Lately there's been a lot of hand-wringing and populist nonsense about limited-production wines from tiny vineyards or extremely small producers. The premise is always the same: Wine writers like me, and even more so the big wine-tasting mandarins who taste thousands of wines a year, panning for wine gold, are always praising wines that Average Joe or Jane can't obtain.
y Jancis Robinson)The beginning of March may not exactly be the start of spring but it does usher in that part of the year when, in the northern hemisphere at least, champagne or a variant thereon is routinely poured at social and nuptial gatherings. So many British
Alcohol, a necessary byproduct of fermenting ripe grapes, seems to have polarized the wine community these past few years. Most wine drinkers seem to like ripe flavors in wine, and don't mind if alcohol levels are higher, but a vocal minority wants to change that. There's even an organization of vintners in California, In Pursuit of Balance, which stumps for lower levels of alcohol.
Deeply philosophical, he is a man who points out that while modern biodynamic farming was spawned by Rudolf Steiner in 1920s Austria; “You only have to look towards Taoist philosophies of the last few millennia to see the exact same thing.” He’s a man unafraid to unleash a little cheeky bravado, sharing that, “Every winemaker will tell you that their region is the best in the world, but what makes the Rhône Valley so unique is that in the Rhône, it’s actually true.”
The heavy, glass-engraved bottle is one of the most distinctive in wine. Most of us allow our fingers to linger briefly over the embossed keys of St Peter and the papal insignia whenever we open a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, an absent-minded...
Call it the modern winemaker's dilemma—better vineyard techniques and a warming climate in many regions have made it much easier to ripen grapes. The flip side is that picking fully mature fruit often means high sugar levels, which lead to wines with higher alcohol levels. If the wine tastes balanced, no problem, say many winemakers. But what if it doesn't?