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.
The Real Threat to Wine Sales is Being Ignored
Rob McMillan says we all need to tell the government something.
Walla Walla Confronts Phylloxera
The battle continues.
Portugal’s Vintners on the Forefront of Climate Change
The Judgment of Paris demonstrated nothing, statistically speaking
Except maybe the difference between statistics and news.
Adapting the Winery Experience to Make Guests Feel Safe During COVID-19
Examples of what people are doing.
North Coast 2020 grape harvest kicks off amid coronavirus concerns
The toughest harvest, perhaps?
From an Australian optimist
After the fires.
Carmen Stevens challenges the status quo
Q&A with another super hero.
North Coast wine grape harvest begins, and outlook for smaller crop is welcomed
Because labor will be short.
Lebanon’s deeply troubled wine sector
Michael Karam: Why Lebanon, its people & its wines deserve our help
Drink More Lebanese!
What Will Our Bars Become?
About cocktails but relevant to wine.
France’s changing wine industry
Running the numbers.
Battling the Shame of the Rosé
The premise of this article is off.
Beloved Wine Industry Pioneer, Warner Henry, Passes Away at Age 82
Helluva portfolio he built.
Wine Joins the 2020 Debate Over Privilege and Justice
California Rolls Out its Toughest Vintage
The COVID vintage.
The Industry Set Itself Up for a ‘Clean Wine’ Reckoning
Erica has some salient points to make.
France Will Spend Nearly $300 Million to Save Its Wine Industry
What are they spending to rescue the restaurant industry?
Glass Half Empty: Italy, France Seek Premium Wine Output Cut as Virus Hits Sales
The economics of COVID play out.
Bringing the Space Race to the Vineyard
Arguing about data.
This summer, orange (wine) is the new pink
The Japanese are turning orange.
Restaurants in Italy are reopening ancient ‘wine windows’ used during the plague
Not sure whether I want to patronize one, or open one.
Pretty in pink: the rise of rosé
Andrew Jefford on the turnaround.
Lebanon Is Producing Excellent Mountain Wines
Drink Lebanese more!
These Black-Owned Wine Brands Are Producing Some Stellar Bottles For Summer
A shopping list, of sorts.
Covid Online Wine Boom Fizzles Out
Well, at least as online searches go. Let’s see the sales numbers.
How to repel fruit flies using wine corks
Now that’s a hack I have to try.
Judging from my repeats of certain wineries, you can see I don’t have nearly the network or name recognition of Isaac Baker. But I do enjoy flexing my wine reviewing muscles on occasion, when new books and films are in short supply, and producers are kind enough to reach out with samples.
In the Groundhog Day days of COVID-19 home life, I’ve also been thinking about the experience of the everyday. Instagram isn’t reality, and I’m usually experiencing these wines in the course of everyday life. Picture me handing a glass of these wines to my wife as she’s coming downstairs from putting our seven-month-old to bed and asking her, “What d’you think of this?” On the other hand, taking a page from Henry James, an author I’ve read quite a bit, I do believe there is something to be found worth writing about in the common, the mundane, the routine.
Anaba sent me their Spring releases recently, and here’s how I experienced them.
Anaba 2019 Rose of Grenache, Sonoma County (SRP $30)
Way past boredom, I’ve started unboxing old things from the attic and selling what I can on eBay, mostly trading cards from childhood. I’ve also been cooking up a storm, and pairing the few wines I’ve received in recent months. We drank this rose slightly chilled with soy marmalade salmon and curry roasted butternut squash and golden beets.
The first thing you’ll notice is this wine is far more orange than pink. It has a fresh, chalky nose, like wet stone after a summer shower. For some reason it brings me back to the North Fork of Long Island in summer, looking out over the water toward Connecticut. It hits me with bright acidity and the muddled chalkiness of freeze dried strawberries. My wife thought it was a bit too “alcoholy” at first, but after letting it breathe she said it got better. After an hour, in fact, it began to hit our noses with ripe peach and those candy peach rings!
Nothing to complain about with this wine. It has more body than I’ve typically encountered in rose, so it probably pairs well with heavier summer fare.
Anaba 2017 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (SRP $48)
I’d planned a special meal of seared scallops for our wedding anniversary, and picked this bottle to go with it. I poured it into two Riedels about thirty minutes beforehand. I used a portion of the bottle to deglaze the pan and make a reduction sauce, which tasted so wonderful mixed up in the roasted beets, carrots, onions, and blistered tomatoes on our plates.
Our glasses blossomed with tart strawberry, blackberry, handfuls of dirt, and star anise. This is an incredibly fragrant wine, and I was quite enthused about gulping it down.
