of the biggest stories of the year.
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Sale of the
(FT.com / Jancis Robinson) Berry Bros & Rudd
is in the process of acquiring 2,000 cases
of vintage Domaine Huet, some as old as
1919. Jancis Robinson looks at Vouvray's
most exclusive producer.
archaeologists have grape expectations of
their ancient wine
(The Guardian) "Experimental archaeology"
sees Sicilian academics attempt to create
authentic Roman wine.
playing it too safe with SO2
(The Drinks Business) Matchstick smell in
your white wine? High levels of Sulphur
Dioxide could be muting aromas and flavours,
unnecessarily compromising quality.
Discover 23 New Molecules in Red Wine
(Wine-Searcher.com) Novel stilbenoids - “new
cousins of resveratrol” - discovered in
joint research by the Universities of
British Columbia & Adelaide (click
here for published abstract)
Case On Counterfeit Wines
(Wine-Searcher.com) Recipe for 1945
Mouton-Rothschild: "1/2 bottle of 1988
Pichon-Lalande, 1/4 bottle of oxidized
Bordeaux (for that "old" flavor), and 1/4
bottle of Napa cabernet for freshness and
body". Tricks of the trade - and what
to look for - at a Wine Counterfeiting
southern Alsace vineyards
(Decanter) Hail hits southern Alsace,
especially vineyards along the plains of
Turckheim and Colmar. Estimates that Zind
Humbrecht suffered about 20% potential
damage to its vines.
Turns Bordeaux Vineyards Into "Wasteland"
(Wine-Searcher.com) A 10 minute storm
deposited hailstones "the size of ping-pong
balls" and destroyed
up to 20,000ha in the Entre-deux-Mers,
but also into Bergerac and Cognac.
mention the Champagne
(Wall Street Journal) Herbert Hall Vineyards
planted its first vines in 2007 and produces
12,000 bottles a year, but is the Prince of
Wales "House Sparkling". The rise of English
Wine is also analysed deeper in
Access System" is released
(The Drinks Business) Coravin allows wine to
be removed from the bottle without pulling
the cork, replacing with inert gas to
prevent oxidation. Could this be the excuse
for wine enthusiasts to start tasting their
precious bottles earlier? Also reviewed on
Wine Spectator and
Amorim steps up
(The Drinks Business) The world's largest
cork manufacturer is set to use an
industrial-scale gas chromatography
prototype to try and further reduce
cork-taint in its high-end corks.
Côte de Beaune
Ravaged by Storm
(Wine-searcher) Beanue, Pommard, Volnay and
Mersault hit by violent storms with hail
damaging many vineyards. Articles in
Wine Spectator claim areas such as
Savigny have 60-100% vine damage.
winemakers bomb Carcassonne
(The Drinks Business) Militant winemakers
“CAV” (Comité d’Action Viticole) implicated
in bombing at Socialist Party HQ in
scraps plans for minimum pricing for alcohol
(Harpers) The government has formally
announced it is to axe proposals to
introduce a minimum price for a unit of
alcohol in England and Wales.
(The Drinks Business) Siblings Daniel & Dina
Snelling convicted of fraud with fake
investment companies Nouveau World Wines
and Finbow Wines.
(The Drinks Business) A look at a selection
of Italy's most famous grapes.
potential? What aging potential?
(Palate Press) "Should develop in 10 - 12
years" - a prediction? An educated guess?
How about a downright lie? W. Blake Gray
argues that changing wines means past rules
for wine aging may be next to worthless.
firsts too expensive for China
(The Drinks Business) Even after the first
major price reductions in top Bordeaux
prices since the 2008 vintage China's wine
merchants and consumers are not buying with
the enthusiasm of previous years.
was a grape trailblazer
(The Australian) Australian legend Peter
Lehmann dies from kidney disease at 82. "He
put Australian wine on the world map and on
shop shelves throughout Europe" - also
listen to an
ABC Radio news obituary.
Much of southwest declared disaster zone
(Decanter) Haut Pyrenees and Haut Garonne
areas of southwest France likely to be
declared a natural disaster zone, with
Champagne, Loire and Germany also heat by
destructive weather in the last few days.
Further update in this
Wine Spectator article.
(Wine-Searcher) After 4 years of research
Amorim introduces resealable cork stopper
"an unexpected twist to wine packaging".
Top 10 wine
(The Drinks Business) The world's top 10
global sellers listed by volume - number 2
may surprise you.
decimate Loire vines
(Decanter) A 10 minute storm with hailstones
"as big as eggs" caused widespread damage,
especially around the town of Tours with 30%
to 100% of crops reported destroyed. Half of
Vouvray's vineyards also affected.
merchant buys troubled online wine business
(The Drinks Business) Merchant S. H. Jones
buys assets of failed online retailer
Oenology Students attacked in Bordeaux
(Wine-Searcher) In what looks to be a
revenge attack by local drunken youths on a
supposed complaint to the Police 6 Chinese
student were attacked in the village of
Hostens in the Gironde, south of Bordeaux.
