Everyone loves a good hologram

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 by CordMedina

On Wednesday, December 7th, chef de cave Richard Geoffroy made a global declaration of the 2003 vintage for the house of Dom Pérignon. As hokey and embellished as the event promised to be (Geoffroy was to appear live via hologram in major cities worldwide), the geek factor was high, and I was almost as eager for the thrill of the spectacle as I was for a taste of the wine. (Come on, we’ve all gone to movies just to ogle the special effects…)

Winemaker Richard Geoffroy
Winemaker Richard Geoffroy

It’s a bold move to declare the 2003 vintage. We all remember the canicule – the scorching heat of the season — and some might recall the troublesome frosts in April that made the chardonnay crop scarce. Geoffroy, it appears, was up for a challenge.

He explained that he hadn . . . Continue reading →

1 Comment

Rocawear d’Asti

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 by Joshua Greene

The blond woman with the ringlet curls was behind the front desk at Relais San Maurizio when I came down in the morning to ask about a running trail. The hotel, perched at the top of a ridge with precipitous vineyard slopes on three sides, was accessible only by a switchback road from one direction, and a narrow lane from another. With the sporadic immediacy of the morning traffic, neither route seemed like a safe place to clear my head.

The gentleman behind her suggested the road was the place to run, and that it was not a problem. The woman conferred with him in hushed Italian and then asked if I would mind running in the vineyard. Is there a path? There is a road, she said. Just right here, pointing out beyond the old monastery . . . Continue reading →

Leave a comment

New Reviews

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 by Joshua Greene

We’ve now updated our Top 100 Wineries of 2011 with wine reviews from our December issue.  Those latest reviews mainly focus on Champagne, California and Washington State cabernet, Barolo and Barbaresco, Rioja and German riesling.

If you missed our Top 100 event in San Francisco this past October, check out the gallery of photos by Jen Siska. It’s a who’s who of wine industry geeks and the people who love them—and proof that warm moonlit nights do occasionally bless SF in the fall.

Leave a comment

From Coonawarra to Shanghai

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 by Joshua Greene

The accolades have been pouring in for Penfolds Bin 620, a blend of Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon and shiraz referencing one of Max Schubert’s Special Bin wines last produced in 1966.

Peter Gago
Peter Gago

Peter Gago, Penfolds’ chief winemaker, launched the new vintage last week in Shanghai, territory the Bordelais have effectively ruled with their own collectible cabernets. As trade accelerates between Australia and China, the choice to launch Bin 620 on foreign soil was more than a diplomatic initiative. While pricing the wine at nearly two times the cost of Grange, Penfolds was, in effect, giving Chinese collectors first dibs on a wine they and few others can currently afford.

Most of the rest of the buyers for 620 will be collectors in Australia, as it is to be sold exclusively from the cellar door. And it is . . . Continue reading →

Leave a comment

Where’s Bordeaux?

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 by Joshua Greene

There are a number of serious wine collectors, trade buyers and journalists who have questioned why our Top 100 does not include any Bordeaux. One of them, W. Blake Gray, recently posted an entry at his Gray Report, commenting that we had “excluded” Bordeaux producers from the tasting.

Just to set the record straight, we have no intention of leaving out Bordeaux. On the other hand, we do not make exceptions in our tasting policies.

The Top 100 selections are based on quality and terroir expression, attributes we assess through blind panel tastings in our offices. Our main goal is to provide wine reviews for the trade and consumers. Our tastings work on other levels as well: as an educational opportunity for high-level trade, providing the opportunity for . . . Continue reading →

Leave a comment