There’s been a spike in the number of columns and stories regarding terroir and minerality lately. Their general tact is that the earth doesn’t actually alter the flavor of wine, nor can you actually taste minerality in a wine. Sorry, but I’m crying ‘bunk’ on them. There are a few things in life that can’t ever be explained - they simply are. People tend to look like their dogs. It always rains right as weekend getaway traffic starts. And there’s minerality in wines.
James Molesworth sat down today with Hans Vinding-Diers, the Danish winemaker born in South Africa who makes the wines at Tuscany’s Argiano and Argentina’s Bodega Noemía de Patagonia, here at the office. The accomplished winemaker wanted to give me a sneak peek at his latest project from Patagonia.
James Molesworth sat down with Mason here at my office yesterday to get caught up on his recent efforts at South Africa's Klein Constantia winery. Klein Constantia is best known for its Vin de Constance bottling, a dessert wine made from naturally shriveled Muscat de Frontignan grapes. The 2004 vintage was the best yet for this wine, earning a stellar 94-point review.
When you produce just 7,000 cases a year from 15 hectares of vines, in an out of the way place like La Consulta, it takes more than just quality and a build-it-and-they-will-come methodology to get your wines sold in the marketplace. To that end, Karim Mussi has been in the New York area, visiting retailers and restaurants to push his own wares from Altocedro. It’s his first business trip to the U.S since he tagged along with his father as a young child. And the trip hasn’t been easy.
The search for a new winemaker at Heron Hill winery is over. The winery, located in New York's upstate Finger Lakes region, which abruptly parted ways with winemaker Thomas Laszlo earlier this season, has hired Bernard Cannac, who had been consulting at Long Island’s Castello di Borghese and Le Clos Thérèse wineries. The move is a major shift for Cannac, as it will be his first time working in a cool-climate region. Cannac will also have to hit the ground running, as he takes over the winemaking duties at Heron Hill in the midst of harvest.
Everyone these days understands the tough economic times we’re living in. But there is a silver lining. The recession has in fact, made the wine industry better for consumers. Case in point is the return of Chile’s Viña Santa Carolina. During the late 1990s and early part of this decade, VSC focused on volume first, and quality second, if at all. The brand suffered a long slow decline in this market, going from a high of 500,000 cases to almost nothing. Ownership realized it had to retool and focus on quality if it wanted to survive.
Château Mont-Redon is one of the oldest and largest estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and with its belief in the one estate, one cuvée theory, it is, on the surface, a squarely traditional estate. But there have been some subtle changes here in recent years that push them into the ‘slightly modern’ camp. An 11-vintage vertical shows the subtle shift in style, along with remarkably consistent quality.
Winemaker Ed Flaherty is looking to improve Chile's Viña Tarapacá winery, much the way Viña San Pedro has done since the addition of winemaker Marco Puyo and consultant Paul Hobbs. It's a big project, slowly replanting a 600-hectare vineyard and streamlining production, but it can be done...
The 2009 Cape Winemakers Guild Auction easily buffeted the current economic situation, setting a new record as buyers spent a surprising 5.2 million rand (about $690,000) at the event, held this past Saturday in Cape Town.
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