Details in French from "Sud Ouest" articles
harvest puts NZ back on track
(The Drinks Business) "One of the best
vintages in history" and a crop 28% up on
2012, 2013 saw "near perfect conditions" for
Hemisphere Harvest Report: South Africa
(Wine Spectator) A wet winter followed by a
dry, warm summer. But rain during harvest
made picking anxious at times. A complex
vintage with yields up 5 to 20 percent.
Hemisphere Harvest Report: Argentina and
(Wine Spectator) A cool growing season,
waiting for grapes to fully ripen. Not a
problem for big reds but it could be trouble
for Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
earliest-ever French winemaking found
(Decanter) Pine resin, rosemary and basil
suggest a medicinal component of ancient
wines as the Etruscans look to have
introduced wine to France as early as
across Europe delay growth 'by three weeks'
(Decanter) Double the annual rainfall for
May threatens to delay the Burgundy harvest
by up top a month, while Bordeaux, the Loire
and Tuscany also feel the effects of the
cold, wet spring.
Majority of UK
adults drinking within recommended
(Harpers Wine & Spirit) Just under 2/3 of UK
adults are drinking less than the weekly
recommended units, although 12% of school
children drink alcohol during a week.
Target Château Musar
(Wine-Searcher) Lebanon's famous winery
erects fencing around their Bekaa Valley
Vineyards as locals love their Grenache vine
leaves for the kitchen, leaving the grapes
exposed to the sun's glare!
harvest at record high
(Decanter) 2013 production at an all time
high with an expected 5.4% rise on 2012 to
1.5M tons. Reds, especially Pinotage,
expected to be good quality.
(Wine-Searcher) Heavy rain and floods affect
the Côte-d'Or and Chablis. Although some
cellar are underwater most vineyards are
unaffected, unlike in the Loire and Bergerac
where late frost and hail have damaged
First port of
(FT.com / Jancis Robinson) Why 2011 was a
very good year for vintage port, with a
review of the wine and the style; "a bit
like locking a stroppy teenager in a prison
Estate saved from administration
(The Drinks Business) BVE, makers of the E&E
Black Pepper Shiraz, bought by New Zealand
Delegat Group, owners of Oyster Bay.
true Teran is Istrian
(The Drinks Business) Croatia is battling
Slovenia and the EU on use of "Teran", a
Slovenian PDO but also a grape used in
Croatia's Istrian region with a long
study 'exaggerated and full of mistakes':
(Decanter) Michel Chapoutier expresses
frustration at this month's earlier news on
Global Warming affecting world vineyards -
‘Scientific studies have a tendancy (sic)
to look so closely under the microscope that
they miss the big picture’.
Slim pickings :
Bordeaux 2012 - a timorous vintage
(FT.com / Jancis Robinson) Robinson's nod to
Burns with ‘a small, cunning, cowering,
timorous vintage made by the skin of its
teeth’. A Merlot year, especially Pomerol,
with good quality dry whites in Pessac-Léognan
Galloni settle dispute
(Decanter) Lawsuit withdrawn after the
dispute is "resolved amicably" with a
confidential settlement. Galloni's Sonoma
and Brunello wine reports to be available on
the Wine Advocate in April & May.
Bill Koch $12 Million in Counterfeit Wine
(Wine Spectator) California Internet
entrepreneur Eric Greenberg found guilty of
selling Florida energy executive Koch fake
wine...and knowing about it. Koch happy that
he has broken "a code of silence in this
bloody wine business".
may lose up to 73% of land by 2050
(Decanter) Mediterranean Europe & Australia
may lose 70% of current wine regions due to
climate change, while Northern Europe & New
Zealand could double their territory. Future
vineyard expansion is likely to clash with
conservation needs, especially in China and
the U.S. (For another view of the data
Advocate Announces New Reviewer
(Wine Searcher) Colorado based Jeb Dunnuck
will take over from Robert Parker reviewing
the Rhône, Southern France, Washington,
Southern & Central California. Parker
returns to reviewing Northern California
including Napa & Sonoma.
Biondi Santi, Legendary Figure of Brunello
di Montalcino, Dead at 91
(Wine Spectator) Patriarch of the Tenuta
Greppo estate credited with creating
Brunello di Montalcino dies. Also on
(FT.com) All 50 US States produce wine, with
8000 producers across the nation. Jancis
Robinson recounts tales of American wine
stocks at all-time low
(Harpers Wine & Spirit) German producers are
selling all they can make and prices remain
healthy. The country is also firmly
established as the 3rd largest Pinot Noir
producing nation (behind France & the USA).
