Today I take pleasure in upending one of the most common wine story tropes: the “disappearing underappreciated wine” story. These stories play the emotions like a zither: loss, urgency to act, the opportunity to be one of a special group of people who appreciate exotic beauty. I’ve written a bunch of them: about Madeira, artisan …
The Sottimano estate was founded in 1974 by Maggiore Sottimano, and is currently run by Mr. Rino Sottimano together with his son Andrea and his daughter Elena. We visit the estate in November last year and met with Elena and Rino Sottimano.
In a recent "Article of Merit" on his web site, wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. went on a tear against what he described as essentially one or many anti-consumer movements that fly in the face of what he believes is proper and right when it comes to the "truth" of quality wine. In this sweeping piece of highly-charged opinion, Parker manages to condemn the "natural wine movement," the "low alcohol wine movement," and a whole string of "obscure grape varieties." He ends his article with the following statement: "I desperately have tried to find merit in these movements, and would love to invite well-reasoned arguments that support them. The fundamentals of open and cordial discussion and debate are essential."
What if I told you there’s a region with 6th-generation family-owned wineries, passionate young winemakers, and distinctive red and white wines that are truly reflective of their terroir? What if I told you these wines can be had for under $20?
Bruno Giacosa is an icon of Piedmont. A guardian of the traditional style, he has made benchmark Barbarescos and Barolos since 1961. I recently had the opportunity to taste 17 vintages of Giacosa's Barbaresco Asili Riserva, Barolo Falletto Riserva and Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva spanning the years 2008 to 1967.
Napa Wines and a Diversity of Opinions. Who would have thought a simple little tasting of lesser known grape varieties made into wine in Napa would be so divisive? Last month, as many of you know, a bunch of journalists and aspiring journalists attended the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa. This three-day event offers a unique opportunity to both network with fellow wine writers, as well as to improve one's craft. The organizers (which includes me, by way of full disclosure, as a member of the event's advisory board) attempt to create an agenda that focuses partly on wine knowledge, partly on the craft...
Last week, some of the nation’s top wine writers gathered in Napa Valley for the annual Wine Writers Symposium. The most anticipated event took place at 8:30am on Wednesday. While wine writers typically aren't a morning bunch, the room was absolutely packed a full thirty minutes before Parker's arrival. Those who followed #WWS14 on Twitter were able to follow (and react) to Parker's remarks in real time. Bill Ward collected some of the best quotes, and Fred Swan has already reacted.
Note from the author: There are 1,368 varieties covered in Wine Grapes by MW Jancis Robinson, MW Julia Harding, and Dr. Jose Vouillamoz. This past year, I've been drinking my way through. Verdelho Madeira: making spirits bright.