When it comes to wine, I think there are two regions that generate more passion (and frustration) than any other: Burgundy and Piedmont. Both regions rely heavily on microclimates and the concept of terroir —the minute differences in wines based on where the grapes are grown.
I sat down today with Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle , the owner of Chile's Casa Lapostolle winery. At this point, her winery needs little introduction, having garnered our 2008 Wine of The Year honor for its 2005 Clos Apalta cuvée.
Though it might be news to some, South Africa has been making world-class wines—Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chenin Blanc, in particular—for more than a few years now. Part of the country’s steady rise in quality has been due to the efforts of winemakers like Gyles Webb, whose Thelema property has one of the country’s longest track records for quality.
Wine fraud continues to be a growing problem. There are more consumers competing for the world's high-end bottlings, both via retail and the secondary market. Since many of these wines are made in limited amounts (that won't ever increase in the case of single-vineyard wines), the increased demand is feeding the growth of this insidious problem.
Winter in the northern hemisphere is usually a quiet time in the vineyards. But for producers who work in some of the coolest winegrowing areas, such as the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, winter brings a whole new set of challenges, namely, keeping a vineyard alive through sometimes harsh weather conditions.
I’m still only 38. Granted, I’ve got a few creaks and groans, but I’m far from old. And within that time frame I’ve only been buying and cellaring wine for about 15 years. That’s hardly ancient in terms of wine time.
You know when someone tells you they simply choose a wine by the label? Part of you wants to laugh at this nearly clichéd statement from a wine beginner. But part of you knows it’s also true for all of us, from a beginner to any overavid wine geek.
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