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Perhaps not something that would catch on with most marketeers (and certainly not the advertising regulators) in Europe. But a South African wine producer has launched a campaign featuring lightly clad (actually, not at all) women and men (mostly women). The ads have been used in the South African magazine Food & Home Entertaining and at a wine fair. In South Africa the campaign has been well received according to the winery, Avondale, who uses as a slogan “Wines approved by mother nature”. Perhaps a way to emphasise the natural (naturist?) aspect of their wines? wine.co.za and Avondale
A survey of German consumer behaviour has shown that German consumers primarily buy wines according to taste and character (51.3%). Geographic origin was most important for 12% of the consumers, price for 9% and grape variety for 7%. Perhaps somewhat surprising results considering the reputation the German market has for being extremely price sensitive. Wine Business International
The Scandinavian monopoly markets don’t have a, ehrr, monopoly on silly rules…: Some English wine shops (e.g. The Sampler and Selfridges) have opened wine bars in connection with the shops to give the customers the possibility to taste some of the wines before buying. They have also sold some very exclusive wines by the glass to make it possible to taste otherwise prohibitively expensive wines by the glass. As an examples, curious wine drinkers could buy a tasting portion (25 ml) of Chateau Pétrus 1996 of £32, and thus did not have to fork out £950 for a full bottle. This has led to action by the British authority that controls serving of alcohol. In England there is a rule that “a wine glass” must contain either 125 ml or 175 ml. To serve smaller portions are illegal… So good bye to tasting exclusive wines in small portions. www.thesampler.co.uk and telegraph.co.uk
The producer organisations (who represent the interests of the wine makers) for Saint Emilion, Saint Emilion Grand Cru and the two “satellites” Lussac St Emilion and Puisseguin St Emilion have merged the organisations, presumably in an effort to work more effectively. Two other satellites have chosen to remain independent: Montagne St Emilion and St Georges St Emilion. Wine Business International
►► Travel to Bordeaux with BKWine.
>> Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The tenth vintage of the world championship of Pinot Noir saw 1050 contestants – wines from many countries: France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, the United States, New Zealand,… Four wines were awarded Great Gold Medal: Vina Casa Marin, Le Abarca Hills Vineyard San Antonio 2004 from Chile; Domaine Philippe Bouzereau, Château de Citeaux Auxey-Duresses 1er cru ”Les Duresses” 1999, Bourgogne, France; Weingut Thomas Marugg, Fläscher Blauburgunder Barrique, Fläsch, 2005; and Cave les Deux Crêtes, Réserve Badrutt’s Palace Pinot Noir Tête de Cuvée, Valais, 2005, the two last were both from Switzerland. mondial-du-pinot-noir.com
A small moth called Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer is the latest threat to Napa vineyards. One such moth was recently found in a trap in Napa Valley. The evil beast eats the leaves and the grapes and also causes fungal problems. They will now try and find out if it was an isolated moth that had lost its bearings or if that are many by putting many traps in the vineyard area where it was found. napavalleyregister.com
Torres is almost synonymous with Catalonia. But now they have bought a small property in Rioja, not big, just some 5 hectares. Torres has since several years expanded to other countries: California and Chile. And also to other regions in Spain: Priorat, Toro, Ribera del Duero and Jumilla. And now also to the grandfather of all Spanish wines, the Rioja. They will produce wine mainly from bought grapes, it is said, and from newly planted own vines. The first vintage is expected to be 2009. Wine Business International
>> Tuesday, September 18, 2007
According to municipal plans, 3.4 hectares in the appellation Cornas are set to be transformed into building plots. In this very small appellation 3.4 ha is a substantial piece of land. It concerns the three vineyard names Les Chaillots, La Côte, and Les Mazards. For more information, or to support the campaign to save the vines, contact Alberic Mazoyer at Domaine Alain Voge: alain-voge.com
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Beja – Alentejo, Portugal
2003 was the first vintage for the Soares family and it has been a running start. The two brothers, João and Paulo has in a few years developed the winery into one of the most dynamic and exciting in Alentejo. With organic farming and green harvest in June or July (removing sometimes 40% of the grapes) they produce excellent grapes. In 2003 they opened the super-modern winery, built in a slope so that minimal pumping of the must is needed. They have 8 lagares – open troughs to crush the wines by (real) feet. But they don’t stop at the wine. The Soares family wants to give the visitor more than that: they have a restaurant at the property (serving food made from crop and animals from their own farm. Wonderful black pig dry cured ham!) and are opening a hotel this year: Herdade da Malhadinha Nova Country & Spa.
