The New Trends In The World Of Wine

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - March 30, 2011
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Tons of pure black fruit

The only constant in the wine business is change. there is a new vintage every year. Perhaps a new winemaker in a new winery will make some changes. Perhaps a vigneron will decide to plant a different clone or use different barrel wood. Maybe some wine marketers will get back on the “critter wine” bandwagon a la Yellow tail. but along with these changes come trends. And i see a few that are worth taking a look at.

The first one is nothing new. Winemakers such as those in bordeaux have been doing this for decades. but the practice is becoming commonplace in the new World now as well. this is the practice of creating a “second wine,” sometimes called a “second label.” Wineries will reserve only the best of the production of the estate to put into the “top” wine. What doesn’t make it goes into the “second wine.” A great example of this is Dominus estate. the top wine is Dominus, which has never been better. Just look at Wine Advocate‘s recent scores for the wine. the wine that does not make it into Dominus goes into Dominus napanook. even this wine has gotten better over the years, and it too scores more than 90 points in Wine Advocate and other critics’ minds.

Many estates are creating the second for several reasons. it keeps the quality of the flagship wine extremely high. it also allows for them to market wines at a lower price point to keep cash flow going, especially in a down economy. sometimes wineries will even purchase some juice from other wineries to fill in quantity on the second wine so they have enough to sell. And some second wines are terrific values.

Dominus napanook is a real standout, Forefront by Pine ridge is fabulous, as is three Doves from Page Cellars, just to name a few.

And this is not just a Cabernet thing. it’s an all varietal thing. they are some of the best values on the market.

stunning purity

Another trend is the increased use of technology and social media for marketing wine. i’m personally not on Facebook, but i know almost everyone else who is in the wine biz is. they post the latest tasting notes or harvest dates and numbers. they show pictures of the latest wines they tasted with their “group.” Wine presentations on iPads are becoming a part of every trade show. Wineries and marketers are trying to find every single path to your wallet. this is the way of the future.

Lastly, more drinkers are opting for smaller tastes of wine. Any wine bar worth its glasses should be offering several sizes to its sampling pours. Drinkers, especially newbies, are trying more of an array of wines instead of ordering just a single glass. explorative wine drinkers demand variety, and if they don’t have any they spend less money. the traditional wine program of just one type of wine for each varietal and only one quantity as a glass is being replaced by a more vibrant selection and tasting size portions by the new school of wine buyer.

Recommendations: 2009 Massimo Malbec ($10) tons of pure black fruit with a hint of anise and other wild spices. sweet berries linger on your palate and round tannins caress your lips. High points here for value! 2009 olivier savary Chablis ($18) stunning purity, liquid minerals with citrus galore. this wine has electricity about it and it glides down the palate with ease. i could drink this any time.

Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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