Daily Wine News: Still Super?

For lovers of Italian fine wine, the names Ornellaia, Sassicaia, Tignanello are more than familiar. But do these Super-Tuscan wines still live up to their billing? In Club Oenologique, Susan Hulme tastes back through the decades.

In Wine-Searcher, Jitka Auermüllerová reports on a growing movement to promote ungrafted vines and goes searching for answers to some important questions. “Do ungrafted vineyards share any common attributes and what is their role in modern viticulture and wine production? Are these vineyards at risk and should they be protected as an international cultural artefact? Can we benefit from their unique features while looking for solutions for current issues in viticulture, such as mortality due to virus infection or climate change? Can we ever move away from the widespread use of rootstocks on a larger scale or does phylloxera still represent too much of a risk? And finally, does wine of ungrafted vine origin taste any better?”

In Food & Wine, I delve into carbonic maceration in wines—including white wines.

Direct-to-consumer online wine club Winc has filed for bankruptcy just over a year after after the company’s initial public offering, reports the Drinks Business.

Lots of NBA stars have launched their own wineries. The Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague tasted them all to find out which ones are worth buying.

In the Buyer, Linda Galloway looks at all Tokaj has to offer.

Grape Collective chats with Karen MacNeil about the recent release of the third edition of The Wine Bible, mansplaining, pleasure and more.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna-Christina Cabrales explores grower Champagne.

Daily Wine News: The Rise of White Wine

Red wines might dominate the global wine market, but the thirst for white wine is growing. Kathleen Wilcox takes a look at the trends in Wine-Searcher. “While wine sales as a whole have gone down 5.2 percent, white wine sales have declined by 3.4 percent. Growth in the white wine category, on paper, seems to be across the board, with some signs of premiumization on the horizon.”

Napa Valley is mourning the loss of Margaret Duckhorn. She was 82. Read tributes to the woman who played a pivotal role in establishing Merlot as one of North America’s top varietal wines in the San Francisco Chronicle and Decanter.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how, after being charged with glamorizing incarceration, the Prisoner Wine Co. is working to reform its problematic imagery. But is it enough?

On JancisRobinson.com, Tamlyn Currin pens an ode to Madeira.

Known primarily for its agriculture and the picturesque, expat-filled city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s Guanajuato region is becoming one of the country’s most sought-after wine destinations, says Angelika Pokovba in VinePair.

In Rotary Magazine, Joseph Derr reports on how the Rotary Club in Washington is turning recycled wine bottles into sand.

Wine Spectator reviews the 2022 crop of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Daily Wine News: Hope for Hybrids

Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape.

Hybrid vines have a checkered past, respected for their cold-hardiness and disease resistance, but suspected of being less natural and giving inferior wines. Now, for many reasons—from climate change and concerns over sustainability, to scientific advances and a more open-minded new generation of producers and consumers—they have a much brighter future. Jim Clarke explains in the World of Fine Wine.

In the Napa Valley Register, Danielle Wilde reports on the efforts of various Napa Valley individuals and organizations working to promote diversity in the wine industry.

Wine pros find that some bottles play well in restaurants while others are an easy sell for drinking at home. Wall Street Journal wine columnist Lettie Teague considers how this stark divide may be limiting our drinking pleasure.

In TRINK, Simon J. Woolf looks at how climate change is pushing Wachau, Austria’s top winegrowing region, to react—and fast.

The far southwestern tip of Australia makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. Cabernet and Chardonnay made the region’s name, but does the future lie in Rhône Valley varieties? Jancis Robinson thinks that could become the case.

“Antinori, one of the top names in Italian wine, has added a key vineyard asset to its Prunotto winery in Piedmont, purchasing 8.4 acres in the Cerretta MGA (Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva—Piedmont’s system of classified vinegrowing places) of Serralunga d’Alba for $9 million. The deal, signed on November 7, increases Prunotto’s estate-owned vineyards and parcels under long-term lease to 193 acres, including 32 acres in Barolo and 13 acres in Barbaresco,” reports Wine Spectator.

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning pays a visit to Joško Gravner’s winery in Friuli.

Daily Wine News: Invisible Disabilities in the Wine Industry

In SevenFifty Daily, Amy Bess Cook, who has epilepsy, shares what it’s like to work in a winery with an invisible disability—and examines what the industry can do to create a more welcoming workplace. “Even the most supportive manager cannot compensate for a broken winery workplace culture—one that moves at such an unapologetically lightning pace that it fails to consider the potential contributions of those who work differently…The wine business as a whole can do far more to cultivate curiosity and acceptance and to create a more welcoming and diverse workplace. We can begin by listening to people with disabilities, invisible and otherwise.”