Click here for address and more recommendations.
Read about more recommended producers on the site: Favourite Producers
Read more recommendations on where to shop for wine on my Wine Shop Page
Read more recommendations on restaurants and winebars on my Restaurant and Wine Bar page.
>> Monday, September 17, 2007
Château de Lascaux, Vaquières, Coteaux du Languedoc-Pic Saint Loup
In Pic Saint Loup, a short drive north of Montpellier in the Languedoc region in France, you can find many high quality wine producers. One of those is Ch Lascaux, a family vineyard run by Jean-Benoît Cavalier. The property covers 53 hectares, the soil is, as often in this region, very poor. The well balanced wines are characterised by an aromatic complexity and a refreshing acidity. They make several cuvées, for example the white Pierre d’Argent made from Vermentino, Rousanne and Marsanne. Or the red Les Secrets, made from Syrah and Grenache grapes with very low yield: spicy and full-bodied.
Click here for address and more recommendations.
>> Sunday, September 09, 2007
It is soon time.
Well, yes, it’s soon time for the harvest too. And in many places it has already started. An exceptionally early harvest that will probably yield not very large volumes and uncertain quality. Some regions have had great challenges with the weather and others have been much more fortunate. It will most likely be great variations in quality. But that was not the point.
It is soon time.
Time for what?
Well, for the launch of our book on the Languedoc region! We’re just finishing the final review of the text and images, squeezed in between this season’s first wine tours. The book will be available in October. It contains some sixty extensive producer profiles and in total around 130 producers are presented. We also explain the appellations, the terroir, the grape varieties and more. You can read more about it here, including sample photography and a few video interviews with producers:
But…. It is in Swedish…
So why do I tell you all this then? Well, first of all it is exciting to publish our first (!) book and I tell everyone about it. And secondly, perhaps you have a cousin or an uncle who is a book publisher and who just happens to be looking for a book manuscript on the Languedoc region… We’d love to have it published in other countries so do tell “your cousin” about it and we’d be delighted to discuss the project…
We have put our toe down in the oh-so-trendy world of video on the internet. A very first attempt of a wine tour video is now posted on the wine tour page: http://www.bkwine.com/wine_tours/wine_tours.htm. (Don’t be too hard on us – it’s our premiere on video.) If you’re interested in wine videos you can also see a few video interviews with winemakers in the Languedoc on the Languedoc Book site. The interviews are either in English or in French you wont be subject to the Swedish torture on the vids. See them here:
(And in the first video on the page you’ll see something that you’ve probably never seen in a vineyard before!)
Truffle, wine, foie gras – is that OK with you?
I almost forgot to remind you of the first wine tour of 2008: my Truffles, Foie Gras, Wine and Duck tour on February 13-17. It will be a very special (and luxurious) trip and I’m already starting to receive registrations. So don’t delay for too long to get in touch if you are interested in that trip.
And finally: it is perhaps time for a celebration. This is number 50 of the BKWine Brief. A big thank you to all readers!
PS 1: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them !
PS 2: Do you like pictures and photography? Take a look at our wine picture blog:
(Licensing is available from Alamy and from Danita Delimont)
>> Tuesday, September 04, 2007
We’ve had a report of stolen wines that the owner would very much like to get back: “”2 Double Magnums Latour 1982, 9 Magnums Latour 1982, 12 bottles 1982 Latour, 12 bottles Margaux 1986, 3 Magnums Lafite 1986, Richebourg DRC 1988 1 Magnum, Comtes Champagne Taittinger 1973 rose 2 bottles Romanee Conti 2003 1 bottle La Tache 2003 DRC 1 bottle Montrachet 2003 DRC 1 bottle Quinta Noval Nacional 1963 1 bottle Talbot 1982 3 bottles and so on”. If anyone would happen to offer you such wines for sale contact us and we will forward to the thirsty owner.
More and more grape varieties get their own competition. This year is the third for Tempranillo. The judgment took place in Shanghai (!) at the end of June. Two Great Gold Medals were Awarded: Carmelo Rodero TSM 2005 Bodegas Rodero, Ribera del Duero and Amarén 2002 Bodegas Luis Cañans, Rioja.
and the results can be found here: