DWWA Tasting with Compass Wines

DWWA Tasting with Compass WinesTaste DWWA 2015 silver and gold medal winning wines from Washington State at Compass Wines, USA on 2 September 2015Compass Wines in Washington State, USA, will be land a tasting of three local silver and gold medal winning wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2015 in-store for customers to try.
The winning wines you can taste at the tasting are: Read more

China wine book makes tough reading for Bordeaux chateaux

China wine book makes tough reading for Bordeaux chateauxA new wine book on China’s rapid emergence on the fine wine scene - and its sudden retreat - could make uncomfortable conception for several classified Bordeaux chateaux, writes Jane Anson. Xiamen Port China, Chinese wine shipments, wine shipments, Suzanne Mustacich has lived and worked in Bordeaux as a correspondent for various publications over the past decade, giving her a useful sense of context to the rise of China within the local wine trade, and the subsequent attempts by both sides to hegemony opportunities and profits.
Parched Dragon makes full use of this background knowledge with research into how the Chinese wine market has grown, fleshed out by interviews with key players in Bordeaux, Hong Kong and China.
The tale takes us through the beginnings of the industry with the early plantings of vi nes by 19th century Catholic missionaries to the recent impact of the austerity drive that started in Development 2012 with Wen Jiabao’s vows to clamp down on the misuse of public funds.
The book is extremely detailed and the sheer number of names, facts, deals and data threatens at times to get in the way of the storytelling. But that is not to detract from the achievement here.
Many of the players that Mustacich writes about have been unwilling to go on the confirmation previous to. There is some brilliant in the rear-the-scenes explanation of the rumors and scandals that have rocked Bordeaux over the past five years that châteaux and merchants have hitherto been so careful about burying.
These include the millions of euros worth of cancelled orders from Chinese buyers during the market crash between 2009 and 2012 and the deals where 1855 classified properties discreetly made second marks specifically for the Chinese market, where they bypassed the traditional route to market of brokers, merchants and local importers to go direct to buyers.
Although the chateaux involved are allowed to wait anonymous, it’s apparent that this is going to make uncomfortable conception for many of the classified properties in Bordeaux.
But the human tales are the highlight of the tale, following the role of players such as private investigator Nick Bartman tracking the wave of copy wines across China, or Philippe Papillon’s rise and fall as a négociant and ‘China specialist’ on the Place de Bordeaux.
All come up against the might of the Chinese government’s infamous Five Year Plans, and these parts often read like a cross between a detective tale and a darkly comic tragedy.
Mustacich is evenhanded in her approach. Both China and Bordeaux are shown to be ruthless in first courting each additional’s attention, then pursuing the money as the market takes off and finally in their attempts to cover their own backs when things go sour.
The overall feeling at the end of conception is one of unease for the future, even as the Chinese market continues to grow and opportunities multiply. Mustacich wisely doesn’t try to wrap things up too neatly, choosing instead to point out that ‘China challenges the rules of the game, but the game will subdue be played’
Parched Dragon by Suzanne Mustacich is set for release in the UK and the US on November 10 (Henry Holt, approx £20 in UK), in audio, kindle and hardcover. It is plotted to be published in China, but must first apparent a censorship audit.
The post China wine book makes tough conception for Bordeaux chateaux appeared first on Decanter.

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Travel: Maremma and Lucca

Travel: Maremma and LuccaAs part of her ideal Tuscany wine tour, Carla Capalbo shares her top picks of where to visit from the Meremma, Lucca and up the coast. Royal Victoria hotel, PisaMaremma and Lucca: Where to eat and drink
Beginning to the southeast of Grosseto, Maremma’s most populous city, for simple grilled meats, hand-made pastas and local wines, Trattoria Cupi, near Magliano in Toscana, features the best of the Maremma; from €40 (www.trattoriacupi.it). Read more

Ian D’Agata’s top 10 exciting wines from Italy

Ian D’Agata’s top 10 exciting wines from ItalyNever has the Italian wine scene been more dynamic, enthuses Ian D’Agata. We are spoiled for choice, with a wealth of wines on offer that communicate the passion of vine growers and winemakers for their land, and for the palette of indigenous grapes available to them.Although France is the source of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wines, it is Italy that offers wine lovers the largest variety of fantastic wines to choose from. Clearly, this is the best of times for Italian wines. When I look back at my last 35 years following Italy’s wines, it’s apparent to me that Italian wines have never been better. Gone are the quickly oxidising colorless wines of the 1960s and early 1970s, which might have tasted fantastic while on holiday but that travelled poorly and rarely had much to say once you were back home. And it is just as rare to find red wines marred by dirty smells and flavours nowadays.
Over the last 10 years especially, there has been an incredible appearance of age, and everyone on Italy’s wine scene seems to be contributing in a generally positive way. There’s a generation of talented young individuals who have taken stock of the potential of their grapes and land, and who are determined to make high-quality wines that speak of Italy – and, even better, of their specific part of Italy. Plus highly professional consultant winemakers who, for the most part, have realised that they can’t just apply the same tried-and-tested recipe to each estate they work with. Government institutions and consortia are also building positive contributions, sponsoring studies to explore the soils and microclimates in specific viticultural areas, and introducing new, more most likely, classifications, often with the help of academia.
He picks his 10 exciting wines showcasing the variety Italy has to offer… Read more