Hemisphere Wine Forecasts
(Wine Searcher) Argentina and New Zealand
harvests rise, South Africa holds at a
healthy level although Australian yields are
down, according to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. In a separate report
New Zealand hails ‘vintage of a lifetime’
(The Drinks Business)
winery attacker sent to jail
(Wine Searcher) Andrea di Gisi sentenced to
4 years for opening the taps on 62,600
litres of Case Basse Brunello. Owner
Gianfranco Soldera also announces his
resignation from the Consorzio under a
cloud, which prompted
an angry response.
Counterfeit Wines Go on Trial
(Wine Spectator) Koch v. Greenberg finally
goes to trial after 7 years, with
accusations of fake wine knowingly being put
up for auction.
Releases Older Wines—Is Anyone Buying?
(Wine Spectator) Château Latour (who left
en primeur last year) releases an
allocation of 1995 but demand is cautious
with at least three major négociants
refusing to take the wine.
Anger as wine and spirits taxes rise yet
(Harper's Wine & Spirit) Beer may be off the
tax escalator, but Wine & Spirits stay on an
above inflation ride, rising by 5.3%, and
meaning tax on wine has risen 50% since
Wine Advocate sues ex-critic Antonio Galloni
for missing tasting notes
(LA Times) The Wine Advocate is suing
Antonio Galloni for breach of contract and
fraud over an undelivered review of Sonoma
Local Wine School looks to expand franchise
operation to the United States
(Harper's Wine & Spirit)
The Local Wine School is joining forces
with London's The Tasting Quarter to offer
wine education and entertainment to the US.
Newcastle based founder Chris Powell also
confirms he's sold Newcastle Wine School
which he started 15 years ago.
breakaway sparkling wine appellation to
(Decanter) Conca Del Riu Anoia in eastern
Penedes proposed as alternative sparkling
wine appellation by Raventos I Blanc, who
quit Cava last year.
trade deluded about independents
(The Drinks Business) Independent Wine
Merchants struggle to make money - "it's a
lifestyle choice..." says Bill Rolfe.
Diversification with deli products one
answer to turn a profit.
Vineyard back in business
(Harper's Wine & Spirit) Just over 2 months
after going into administration (see
January) Wickham Wine Estates Ltd. is
created following a buyout by the former
surface over new Chianti classification
(Decanter) Chianti Classico now has a new
classification above Riserva; ‘Gran
Selezione’ starts with the 2010 vintage for
Estate Grown grapes (intended for single
vineyard) but concerns and criticisms are
bottles of Palmer stolen from Château
(The Drinks Business) Thieves make away with
30 cases of wine after breaking in through
the roof, but were later recovered with 7
suspects arrested for a spate of local
(Decanter) Patriarch of Symington's Port
business (owners of Graham’s, Cockburn’s,
Dow’s, Warre’s and Quinta do Vesuvio) dies
at 87. See also
Michael Symington: a tribute (Harpers)
(The Wine Spectator) All alcohol
advertisements banned in traditional and
online media, with authorities warning the
ban may be applied to the editorial content
of wine publications and newspaper wine
St. Emilion chateaux begin legal action
(Decanter) Chateau Croque-Michotte, Château
La Tour du Pin Figeac and Château Corbin-Michotte
to take their grievances before a Bordeaux
tribunal. INAO officials accused of "not
respecting their own rules".
consumption overtaking beer in UK
(The Drinks Business) Beer and cider
consumption falling while wine on the rise,
according to the Office of Budget
World Wine and
Spirits Market plus Look Forward to 2016
(sopexa/Vinexpo Press Release) U.S. is
leading wine consuming nation by volume but
for red falls to 4th, overtaken by China and
behind France & Italy. Total European wine
consumption down between 2007 & 2011.
Kurniawan Loses Bid to Exclude
(The Wine Spectator) A Federal judge rules
that the search which led to the discovery
of a "wine-counterfeiting workshop" during
the arrest of Rudy Kurniawan in March 2012
Montlouis-sur-Loire cuts itself loose from
(Decanter) Montlouis disassociates itself
from the official Loire trade body with
spokesman François Chidaine saying "we can
do better" promoting and marketing the AOC
under the shadow of Vouvray.
price in UK breaks £5 mark
(The Drinks Business) Average retail price
£5.03 a bottle with £5.10 expected by the
end of the year with tax accounting for 60%
of a £5 bottle of wine in the UK.
Is It Worth It
to Age Wines Anymore?
(The Wine Spectator) Matt Kramer argues that
few wines nowadays require the cellar time
that was once essential and 5 years is all
you need to consider for most bottles.
producer goes under
(The Drinks Business) Established in 1984,
Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire goes into
administration with the loss of 24 jobs
related to failure of Wine Shak retail
For 2012's wine news