Blog # 95

 

 Large 2023 Crush

     California's large grape crop of 2023 is great news for wine lovers.  The total of 3.67 million tons crushed is 8 percent more than in 2022, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's annual grape crush report. Moreover, California is poised to make more of the wines people love, and less of the supermarket wines that fewer people are buying.

     There will be more white wine. More Napa Cabernet. More Sonoma Chardonnay. More Central Coast and Mendocino County wine. And while inflation isn't going to be suddenly reversed, the law of supply and demand should keep prices from rising.

     The Ciatti Company said many tons of fruit, even from good regions, never made it to the crushpad.

    "We continue to believe that the potential crop out there was bigger than 4 million tons," Proctor said.  "There was still unpicked crop in Sonoma County. Not just there."

 



 






                       Larry Brooks
                                                            Larry Brooks



                           Great New Wine Book

      My good friend and past wine maker at Acacia and numerous other wineries including his own Campion has written a fabulous book - Liquid Geography, by Larry Brooks.  Here are just a few of his book excerpts: 
    "What does give women their real advantage as tasters over men is their greater native ability to focus on emotional and intuitive thinking…"
     "Over 400 aroma compounds have been identified in wine."
    “Wine is the intellectual part of a meal” Alexandre Dumas.
    “The flavor of wine is like delicate poetry” Louis Pasteur.
     The book is currently free at Liquid Geography by Larry Brooks.  And it's a great read!


                                    https://larrybrooks.substack.com

 

 

 

 

 

Pruning Respect Large Photo

 

            Rose Taint In Your Wine

    Have you ever had a red wine that smelled unpleasantly like "grandma's perfume?" If so, you may have experienced "rose taint" – and climate change may make this more common in years to come.
    What happens is that grapevines awaken early – this is becoming more common because of global warming – and immediately begin producing new leaves. But then, because it's still February or March, a frost comes in and kills the leaves. The leaves dry up and crinkle, becoming tiny and almost impossible to remove. It is these frost-dried leaves that put the rose taint in your wine.
    Here's something European purists won't like. Vineyards in heatwaves really need to be irrigated, said Elizabeth Forrestel, assistant professor in UC Davis' Viticulture and Enology.  Forrestel said that if vines are not irrigated during a heatwave, the resulting wine will simply not taste as good.
    Forrestel said that the best way for vineyard owners to prepare for climate change is to plan to have a shorter growing season, with an earlier harvest, because extreme climate events tend to happen in autumn.  And, irrigate in heatwaves

 

 

 

     Grape art Oct

                 Cabernet Franc - The New Hot Varietal                    

    Since the grape Cabernet Franc was imported from Bordeaux with it's fellow blending grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,  and Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot (and very occasionally, Carménère) - its singular quality as a food wine has exploded. 

    Interestingly, the grape is practical in the vineyard, requiring less growing season than its family member and Napa Valley darling, Cabernet Sauvignon. This makes Cabernet Franc more reliable in cooler vintages and ensures its availability for early harvests when weather conditions and fire smoke pose threats.

    It offers a spectrum of flavors, from lush, dark fruits with significant aging potential to crunchy red, brambly fruits with green pepper notes.

 

 

The Most Wanted Wines in 2023

 Prices worldwide on Wine-Searcher (US$, ex-tax, per 750-ml bottle):

    So was it always thus? Was the wine world only ever interested in Bordeaux First Growths, with the odd seasoning of Champagne and Burgundy thrown in? Well, the answer is: pretty much, yes.

    Looking at the list of the all-time most searched-for wines on Wine-Searcher, we find that eight of the same wines are in the top 10. The only changes are the presence of the Saint-Émilion star Château Cheval Blanc, and Napa standard-bearer Opus One, in ninth and 10th positions, respectively.

                         

Check out the mustard season in the vineyards.