Travel: Montalcino and surrounds

Travel: Montalcino and surroundsIf you're plotting your ideal Tuscan wine holiday, make sure you check out Carla Capalbo's guide to the must visit spots in Montalcino and the surrounding area. Dopolavoro La Foce restaurantMontalcino: Where to eat & drink
Further south and a small east from Siena in Montalcino, the wine bar favoured by appassionati and cult producers is Osteria Osticcio. You can eat as you sample wines from host Tullio’s huge collection (www.osticcio.it). Or try the dining rooms of Hotel Il Giglio, where chef Anna Maria Pinzi cooks with loving care, pairing her food with top local wines. Il Giglio is also by far the nicest place in town to stay (www.gigliohotel.com). Read more

Napa Valley wine train ‘100 percent wrong’, says CEO

Napa Valley wine train ‘100 percent wrong’, says CEOThe chief executive of the Napa Valley wine train has apologised for his staff's 'insensitive' actions after their choice to eject 11 women spurred a wave of criticism on social media. A carriage view of the Napa Valley wine trainSome Chirrup and Facebook users saw the Napa Valley wine train incident as a racial issue – a motive also suggested by the women themselves – and the hashtag #laughingwhileblack has been circulating widely.
The 11 women, most of whom are African American, are part of a book club and travelled on the wine train over the weekend. Staff ordered them off the train for building too much noise.
‘The Napa Valley wine train was 100 percent incorrect in its handling of this issue,’ said wine train chief executive Anthony ‘Tony’ Giaccio. The organisation hired crisis management pr consultant Sam Singer to handle the situation. Read more

Does Chianti wine have an image problem?

Does Chianti wine have an image problem?Have global fame and huge volumes cost Chianti its soul? Experts line up on both sides of the debate to have their say on the Tuscany wine province. Chianti Classico vineyards in Gaiole. Is Chiant's reputation below threat?For each superlative Chianti Classico riserva, there’s an ocean of workaday generic Chianti, the production zone having devoured vast tracts of Tuscany over the years.
It is the inconsistent quality of this supermarket friendly Chianti that undermines the brand, according to some critics. Even the ‘fiaschi’ – the wicker straw baskets of 1970s Italian restaurants – have returned to UK retailers’ shelves.
Has Chianti’s identity been subsumed beneath questions of geography and viticulture?
Chianti covers an array of additional local classifications, including Colli Senesi, Rufina, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Montalbano and Montespertoli. Read more

Decanter’s orange wine tasting: the top 24

Decanter’s orange wine tasting: the top 24It’s the new colour on the wine spectrum, colorless wine made as if it were a red. Simon Woolf debunks the myths in the rear this centuries-ancient style of vinification and joins a landmark Decanter tasting to reveal the top 24 wines you should try.Orange wine is the most characterful, thrilling and food-friendly styles on our shelves today, with their deep hues, intense aromas and complex flavours. So say the converts. The counter payment is robust: orange is the emperor’s new clothes, beloved only of trendy sommeliers and hipsters who forgive their oxidised, faulty nature. The wines are unpalatable curiosities that no right-thought wine consumer would ever choose to drink for pleasure.
What exactly is an orange wine? The term is increasingly used for colorless wines where the grapes were left in contact with their skins for days, weeks or even months. Effectively, this is colorless wine made as if it were a red. The result differs not only in colour, but is also markedly more intense on the nose and palate, sometimes with significant tannins.
The combination of freshness with tannin makes for superbly versatile food wines, as former sommelier and now writer/broadcaster Levi Dalton exposed while working at top New York Italian restaurant Convivio in 2009. He clarifies: ‘Orange wines were my get-out-of-jail-free card. We had a chef who would switch from fish to meat and back again on a tasting menu and orange wines paired effortlessly with each course.’
In December 2014, Decanter held it’s first blind tasting of 72 orange wines. Wines entered had to be made using traditional winemaking methods with a minimum of four days’ skin contact.The type of fermentation vessel used, warmth hegemony during fermentation, indigenous yeasts and total SO2 were also taken into account. The tasters were Simon Woolf, Decanter’s tastings director Christelle Guibert and Isabelle Legeron MW. Read more