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Greywacke: Ten years on

7 hours 53 min ago

You can't mention Greywacke without mentioning Cloudy Bay...

Kevin Judd founded Greywacke after leaving Cloudy Bay.

And mentioning Cloudy Bay brings history – the weight of New Zealand’s fate once seemingly hung on its shoulders.

Of course, brands such as Brancott and Villa Maria have more than played their parts in the high-volume arena, but Cloudy Bay was at the forefront of the country’s transformation into an international power in the ‘fine wine’ sphere, particularly in the case of its Sauvignon Blanc.

 

 

function trackVivino(wineId, initialAction) { if (window.ipc && window.ipc.utils) { const category = 'Premium'; const action = 'Vivino Buy '+initialAction; var label = wineId+ ' ~ Collection ~ '+initialAction; window.ipc.utils.trackEvent(category, action, label); } } You might also like: Ata Rangi McCrone Vineyard: Tasting the difference Beyond Sauvignon: Top New Zealand white wines – Panel tasting results Cloudy Bay: Producer profile and latest releases

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Organic Champagnes to try in 2019

Sat, 19/01/2019 - 13:00

We bring you a selection of organic Champagnes to try from smaller-scale producers...

Organic Champagne is produced without the use of chemicals in the vineyard, and only minimal levels of sulphites...

According to the Association des Champagnes Biologiques, only 600 of the 33,000 hectares of vines in Champagne are certified organic, or in the process of certification.

That’s a tiny percentage. The caveat is that not all producers seek certification, citing cost and principles as reasons. Some larger Champagne houses have begun shifting towards organics, and also biodynamics, but it is a gradual process – particularly bearing in mind that many buy in grapes from different growers.

Still, all of this can make your search for fully organic Champagne a long and weary one. Luckily, Decanter’s tastings team has tasted several over the last few months. You can find our top choices below.

A word about sulphites

EU rules set lower maximum limits for sulphites in organic wines than in conventional wines.

There are naturally variations in levels used, although many organic and biodynamic producers attempt to minimise sulphur dioxide use wherever possible.

Some organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ winemakers produce ‘no added sulphur’ wines.

All wine has some level of sulphur dioxide, which is in small amounts during fermentation.

Winemakers traditionally add extra sulphur dioxide to kill off naturally occurring yeasts on the grapes and in the cellar. It is also added at bottling to act as an anti-oxidant, to help preserve the wine as it’s shipped throughout the world and, potentially, then stored for many months or years.

While sulphites must be listed on bottle labels as a potential allergen, some experts have said that there is no proven link between sulphites and headaches.

Best organic Champagne: function trackVivino(wineId, initialAction) { if (window.ipc && window.ipc.utils) { const category = 'Premium'; const action = 'Vivino Buy '+initialAction; var label = wineId+ ' ~ Collection ~ '+initialAction; window.ipc.utils.trackEvent(category, action, label); } } You might also like: Decanter’s guide to anniversary buys 2019 Best Champagnes of 2018 tasted by our experts How does English sparkling wine compare to Champagne? The vintage category

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Valparaíso | Casablanca Valley Best Of Wine Tourism award winners 2019

Fri, 18/01/2019 - 17:36

Promotional featureThe winning wineries, restaurants and hotels that excel in Valparaíso | Casablanca Valley in Chile

Winners 2019.

The areas that make up Valparaíso|Casablanca Valley in Chile have seen the benefits since its appointment as a Great Wine Capital. As such, the most outstanding wineries and organisations that have enhanced the local economy and tourism were recognised with a Best Of Wine Tourism 2019 award in the categories of Accommodation, Restaurants, Sustainability in Wine Tourism, Architecture and Landscapes, Art and Culture, Innovation in Wine Tourism and Wine Tourism Services.

Mario Agliati, President of the Association of Wine Entrepreneurs of the Casablanca Valley, stressed the importance of this contest both nationally and internationally, and said how interesting it is that participants of the three parts that make up Valparaíso|Casablanca Valley are participants in this competition, since it allows them to highlight their attractions and the contributions they make to this unique destination.

The winners Accommodation
WineBox
  • Second place: Casa Macaire
  • Third place: Puerto Claro
Wine tourism restaurant
Equilibrio, Matetic vineyard
  • Second place: Puerto Claro
  • Third place: Verso Hotel
Architecture and landscape
Casas del Bosque vineyard
  • Second place: WineBox
  • Third place: Puerto Claro
Innovative experience of wine tourism
Stay the Table
  • Second place: Matetic vineyard
  • Third place: Puerto Claro
Wine tourism services
Puerto Claro restaurant
  • Second place: WineBox
  • Third place: Casas del Bosque vineyard
Practice of sustainable tourism of wine
Emiliana vineyard
  • Second place: WineBox
  • Third place: Veramonte vineyard

Casa Mirador-Casas del Bosque Winery in Casablanca, Chile, won the International Best Of Wine Tourism award at the Great Wine Capitals Annual Meeting that was held in Adelaide last November.

The Great Wine Capitals Global Network

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of ten internationally renowned wine regions – Adelaide, South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Lausanne, Switzerland; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain; San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA; Valparaiso|Casablanca Valley, Chile; and Verona, Italy.

The Best Of Wine Tourism awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence and recognise leading wineries and wine-tourism related businesses within each Great Wine Capital that have distinguished themselves in areas such as innovation, service and sustainable practices.

 

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US Supreme Court hears dispute on wine selling rules

Fri, 18/01/2019 - 16:30

A wine trade dispute with the potential to set an important precedent on inter-state sales has been heard by US Supreme Court judges this week.

US Supreme Court courtoom.

A hearing before Supreme Court justices on 16 January has been billed as potentially the most important case since the Granholm v Heald decision in 2005, which helped paved the way for wineries to sell directly to consumers beyond their own state.

At issue in the current case, Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Zackary Blair, is the desire of Total Wine, plus a separate couple, to set up wine shops in Tennessee.

State rules say that prospective retailers can only apply for an initial licence after two years of residency. This must be renewed after one year; and the renewal requires a decade of prior residency.

Key to the case is the extent to which states can justify discrimination against out-of-state wine retailers.

This is why several observers believe the Supreme Court ruling, expected in spring this year, may have far-reaching consequences for inter-state wine sales.