 

 

Wine Books To Check Out



                                Grapes anna moeller     

                                  Biodynamic Wine Demystified

    “Wine is made in the vineyard” is the mantra of many a winemaker. But what does it mean, really? Esteemed winemaker and biodynamic pioneer Nicholas Joly believes a wine that is well-made in the vineyard. It must express its unique terroir—the character imbued by a vine’s particular plot of well-tended earth. We agree.
                                         $ 29.95 ISBN 9781934259023

 


                                   How And Why to Build a Wine Cellar

    This popular classic, which is based on the author's personal experiences of building a wine cellar in his home and collecting wines for fun and investment, is now completely updated for the modern wine collector.  Richard Gold 
                                         $ 29.95 ISBN 9781891267000

 

 

 

 

Why Winter Is a Great Time to Visit Sonoma Wine Country

                                                                      Mustard in March


    Some like it hot, but Wine Country can be truly magical in the milder months. The region’s temperate climate means that it never gets too cold, even in the dead of winter, making outdoor excursions and activities pleasant during much of the season.
    There are more opportunities to join in friendly chats with winemakers who, on slower days, might also be more inclined to pour you vintages not always available to the public.
Winter is also a time to experience pruning season in Sonoma Wine Country, when winemakers and vineyard workers shape the dormant vines for the coming harvest season and wineries invite guests for special tours anmight also be more inclined to pour you vintages not always available to the public.
    Wine Country is replete with more affordable dining options during Restaurant Week, which runs from Feb. 19 to Feb. 25 in 2024.d tastings.
 
    Last year, nearly 100 restaurants offered prix fixe menus that included two and three courses for a fixed price, ranging from $10 to $15 to $25 for lunch, $25 to $35 to $55 for dinner and a “sweet perk” for $5.

                             Wine Train New 3 
                         

 

 

 

                               Napa Valley Wine Train Near Zero Emission                        
                                                                             

The Napa Valley Wine Train has placed the first of two Tier 4 compliant switcher units into service as the tourist railroad’s new regular motive power. According to Nathan Davis of the Wine Train the new Rolls Royce engines are near "zero emission". 

    Napa Valley Railroad NZE15B No. 1864 arrived on Oct. 30, 2023. The 1,560-hp unit was rebuilt by Knoxville Locomotive Works from a National Railway Equipment Co. 3GS21B genset unit built in 2008. The gold, maroon, and green locomotive was immediately readied for a test run and operated the length of the railroad with an empty 10-car passenger train. After performing flawlessly on the test, the locomotive pulled its first revenue train on Friday, Nov. 3.

    No. 1864 and another Tier 4 locomotive are slated to replace two of the Wine Train’s signature ex-Canadian National, ex-VIA Rail Canada FPA4 locomotives; an ex-Southern Pacific RS11; a GP9R; an ex-U.S. Navy GE 65-ton switcher, and an ex-U.S. Air Force GE 80-ton switcher, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) website

     A number of small modifications can be spotted on No. 1864 that it received during its career as CSX 3GS21B No. 1304. Changes so that the unit could operate in electrified territory include moving the front air horn from the cab roof to between the number boards above the cab windshield; installing shorter air conditioning units on the cab roof; moving the battery box doors further into the unit’s body, and other minor adjustments.

 

                          Blog #84
                    The Core Value of Recycling Glass


    Recycling glass bottles is core to a circular packaging economy since recycled bottles are crushed and cleaned to produce cullet, which goes back into the glass furnace to make new bottles. Using this recycled cullet reduces the natural resources and energy needed to produce glass. In fact, increasing cullet to 55% reduces the use of sand, limestone and soda ash in half. Since cullet melts at a lower temperature, every additional 10% of cullet used reduces a furnace’s energy use by 2.5% and CO2 emissions by 5%.
                        

