PARKER “RETIRES” – Alder Yarrow gives a concise breakdown of the changes underway at the Wine Advocate after Lettie Teague’s “Big Shake-Up” story on Robert Parker’s “retirement” dropped in last week’s WSJ. [Vinography]
THE $15M DEAL – Singapore businessman Soo Hoo Khoon Peng is reported to be the new primary shareholder of TWA, along with shareholders connected with Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. [Decanter]
SOLDERA SUSPECT IDENTIFIED – Italian police say they’ve identified and are close to the arrest of a former Case Basse worker in the crime that left the winery emptied of 62,600 liters of wine on December 2. [Wine-Searcher]
NAPA GRAPE SHORTAGE – “Mondavi alone is in the process of planting 1.5 million new vines,” and nurseries can’t keep up. So will the new plantings change the face of Napa? [SF Chronicle]
VERSET, CLAPE, JAMET & GENTAZ – Mannie Berk tastes bottles from Northern Rhône icons—vintages 88, 89, 90, 91—and comments on how things have changed since that “golden age.” [Rare Wine Co.]
THE FIRST APPELLATION? – Grape geneticist Dr. José Vouillamoz set out to find where vines were first purposely cultivated. Current best guess? Turkey.
2010 MOUTON LABEL – Artist Jeff Koons designed the 2010 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild label; Koons is the world’s most expensive artist and is known as the “Willy Wonka of art.” [Decanter]
Would love to hear YOUR thoughts:
Super excited to have this as a regular feature. Thanks Stevie!
I saw today that the arrest took place in the Soldera case.
Yep; here's the Decanter article: www.decanter.com/.../police-arrest-suspect-in-soldera-wine-sabotage. I love how "They also revealed they have seized a pair of wine-stained jeans, which will be tested to see if they can match the stains with Soldera's wine."
Anybody want to share some Soldera with the rest of us? I had a bottle of 1993 about a year ago, poured to me blind, and I was devastated in the best way possible. It was stunning, elegant, lithe, unforgettable. The only Case Basse I've ever had, and I've been fiending for more ever since.
I had a bottle of 96 about two months ago at Pappa's in Dallas. It was solid but not phenomenal. Two bottles of 04 Riserva in my cellar; I probably should sell them now! I pulled it off my wine list since I have no idea what these bottles are worth right now. I had it listed for about $350. (My wine list is cheap) I heard rumors that bottles are going for over $1000??
Good job compiling an interesting array of topics! Answers to questions. No. No. Love Rhone wines and would enjoy participating in a tasting - seems like a great cold weather wine. I would stick to Cab or blends but find things like Von Strasser Gruner and Reverie Barbera interesting. Always interested in ancient wine history. I enjoy keeping up with the Mouton label artists so this was a good story although I'll have to revisit this one - no for now.
I have a question from reading about the Northern Rhone tasting: It seems people are infatuated with single vineyard wines. How do people feel about single vineyard bottlings vs creating a best wine from blending? I know this is sacrilege, but what if someone, say DRC, created a best wine from a blend their great sites?
Thank you, Stevie, for compiling this interesting set of articles of particular interest to us as sommeliers. Like Geoff, I'm excited to be able to check in here and see this as a regular feature. How often do you plan to post these digests? I'd be delighted to see such posts at least once or twice a week. Like Andy, I love reading about ancient wine history (new discoveries, research related to it, etc.). I would be interested to read news, on an ongoing basis, on the impact of climate change on wine regions around the world and any adjustments that growers are making or planting of vines into new areas as a result of climate change. Keep up the good work, Stevie! It's appreciated.
Great discussion topic!
Regarding Ms. Robinson's new book: I have not been able to purchase it yet but I just read an article in Decanter written by the author and am intrigued. I love learning about new varietals and trying new wines (not to mention hauling out oversized books lol) so this book is on my "want" list.
Thanks for this feature, Stacie! Looking forward to reading on a regular basis.
Great feature! Not too long ago a guest came in and ordered 1997 and 1998 Soldera Riserva side by side. We tasted with him and 98 kicked the 97's butt. 97 seemed tired and 98 was very, very good and remarkably fresh. Now I am thinking we should take them off the list for the time being?
Thanks for the enthusiasm Peter and Steven! (PS I'm Stevie.) I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the other topics discussed above! The part of our discussion posts is, well, to discuss, yes? :)
This is awesome, Stevie. Obviously this was a big news couple of weeks in the wine world, but there are always lots of interesting topics up for discussion! The Soldera story devestated me as it did many others, I'm one of the Lucky (cap intended) ones who has had the opportunity to taste it, but even if I hadn't, it's a legend in our industry and to see it destroyed in such a way is absolutely mindblowing. Parker's retirement I could write volumes on, just because I think I came into the industry at a very unique time where I was a young female who was surronded by older men who idolized him and therefore caused me to delve into WA and his wine buyer's guides. I'm happy that the industry is at a place now where there is so much freedom and excitement, it's very inspiring, but I also admit to feeling a bit of nostalgia and sadness at the decline of guys like him who bowed at the altar of Bordeaux and Burgundy and gave unbelievably comprehensive guides to the regions, wineries and vintages. I hope that younger people in the industry will always have respect for that depth of knowledge and the sharing of it. As to Andy's point about blending, I love Northern Rhone almost more than any other wine region. That being said, my role as Australian wine ambassador necessitates my saying (although I firmly believe it personally as well) that there is absolutely a role in the world for great blended wines!