wine terroir

As Emphasis on Wine Terroir Increases, Winemakers in Napa Turn to Larger Barrels

Since the introduction of cement vats in the 19th century, wine critics have fiercely debated whether wine is best aged in cement or wood. Since cement does not appear to affect a wine’s flavor, many experts believe that a wine’s natural, terroir-based qualities can only be expressed through cement aging. However, proponents of oak barreling…

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wine monopole

Are We Seeing the Breakup of the Iconic French Wine Monopole? Greater Diversity in French Winemaking and What It Means for the Collector

When today’s sommeliers taste wines, they can often immediately pick out the unique flavors and bouquets associated with bottles from Champagne and Bordeaux. That’s partly because, in the late 1800s, French land became cheap and plentiful, allowing winemakers to purchase entire regions of their own, and to grow the grapes to the same high standards.…

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California grenache

Despite Low Yields, California Grenache Is Ready for a Renaissance

Today, California Grenache is among the most sought-after varietals in the region, but this was not always the case. California winegrowers turned away from this traditional Rhone crop in the mid-1900s, believing that Grenache would never attract premium collectors who wanted the rarest wines. As Napa Valley developed its premium reputation, commercialized Grenache lost favor;…

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liv-ex

What Can Collectors Learn from the Liv-ex? Interpreting the Liv-ex Classification of 2015

The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) can teach collectors a great deal about the 1855 Classification, including what these old classifications mean in the modern wine market. As Liv-ex released its latest update in September, we find patterns in the organization’s findings that tell us more about the market value of top Bordeaux blends, and…

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Chardonnay clones

Raising the Rarest Chardonnay Subspecies: Heat-Loving Chardonnay Clones Create a New Wine Era

Have you ever wondered how Chardonnay grapes grow across a variety of terroirs? Whether in Chablis or the south of France, Chardonnay can be grown to perfection despite the drastic difference in climate. The answer lies with clones; France is home to 34 distinct subspecies of Chardonnay grapes that are specifically bred for the climates…

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new zealand wines

New Zealand Wines: Searching for the Next Great New Zealand Terroir

  More than 20 years ago, serious wine collectors never spoke about New Zealand wines. Despite an ideal climate and rocky terrain, the country’s producers only began cultivating grapevines in earnest in the late 1980s. Today, wine is New Zealand’s largest export, earning more than $1.3 billion annually. The popularity of New Zealand wines has…

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minerality in wine

Earthiness and Minerality in Wine: How Does Terroir Affect Mineral Flavors?

In my experience tasting Chablis wines, one tasting note consistently shines through: flint. The limestone-rich soil in this terroir is sprinkled with fossilized oyster shells that allegedly add minerality to its flavors. While scientists have found that mineral flavors certainly exist in wines, they are still unsure why this minerality is present. In multiple studies,…

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dry riesling

Dry Riesling Gains a Foothold in the Wine World and Other Top Riesling Wine Trends of 2015

The most delicious dessert I’ve had in my life was accompanied by a beautifully-aged, off-dry Riesling from Napa Valley. Two years later, I remember that wine more than I remember that dessert. Despite the gooey custard of that creme brulee, crisped to perfection on top, it was the Riesling that made the experience memorable. The…

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