A lot of this week’s Supreme Court hearing focused on the scope of the 21st Amendment, set up after Prohibition to give broad alcohol regulatory powers to states – partly in the name of public health and safety – and federal Commerce Clause rules designed to prevent economic protectionism within states.

Excerpts from the hearing

‘Is it your position that the 21st Amendment makes all of our other jurisprudence wrong?’ Justice Sotomayor asked Shay Dvoretzky, lawyer for the Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association – a trade body seeking to prevent the new licences being granted.

‘No, it’s not,’ said Dvoretzky, who, according to a court transcript of the hearing, nevertheless argued that Tennessee’s residency rule was legal under the 21st, because the amendment gave states the power to regulate alcohol within their own borders.

‘The protectionism lens is just the wrong lens through which to look at this issue,’ said David Franklin, a solicitor general for Illinois, speaking in support of Dvoretzky.

Franklin added, ‘This Court has repeatedly stated, most recently in Granholm itself, that Section two of the 21st Amendment gives states virtually complete control over how to structure their domestic liquor distribution systems. Now questions have obviously arisen already this morning about whether residency requirements were part of that structure. And they were.’

Dvoretzky added later in the hearing that there was a clear justification for the Tennessee rule.

He said, ‘Duration [of residency] facilitates background checks. It facilitates investigation and enforcement of the law because somebody who’s been there for a while is more likely to have substantial assets that can be enforced — that can be seized, and is less likely to flee at the first sign of trouble.’

Justice Sotomayor said, ‘We understand that having someone there who’s responsible to the community is necessary. That was inherent in the three-tier system [of separate ownership of production, distribution and sale of alcohol within states, which emerged in the wake of the 21st Amendment].

‘But why is it inherent in the three-tier system that you have to have someone who’s only a local do it? There are many states whose three-tier system doesn’t require that. They function fairly well.’

Carter Phillips, lawyer for the licence applicants and representing the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission, said, ‘There’s no doubt that what we’re talking about here is rank discrimination on the basis of commerce.’

He told the court, ‘We are not challenging the three-tier system. All we are seeking is the opportunity to compete into this market.’

Several of the Supreme Court judges appeared particularly interested in the potential ramifications of a ruling.

Phillips denied that his clients had greater aspirations beyond the current case. When asked whether Total Wine wanted to develop an ‘Amazon of liquor’ business model he said the retailer was happy with its ‘bricks-and-mortar’ approach.

Justice Gorsuch said, ‘Why isn’t this just the camel’s nose under the tent?’

Phillips said, ‘Well, if only because, under these circumstances, as the camel at least, or I guess I’m the nose of the camel, that’s not what I’m looking for.’

However, Justice Kagan questioned what position the Court might find itself in if, having sided with the licence applicants, ‘the next case is somebody that says we don’t like this brick-and-mortar stuff, we don’t want to have any physical presence [in the state] at all’.

A decision by the Court was expected in spring 2019.

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Best value Rhône 2017 wines

Fri, 18/01/2019 - 13:00

If you're looking for more bang for your buck, keep an eye out for these wines as they're released by wine merchants...

St-Joseph is where the best value can be found.

Matt Walls selects St-Joseph as the best value appellation in 2017 in his En-primeur report, stating that ‘in a vintage like this, St-Joseph is home to some of the best value wines of France’.

But the Rhône contains so much variety that value can be found in plenty of other appellations too. Here, Matt picks out his top value picks of the vintage.

See also: Top scoring Rhône 2017 wines Northern Rhône 2017 wines Southern Rhône 2017 wines Best value Rhône 2017 wines:

 

function trackVivino(wineId, initialAction) { if (window.ipc && window.ipc.utils) { const category = 'Premium'; const action = 'Vivino Buy '+initialAction; var label = wineId+ ' ~ Collection ~ '+initialAction; window.ipc.utils.trackEvent(category, action, label); } } Return to the Rhône 2017 hub page

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Barolo patriarch Beppe Colla dies

Fri, 18/01/2019 - 11:00

The patriarch of Barolo, Beppe Colla, has died aged 88, in the year he would have celebrated his 70th harvest.

The area of Barolo DOCG as we know it today is the result of his hard work. In 1960 he joined forces with Renato Ratti and Gildo Cavallotto (among others) on the commission to plot the outer boundaries of the Barolo wine terroir, preparing the DOC.

‘We tried to work on typicity to explain where vineyards have been included in the incoming appellation and where they have been not,’ he said in an interview in 2016.

‘Typically is a notion linked with appellation, of course, but also with the vineyards, the grape variety and the vintage. We can encode the density, the exposure, the altitude, but the typicity is also linked with common sense, and this is not sold by tons.’

Beppe Colla began to make wine after graduating in 1949 from the Scuola Enologica in Alba. After running Casa Vinicola Bonardi, he bought the winery of Cavalier Prunotto in 1956, producing outstanding vintages of Barolo Prunotto up to 1990.

He was also one of the first producers to introduce crus to Barolo in 1960, bottling his wines as Bussia. ‘I can honestly say,’ he told Alessandro Masnaghetti in an interview in 2016, ‘that I came to understand wine when I visited Burgundy in the early ’60s.’

He was one of the first to understand the importance of over-extraction with Nebbiolo grapes, something that can still be a problem today. Many Italians remember his challenges as president of the consortium Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco during the methanol scandal, especially as he had always worked for quality wines.

In the ’90s he began a collaboration with Tuscan producer Piero Antinori, to whom he then he sold the winery. A few years later he founded his family winery Poderi Colla with his brother Tino and nephew Pietro. He was also one of the founders of the Order of the Knights of the Truffle and of the Wines of Alba, associating itself with the cuisine of Langhe.

His funeral was on 17 January in the church of Cristo Re in Alba.

 

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How Pessac-Léognan 2016 wines taste in the bottle

Thu, 17/01/2019 - 17:55

Jane Anson finishes her Bordeaux 2016 in-bottle tastings, with the remaining Pessac-Léognan wines, plus some Pomerol and St-Emilion...

Château Harvest at Haut-BrionPessac-Léognan 2016 wines in the bottle

Bordeaux 2016 has already established itself as a strong vintage, and possibly the best since 2010 in some areas of the Left Bank in particular.

Decanter’s contributing editor and lead Bordeaux taster, Jane Anson, tasted the newly bottled Médoc 2016s in the autumn of 2018, and now she has added Pessac-Léognan whites and reds to her in-bottle reviews of the 2016 vintage.

