, Darren Devoigne of DeVoigne Cellars and John Patterson of Patterson Cellars and more—will run (3.24 miles), bike (6.72 miles) and the kayak (.5 miles) to raise money for The Goodtimes Project, an organization dedicated to creating lifelong memories for children with cancer.

Sample some of Washington’s finest wine, beer and spirits, while these makers go head to head. Enjoy eats from the Barking Frog food truck and tunes by Kalimba: The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire.