If your June is like ours thus far, you may be dashing betweens wine events, parties, travels and, er, mechanical bull riding. Still, we’ve saved a bit of time for this week’s wine news!
André Lurton, the only Bordeaux winemaker to test out the use of screwcap closures on classified whites, has decided to stop the trial after resistance from French buyers.
Fans of Alsatian wines, there’s an interview with Alsace’s Anne Trimbach on Bottlenotes.
VinePair celebrates the particular beauties of the Viennese urban vineyard and the Austrian heuriger, where winemakers sell their young wines in an atmosphere like no other.
Before you leave the VinePair site, you might also want to take a look at the infographic pairing wine with America’s most famous types of barbecue. I’m trying to imagine some of these flavours together and can’t quite manage it. I must need to eat lots more barbecue and make a thorough study of the issue!
On the subject of wine matching, Fiona Beckett has posted a guide to pairing food with Vermentino — a particularly useful guide in warmer weather.
A trade war may see Canada place huge taxes on imported wine from the U.S. in a dispute over meat products.
Matt Walls offers up a recipe and wine suggestions for oeufs en cocotte. He includes variations with spinach and smoked salmon, and any of them would make a fantastic brunch, lunch or light summer dinner.
World Gin Day is coming up on Saturday. Will you be celebrating?
Here are our picks of this week’s wine news:
This may help you with your summer parties: Punch is offering what it calls House Cocktail hacks, where top bartenders offer recipes for cocktails using only two spirits, two additional elements (vermouth, amaro, etc.) and two simple syrups you can quickly whip up yourself.
If you’re a fan of Madeira, this might interest you: changes to labelling laws will allow a fifth grape variety, Tinta Negra, on the front label, and a new category for 50-year-old Madeira has been introduced.
In this week’s wine crime news, the head of a French wine producer has been accused of illegally blending other white wines into its Chablis.
Over on Matching Food and Wine, Fiona Beckett sings the praises of Vermentino with seafood.
Welcome back to this week’s most interesting wine stories in the news — at least to us! Also if you haven’t been on site in a while, you might have missed Daniel’s notes from a Famille Hugel wine tasting and our adventures at a recent Australian wine tasting.
Frog’s Leap’s John Williams makes the case for Merlot in the Wall Street Journal.
There’s a good interview with winegrower Michel Vallet of Italy’s Valle d’Aosta in Wine Spectator, while Wine-Searcher has a substantial profile of the Mosel’s Markus Molitor.
Whether you are looking for upcoming events, feel a bit scientific, or want to dig in to some of wine’s controversial topics, this week we have you covered!
If you aren’t near London, English Wine Week is coming up from Saturday 23 May to Sunday 31 May. Events will take place all over the country and you can get information about what’s going on in your area on the English Wine Producers website.
In previous years, International Sherry Week followed hot on the heels of London Wine Week and English Wine Week, but the celebration has been renamed Sherry Wine Week this year and shifted to 2-8 November 2015. You can go to the Sherry Wine Week website and subscribe to the newsletter if you want to keep up with the latest news.
English Sparkling Wine Day will apparently be celebrated on St. George’s Day on 23 May 2015. We believe this may be the first year English sparkling has been celebrated, so if you are so inclined, get out there and try some of the best bubbly the South of England has to offer. A peculiar twist of fate means we’ll actually be at an Australian wine tasting on the day, but we tasted 2010 Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, 2011 Ridgeview Bloomsbury, and 2009 Nyetimber Brut Classic Cuvée last year during English Wine Week and posted our notes. The 2010 Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé is a particular favourite of ours, so if you’re looking for an English sparkling wine to try, you might start there.
Will Lyons has written an article for the Wall Street Journal on Bordeaux’s Château Lafleur, Pomerol’s tiny, family-owned wine powerhouse.
Researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered the success of Pinot Noir may be down to its ability to incorporate virus DNA into its own genes and evolve.
If you’re looking for a wine adventure in London, the Wine Sleuth recently attended one of the twice monthly tastings held in the 380-year-old wine cellar of the Stafford Hotel in St. James in Central London.
The Academic Wino weighs up the pros and cons of the Ganimede fermentation method and the traditional fermentation method used for red wine.
On Wine Shout you can read about Italy’s Alto Adige DOC and the 2013 Lagrein from Elena Walch Family Estates.
On Wine-Searcher Jason Wilson argues that the intense Summer of Riesling campaign that has dominated Riesling press in the United States for years has actually done more harm than good in promoting Riesling, primarily because sommeliers are still pushing sweet Rieslings.
A cache of the oldest known bottles of Ruinart Champagne have been unearthed in a cellar in Alsace.
There’s a peculiar new infographic from Jacob’s Creek making the rounds to help you match food and wine. Some of these wines aren’t the first we would have suggested, but then some of the foods aren’t either — Sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps? “Gourmet” Scotch eggs?
One last note, in case you missed it last week: Daniel attended a staff tasting of some of the wines of Famille Hugel in Alsace. Not surprisingly, given that he loves Hugel wines and Alsatian wines in general, he was impressed. You can read the details here.
We came across some interesting stories in the press this week, so let’s crack on with the wine news!
Will sampling strips make it possible to know exactly what a wine tastes like before buying and opening the bottle? Beringer is giving it a try in a US supermarket chain.
UK wine merchant Majestic has bought Naked Wines for £70 million.
There’s a good article on the Academic Wino, especially if you’re interested in issues related to climate change and its effects on wine production: “Biochar as an Alternative to Irrigation in Extreme Drought Conditions.”
Vinepair featured a guide to the often-overlooked wines of Corsica.
Decanter posted a good wine travel feature on Puglia.
And, finally, we came across a good collection of features on Chablis on the Saveur magazine website. There are articles on the food and people, a travel guide, and a set of recipes.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Winetuned readers!
Or if you fancy something French, Matt Walls has been cooking again. Check out his wine matching suggestions and recipe for classic Daube de Boeuf à la Provençale.
Travel to Austria’s Kamptal region in Niederösterreich and to a wine tasting with winemaker Matthias Warnung over on the blog at Les Caves de Pyrene.
In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons muses on 2010 Brunello di Montalcino and whether or not it will take Brunello into the spotlight worldwide.
So you know the differences between an Old World Sauvignon Blanc and a New World one. Can you distinguish between the seven regions of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Sauvignon Blanc? Let Wine Folly make the introductions.
Decanter profiles Sancerre, the “French Pinot Noir you should be drinking.”
And finally, want to make a Riesling that tastes like a Sauvignon Blanc? You need to stress out some ladybirds/ladybugs. This was a new one on us, and a little disturbing.
So far we have avoided stating the obvious to our American readers, but we might as well give in: Cold enough out there for you? Here’s hoping the weather improves where you are very soon, and if it can’t, we hope the cupboards are stocked and you are sitting somewhere warm with a hot drink.
Here’s this week’s news!
Martin Bouygues, owner of Château Montrose, was reported dead over the weekend, but you will be glad to hear he’s actually feeling quite well.
Over on Wine Folly you’ll find an article on the 7 primary styles of Spanish wine. It’s definitely worth a look if you want to get to grips with Spanish wines.
Here’s a headline worthy of a double-take: “Brigitte Bardot Saves Alcoholic Bears.” We’ll just let you read that one for yourselves.
In today’s wine crimes, a man went into the Kellermeister Winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley and opened the taps on four tanks, resulting in the loss of 25,000 litres of wine. Meanwhile, it seems English wine has arrived: Burglars stole 5,000 bottles of wine worth £80,000 from a warehouse at Bolney Wine Estate in southern England. Not the mark of success a wine producer wants, of course.
Tim Atkin picks 10 top wines from 2010 Brunello di Montalcino, along with a good, informative discussion of recent vintages and some of the things that set Brunello apart.
A crowdfunding campaign in support of Champagne Jayne is gathering force on GoFundMe, despite Jayne herself being gagged by Melbourne Federal Court and unable to rally support herself. As you may remember, wine writer and educator Rachel Jayne Powell, known professionally as Champagne Jayne, incurred the wrath of the Champagne bureau CIVC apparently for discussing sparkling wines other than Champagne via her Twitter and Facebook accounts while using the trademarked name “Champagne” in her professional name.
And finally, if the weather where you are is getting you down, why not do a bit of armchair travel? Wine-Searcher offers up a wine-lover’s guide to Paris, while Decanter provides a travel guide for Valpolicella.