 

function trackVivino(wineId, initialAction) { if (window.ipc && window.ipc.utils) { const category = 'Premium'; const action = 'Vivino Buy '+initialAction; var label = wineId+ ' ~ Collection ~ '+initialAction; window.ipc.utils.trackEvent(category, action, label); } } You might also like: Bordeaux 2016 in bottle: The left bank Bordeaux 2016 in bottle: The right bank

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Travel: What’s new in Napa

Thu, 17/01/2019 - 16:00

Always growing and evolving, Napa Valley never gets stale. Discover the best new spots for wine tasting, dining and luxury accommodation in Napa Valley.

Do some tasting at Clos Du ValWhat’s new in Napa Taste

The Prisoner Wine Company
The new Prisoner winery is a wine-country outlaw. Instead of building the customary cosy, rustic-chic tasting room, The Prisoner has created one with dark, industrial and refurbished materials, exuding gothic and medieval vibes. But dissenting from the norm is what The Prisoner Wine Company does best. As a case in point: its cult blends produced with untraditional varietals (there’s no Cabernet Sauvignon here) and provocative labels sold to Constellation Brands for a whopping $285 million in 2016. Why not book The Makery Experience ($125) for a tour and five-course food and wine lunch hosted in the exclusive Makery space, where you can also shop for handcrafted souvenirs from local artisans.

The Village
You could spend an entire day sipping through The Village, Napa’s new wine district consisting of eight boutique tasting rooms, plus the Napa Smith Brewery. While you’re there, sign up for a cooking class at the Food & Wine Center or curate your own picnic basket to enjoy on The Village lawn, which often hosts festivals, concerts, artisan markets and more.

Clos Du Val
One of Napa Valley’s most historic properties has been transported into the 21st century, albeit fashionably late, with a stunning new visitor centre. Clos Du Val, one of the California wineries included in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, designed its new, on-trend digs like a living room, complete with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that opens out to its estate vineyards. But Clos Du Val’s past is still very much present: repurposed staves from the winery’s original fermentation tanks act as wallpaper and guests can taste library vintages that date back to the 1970s.

Davies Vineyards
More and more Napa Valley wineries are rolling out competitive food and wine experiences, but the Davies Vineyards Bubbles & Caviar Brunch tasting ($130) is the only way to start your day. Davies, a label of Schramsberg Vineyards, pairs six full glasses of Schramsberg’s primo sparkling wine with an entire ounce of caviar – enjoyed several ways with crème fraîche, potato chips and egg yolks, as well as brunch bites such as mushroom and gruyere quiche, and smoked salmon.

See also: Top ten Napa Valley wineries to visit Eat

La Calenda
Chef Thomas Keller advances his takeover of Yountville with a new restaurant, but it’s not what you might expect. La Calenda is located a  few doors down from The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc. An elevated mexican concept serving up authentic Oaxacan cuisine, it’s quite the departure from Keller’s other French and comfort-food focused eateries. From heirloom corn used to make fresh tortillas in-house to dried chile peppers, many of the ingredients are sourced directly from Mexico. As for libations, La Calenda has loaded up with more than 30 different mezcals and tequilas to sip straight or in cocktails.

Stay

The Francis House
No word yet on whether this place is haunted, for the stone-walled luxury inn does inhabit the former Calistoga Hospital. After sitting vacant for 50 years, the 1886 building built in the French Second Empire style was set to be bulldozed, but was saved just in time. Following a meticulous, three-year, Cinderella makeover, the interior of The Francis House bears little resemblance to its past life. Each of the five, uniquely designed rooms have stone walls, plenty of natural light, stunning marble bathrooms and antique furnishings. Guests also have access to a private pool, garden and kitchen.

The Estate Yountville
A tale of two hotels, The Estate in Yountville boasts a pair of luxury properties with opposite personalities. Choose between the sophisticated and elegant Vintage House or Hotel Villagio, which is decidedly more rock n’ roll. The Villagio lobby, for instance, encourages after-hours imbibing with a full bar, billiards and board games. Both properties have a pool with cabanas, access to a new, full-service spa and are mere steps away from Yountville’s fine dining establishments, wine tasting rooms and boutique shops.

More wine travel guides here

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Are US millennials giving wine the cold shoulder?

Thu, 17/01/2019 - 15:50

Millennials in the US are not diving into the wine world as quickly as predicted, suggests a new report, raising concern that this generation won't compensate for retiring baby boomers.

Millennials are 'not engaging with wine as hoped' in the US, but things may change, says SVB. In Brief
  • Millennials ‘not engaging’ with wine as anticipated but there is time for a shift, says Silicon Valley Bank report
  • Premium wine sales still set to grow by between four and eight percent in the US in 2019
  • California vineyard price rises set to flatten with expected fall-off in takeover deals 
Full Story

Wine sales momentum in the US has shown signs of slowing as more baby boomers reach retirement age and millennials are slower-than-expected to pick up the baton, according to the latest ‘state of the industry’ report from the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in California.

Millennials, who currently have a median age of 30, account for an estimated 17% of wine consumption in the US and are still expected to become the biggest wine-consuming group in the country by 2027. But, this generation has so far not engaged with wine as much as hoped, SVB said.

‘The unfortunate reality is that while millennials have a better appreciation of wine compared with other cohorts at a similar age, their appreciation has not been reflected in fine wine consumption,’ said Rob McMillan, founder of the SVB’s wine division, in the report.

Commenting on the reasons for this, McMillan, who is also an SVB executive vice president, said in the report, ‘[millennials] lack financial capacity, currently prefer premium spirits and craft beers, and have been slow getting into careers.

‘Cannabis demand skews to younger males today, and that is also likely playing a role in the cohort’s delayed appreciation for wine.’

However, he stressed that there was still time for a shift in momentum.

‘With the median age at 30, this generation still has time to find its footing. But for today, their retail silence, particularly for discretionary and luxury goods, is deafening,’ McMillan said.

Health concerns also played a role, the report said.

Yet, the report added that the industry could do more to engage millennials with better marketing messages.

For now, the so-called Generation X that sits between boomers and millennials, and is smaller in overall size than both of those, is set to become the biggest wine consuming group in the US by 2022, the report forecasts.