 

 

       Blog #83
                                                                             
                                     Vineyard Cheval Blanc

                       A White Bordeaux Hits The World's Most Expensive Bordeaux List


     Who says red wine has to be the most expensive wines in the world? At last a white Bordeaux - Chateau Haut Brion Blanc hits the top 10! 
    Assemblage 51,4% sémillon, 48,6% sauvignon Degré d’alcool 14,2° (provisoire) Barriques neuves 40,4%.
    Translation: 51.4 % Semillon, 48.6 % Sauvignon Blanc, 14.2% Alcohol, 40.4 % New barrels.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog # 82

Harvest Report October, Four Weeks Late
    The 2023 California winegrape harvest has gotten off to a late start, with vintners just beginning to pick in most regions. Due to cooler temperatures this spring and summer, which have allowed grapes to mature slowly and gradually, timing is anywhere from a week or two behind normal to nearly a month late. While it is still early in the harvest, California vintners are looking forward to a high-quality 2023 vintage.
    As of the end of September, picking of early-ripening grape varieties sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir in Lake and Mendocino counties was about 85% done. And, the harvest of red varieties there is over one-third completed,
    Meanwhile, less than 10% of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay in Sonoma and Napa counties have been picked, only about 5% of pinot noir and around 2% of cabernet sauvignon and other red grapes.

 

 

Blog # 81

A Cesna 172 plane in a Chardonnay vineyard in Sonoma

 

Here's something you don't see every day: a Cessna 172 airplane hoisted out of a Sonoma vineyard. On Aug. 19, after his engine failed, pilot William Tomkovic of Healdsburg made an emergency landing in Russian River Valley's El Diablo Vineyard, one of California's best Chardonnay vineyards and a source for top wines from Kosta BrowneArista and Ram’s Gate. El Diablo is located just 2 miles away from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.

While you might not think of vineyards as runways, this isn't the first time planes have landed among grapes. In 2005, a Cessna crash landed in a vineyard row belonging to Jaeger Vineyards, taking out 12 vines.

 

 

 

Blog #79

 

Sonoma Vintners Auction 2023

 

 2023 Sonoma County Wine Auction
                                    Raises Over $1.3 Million for Sonoma County Nonprofits
                                    More Than 430 Charitable Organizations Funded to Date
    SANTA ROSA, CA (September 20, 2023) – Sonoma County Vintners Foundation (SCVF) is pleased to announce that its annual Sonoma County Wine Auction (SCWA) has raised over $1.3 million. These proceeds will fund next year’s SCVF Community Grants for nonprofit organizations in the areas of education & literacy, health & human services, the environment, and arts & culture as well as the Emergency Relief Fund. The 2023 SCWA was held at the breathtaking La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard on September 16, 2023. Since the auction’s inception more than $41 million has been raised, directly benefiting Sonoma County community members in need.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog # 78

          Summer art burger 

The Top Most Popular Restaurant Brands Today 
     
    If you were wondering what wines are most popular
                  in restaurants today, here is the list
     1 Cakebread.  
        2 Jordan
        3 Duckhorn
        4 Silver Oak
        5 Frank Family
        6 La Crema
        7 Stags Leap Wine Cellars
        8 Decoy
        9 Franciscian

 

 

 

Blog #77

 

 

Switching to Electric
    Switching to electric trucks can offer a multitude of benefits for our businesses, our customers, and the planet. The vehicles that drive the beverage industry are about to get a major revamp.  A new breed of transportation entrepreneurs are testing fully electric and even self-driving trucks to tackle some of the beverage industry’s most pressing problems, including driver shortages, high maintenance costs, volatile fuel pricing, and safety concerns.
    The sheer size of the beverage alcohol industry, along with the unique challenges of beverage distribution, makes it especially attractive to this new wave of trucking entrepreneurs. And it helps that the current limitations of electric-truck battery technology fits the nature of beverage distribution quite well.
    Examples such as Thor Trucks joins the likes of TeslaNikolaWorkhorse, the Chinese company BYD, and others in developing this next generation of electric and self-driving trucks. Even trucking industry veterans like PeterbiltDaimler, and Cummins are announcing their own electric models. 
    But if self-driving trucks eventually become a reality, A-B will be remembered for an historic milestone. In 2016 the company made the first beer shipment with such a vehicle. It used an Otto self-driving truck to deliver thousands of cans of Budweiser from an Anheuser-Busch facility in Loveland, Colorado, to the company’s wholly owned distributorship in Colorado Springs—a distance of 100 miles.  If the beer business can do it, the wine business surely will. 


