Jackson Family buys Brewer-Clifton: Jackson Family Wines has purchased Brewer-Clifton, a Sta. Rita Hills producer renowned for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the third Pinot Noir-focused winery that JFW has acquired in the past year. The founder and winemaker, Greg Brewer, will continue making the wines. [Wine Spectator]
Chile’s early harvest: Chile’s harvest this year was up to a month early in some areas. Very high temperatures and low yields marked the vintage as well. Coastal regions were protected from extreme heat, but the Secano Interior suffered from not just high temperatures but also drought and the recent fires. [Decanter]
More debate about processed wine: Eric Asimov dives into the debate initially sparked by Bianca Bosker’s March op-ed (here's a good forum discussion on the subject). He asserts that bad wine is exactly that and notes that the role of the critic should not be conflated with that of an industry mouthpiece. [NYT]
Wine list balancing act: PUNCH examines the challenge of balancing a historic image with casting a new one when building a wine list, using the new Union Square Cafe as an example. Wine Director Jason Wagner's list pays homage to wines historically on the old list, while also applying that ethos to choosing new selections. [PUNCH]
Frost & climate change: Andrew Jefford steps back to take a broader perspective on the recent frosts in Europe, considering various theories about these weather events and climate change. Previously, many thought climate change was neutralizing frost danger, but recent events suggest the opposite might be the case. [Decanter]
Gallo in Napa: Alder Yarrow considers Gallo’s increasing presence in Napa. Though it has been viewed as more of a Sonoma-based brand in recent years, for much of the late 1900s, Gallo purchased over 40% of the grapes grown in Napa. Now that the company is reaching for higher tiers of the market, it has returned. [JancisRobinson.com]
What do you think?
What are your thoughts on Jackson Family Wines' recent pursuit of Pinot Noir-focused estates?
What's your response to Asimov's article? Do you agree with his responses to Bosker and others? What does he get wrong? What might you add?
Have you encountered challenges with a wine list similar to the old-versus-new balancing act at Union Square Cafe? What do you think of the restaurant's current approach and the examples mentioned from the list? Even better, have you been to explore the list in person? What did you think?
What is your response to the climate change theories that Jefford describes?
What do you think is ahead for Napa Valley?
What else have you been reading this week?