Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 9/9/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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. Owners of Virginia winery stunned after overnight thief snags almost entire grape harvest
Dastardly. Could marijuana give wine a run for its money?
More like a very slow stroll. In Their Own Words, This Is How Seven Professional Wine Writers and Critics Go About Rating a Bottle
Nice piece by Jonathan Cristaldi. Beloved California Vintner Ulises Valdez Dies at 49
A tragic loss at such an early age. Jane Anson: The wine maps making waves in Bordeaux
I love it that maps are now cool. For Pinot Noir, Put Anderson Valley Among California's Best
Eric Asimov tastes his way through the valley. ...

Vinography Images: Fresh Froth

vinography_desktop_shapes_fresh_froth.jpg Fresh Froth
SAINT-ÉMILION, FRANCE: Fresh Cabernet froths vivid ruby in a tank at Chateau Cheval Blanc. Cheval Blanc, which means "white horse" in French, is one of only four estates elevated to the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé in the classification of Saint-Émilion wine. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in the process of shooting his most recent work The Club of Nine, a visual exploration and ...

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 8/26/18

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included perhaps my favorite wine of the new portfolio at the recently rebooted Eden Rift Vineyards south of Gilroy (formerly known as Pietra Santa). Their palest of pale Pinot Gris had just enough skin contact apparently to make it interesting and give it just a hint of color. It's worth seeking out. Staying in the crisp zone, I can highly recommend the Calera Chardonnay, which offers all the things you want from a California Chardonnay without a slathering of oak. Finally, don't miss the rosé from Limerick Lane Cellars, which is one more point of proof that Rhone-style grapes really do make the best rosés. Limerick Lane offered several other wines ER-PinotGris-Estate-KO.pngfor ...

Vinography Images: Shapes in the Mist

vinography_desktop_shapes_mist_margaux.jpg Shapes in the Mist
MARGAUX, FRANCE: Morning mist lies heavy on winter-bare trees and a pond at Chateau Margaux. Margaux is one of four original Premier Grand Cru classÉ wines according to the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region, in the department of Gironde. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz ...

56th Annual Napa Wine Library Tasting: August 26, Napa

nvwl_image.jpg Dedicated wine lovers in the San Francisco Bay area get several opportunities each year to indulge their passions for wine. Large, themed tastings like the ZAP Zinfandel Festival are great opportunities to get a sense of a certain varietal and the quality of the recent vintage in California. It is quite rare, however, despite the nearness of the appellation and the saturation of wine in the Bay Area, for consumers to get the opportunity to get an in-depth or comprehensive look at the wines of Napa Valley. Perhaps it's just because Napa wines don't need much marketing help, or perhaps it's because the Napa Valley Vintners association can only put on a few major events each year, but there just isn't a real good opportunity for members of the public to survey the breadth and depth of wines from the Napa valley. Unless, that is, you happen to be a ...
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I’ll Drink to That: Burgundy Vigneron Jean-Pierre de Smet

Thumbnail image for levi_dalton_ill_drink_to_that.jpg Episode 455 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently, and features Jean-Pierre de Smet. Jean-Pierre was a co-founder and partner in Domaine de l'Arlot, the winery based in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation. Jean-Pierre retired from l'Arlot in 2007, and has since that time been helping his friend Didier Fornerol make the Domaine Didier Fornerol wines, also in France's Burgundy region. Jean-Pierre de Smet came to wine almost by chance, on a family visit to an old friend's home in Morey-Saint-Denis, and stayed with it for the rest of his adult life -- in between sailing trips around the world, headlong ski sprints down steep slopes, and bicycle tours of Europe. Jean-Pierre seems to have embraced all of his activities fully, and certainly the wines he made at Domaine de l'Arlot have been recognized as accomplished and pure. This discussion with Jean-Pierre is remarkable for the window it provides on the ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 8/19/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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 Great Wine Industry Shake-up
Not sure what the conclusion is, exactly other than, more change. 4 Ways Somms Can Stay Relevant in a Changing Industry
Short answer: build a brand. Early French wine harvest suffers from lack of workers
Anyone want to go to Alsace and help? Exclusive: Bordeaux Wins Landmark Case Against Counterfeiters in China
Very good news. What Does the World's Best Wine Taste Like?
Mark Oldman breaks it down. Andrew Jefford: Horizontal and vertical
It's about enjoying difference says Andrew. How long should we cellar our wines?
No consensus exists. Can Sancerre Be More Than Basique?
Jon Bonné ...

