Balance in California: Oz Clarke gives his take on the state of “balance” in California wine. Words like “green” and “freshness” are more common these days, and cooler mountain vineyards are more prized. But balance is only part of the movement; thrilling wines are what really command our attention—and our definition of "thrilling" is changing. [Decanter]
Jancis Robinson’s notebooks: Jancis Robinson has given her papers, including 275 notebooks, letters, copies of published work, and more, to the Peter J. Shields Library at UC Davis. They join papers from such esteemed figures as Hugh Johnson, Robert Mondavi, and grape breeder Dr. Harold Olmo. Robinson’s materials will be available to the public beginning in April. [The Sacramento Bee]
Winery sales likely to increase: The Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the Wine Industry report for 2017 predicts that sales of wineries will continue to increase in coming years. Aging baby boomers want to retire; selling to larger companies provides financial support, access to grapes, and marketing resources. From the buyer perspective, the dollar is strong and debt inexpensive, and consumer demand continues to grow. [Bloomberg]
Beer poptimism: Poptimism—the idea that pop music is as worthy of serious consideration as rock—may be coming for beer. There is now a growing appreciation for widely accessible, mass-market beers, a response to the domination of increasingly obscure craft brews. Should the consistency of Budweiser be admired as much as the hops of Pliny the Younger? And today, what has cultural capital? [Eater]
Corsican reds & terroir: Eric Asimov defends the notion of terroir, pointing to the example of the red wines of Corsica, where wines made from the grape Sciaccarellu are much more impressive than examples grow in Tuscany, where it's usually blended into Chianti and other wines. With the panel, he tastes 18 examples. [NYT]
More French protests: Several protests occurred on Tuesday in the Languedoc as French winemakers continued expressing their anger at cheap Spanish wine imports. The protesters say that these cheap imports are costing them sales within their own country. [Decanter]
What do you think?
What would you add to Oz Clarke's comments about balance in California? In your mind, what are the most exciting current developments or trends in California wine?
Have you visited the Peter J. Shields Library? What treasures did you find?
Do you think that the State of the Wine Industry predictions about continued winery sales are reasonable? What do you expect?
Has poptimism come for beer? What has cultural capital in your circles?
How do YOU feel about terroir? If defending it, which regions do you think offer the best evidence?
What else have you been reading this week?