Dear wine lover, here are links to some of the articles that were published on this week.

View this email in your browser  News 10 Feb 2017

Dear wine lover

Nick and I left New Zealand last Sunday night, and after a long night in the air landed in South America last Sunday afternoon - the way you do when you cross the international date line.

Chile seemed very hot and dry compared with New Zealand – so hot and dry that it has suffered the most terrible forest fires in Maule, Itata and Bío-Bío, as chronicled here. We spent Tuesday driving around Itata and were shocked by what we saw. Vast swathes of the pines and eucalyptus that have been planted relatively recently are brown and burnt, while many of the vineyards inbetween belonging to the many smallholders of Itata remain green and seem to have acted as firebreaks (winemaker François Massoc took this picture of an Itata vineyard that did not escape the flames).

On we have published no fewer than eight free articles in the last week: details of our forthcoming Brunello 2 and Sherry Nights, Nick on two promising new Italian restaurants in London, me on the growth of a wine culture in Poland, news of who won our first WSET Outstanding Alumni Award, another entry in our wine writing competition, Richard’s alternative facts on broccoli, today’s wine of the week from Alto Adige, and Julia’s seriously useful roundup of current research into that topic of burgeoning importance microbial terroir.

Members of Purple Pages meanwhile were treated to Elaine’s thorough report on the California iconoclasts Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman, Richard’s topical survey of some notable wines from southern Chile and the first of a Franken trilogy from Michael. Meanwhile, I described what happened when I tasted seven recent Krug champagnes blind (including the last five Grandes Cuvées, plus a top English wine) as well as taking a look at where Virginia wine has got to. No theme but the usual very varied assemblage.

This weekend, onwards to Baja California, Mexico…


​Kurtatsch Pinot Bianco 2015 Alto Adige (Wines of the week)

Feb 10, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

From €7.90, 13.80 Swiss francs, 139 Danish krone, £13 Find this wine If you are looking for good value but are a bit sceptical about the quality potential of Pinot Bianco (known as Pinot Blanc in France and as Weissburgunder in Germany), try this wine from Alto Adige in northern Italy. It is very simply made, unoaked but aged on the lees for four…

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Virginia Governor's Cup dozen 2016 (Tasting articles)

Feb 10, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

I was sent the dozen finalists chosen from more than 430 entries in the 2016 Virginia Governor's Cup wine awards and share my impressions below. I don't think I agree with the choice of the top wine, and found some wines in this collection that seemed a bit 'industrial' to me, but perhaps that's inevitable in a relatively young wine industry. I was…

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Krug Grandes Cuvées compared blind (Tasting articles)

Feb 09, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

See also today's Throwback Thursday, Fizz and fortified - more information please. What could be more agreeable than a blind tasting of seven different Krug champagnes? Add in the fact that it was timed just before Christmas so that the leftovers would add extra sparkle to the festive celebrations, and you have a decidedly alluring combination. It…

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Fizz and fortified - more information please! (Free for all)

Feb 09, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

9 February 2017 This week’s Throwback Thursday – Jancis’s appeal for greater transparency from the producers of non-vintage wines – links neatly to today’s Krug Grandes Cuvées compared blind, the story of a blind tasting that would not have been possible without Krug's pioneering use of ID codes. 6 August 2012 This article has been syndicated. …

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Parr and Moorman's light burgundian touch (Tasting articles)

Feb 08, 2017 09:00 am | Elaine Chukan Brown

Rajat Parr (pictured right tasting from tank) and Sashi Moorman (pictured below in the Seven Springs Vineyard) of Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi wines in Santa Barbara County, and Evening Land Vineyards in Willamette Valley, have become two of the strongest proponents of good quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the west coast United States. They…

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The terrifying spectre of global political unrest, broccoli, and wine (Hemming's Spittoon)

Feb 08, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

Searching the news headlines for stories to inspire a light-hearted wine column has proved a somewhat gloomy exercise recently. In this light, even stories primed for parody such as supermarket broccoli rationing take on a portentous patina, demonstrating how easily volatile weather can disrupt what we take for granted.  Whatever your opinion…

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Chile runs wild (Tasting articles)

Feb 07, 2017 09:00 am | Richard Hemming MW

See also this more recent account From the frontline of Chile's fires. Until November last year, my most recent encounters with Chilean wine had left me, to paraphrase Wodehouse, 'if not actually underwhelmed, then far from being whelmed'.  The problem seems to be that all the excitement and innovation that is apparently happening in that…

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Our first WSET Outstanding Alumni Award (Free for all)

Feb 07, 2017 09:00 am | Jancis Robinson

Now that we have a photographic record of the handover, we are delighted to record that the winner of the first-ever WSET Alumni Award is Isabelle Legeron MW, pictured right at the annual WSET awards ceremony in London last month with me and WSET Honorary President Gérard Basset OBE MW MS. Since so many members of our…

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Brunello 2 and Sherry Nights - on sale now! (Free for all)

Feb 07, 2017 09:00 am | Team JR

7 February As promised, tickets for these two exceptional events go on general sale today. See below for details.This year we are reviving Brunello Night now that Walter has scooped the pool by already tasting the 2012 vintage, which has been given the Consorzio's top, five-star rating. See Walter's recent detailed tasting report on Brunello 2012.…

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WWC 22 - Luc Giezenaar (Free for all)

Feb 06, 2017 09:00 am | Guest contributor

Number 22 in our series of articles entered into our wine writing competition comes from Luc Giezenaar, who says this of himself: Writing this was a welcome distraction to studying for my last WSET Diploma exam in November [he has since passed the Diploma - congratulations! RH]. I’m Dutch, live in Maastricht in the beautiful south of the…

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Franken trilogy 1 - 700 years of the Bürgerspital (Tasting articles)

Feb 06, 2017 09:00 am | Michael Schmidt

The Hospice de Beaune, founded in 1443 by the then Chancellor of Burgundy Nicolas Rollin as a hospital for the poor, may be the most famous charitable institution in the wine world, but in terms of history it cannot quite match its German counterpart, the Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist in Würzburg, Franken, which, in 2016, celebrated its 700th…

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Microbial terroir - current research round-up (Free for all)

Feb 06, 2017 09:00 am | Julia Harding MW

The following notes and images formed the basis of a presentation on microbial terroir (a new entry in the latest, fourth edition of the  Oxford Companion to Wine) given by Jancis at Pinot Noir NZ in Wellington last week. I have simply added a few snippets of additional text to my original notes to make it read more easily but otherwise…

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Poland's growing wine culture (Free for all)

Feb 04, 2017 01:00 am | Jancis Robinson

A version of this article is published by the Financial Times. See also Wines with real Polish. For most of my adult life, the only European country I had never visited was Poland. Unlike most other European nations, Poles neither made serious wine nor seemed to me to have much interest in drinking it. The only intersection of wine and what is now…

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Italy returns to Clerkenwell (Nick on restaurants)

Feb 04, 2017 01:00 am | Nick Lander

A version of this article is published by the Financial Times. There was a time when Clerkenwell, the district of London just to the north west of the City, the financial district, was predominantly Italian. From the 1880s, a time that saw massive immigration from Italy, until the outbreak of the Second World War when many of the men were deported…

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