The Secret Grapes of the Willamette Valley

bigstock--179979535.jpg An ironic dichotomy characterizes many young wine regions around the world. Lacking the hundreds or even thousands of years worth of cultural precedent that established and then sanctioned certain grape varieties to be grown in specific places, many newer regions seek to identify their defining grape variety. The lessons of recent history make the power of such a strategy quite evident. Chile had its Carmenere. Argentina its Malbec. Marlborough its Sauvignon Blanc. But the more successful a young region is in establishing a dominant and popular grape variety, the more it tends to plant of that variety, and the less interest (or economic value) there seems to be in trying other grape varieties. Despite clear logic that might suggest it ridiculous to have settled on the ideal grape variety for a given region or country in a mere 20, 30 or even 40 years, the economic pressure and self-reinforcing social ...
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Vinography Unboxed: Week of 8/5/18

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a couple of Sauvignon Blancs firmly in the California style. The first, from Smith Story, is slightly leaner with more citrus qualities, while the Rombauer offers a bit more sweetness and green apple. Both are tasty. The latest vintage of their Chardonnay proves that Chappellet Vineyards are trying to walk the very fine line between the more traditional (and popular) sensibility of California Chardonnay, while backing off the oak and aiming for more balance. They've done it quite well in my opinion, making a wine with broad appeal. I've got three pink wines to offer you thoughts on this week, two of which hail from the Redwood Valley, an all-but-unknown wine ...
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Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 7/29/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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. Napa County launches plan to help unite community after Measure C fight
The divide was a bitter one. Understanding the Gems of Vinho Verde
A thorough primer. A First Look at Germany's Challenging 2017 Vintage
Fallout from frost. How much should you care about food and wine pairings?
Only as much as you care to. Stephen Colbert Made an Ad for 'Slightly Radioactive' Wine
Har har har. Experts Confirm There Are No Concerns About California Wines Due to Fukushima
Just in case you were tempted towards hysteria. Uncorking the history -- and future -- of wine through DNA
Old varieties might hold ...

Vinography Images: Around the Bend

vinography_desktop_around_the_bend.jpg Around the Bend
SAINT-ÉMILION, FRANCE: The curve of the modern building designed by Christian de Portzamparc for Chateau Cheval Blanc mirrors the arc of a rainbow in the evening sun in Bordeaux. Cheval Blanc, which means "white horse" in French, is one of only four estates elevated to the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé in the classification of Saint-Émilion wine.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in the ...

Vinography Images: The Skies Above Margaux

vinography_desktop_the_skies_above_margaux.jpg The Skies Above Margaux
MARGAUX, FRANCE: The skies are luminous over the vineyards and gravelly clay soils of Chateau Margaux. Margaux is one of four original Premier Grand Cru classÉ wines according to the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region, in the department of Gironde. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy ...

I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Maggie Harrison

Thumbnail image for levi_dalton_ill_drink_to_that.jpg Episode 454 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently, and features an interview with winemaker Maggie Harrison. Maggie is a partner in Antica Terra as well as the winemaker for that winery in Oregon. Maggie also makes the Lillian wines from California fruit. Maggie Harrison has worked for several years with both California and Oregon fruit. What is the difference between the two? Maggie answers that question, taking up the climate of the areas as well as the respective cultures. It turns out that she sees big contrasts, and also implications for the winemaking. Maggie hones in on her work at the blending table in this interview, and inside her blending approach are many of her thoughts on winemaking in general. She feels that if Oregon offers wide vintage variation that she should respond by blending for attributes and families, rather than huing to a specific vineyard or wine ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 7/8/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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 Emergence of Non-Vinifera Wines
Emerging from obscurity and awfulness. How this mother-son duo sold more than $1 million worth of Wine Condoms
How American wine consumers will buy anything called a "wine preservation device" The Proof Is in Their Palates
No men allowed. A line of wines inspired by Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' was killed within hours of its launch after online backlash
Worst wine marketing idea ever? Wine with a rape theme. Horrific marketing copy, too. Nova Scotia Vines Withered by Freeze
That's gonna hurt. Napa's Cabernet Dependency Deepens
Blake Gray watches prices rise. Sorry Mr Parker, but the world ...