In TRINK, Paula Redes Sidore explores the German concept of furztrocken, used to describe a wine that is “drier than bone dry.” “While colloquially sometimes used to describe agriculture, furztrocken is more commonly considered a gustatory evaluation of anything from schnitzel to cake. Furztrocken’s home has regional roots. In this case, south of Germany’s equivalent of the Mason-Dixon line, the Rhine River, where it crosses through the cities of Frankfurt and the great wine capital of Mainz. But furztrocken wines exist throughout Germany. Unlike most everything else in Germany, furztrocken is not a number. It’s a state of mind.”

In Meininger’s, Becca Yeamans-Irwin takes a scientific look at the credibility of health claims that are made about wine, and the possible impact of a changing climate.

Australian winemakers are lobbying to maintain access to the Prosecco name amid EU talks, reports Decanter.

Four ‘climats’ within the Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Vinzelles appellations in Burgundy’s Mâcon region are set to be designated premier cru starting with the 2024 vintage, according to Panos Kakaviatos in Decanter.

Neal Martin delves into Burgundy’s 2018 vintage in Vinous. “The 2018 vintage was the first in the trio of unseasonably hot vintages that introduced a new paradigm, a new normal. It posed a conundrum for winemakers: try to maintain some semblance of their signature style or acquiesce to the meteorological conditions that Mother Nature sets out, uphold the moral duty of translating the season into bottle?”

Daily Wine News: Vintages in Cava

In SevenFifty Daily, Caitlin A. Miller reports on how regulatory and climatic changes are putting vintage at the forefront of Cava production. “In light of this confluence of events, vintage may soon become a driving factor in both the style and quality of Cava, making the landscape—and the wines—more complex. As most buyers already do with Champagne, is it time to consider vintage when buying Cava?”

Just as New Zealand has spent years trying to push a more diverse palette of wines beyond Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, so the question often posed to Argentina’s wine industry is this: after Malbec, what’s next? Richard Woodard delves into the diversity of Argentinian wine in the Drinks Business.

When winemaker Jonathan Pay couldn’t make his wine business work in the Bay Area, he look to France, where he found a much more affordable vineyard. Esther Mobley shares his story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Provence is trialing new varieties in the face of climate change, reports Vitisphere. Some of those grapes include Tempranillo, Touring Nacional, Pinotage, Grenache Gris, and 13 Cinsaut clones.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov ponders what makes a good wine bar. “Good wine bars are informal neighborhood gathering places rather than destinations, with occasional exceptions, like when a wine list is so deep that it draws in the trophy and rare bottle hunters. But mostly, they are places to drop in near one’s home. They might take some reservations, but they always have room for walk-ins.”

On his blog, Alfonso Cevola considers the shifts and threats that could be headed toward Italian wine.

In the Financial Times, Jancis Robinson shares her picks for the best wines for Christmas.

Daily Wine News: Scores & More

Wineries love rave reviews and appellation upgrades, but do they really make cents? In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox weighs wine scores against price. “How a bottle of wine is priced today, and how it can be priced tomorrow, is, as it turns out, highly dependent on reviews, geographic and quality qualifiers.”

In the Buyer, Richard Siddle looks at how the ramifications of Covid, problems in the supply chain and seemingly quarterly increases in dry good, packaging and bottling costs, along with a global shortage in glass bottles has meant price increases that are affecting every segment of the wine industry, from winemakers to retailers and consumers.

Many Bay Area wineries are now enforcing strict adults-only policies, a shift that came out of the pandemic. Jess Lander looks at the reasons why wineries are less kid-friendly than ever in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Why is it that Armenian wine is just now starting to turn heads?” asks Breanna Wilson in Forbes. “There is a myriad of ways to answer this, but the short answer boils down to the up-and-coming boutique wineries that are pushing the limits of what wine means to a country like Armenia. Through the eyes and hearts of these winemakers, new light is being shown on the indigenous grape varieties in the country, and their significance to the history of winemaking.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre shares a list of the best wine books he ready this year.

Eric Asimov highlights 11 great wine bars around New York City in the New York Times.

Jessica Fields explains what a “zero-zero” wine is in VinePair.

Daily Wine News: Total Wine Tips

“It’s Thanksgiving week. Your host is taking care of the turkey and mashed potatoes, but they’ve asked you to bring some wine. You frantically run to Total Wine & More…In your panicked state, how are you to choose the right wine for Thanksgiving?” Esther Mobley offers tips in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Red wine consumption in France has dropped by a third in the past 10 years, according to a new report.