Premium wine sales in the US were still expected to grow by between four and eight percent in 2019, after growing by an estimated 5.2% in 2018, said SVB.

That still puts US wine market momentum ahead of several other markets, including the UK.

But SVB warned that ‘premiumisation is nearing its apex as a trend’ and that sales momentum in several premium price segments was slowing, based on Nielsen data.

Price increases would likely be minimal in 2019, partly due to an expected surplus of wine; a feature that may please wine lovers in the short-term.

‘As an industry, we’re transitioning to a period of flat-to-negative volume growth, low sales growth and a modest surplus of grapes, which will put pressure on prices,’ the report said.

SVB classes a premium wine as $10 or above at retail, per bottle. This category commands 54% of the US wine market by value and around 30% of market volume, it said.

SVB estimated that Nielsen figures covered around two thirds of the off-trade [retail] wine market. It acknowledged that Nielsen data did not include direct-to-consumer sales or some big players, such as Costco.

Some separate research studies have suggested that the millennial generation has shown greater interest in the so-called ‘experience economy’ rather than in simply purchasing at retail.

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Wine world legend Gerard Basset OBE MW MS dies

Thu, 17/01/2019 - 11:48

Leading figures and institutions across the wine world have paid tribute to the warmth and genius of Gerard Basset, a 'great gentleman of wine’ who simultaneously held both the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles, and who has died this week.

Tributes pour in for Gerard Basset, OBE MW MS MBA MSc: 7 March 1957 to 16 January 2019.

Gerard Basset OBE MW MS died on 16 January with his family by his side, following a battle with cancer of the oesophagus that was first diagnosed in 2017. He was 61 years old, and would have been 62 on 7 March.

He will be remembered as one of the wine world’s leading lights, not least for having been the only person to improbably hold both the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles – many struggle to gain even one of those accolades – alongside an MBA in wine business and an MSc.

Basset also won the title of ‘world’s best sommelier’ in 2010 and was given an OBE in the UK in 2011.

Those achievements, while undoubtedly impressive, were underpinned by Basset’s work in mentoring many young sommeliers who have gone on to be ranked among the world’s finest in their own right.

‘Words cannot express how saddened we are to hear of the passing of our former president and friend, Gerard Basset,’ said the Court of Master Sommeliers.

‘He has been a mentor and inspiration to so many, a shining example of courtesy, humility and professionalism that we all should aspire to.’

Basset was a regular judge and expert taster for Decanter, and was appointed co-chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2017, the year in which he also gained an MSc from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

He was also a vice-chair at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, and had previously won the publication’s Man of the Year title, in 2013.

John Stimpfig, Decanter’s content director, said, ‘The news of Gerard Basset MW MS OBE’s death is a hard and heavy blow to all who knew this great gentleman of wine. He was a true wine legend who gave so much to so many, both personally and professionally.’

Alongside all of this, Basset found time to be a founding partner of Hotel du Vin. He also opened wine hotel TerraVina with his wife, Nina, in the New Forest in southern England.

That business re-launched as ‘Spot in the Woods’ last year, as part of efforts to adapt the operation to fit around Basset’s illness.

Nina Basset said, ‘Whilst we are devastated to have to say goodbye to Gerard for the last time, we draw strength from the kind messages that we have already received from the many people whose lives he touched.

‘He fought a brave battle against cancer and we are comforted that he died at home surrounded by his family and that he is now at peace. Both Romané [our son] and I are profoundly grateful for the support we have received from our friends across the world, including the many in the wine and hospitality industries and to know that Gerard was so loved by all those who knew him.’

Basset was born and raised in France. He originally trained as a chef. However, after moving to the UK in the 1980s, he began working front-of-house and exchanged the kitchen for the sommelier role.

The story goes that he only came to the UK for a football match in Liverpool, but ended up sticking around and building his career in the country’s hospitality trade.

Speaking to Decanter’s Brian St-Pierre in 2013, Basset said, ‘You have to give back as much as you have taken, after all.

‘I totally believe in education, for my team and my proteges of course, but also continually for myself.’

His family said that there would be a small, private funeral and, later in the spring, a memorial service that will be held in London. In the meantime, messages of condolence can be sent to inmemoriam@culturalcomms.co.uk.

 

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Southern Rhône 2017 report: ‘Structured and ageworthy wines’

Wed, 16/01/2019 - 15:00

A round up of the 2017 vintage in the Southern Rhône, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Rasteau...

Finding balance and drinkability isn’t as easy compared to 2016 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Southern Rhône 2017

A hot, very dry year has resulted in a very good to excellent vintage of powerful, structured red wines, though sometimes overripe or with leathery tannins. Whites tend towards richness over freshness.

4/5 Scroll down to see Matt’s tasting notes and scores

When I asked Pascal Lafond at Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine in Lirac what the key factors in shaping the 2017 vintage in the Southern Rhône were, there was no hesitation: ‘The dryness,’ he said, ‘and coulure in the Grenache.’ Both affected yields, which are sharply down in 2017, but they also impacted the style of the wines.

The coulure (the failure of fruit to form after flowering) was caused by a sudden snap of cold, wet weather in April and early May, after an early start to the season following a warm February.

One result is that some winemakers have had to recalibrate their blends to include higher proportions of other grape varieties. Another consequence is that certain producers, such as Domaine La Collière in Rasteau and Clos du Mont-Olivet in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, didn’t manage to make as many different cuvées as usual, meaning top quality fruit destined for prestige cuvées has ended up supercharging their classic blends.

‘Of the various Southern Rhône crus, the best wines (and some of the worst) were made in Châteauneuf-du-Pape’

The summer was marginally warmer than usual, and the grapes ripened quickly in healthy conditions. Spring saw less rain than usual, and the summer was exceptionally dry. Thankfully, there was little water stress since crops were so light.

It was an early start to the harvest, with fine weather throughout September allowing producers to pick each parcel at optimum maturity. Anaïs Vallot of biodynamic Domaine Vallot in Vinsobres said ‘the quality was absolutely great, nothing rotten, a really healthy vintage.’

Conditions were also beneficial for lignified, woody stems which, when used judiciously, have really added complexity, texture and lift to the wines.

Winemakers brought in small bunches with tiny grapes – thick skins, making for plentiful tannins and phenolic compounds, but little juice. Fred Férigoule at Domaine Le Sang de Cailloux in Vacqueyras refers to it as ‘a bonsai vintage’. Good news if you’re making tannic reds, less welcome if you’re aiming for juicy whites.