The taste and mouthfeel were a letdown for me. The wine seemed to wash over my tongue and quickly disappear, without much in the way of discernible flavor. I expected more acidity too. I found it a bit thin, flat maybe, and lacking in that “calling me back for more” quality.
My wife, on the other hand, loved this wine. So there you go, the subjectivity of wine drinking at its finest.
Anaba 2017 Chardonnay, Carneros J McK Estate Vineyard (SRP $46)
Another night, another amazing meal prepared. This time with some local pork, and I again used the wine to make a pan sauce. This 2017 Chardonnay is golden/straw colored and full of wonderful lychee aromas, reminiscent of these Asian gummy candies I once had at Epcot. There’s also golden, super-ripe pineapple (indicating to me more sugar than tartness) and those Juicy Pear flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans.
Halfway through my meal prep, skillet in one hand and wine glass in the other, a thirty-foot limb fell off the tree in my front yard. I wasn’t sure about the wisdom of running my chainsaw after a couple glasses of wine, but fortunately I was saved by the police and emergency crew who showed up to clear the street. The tree would wait until the next day.
Returning to my wine an hour later, I enjoyed its slightly creamy mouthfeel, but would have liked a touch more acidity and staying power. Still, it had just enough of both to beckon me for another sip on this 92-degree day.
“If the post-Covid consumer is as likely to pop a can of wine as unscrew a cap or pull a cork, in front of a computer, they are ready to challenge the very concept of whether wine is a luxury or not.” In Club Oenologique, Adam Lechmere considers how the way we relate to high-end wine and spirits and will to be very different in a post-Covid world.
Cirò is at the heart of a crucial wine transformation happening right now in Calabria, according to Grape Collective’s Marco Salerno.
The pandemic-induced online wine-buying boom is fizzling out, reports Don Kavanagh in Wine-Searcher.
Houston sommelier Justin Vann shares his view of how our changing times are changing wine in Houstonia Magazine.
Antonio Galloni offers an in-depth look at the 2018 Santa Barbara vintage in Vinous.
In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider explores the beauty of wines from the proposed West Sonoma Coast AVA.
Tom Mullen delves into Lebanese wine in Forbes.
In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy offers notes on Bollinger’s “baby brother” Champagne.
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format.
They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!
- 2013 Domaine de Sainte Cecile du Parc ‘Mouton Bertoli’ Rouge (Pays de Caux): Savory, spicy meat course totally staring you down. $38 B+
- NV Villa Sandi Il Fresco Spumante Prosecco (Veneto): Refreshing fruity, playfully fun, and solidly… uhm… solid. $16 B
- 2018 Domaine Bousquet Reserva Malbec (Tupungato): All around the mulberry bush, we chased the tasty bargains… $16 B+
- 2018 Qupe Bien Nacido Vineyard ‘Y’ Block Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County): Y not, indeed, you’ve got nothing to lose here. $18 B+
- 2019 Eberle ‘Cotes-du-Robles Blanc’ (Paso Robles): The topical nuances run deep in these parts. $25 B+
- 2019 Rodney Strong Rose (Russian River Valley): Talking’ about tart cranberries… Wait, you weren’t talking about tart cranberries? Well, you will be! $20 B
- 2017 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Entering its toasty, savory phase, with fashionable flourish. $37 A-
- 2017 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): A gritty character, and one that’s still strikingly handsome. $46 A-
- 2018 Steele Wines Durell Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros): Hlding its weight together with tangy loveliness, or maybe lovely tanginess… or both… $36 A-
- Steele 2016 Sangiacomo Vineyard Green Acres Pinot Noir (Carneros): These green acres might be the place for you, if you like your Pinot on the lighter side. $36 B+
Copyright © 2020. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 10, 2020 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
“With consumers hesitant to hop flights between states or countries, many wineries have noticed an uptick in local tourism.” In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl reports on how domestic travel is proving to be a lifeline for many wineries during the pandemic.
“Can a wine really be considered clean if consumers don’t even know what’s in the bottle? Is the expectation that wine drinkers just need to take a brand’s word for it?” Mekita Rivas considers the flaws of the widespread “clean wine” marketing term in Wine Enthusiast.
In the Buyer, Lebanese journalist and wine critic Michael Karam puts last week’s explosion in Beirut into context. With Lebanon’s wine industry already dependent on international sales for its future, now is a desperate time for all the support the international wine community can spare it.
“Treading grapes by foot is a centuries-old feature of producing some of the highest-quality Ports of Portugal’s Douro Valley – but this traditional practice is the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Richard Woodard in Meininger’s.
David Morison considers France’s changing wine industry.
On JancisRobinson.com, Tim Jackson goes in search of premium Prosecco. (subscription req.)
In Vinous, Josh Raynolds explores the elegance of Oregon Pinot Noir.
Sarah Ahmed looks into the region of Vinho Verde in Decanter.