Dr. Loosen, the famous Mosel vintner, is right to be concerned “that someone will get a flawed bottle of our wine without already knowing how the wine should taste.”
If the customer doesn’t know what TCA is, or can’t tell that a wine is oxidized, it spells commercial disaster. That customer might conclude that the winery sucks, or that particular variety or region, and never buy it again. The solution in most cases to these threats is the screwtop, but I think we may have reached a tipping point in their use. That closure has gotten as far as it’s likely to for quite a number of years.
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I’ve been tasting a lot of red wines, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and blends of the two, from the newish Coombsville appellation, in southeastern Napa Valley. This would be one of Napa’s coolest appellations anyway, due to its proximity to San Pablo Bay; but the fact that the current vintages are mostly 2010s and 2011–two chilly years–makes the wines even more cool-climate than usual. And they are noteworthy, wines for people who don’t like the bigger, fatter, more opulent style found from Oakville to Calistoga.
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More and more evidence continues to mount that that Morgan Stanley report of a “global wine shortage” was bogus. Here’s the latest: We’ll never know what really prompted Morgan Stanley to put out that panicky prediction. But speaking personally, I no longer believe anything that any investment bank says. I think they have only their own pecuniary interests in mind, and don’t care about their impact on the greater society. It’s funny, this is one area where the Tea Party and Liberals can agree. By the way, two days ago we learned that U.S. wine sales have hit an all-time high. But keep in mind that California, which provides about 90% of all the wines consumed in the U.S., is coming off two gigantic harvests (2012-2013). I think our state’s wineries will be able to keep the public’s appetite satisfied.
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Speaking of Coombsville, I reviewed an amazing Cabernet yesterday, Marita’s Vineyard 2007 Select Private Reserve. I’d previously given exceptionally high scores to their wines, so there’s something going on there. I didn’t know anything about the winery, so I looked them up: What a great story. It’s a project of the Montes family, run by two brothers, Bulmaro and Manuel, Jr., along with winemaker Kurt Niznik. This is a winery to watch.
Have a great weekend!