Quick link: See all Rhône 2017 tasting notes & scores

Jérôme Bréssy of Domaine du Gourt de Mautens, whose IGP Vaucluse made from vines in Rasteau is one of the big successes of the vintage.

Comparisons

The wines are similar in style to the 2015 vintage, but less homogenous in quality and a little less sunny – less obvious alcohol, darker fruit and firmer tannins.

2017 doesn’t have the effortless balance and joie de vivre of the 2016s, but will be enjoyed by those looking for structured, tannic, ageworthy wines.

Of the various Southern Rhône crus, the best wines (and some of the worst) were made in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Rasteau has outdone itself and produced some fabulous wines this year, while Lirac benefitted from its natural freshness, as did Gigondas and Vinsobres.

Yields may be low in the south this year, but Rhône lovers take note – they will be lower still in 2018.

Read Matt’s individual commune reports and top buys below Matt’s top Southern Rhône 2017 wines:

 

function trackVivino(wineId, initialAction) { if (window.ipc && window.ipc.utils) { const category = 'Premium'; const action = 'Vivino Buy '+initialAction; var label = wineId+ ' ~ Collection ~ '+initialAction; window.ipc.utils.trackEvent(category, action, label); } } See all Rhône 2017 tasting notes & scores Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Grenache may have taken a hammering this year, but Mourvèdre, when grown on water-retaining soils, performed well.

In 2017, Vincent Avril at Clos des Papes lost 40% of his crop due to hail, coulure and drought, yielding just 15hl/ha. He made up for the lack of Grenache with extra Mourvèdre, and the result is a deeper, darker, long-lived vintage.

This is also a vintage for old vines with deep roots – the ancient Grenaches of Domaine Le Cailloux’s Le Centenaire have yielded a phenomenal wine.

It’s a very ripe, robust vintage that can tip over into overripeness, high alcohol and tough tannins – especially where winemakers have been tempted to extract too enthusiastically.

Finding balance and drinkability isn’t as easy compared to the previous vintage, especially among the Tradition bottlings. The best wines are among the Cuvées Spéciales, where you can find exceptional, cellar-worthy Châteauneufs in all their pomp and glory.

White Châteauneuf performed surprisingly well considering the style of the vintage. Naturally opulent this year, the most successful have dialled down the sweet, silky oak and focused on building tension through acidity, subtle bitterness or a mineral dimension – some to impressive effect.

Value picks

Château Beauchêne, Vignobles de la Serrière, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017
Domaine Croze-Granier, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017
Clos St Michel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017

Gigondas, Vacqueyras & Beaumes de Venise

It’s a solid showing by many of the best estates of Vacqueyras this year, with some imposing, concentrated wines on the one hand, and medium-bodied, juicy expressions on the other. But it’s not a year to buy blind. Many less successful wines had harsh tannins due to the drought.

Gigondas performed more consistently. It’s a forceful year, with many wines showing assertive tannins, acidity, and fruit – which can all be a bit too much if not managed with a light touch. They sometimes lack the charisma of the stellar 2016 vintage, but there are many lovely 2017s to choose from. Céline Chauvet at Domaine du Grapillon d’Or compares 2017 to the 2015 vintage.

Beaumes de Venise is as up and down as ever, but if you’re looking for imposing reds with robust structures that will age with interest, there are some great value choices here.

Value picks

Domaine des Bernardins, Beaumes de Venise 2017
Domaine de L’Espigouette, Vacqueyras 2017
Domaine de Fontavin, Combe Sauvage, Gigondas 2017

Rasteau, Cairanne & Vinsobres

The 2017 vintage was particularly successful in Rasteau, which has produced a clutch of juicy, pure and intense wines, some for drinking now and some that will blossom in a few years time. No doubt the water-retaining clay and marl soils helped the wines retain their sense of juiciness and soft yet generous tannins. Don’t miss out.

The Cairannes don’t hit the mark quite so regularly, occasionally showing overripeness and drying tannins, but the best have a winning combination of freshness, vibrancy and intensity of fruit. The wines of Domaine Alary, both whites and reds, are particularly fine this year.

Vinsobres’ yields weren’t hit as hard as its neighbours, and it’s another high-quality vintage. Its northern location and high-altitude vineyards have helped it to tackle the climatic excesses of the year and produce a number of imposing and attention-grabbing but refreshing wines.

Value picks

Domaine Alary, Tradition, Cairanne 2017
Domaine Combe Julière, Tradition, Rasteau 2017
Domaine Jaume, Altitude 420, Vinsobres 2017

Lirac & Tavel

It was a remarkably reliable year for the west bank crus, with Lirac making impressive wines in all three colours. The reds were particularly successful, with none of the gruff tannins that affected all the appellations of the east bank to some extent, and very little overripeness. They are neat, precise and highly drinkable, if generally lacking the complexity and longevity of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

For elegant, medium-bodied whites, Lirac is the go-to southern appellation in 2017.

For rosé, naturally Tavel is where to look, with a handful of strong, confident, vivid pink wines that really make an impression. It’s a unique style that remains cruelly out in the cold due the wine’s unfashionably deep tint. But if you’re more into flavour and texture than colour, you won’t be disappointed.

Value picks

Domaine des Carabiniers, Rosé, Tavel 2017
Domaine Maby, La Fermade, Lirac 2017
Domaine Coudoulis, Evidence, Lirac 2017

Return to the Rhône 2017 hub page

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Grand Tasting

Wed, 16/01/2019 - 14:49

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Lorum Ipsum

Jérôme Bréssy of Domaine du Gourt de Mautens, whose IGP Vaucluse made from vines in Rasteau is one of the big successes of the vintage.

Lorum Ipsum Lorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum IpsumLorum Ipsum

Lorum Ipsum

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Fans rush to buy Game of Thrones Scotch whiskies – Update

Wed, 16/01/2019 - 11:21

Strong early demand for the Game of Thrones-themed single malts, launched on pre-order by Diageo and broadcaster HBO, has seen at least two UK-based retailers sell out of initial stock in just a few hours.

Several of the Game of Thrones single malt Scotch whiskies and their origins.

Each of the Game of Thrones Scotch whiskies has been paired with a particular house from the seven kingdoms in the television series, plus also the Night’s Watch guard, said Diageo.