In Club Oenologique, Essi Avellan explores blanc de blancs around the world. “Beyond Champagne, just as the world’s best sparkling wines have all taken inspiration from the region – be it by adapting the traditional method or using the classic Champagne varieties – so, too, are producers now harnessing the blanc de blancs formula to build a global recognition for the style.”

Natural wine is a rare corner of the wine world that excites younger drinkers. The fine wine world should do all it can to build on this interest, argues David Schildknecht in the World of Fine Wine.

The pandemic exacerbated problems plaguing beverage alcohol warehouses, especially those around major ports. Are there any solutions in sight? Andrew Kaplan delves into the problem in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores how winemaker Luca Paparelli in Southern Italy’s Caserta produces a sparkling treasure from monster vines that grow up into tall trees.

Daily Wine News: Wine During War

Ukrainian wine ambassador Jenia Nikolaichuk reports on how the ongoing wine is affecting Ukraine’s wine industry. “Within and outside of Ukraine, the demand for quality Ukrainian wines has grown. But this is unfortunately countered by the fact that countless wine stocks were lost due to destroyed or heavily-damaged warehouses and infrastructure…Winemakers continue to launch new products and invest in equipment despite the war.”

Over a period of two years, from 2016 to 2019, 131 tanker trucks hauled the equivalent of 380,000 cases of cheap Spanish wine north over the border into France, where a cohort of five wine professionals are charged with passing it off as more expensive French wine, mainly Bordeaux appellations including pricey Margaux, St.-Julien and Pomerol. In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports on the recent result trial.

Champagne, a region not always known for its environmental sensitivity, is at last embracing sustainable practices, with a wide range of high-quality organic and biodynamic wines now available, says Essi Avellan in the World of Fine Wine.

In the wake of a devastating flood in the Air last year, Wine-Searcher looks at how the small German wine region is recovering.

In InsideHook, Steven A. Schiff explores the versatility of Languedoc wines.

In Forbes, Lana Bortolot recommends global wines for Thanksgiving.

In Paste Magazine, Bailey McAlister highlights Indigenous-owned wineries to try during Native American Heritage Month.

Daily Wine News: Italian Riesling

Riesling.

A new generation of winemakers in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese is crafting some of the most prominent expressions of Italian Riesling, reports Jaclyn DeGiorgio in SevenFifty Daily.

Napa stopped a ‘theme park-size’ winery from being built. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander explains what it means for the region’s future.

CNN Travel explores the wines of Turkey, which have a history that goes back around 7,000 years, and where winemakers are thriving in the revival of a deeply rooted craft.

In the Drinks Business, Patrick Schmitt looks at what younger consumers want from wine, and why they are drinking less, but spending more than their parent’s generation.

Tamyln Currin offers some Thanksgiving wine recommendations on JancisRobinson.com.

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen delve into cellar-worth wines from South America in the Robb Report.

In Forbes, Irene S. Levine profiles Claudia and Giulia Benazzoli, two sisters helping to redefine Bardolino wines.

Daily Wine News: Aged Italian Whites

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores winemaker Roberto di Meo’s aged white wines from Campania’s Irpinia region. “Releasing aged Italian whites is a radical idea—especially to Italians. Doing it in Italy’s South, where whites have customarily been drunk young and fresh within the year, is close to heresy.”

“Are there parallels between German and Austrian wines, small-scale farming, and the queer community? If so, the most essential may be a shared need for safe space,” writes Valerie Kathawala in TRINK. “Schmetterling, a queer-forward natural wine and vinyl shop that opened this summer in rural Vermont, aims to offer just that.”

Good Fruit Grower looks at the insights emerging from a carbon-modeling project run by the nonprofit California Land Stewardship Institute, in which California grape growers (such as Silver Oak) participate in a regenerative agriculture pilot project.

In Vinous, Eric Guido explores the “unrealized potential of Marche,” the region located in the easter part of Italy between the Adriatic Sea and Apennine Mountains.

Oregon’s King Estate Winery has acquired longtime vineyard partner Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards. The two wineries have been friends, collaborators and vineyard partners since King Estate first purchased fruit from Pfeiffer in 1992.

In the Robb Report, Mike DeSimon and Jeff Jenssen share their Thanksgiving wine recommendations.

Caroline Pardilla also shares some go-to Turkey Day wines in Imbibe Magazine.