All aboard for this week’s wine news!
English wine producer Chapel Down is producing what it believes is the first skin-contact white wine produced in England, using Bacchus grapes from the 2014 harvest.
One of Tuscany’s top producers, the Biondi Santi family, has announced it will not be releasing any Brunello di Montalcino from the 2014 vintage after a poor harvest.
Moët is launching a pop-up Champagne school on London’s South Bank to highlight the differences between Champagne and other sparkling wine. The Moët Academy will cost £40 for a 90-minute session from 13-24 April.
If you’re interested in Spanish wines, you might find this feature on Bobal, another of those grape varieties being rediscovered by Spanish wine producers and wine drinkers worldwide.
The French national appellation authority is considering creating Cru and Premier Cru tiers in Alsace, although the proposal is controversial.
Finally, you might enjoy this Q&A with Craggy Range’s Matt Stafford. Get the low-down on what makes Gimblett Gravels so special from the chief of Wine Enthusiast‘s 2014 New World Winery of the year winner.
It’s Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday and everything’s coming up pancakes in our neck of the woods. We won’t be flipping ours until this evening, although we were a bit tempted by the idea of a big stack of American pancakes and crispy bacon this morning . . . well, one of us is still tempted, but we’ll go traditional English this evening and save the decadent breakfast for another day.
It’s a busy time for holiday eating, actually, what with Valentine’s Day, today’s pancake extravaganza, and Chinese New Year on Thursday (happy year of the sheep!). We recently tasted some 2012 Moenchreben de Rorschwihr Auxerrois from Rolly Gassmann in Alsace and both of us immediately thought how good it would be with a spicy Chinese stir fry or a curry. Auxerrois may be a new grape for you as it isn’t as well known as Alsatian Riesling and Gewurztraminer generally are. It less of the spice you associate with Alsatian Gewurztraminer and less acidity than you usually get in Alsatian Rieslings, but it still had a taste reminiscent of those wines. It has a slight sweetness that offsets spicy food and a great, food-friendly balance of flavours. We ran across a list of wine recommendations for Chinese New Year from Hong Kong wine merchants too, if you’d like a few more suggestions.
And now for the rest of the wine news!
We’re sad to report that Colette Faller of Domaine Weinbach in Alsace has died at age 85. She took over the estate after the death of her husband in 1979, and was later joined in the family business by her two daughters, Catherine and Laurence. Laurence died unexpectedly in May of last year, so we’re especially sad to hear the Faller family has suffered another loss so soon.
Hubert de Boüard, owner of Château Angelus in St Emilion, is calling the 2014 vintage a fruit-forward vintage for consumers rather than collectors.
Over on the Academic Wino’s site, you can find out what effect fungicides have on Monastrell during the wine-making process.
The discovery of charred grape seeds may help scientists learn more about the “wine of the Negev” that was one of the very finest wines in the Byzantine period.
Decanter offers up a travel guide for France’s Jura region, home of Comté cheese and increasingly popular wines.
Mall Walls gives you both a recipe for Poulet Vallée d’Auge, a creamy chicken and apple dish from Normandy, and suggestions for wines to accompany it.
Sagrantino is one of the most tannic wines there is, but that’s not all there is to know about this increasingly popular Italian grape variety. Get the scoop from Alfonso Cevola on Wine-Searcher.com.
Biodynamic winemaker Nicolas Joly of Coulée de Serrant has split from the Loire’s promotional body over unpaid mandatory membership fees and plans to set up his own appellation.
And, finally, Wine Enthusiast posted their list of nine dog-friendly U.S. wineries. Be sure to take a look at the comments section for additional suggestions.
To be frank, we have not recovered from the Superbowl. Staying up until almost 4am to watch a live American sporting event in England is not as easy as it used to be. By 2 or 3, we were actually brewing cups of tea to keep us awake, in a terribly un-American turn of events. The Superbowl cuppa.
And on with a bit of wine news!
What’s the big deal about Blaufränkisch, Austria’s signature grape? Wine-Searcher can tell you. “Wow-fränkisch” indeed.
Mark Morford gives you all you need to know about the Fifty Shades of Grey wines. Warning: May cause laughter.