It has launched the eight single malts, priced between £38 and £65 per bottle, in partnership with broadcaster HBO in several European countries, including the UK.

A spokesperson for the Whisky Exchange retailer said it had sold out of initial stocks. ‘This was very popular with both whisky and Game of Thrones lovers, and sold out in just five hours,’ said Dawn Davies MW, head buyer at The Whisky Exchange. ‘It’s great to see Diageo partner with Game of Thrones to get their malts out to a wider audience.’

Another retailer, Master of Malt, also sold out within hours of launching its pre-order offer – even though it restricted customers to one bottle per expression.

A spokesperson for the retailer told Decanter.com, ‘The Game of Thrones Whisky Collection has been one of the most successful launches we’ve seen in recent times, with almost every line selling out on pre-order in less than two hours.’

Amazon was also selling the whiskies on pre-order in several European countries and still appeared to have stocks available by early Wednesday afternoon UK time.

The full line-up of the Game of Thrones single malt Scotch collection, by Diageo and HBO. Credit: Diageo / HBO.

Highlights include a Lagavulin 9 Year Old from Islay, a style renowned for its intense smoky and peaty style, which has been chosen to represent the rich House Lannister.

There is also an Oban Bay Reserve, paired with the Night’s Watch, and a Talisker Select Reserve, paired with House Greyjoy.

The full list of Game of Thrones single malt Scotch whiskies and its corresponding house:

  • House Stark: Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost (suggested retail price: £48 for 70cl)
  • House Tully: Singleton of Glendullan Select (srp: £38)
  • House Targaryen:  Cardhu Gold Reserve, (srp: £48)
  • House Lannister: Lagavulin 9 Year Old, (srp: £65)
  • The Night’s Watch: Oban Bay Reserve, (srp: £65)
  • House Greyjoy: Talisker Select Reserve, (srp: £48)
  • House Baratheon: Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old, (srp: £38)
  • House Tyrell: Clynelish Reserve, (srp: £48)

The first whiskies were due to be sent to fans from around 19 February, said Diageo, ahead of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones in April.

Its launch follows the debut of ‘White Walker’, a Game of Thrones-inspired, blended Scotch within the Johnnie Walker brand.

There has also been a Game of Thrones wine range, which was tasted by our experts in 2017.

Updated 16/01/2019 at 13:45 UK time with extra comments from Master of Malt.

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Rhône 2017: Full en primeur report

Tue, 15/01/2019 - 15:38

Rhône 2017 may be considered a rather inconsistent vintage but flashes of brilliance are still to be found, reports Matt Walls...

Vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Northern Rhône 2017

Concentrated, long-lived red wines, generally very good to excellent in quality, very ripe but not jammy. Apart from a clutch of top performers, whites can lack precision and focus.

4/5 Southern Rhône 2017

A hot, dry year has resulted in a very good to excellent vintage of powerful, structured red wines, though sometimes overripe or with leathery tannins. Whites tend towards richness over freshness.

4/5

 

You might also like: Burgundy 2017: Full en primeur report

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Northern Rhône 2017 report: ‘A vintage for the cellar’

Tue, 15/01/2019 - 15:02

Matt Walls reports on the wines of the Northern Rhône, including the likes of Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and Condrieu...

Vines in Crozes-Hermitage.Northern Rhône 2017

Concentrated, long-lived red wines, generally very good to excellent in quality, very ripe but not jammy. Apart from a clutch of top performers, whites can lack precision and focus.

4/5 Scroll down to see Matt’s tasting notes and scores Return to the Rhône 2017 hub page

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Al Gore to address wine and climate change conference

Tue, 15/01/2019 - 11:45

Ex-US vice president Al Gore is to address a high-level wine and climate change conference in Porto this year, designed to help wineries and academics share knowledge.

Vintners must learn from other regions in tackling climate change.

Leading academics and wine industry figures will attend a ‘climate change leadership’ conference in Porto from 5 to 7 March 2019, in a follow up to the July 2018 ‘Porto Protocol’ – a non-profit initiative uniting the international wine sector to counter the effects of climate change.

Barack Obama spoke at the 2018 conference and this year’s symposium will see former US vice-president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore address guests.

‘We cannot sit around in isolated bubbles.’

‘We are shifting from discussing climate change to sharing solutions,’ said conference co-organiser Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Fladgate Partnership, which includes several Port brands like Taylor-Fladgate, Fonseca and Croft.

‘Unlike other industries, wine has a sense of place and a long-term horizon, given the age of vines,’ he said at a press conference for assembled industry representatives and media at the Portuguese embassy in Washington DC.

Vintners must share knowledge, said Bridge, citing the example of how South African vintners reacted to last year’s drought – and how that could prepare others should such a drought occur elsewhere.

‘We cannot sit around in isolated bubbles.’

Recognising that current US president Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax, Bridge said that ‘we cannot wait for leadership from governments’ and that ‘we ourselves need to do something’.

This year’s Porto conference schedule includes sessions on ‘Wineries of the Future’ and ‘Packaging and Transportation’ aimed at reducing carbon footprints.

Researchers and winery representatives to speak at the conference include:

  • Miguel Torres;
  • Krug CEO Margareth Henriquez;
  • Roger Boulton of UC-Davis;
  • Climatologist Greg Jones, of Linfield College in Oregon
  • Grape variety researcher José Vouillamoz;
  • South African water specialist Heinrich Schloms;
  • Wine economist Mike Veseth.

‘We are in the world capital of Washington DC to raise awareness,’ said former tennis player and environmental activist Pancho Campo, who is co-organising the conference.

Organisers said that 750 participants from more than 40 countries have so far signed up to the event, which will take place at the Alfândega do Porto Conference Centre.

See also: Obama urges wine industry to collaborate in climate change fight Climate change is biggest threat to World Heritage sites – former-UNESCO chief

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Best Rhône 2017 wines: The top scorers

Mon, 14/01/2019 - 15:57

See Matt Walls' top scoring Rhône wines from the 2017 vintage....

The top scoring wines from Rhône 2017Best Rhône 2017 wines: The top scorers

Matt Walls returned to the Rhône at the end of 2018 to taste the 2017 vintage en primeur.

Here’s a preview of his top-scoring wines, in advance of his in-depth reports for northern and southern  Rhône later this week on Decanter Premium.

