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Wine In The News

 

Shafer Vineyards’ “Relentless” Is Wine Spectator’s Wine Of The Year

Relentless, a Napa Valley blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah from Shafer Vineyards’ 2008 vintage, has been named Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” for 2012.

Wine Spectator called Relentless “a groundbreaking red from a region and a winery better known for producing stellar Cabernet Sauvignons.” A total of 3,300 cases of Relentless 2008 were produced. The wine scored 96 points from Wine Spectator and retails at $60.

The choice of Relentless marks the second time in three years that a Rhone-inspired California red has been chosen as Wine of the Year. For more on Relentless and for a look at Wine Spectator’s top 10 wines of 2012, click here. A full PDF list of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines will be made available on November 19.

The full story behind the creation of Relentless will be featured in the December 31 issue of Wine Spectator.

 

 

Washington Wine’s Profile Rises, With Acreage Up
Nearly 50% Since 2005

Washington state’s wine industry has made significant strides in recent years, and consumers are taking notice. Major players like Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Constellation’s Hogue Cellars continue to drive the category, and with E&J Gallo entering the state with its acquisition of the Columbia and Covey Run brands from Ascentia earlier this year, Washington wine’s visibility on retail shelves is poised to expand markedly.

Washington’s leading wine brands were up nearly 7% to over 7 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank, and have shown total volume growth of nearly 2.5 million cases since 2005. In addition, since 2005 the number of Washington wineries has more than doubled to 740, while the state’s wine-bearing acreage has increased by 46% to 41,000 acres.

 

In TATT WE TRUST

trans Wine In The NewsSecond label turns to tattoo artists

178 Wine In The NewsGenerally speaking, we recommend choosing your wine based on what’s inside the bottle. But sometimes a label catches your eye, and you just have to have that wine. In the case of Tried and True Tablewine, or TATT for short, you get the best of both worlds—a delicious and affordable blend of syrah and cabernet from the Columbia Valley in Washington and a new cool tattoo on the label each year.
Vintner Steve Brooks was looking for a way to brand his second wine when he noticed something interesting happening in his tasting room:
“When I opened up Trust in 2007, I had temporary tattoos printed with my Trust logo. People put them on all over their bodies and had a lot of fun with them. (Alcohol and temporary tattoos…who would have guessed?) So I used that as a starting place for TATT.”
With each new vintage, Steve and his team look for a tattoo from a new artist to feature on the label. TATT can be purchased directly from the winery for $20/bottle. Find it here.

 

Wolfgang Puck Wine Range Making Retail Debut

Chef Wolfgang Puck’s eponymous wine range Wolfgang Puck Wines is making its retail debut at select U.S. stores. Previously, Wolfgang Puck Wines were available solely at Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group restaurants, Wolfgang Puck Bistro locations and Wolfgang Puck Catering venues. Priced at $14.99 a 750-ml., the wine portfolio includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varietals, as well as a recently launched red blend. Launched in 2010, Wolfgang Puck Wines are produced by the Indelicato family.

A portion of the brand’s proceeds are donated to the Keep Memory Alive Foundation, which helps support the Las Vegas-based Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Lou Ruvo was the father of Larry Ruvo, the Las Vegas-based executive of Southern Wine & Spirits who was the driving force behind the center’s creation.

 

 

California Wine Harvest Produces High Quality, Large Volume

Wine grape growers throughout California are heralding an excellent vintage coming off the 2012 harvest, prompting superlatives such as “exceptional,” “outstanding” and “idyllic.” The results are in sharp contrast to the grape harvest throughout most of Europe, where poor weather negatively impacted both quantity and quality in France, Italy and other regions.

The 2012 California wine grape harvest is estimated at 3.7 million tons, up from 3.3 million tons in 2011, according to The Wine Institute. Both 2011 and 2010 were considered to be of good to excellent quality, depending on the region, but were shorter in volume, so the higher tonnage in 2012 is a welcome development.

Dave Guffy, winemaker at Hess Winery, calls 2012 a “nearly perfect growing season” with ample crop in nearly all varieties, especially Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. “2012 looks like that perfect balance between good yields and high quality, and that’s great news for everybody.”

“The 2012 harvest has been exceptional,” agrees Frank Cabral, director of grower relations for Trinchero Family Estates. “Moderate weather throughout the growing season has put little pressure on the vines and provided grapes with well-balanced chemistries.”

Cabral adds that “the 2012 harvest is making up for the low-yielding 2011 crush, with most varieties picking at above-average yields.”

Aron Weinkauf, winemaker and vineyard manager at Spottswoode Estate Vineyard, says that due to the higher yield, “we were pushed to our limit to accommodate the quantity of fruit we harvested.” He says 2012 was “one of the more idyllic growing seasons we’ve had” and he’s extremely happy with the overall quality and balance of the wines.

 

 

•Wine Spectator reports that financial executive and vintner Bill Foley is closing a deal to purchase Lancaster Estate in Alexander Valley. The sale includes the winery, the label, 42 acres of vineyards and Lancaster’s sister brand, Roth. Terms of the offer weren’t disclosed. Lancaster Estate’s owner, Young’s Market Co. executive vice president Ted Simpkins, approached Foley with an offer to sell because he couldn’t find enough time to manage the winery. Until 2010, Simpkins was executive vice president for Southern Wine & Spirits’ California operation. Following the advice of the late Jess Jackson, he purchased the Maacama Creek Winery and changed the name to Lancaster, releasing his first wine in 1995. Lancaster produces around 12,000 cases of wine a year, while the 35,000-case Roth brand makes wines from Alexander Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Foley says Lancaster will complement his other Sonoma wineries, Chalk Hill and Sebastiani, and provide increased access to Sonoma grapes.

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