Blog # 76
                                            Kissing 2

    Fun Shipping Facts, Kissing In Iowa

A lawsuit against the state of Iowa by a tiny Oregon winery – Pheasant Court Winery, which produces only 300 cases per year – exposed a weird facet of Iowa wine law that surely some court will strike down.

Wineries currently can only ship wine to Iowa restaurants and retail stores if the applicant (presumably the owner) is "of good moral character". And, the law further states, only residents of Iowa can possibly be of good moral character.

Kissing is legal in Iowa! As long as:

1) The man doesn't have a mustache. In that case he must only kiss in private, where no morally upright Iowans can see that mess. No kidding, that's Iowa law.

2) The kiss doesn't last longer than five minutes (illegal statewide). Otherwise, you can just forget about shipping Chardonnay to Des Moines.

    Blog # 75       

  

   Just in case you were wondering what the numbers are for our fine wine business in Northern California, here you go:

Napa County
Vineyards: 46,000 acres
Crop value: $891 million
Physical wineries: 475
Wine-related employees: 44,000
Annual economic impact: $34 billion
Sonoma County
Vineyards: 59,000 acres
Crop value: $546 million
Physical wineries: 425
Wine-related employees: 54,000
Annual economic impact: $13 billion
Sources: County crop reports, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Vintners Asc

 

 

Blog # 74

                             Launch Vintners Diary                     
                 This is a must see video at Vintnersdiary.com!!!!

              This Vintners Video Diary Will Revolutionize Wine News

                                       

Blog # 73

 

Stags Leap, Stags' Leap or Stag's Leap?

 

                        Stags Leap WC Fay 1999 Cab
               
    The Stags Leap name comes from the legend that a great stag, being pursued by
hunters, made a seemingly impossible leap between the two rocky peaks that sit high above the valley. This name has been a source of some controversy – specifically the absent possessive apostrophe.
    Two producers founded in the 1970s – Stags' Leap Winery (now as well known for
 its Petite Sirah as for its Cabernet Sauvignon) and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 
(founded by Warren Winiarski) – came to legal blows in the mid-1980s over the name.  The former was accused of benefitting from the publicity gained by the latter
in the infamous Judgement of Paris tasting.
    The subsequent ruling was that each would keep the Stags Leap name, but with
a distinct apostrophe placement. In the late 1980s, the two producers banded together  to fight for the creation of the official Stags Leap District in 1989. That AVA would  eschew the apostrophe altogether.

                                                                           

 

 

 

Blog # 72

Selling Domaine Curry 



 Ayesha Curry has been a household name in America since her husband Stephen Curry 
started swishing threes in the NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors. However, the
34-year-old seems to be slowly building an identity of her own, establishing herself
as an ace businesswoman through her numerous lucrative ventures. Her latest W in the
field of business came in the form of a lucrative deal involving a $58.2 billion company,
which is set to surge her $20 million net worth.         One of the largest wine companies
in the country, Constellation Brands reportedly announced on Friday that they will be
acquiring Domaine Curry, a brand started by Ayesha Curry and Stephen Curry’s sister,
Sydel Curry-Lee. Curry shared the news on her Instagram stories recently.
        

Blog # 71

    Why Organic Wine Tastes Better
    In 2016, Magali Delmas and Olivier Gergaud, professors at UCLA and the KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux looked at 74,000 scores of wine produced in California from the trio above, and found that organically and/or biodynamically certified wines earned 4.1 percent higher than the rest of the pack.
    The duo returned in 2021 with the results from a study that considered 128,000 wines scored by top French guides Gault Millau, Gilbert Gaillard and Bettane Desseauve, showing that organically certified wines scored 6.2 percent higher scores on average than the rest. Biodynamically certified wines – which don't just eschew chemicals, but also require growers to plant and harvest at certain times and integrate animals and native plants into a holistic and closed-loop farming system – earned 11.8 percent higher scores.

 

 

 

Blog #70

 Stock Up On Sauvignon Blanc

    Demand for sauvignon blanc has been strong, fueling big price growth earlier this year but slowing in recently as bloom and set loomed. The 2022 county average price for the white grape in Napa was $2,925 a ton last year, and new contracts this year have been priced in the $5,000¬ $5,500 range; in Sonoma $1,913, and $2,600-$2,800; in Mendocino, $1,485, and $1,650-$2,000; and in Lake $1,317, and $1,700-$2,000.

“If it looks like a large crop, you will see the price go down a bit for those grapes remaining for sale in Mendo and Lake. I do not foresee that going down in Sonoma County, because what is available will be considered overage (on purchase contracts), and wineries will continue to pay for that. That’s how high the demand is,” of Klier Vineyard Management said. 
    Watch for our pre-release of our 2022 Leslie Hennessy Sauvignon Blanc.

 

 

 

 

Flowering Has Begun
These tiny white flowers on this Pinot Noir grape bunch has started the process of growing the berries that we will make into wine in September. Since grapes are asexual (they mate by themselves) we don’t need insects

 Educati0on # 69                                                                                     

 2023 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Raises More Than $535,000
    Proceeds Support Sonoma County Wine Marketing Programs and Initiatives
SANTA ROSA, CA (May 10, 2023) – Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is pleased to announce this year’s results from the ninth annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction (SoCoBA) presented by American AgCredit and held in person at MacMurray Estate Vineyards on Friday, May 5, 2023. These “never before, never again” wines showcasing the spectacular diversity of Sonoma County’s wine region raised over $535,000 for SCV’s marketing programs and initiatives that support the wine trade and community. The auction featured 66 unique barrel lots ranging from 5 to 20 cases from 76 participating Sonoma County vintners.
Over 320 guests attended SoCoBA, including participating vintners, trade, media, community leaders and sponsor partners. Trade guests attended from across the United States and around the globe, with international attendees from China, Japan, Norway and South Korea.

That spirit of collaboration resulted in the highest selling barrel auction lot of the day, a 2022 Pinot Noir from Williams SelyemRochioli Vineyards and Winery, and Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery named “The Legend: Joe Rochioli, Jr.” The 20-case lot sold for $51,000 and honors the late Sonoma County winemaking pioneer with a wine made from the historic Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard he farmed for decades.
Rounding out the top three lots, the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend “The Pick of the Bunch” 20-case lot from Silver Oak sold for $45,000 and the 2022 Pinot Noir “The Duel” 10-case lot from Kosta Browne was purchased for $22,000. The highest selling white wine lot of the day was the 20-case, 2022 “Chardonnay Legends” from Rombauer Vineyards at $19,000

 

What Is a Garagiste Winery?

Education # 68

 Garagiste
       
 

    *Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. 
    The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. The 5th Annual Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure is coming back on April 29, 2023 at the Veterens Building in Sonoma to give you rare access to the region's best small, hard-to-find winemakers. At this intimate event, you will discover and taste amazing, cutting edge wines from over 40 high-quality, micro-production, commercial wineries from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, and more.

    Go to garagistefestival.com We will be broadcasting live from our KSVY booth with Paul Manchester and Leslie Hennessy.


                 
 
 
 Sideways- the Movie and Pinot 

  Education #67

Sideways
                                           
  “Sideways,” the 2004 Oscar-winning movie in which Paul Giamatti experiences a midlife crisis while on a wine tasting trip through Santa Barbara County, made some people lots of money — not only the production company, but also countless American wineries.
Yet one person claims he never got his fair share of the “Sideways” gold rush: Rex Pickett, who wrote the novel that inspired the movie. Now, 19 years later, Pickett is trying to change his fortunes. He’s hoping that collectible editions of the book and public appearances will reignite interest in his work, this time on his terms.                                 Perhaps no group benefited as enormously as California’s producers of Pinot Noir, the wine that Giamatti’s character worships. In the decade following the film’s release, the retail value of Pinot Noir grew by 300%, according to Wine Spectator data.
        These new endeavors came out of a realization that even if his success in Hollywood was limited, Pickett is something of a celebrity within the California wine industry, for whom “the ‘Sideways’ effect” — shorthand for how the movie boosted demand for Pinot Noir and devastated sales of Merlot — is an everyday term.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 Reducing Carbon Footprint

         Education #66
    Champagne was indeed the first region to measure its carbon footprint in 2003, using the Carbonne-4 methodology, which includes every aspect of the production and shipping process. The intention was to reduce the 2003 footprint by 25 percent by 2025 and by 75 percent by 2050,; in 2022 this goal was further expanded with the region aiming to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050.
    While Champagne has certainly come a long way ( reducing its carbon footprint by 14 percent in 2018), it is unlikely that the 25 percent reduction will be achieved in 2025, especially since exports continue to grow, and warmer temperatures require previously unnecessary cooling techniques.

 

 

Moutons Artist Labels  Education #65

 Chateau Mouton Rothschild has been releasing artist rendering labels since 1945.  Chagall,Miro,and Dali are just a few of the famoous artists to adorn the Mouton labels. 
     Bordeaux first-growth Château Mouton-Rothschild has unveiled the label for its 2020 vintage, showcasing original artwork by renowned British painter Peter Doig.
“The painting shows something of what goes on behind the scenes in the production of wine, what happens offstage, as it were. It’s a sort of ode to workers, to all those involved at the various stages of making a wine before it’s finally bottled," said Doig. "It’s a dream with a romantic streak, as if someone spontaneously decided to sing in the vines. It’s a moment of poetry, where you can take your time. It’s neither really day nor really night, but rather something in between, between waking and sleeping. It is possible to see it as a progression, a dream journey in the world of the harvest.”

 

 

Water Report Sonoma and Mendocino

Education # 64


    This winter, the proverbial “storm door” opened with a bang and allowed a series of back-to-back-to-back atmospheric rivers to enter the region, beginning late Dec. 26 and finally tapering off early this week with a final cold front dropped less than inch overnight Wednesday.
    The rain has really helped the area and much of the state rebound from three years of drought, however, filling Lake Mendocino to capacity for this time of year and recharging Lake Sonoma.
“The 10-to-14-day forecast is trending drier right now, but that could change quickly,” said Don Seymour, principal engineer with Sonoma Water. “I think, in the big picture, the reservoirs, particularly Lake Sonoma, our largest reservoir, it’s almost full now. Even if it trended dry, we’re just in such a different positions than we’ve been in recent years. We’ve basically filled that reservoir.”
    It was a quick turnabout. Just last month, Lake Sonoma reached the lowest level in its history, at 96,310 acre-feet. It has more than doubled its storage since then, with nearly all of the gains coming after Dec. 26.
    Having healthier reservoirs also should restore river flows to more normal levels this summer, which would benefit fish and other river species after several warm seasons with critically low, minimum flows.
    “I’m just elated, because we’ve stepped back from the brink,” said Don McEnhill, executive director of the Russian Riverkeeper. “I wouldn’t ever say we’ve ended the drought, but we’ve certainly taken a step back.”
    McEnhill said the sudden, drastic shifts from extremely dry to extremely wet weather are exactly what climate scientists had been predicting for decades, and he feared that residents would too easily forget the importance of water conservation, given current abundance.

Cabernet Sauvignon in the World

Education # 63

Few would argue that the finest examples of Cabernet Sauvignon wine are found in Bordeaux and California, a standpoint supported by the 1976 Judgment of Paris. The past two decades have seen a raft of quality Cabernets emerging from New World regions such as Maipo in Chile and Coonawarra in Australia.  These are gaining popularity with an increasingly broad consumer base as the world's most prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon wines become prohibitively expensive.
    While Cabernet's good acidity, tannins and punchy cassis notes go a long way in a blend, it is worth mentioning that these qualities can make cooler climate Cabernet Sauvignon an awkward customer in the glass. To a degree, this explains why it was often blended in cooler regions like Bordeaux, while warmer climates enabled Cabernet's edginess to be softened – and often be encountered as a single-varietal wine in the likes of California and Australia.
    Nonetheless, Cabernet Sauvignon has a large number of common blending partners. Apart from the obvious Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the most prevalent of these are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenère (the ingredients of a classic Bordeaux Blend), Shiraz (in Australia's favorite blend) and in Spain and South America, a Cabernet – Tempranillo blend is now commonplace.