See also: First taste: Chapoutier single vineyard wines 2017

Compared to the 2016 vintage, both northern and southern Rhône 2017 are better suited to those looking for ageworthy wines.

‘Whereas 2016 in the Northern Rhône was the perfect vintage for those looking for detailed, refreshing wines with clear typicity that will drink well straight away, 2017 is more a vintage for the cellar,’ says Walls in his Northern Rhone 2017 vintage report, coming this week.

Similarly in the south, ‘2017 doesn’t have the effortless balance and joie de vivre of the 2016s, but will be enjoyed by those looking for structured, tannic, ageworthy wines,’ according to Walls.

For those looking for value, St-Joseph 2017 ‘is home to some of the best value wine in France.’

You will be able to view all of his value picks in his upcoming reports, as well as his lists of top-performing producers and best wines, with 300 tasting notes and scores.

The following wines have all scored at least 96 points from Walls in his 2017 report.

Top Rhône 2017 wines:

 

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Climate Change Leadership Porto – Solutions for the Wine Industry 2019

Mon, 14/01/2019 - 10:59

On March 5-7, 2019, the city of Porto will host a major global debate on the challenges faced by the wine world due to climate change.

In partnership with the Porto Climate Change Leadership conference.

An international conference, Climate Change Leadership Porto – Solutions for the Wine Industry, will provide a forum where the industry can discuss and share personal experiences and practical short and long-term solutions to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate.

The conference will help us understand our role in climate change and enable all sectors of the wine industry to work in concert to reduce their collective impact and help ensure a safe and sustainable future.

Internationally renowned authorities will share their research and practical experience and discuss the strategies being implemented to reduce the effects of climate change.

Confirmed wine industry speakers include:
  • Miguel Torres
  • Cristina Mariani-May
  • Gérard Bertrand
  • Margareth Henriquez
  • Professor Roger Boulton of UC-Davis
  • António Amorim
  • Climatologist Dr. Greg Jones
  • Dr. José Vouillamoz
  • Cindy de Vries – Fetzer Vineyards
  • Gerard Casaubon – Concha y Toro
  • Jaume Gramona
  • Joël Rochard
  • Gilles Descôtes
  • Jamie Goode
  • Paul Willgoss
  • Linda Johnson-Bell

The conference will help to identify where and how we can start to push back.  It will provide solutions and real examples of what is working and aims to involve all players up to CEO and owner level.

On the last day, following the wine industry debate, the conference will culminate with the second edition of the Climate Change Leadership Porto summit attended by world-class climate change experts and activists. Nobel Laureate and former US Vice-President Al Gore will be the Keynote Speaker. Other speakers include UN Champion of the Earth for the world’s largest beach clean-up project, Afroz Shah; Director-General of WWF International Marco Lambertini; Kaj Török, Chief Sustainability Officer at MAX Burgers, the World’s First Climate-Positive Burgers, and other names to be announced shortly.

The event follows the Climate Change Leadership Summit 2018 held in Porto last July at which the keynote address was given by President Barack Obama.  The key outcome of this summit was the launch of the Porto Procotol, which commits its participants to adopt and promote concrete actions, however small, to help reduce the impact of a changing climate. While this important global initiative recognises that the wine industry is uniquely well placed to take a leadership role in climate change mitigation, the Protocol welcomes the participation of institutions, companies and individuals from all areas of activity.

Climate Change Leadership – Solutions for the Wine Industry Porto 2019 will also feature an extensive Trade Show Area at the Alfândega Conference Centre where sponsors and exhibitors can showcase their products and services, as well as their initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to the approximately 700 delegates coming to Porto from over 40 countries.

To obtain further information and register at the conference, please visit www.climatechange-porto.com or contact info@climatechange.pt Find out more about the Porto Protocol and membership at www.portoprotocol.com

 

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Jefford: Waking up the new year

Mon, 14/01/2019 - 08:00

Andrew Jefford is impressed by the mass of fascinating facts in a new book comparing wine and coffee...

What do wine and coffee have in common?

January, a month of chilly austerity and the struggle for renewal, is when many regular wine drinkers set aside their divine bottles for a while. Perhaps that includes you in 2019; perhaps you’re spending more time with coffee as a consequence. If so, here’s just the book to occupy 31 days of caffeine-toned abstinence.

It’s called Coffee and Wine: Two Worlds Compared (Matador, £30), and the author is Morten Scholer, a Swiss-resident Dane who formerly worked as a UN coffee advisor. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a factful book before – on any subject. Even if you have no interest in coffee, you’ll still find a mass of revealing and hard-to-come-by data about wine in this book. Scholer’s research is impressive; I’ll roast you with a little of it in a paragraph or two.

Writing about two subjects simultaneously is never easy; the bifocal gaze can be distracting. Scholer isn’t advancing any particular argument, though, so there is no thesis to juggle. He’s just splitting open his subject like coffee cherries (or macerating it like red wine), the better to extract the essences inside. He colour-codes each paragraph according to its subject matter, moreover, so you can dart between the two easily enough.

Interesting differences

Does the overall comparison he makes between coffee and wine provide new insights into each? No; but the points of comparison and contrast are deeply interesting in themselves. The two drinks are very different: coffee is a stimulant that celebrates bitterness and empyreumatic (or burnt) flavours, the key processing act being roasting or charring. Wine, by contrast, is a drink designed as a relaxant and to alter mood, and the key part of its processing is the fermentation of sugar into alcohol (and CO2) by yeast. The spectrum of aroma and flavour of each drink is as different as are their effects.

Of the two, wine is historically the senior, and there is a sense that coffee ought to emulate wine in order to assume some of its lustre. One of the likely origins of its name references wine: the Arabic word qahwah means (according to Scholer) ‘some sort of wine’ or ‘wine of the bean’. Coffee, though, was only domesticated around 1,000 years ago, whereas we now know that wine as a pure beverage was made and drunk in Georgia 8,000 years ago, and consumed as a mixed beverage even earlier than that in China. (Tea, too, is a younger beverage than wine, though it is older than coffee: the earliest physical traces of tea date back 2,150 years.)

Did you know?

In testament to Scholer’s almost frenzied research (and an often entertaining mania for tabulation), here are some of the most interesting things I learned from his 300-page fact explosion.

  • More agricultural land is devoted to coffee production than to wine production: around 11 million ha compared to around 4.7 million ha for wine grapes. Most coffee is grown in Latin America (60 per cent), and most wine in Europe (65 per cent). For all that, coffee is an African gift to the world: the high-grown Coffea arabica is native to Ethiopia, while the lower-altitude Coffea canephora (the source of robusta coffee beans) grows indigenously in Western and Central Africa. Wine is of course a gift of the Caucasus, Anatolia and the Near East to the world.
  • Coffee may take up more space as a growing crop, but the weight of harvested wine grapes is much higher than that of harvested coffee beans (36 million tonnes of grapes are used for wine compared to just nine million tonnes of green beans). The wastage involved in coffee production is much higher, too. The actual ‘beans’ (in fact they are seeds) only constitute 15 to 20 per cent of the weight of the harvested coffee cherries, and of this only 20 per cent ends up in the beverage, whereas 70 per cent of a wine grape becomes wine.
  • The processing of coffee as part of the route to a finished drink is a much more violent affair than gentle wine vinification. The skin, fruit flesh and sticky mucilage has to be removed from coffee beans, and they then have to be dried and rested. That gives you ‘green’ beans – which, unlike wine grapes, are eminently storable (for several years if need be). Blending is generally done in green form. Roasting requires temperatures of between 200˚C and 240˚C in order to caramelise sugars and induce the Maillard reaction (a reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars – a vital component of numerous cooking processes including meat roasting and bakery), and many final forms of coffee-making require both high temperatures and high pressures, including soluble coffees and espresso coffee. Nespresso machines work with pressures more than three times those you’ll find inside a Champagne bottle (19 bars compared to six).
  • Scholer is very sure-handed on the chemistry of both wine and coffee – the table covering ’28 techniques for quality enhancement of wine’, for example, would be very useful to any wine student, and there are also useful descriptions of how reverse osmosis and spinning cone machines work. From these analyses we learn that wine is a more acidic substance than coffee, and red wines much richer in polyphenols. Coffee (especially robusta) is much more bitter than wine, and is also vastly more aromatic than wine thanks to its serving temperature and the process of molecular diffusion. (Anyone wandering into a wine tasting with a fresh cup of coffee will be ushered out swiftly.) The intricacies of caffeine (and alcohol) are described here, too, including an explanation of the ways in which coffee can be decaffeinated. Did you know there are 10 ways of measuring alcohol concentrations in wine? I didn’t – but Scholer lists and describes them all in one of his succinct tables.
  • The coffee trade is structured very differently to the wine trade, and in many ways wine production is admirably and securely diffuse. Not one of the world’s ten largest wine companies has more than three per cent of the global wine market, for example, whereas the world’s two coffee giants (Nestlé and JAB) both have around 20 per cent of the coffee trade, and Starbucks alone accounts for four per cent of global coffee sales (Gallo, the world’s largest wine company, can only manage 2.8 per cent of the world wine market). For certain coffee-producing nations, the coffee crop represents a dangerously high percentage of export earnings: between 25 and 50 per cent for Ethiopia and Rwanda, for example, whereas wine represented just two per cent of France’s total export earnings in 2017.
  • The carbon footprint of a cup of coffee (60 g) is four times lower, Scholer tells us, than that of a glass of wine (240 g). Oh dear. (Bravo to Torres for funding research on carbon capture for wineries.)
  • Scholer also (amid so much else in this fine book) explains why it is so hard to get a good cup of coffee on an aeroplane. Good coffee needs to be made with very hot water or steam – but water boils at 92˚C on aeroplanes (pressured to the equivalent of an altitude of 2,400 metres; it would boil at just 72˚C were one to attempt to make a cup of coffee at the top of Everest’s 8,848 m). Once boiled, the temperature cannot be increased further, and in any case it may drop off before the coffee is made. The dry atmosphere and low pressure in aeroplanes, furthermore, combines to rob all foods and drinks of their intricacies of aroma and flavour – wine included.

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What’s in store for Vinexpo New York 2019

Mon, 14/01/2019 - 08:00

Promotional feature
With Vinexpo New York just two months away, show organisers have begun to unveil a robust line-up of special features, master classes, conferences and more.

Promotional feature

The program will span two action-packed days at Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, March 4-5, 2019, bringing together international producers with North American importers, distributors, retailers, brokers, e-commerce representatives, on-trade buyers, sommeliers and mixologists.

On the Agenda

Do women drink more wine than men? Are they more conscious of moderating consumption? Wine Intelligence CEO Lulie Halstead explores the findings of the first-ever study about how men and women approach wine in a special conference, Wine Intelligence and Women of the Vine & Spirits Present: The Truth Behind Gender and Global Wine Consumption, on Tuesday, March 5.

Emerging technology is the topic of a Monday conference moderated by Erica Duecy, editor in chief of SevenFifty Daily. On the panel are some of the wine industry’s top tech leaders: SevenFifty CEO Aaron Sherman, Liberation Distribution (LibDib) founder and CEO Cheryl Durzy, Maison Noir Wines owner/winemaker and sommelier André Mack, and Kelley Rochna, VP marketing and innovation of Vine Connections.

Conference sessions will also address critical topics like global climate change and the wine industry, as well as U.S. wine market trends, the role of imports in the U.S. wine market, and an introduction to craft spirits.

A full slate of master classes is also shaping up. On Monday, Austrian Wine Marketing Board introduces the top wines of 16 Austrian producers, including many new to the U.S. market. Also on Monday, Pedro Ballesteros Torres, MW, of DOP Cariñena, takes attendees on a deep dive into Garnacha (Grenache). Additional master class presenters include Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, Syndicate Général des Vignerons de la Champagne, Côtes de Bordeaux, and Wines of Garnacha/Grenache.

Tasting events will give Vinexpo New York attendees plenty of opportunities to sample exceptional wines from around the world. Among the highlights: a tasting of Biodynamic® wines from 62 Renaissance des Appellations members, representing 12 countries, who are dedicated to producing high quality, original wines that fully express their terroir, and a series of tastings hosted by Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Making its New York debut is popular Vinexpo feature WOW! World of Organic Wines, an exhibit and tasting area devoted to organic and Biodynamic® wines and spirits. And Vinexpo’s complimentary One to Wine Meetings matchmaking service returns to New York for a second year.

Vinexpo New York is jointly organised with Diversified Communications. Register at vinexponewyork.com/attend.

 

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