I’ll Drink to That: Wine Writer Esther Mobley

Thumbnail image for levi_dalton_ill_drink_to_that.jpg Episode 453 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently, and features an interview with Esther Mobley, wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. In a short span of years Esther Mobley has proven herself to be a capable writer, and her articles for the San Francisco Chronicle have stood out for being not just good wine writing, but good writing in general. In this interview Esther discusses how she goes about her work, what is important to her, and how she sees her work as different from previous wine writing in the Chronicle. Esther also compares what she was doing earlier in her career at the Wine Spectator in New York with her work today in California. She addresses what it can mean to write for a general interest publication within this political climate, and what she feels readers want to find in her work. She also takes up ...

Vinography Images: Fresh Berries

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Fresh Berries
POMEROL, FRANCE: Drops of morning dew glisten on ripening Merlot in Pomerol, on Bordeaux's Right Bank. Known for Merlot, rather than Cabernet Sauvignon (the dominant grape on Bordeaux's Left Bank), Pomerol also does not have a village of the same name within it, unlike the other appellations of Bordeaux. It is one of the smallest wine regions of Bordeaux, and has never been classified in the structure of "Great Growths" that have been applied to its neighboring appellations. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should ...

2018 Calistoga Uncorked Tasting: July 12, San Francisco

calistoga-uncorked-2017-IMG_8504.jpg For most people, the name "Napa" on a bottle is all they need to know if they're interested in wine. Studies even show that the word literally makes people enjoy the wine more than the same wine without the word. Psychological quirks aside, increasingly, the most sophisticated wine comsumers are starting to become aware of not only Napa, but its sub AVAs -- the smaller regions within Napa that have been designated as distinct growing regions, or American Viticultural Areas. There are now 16 of them (much to the dismay of a winery that named itself Thirteen when there were only that many - it has since changed its name). One of the hottest, and I'm talking temperature, not trends, is the Calistoga AVA. In fact, the AVA has the most consistent and even climate profile of any Napa AVA. Sitting at the northern end of the Napa Valley, Calistoga ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 7/1/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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. Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Georgian Wine
First, because it's tasty. Taurasi: Italy's Unsung Great Red Wine
Tom Hyland on Aglianico. Jefford on Monday: The Chablis difference
Andrew makes excellent arguments for distinction. Revellers get soaked in wine, all in the name of tradition
Drinking required before, and after, but not during Rooftop vineyard brings local wine to New Yorkers
Just watch the mildew. Heath Watch: NIH Shuts Down $110 Million Study on Alcohol and Health
We need more research, just not custom designed by the industry. French police seize 10 Chinese-owned vineyards in Bordeaux
Ruh roh. France's 2018 growing ...

Vinography Images: A Break in the Storm

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A Break in the Storm
SAUTERNES, FRANCE: A break in the storm clouds lets evening sunlight fall on the vineyards and old estate walls of Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, an appellation within the Graves region of Bordeaux. In the famous 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, d'Yquem was the only winery in the Sauternes region to be accorded the status of Premiere Cru Supérieur. Its golden, sweet dessert wines are among the most famous, and long lived, in the world. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 6/24/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on 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. Jancis Robinson on the new wave of champagne growers
Be organic and don't wear a suit, says Jancis. The man who turned underdog grapes into Virginia's star wines
Dave McIntyre remembers Dennis Horton. Having Your Wine and Drinking It
Christie Canterbury tries out a new device and is surprisingly kind to the thing. How long can wine bloggers keep it up?
David Morrison does some analysis on the Australian wine blogging scene. With vineyard labor scarce, Napa growers warm up to machines
Not a surprise. The 'junket' that saved Napa Valley's wine industry
A chance meeting builds a crucial relationship. California wine's ...