 

 

 

Cabernet Is Still King

Education # 62
   

    Napa does it again. According to a statement issued by Liv-ex in May: "The California 50 index has outperformed the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 over the past year, providing better returns than Bordeaux and Italy." As you can imagine, most of this growth is being driven by the Napa blue chips. And there's more good news for the Golden State: California accounted for 7.5 percent of the Liv-ex trading market by value in 2021, while the number of wines brought and sold exceeded 500 for the first time.  
    "California's share of the total market (by value) has climbed from 0.1 percent to 7.9 percent over the past decade, making it the fourth most-traded fine wine region after Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. The high quality of its wines, combined with strong branding and expanded distribution through La Place de Bordeaux, has contributed to its secondary market success," said a spokesperson from Liv-ex.
    "It has been the King of Bordeaux for hundreds of years so I don't see it stopping anytime soon… Also take a look at acreage in Napa, it's just about all Cabernet and given the current stratospheric pricing, I would be stunned to see that change anytime soon," adds Donny Sebastiani, CEO of the Sonoma-based Don Sebastiani & Sons.
The World's Best Cabernet Sauvignons on Wine-Searcher:

  Wine Name Score Ave Price
  Hundred Acre Wraith, Napa Valley 98 $710
  Screaming Eagle, Napa Valley 97 $4694
  Abreu Vineyard Madrona Ranch, Napa Valley 97 $599
  Schrader Old Sparky Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Napa Valley 97 $1018
  Carter Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard The GTO, Napa Valley 97 $466
  Abreu Vineyard Las Posadas, Howell Mountain 97 $630
  Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley 96 $494
  Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Napa Valley 96 $457
  Promontory, Napa Valley 96 $899
  Hundred Acre Few and Far Between, Napa Valley 96 $723
 
 
 
 
 
 

               Grapes White
            
            Chardonnay Grape- The Come Back Kid

Education #61

    Chardonnay grapes were in oversupply from 2018 through 2020 and the wholesale prices dropped accordingly. Some growers even left perfectly healthy grapes on the vine because they determined it would cost more to pick and ferment them than they could earn from them.
    Then came the disastrous vintage of 2020, which led to a shortage of the grape. Also, growers fearing a less Chardonnay-friendly future had grafted over to something else; there are actually fewer acres of Chardonnay planted on the North Coast than at any time in this millennium.
    "Chardonnay is definitely a hot topic on the grape market," Klier ( From Turentine Brokerage ) said. "I see a huge rebound for Chardonnay. I see the Chardonnay market hotter than the Pinot market right now, in Russian River Valley. People should definitely consider Chardonnay as a replacement."

 

    The World's Best Chardonnays on Wine-Searcher:

  Wine Name Score Ave Price
  Kongsgaard The Judge, Napa 96 $956
  Peter Michael Point Rouge, Sonoma County 96 $510
  Aubert Wines Lauren Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 96 $259
  Aubert Wines CIX, Sonoma Coast 96 $213
  Morlet Family Vineyards Coup de Coeur, Sonoma County 96 $183
  Aubert Wines Eastside Vineyard, Russian River Valley 95 $222
  Aubert Wines UV-SL Vineyards, Sonoma Coast 95 $187
  Kistler Cuvée Cathleen, Sonoma Valley 95 $206
  Peter Michael Cuvée Indigene, Sonoma County 95 $258
  Marcassin Estate, Sonoma Coast 95 $704
 
 
 
 
 
 
               

                Dan Berger 3 
        Our Favorite Wine Writer of 2022 -
        Dan Berger
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