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SCHEDULE for the WEEK of April 5, 2021


Exciting New Spanish Wines
from Paul Hobbs     

Friday, April 9 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET

Detailed Info


Chardonnay 2019

(Coombsville, Napa Valley, CA) $48

Ironically, a man known for making some of Napa Valley’s best red wines—Andy Erickson, who at various times has made Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Staglin, Ovid, and others—also makes one of the valley’s most exquisite chardonnays. It’s called Carbone, the surname of the Italian immigrant brothers who founded the tiny property that Erickson now farms with his wife Annie Favia, a viticulturist. The chardonnay is explosively delicious with rushes of guava, yellow plum, and vanilla bean flavors, pinpoints of minerals, a vibrating core of crisp acidity and a texture that’s both creamy and silky. And yet for all this exuberance, the wine is both graceful and elegant. (It would be a stupendous treat during the holidays.) For its part, Coombsville, in the cool southeastern corner of Napa Valley, is an ancient crescent-shaped caldera that was formed 5 to 8 million years ago, the result of volcanic explosions.

97 points KM

Available at Vivino.com

The WineSpeed Blog

A. New Zealand

B. South Africa

C. Chile

D. Argentina


If you thought the answer was New Zealand, you would have been right until just recently. For 50 years, New Zealand’s Black Ridge Vineyard (at latitude 45.15 degrees S) held the title Most Southern Vineyard in the World. But Argentina now has a winery that has surpassed it. As of 2021, the world’s most southerly vineyard is Bodega Otronia (latitude 45.33 degrees S) in Chubut Province deep in Argentina’s Patagonia Extrema, a region once known only for mining and sheep. Over the next few years, the title will be an ongoing contest between Argentina and Chile, as both countries push viticulture further and further south toward the cold tip of the South American continent. (Sorry, New Zealand).

Answer: True.

True. Burgundy got its name early in the sixth century, in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, when the wandering Germanic tribe known as the Burgondes established a settlement in the area. They called it Burgundia. In 534, Burgundia was absorbed into another Germanic entity, the Frankish kingdom established by Clovis, the king of the Franks. Clovis eventually went on to unify the numerous Germanic tribes that operated throughout what was then called Gaul. With Clovis’s coronation, modern France (the name is derived from Franks) was born, and Clovis’s eventual conversion to Christianity established France as a Christian nation. With Christianity in place, the course of Burgundy’s history changed, as it went on to become a nucleus for Catholicism and monastic power.


A quality that a wine possesses if it is historically typical of its region. Whether or not a wine demonstrates typicity is subjective and has nothing to do with how good the wine tastes. In certain European wine regions, an evaluation of typicity is required by law in order for a wine to obtain appellation status.

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Fantastic Tan-Plastic!

Tannin in wine provides two things: structure and ageability. Found in the grape’s skins, seeds, and stems, tannin is a natural preservative. Red wines, with considerably more tannin than white, can thus age longer. Tannins belong to a class of complex compounds called phenols, powerful antioxidants believed to give red wine its reported health benefits. Some scientists believe that antioxidants offer a way to also slow fresh food spoilage by reacting with chemicals that cause oxidation. Paul Kilmartin, a professor of wine chemistry at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, discovered that plastics impregnated with discarded grape solids during the manufacturing process retained the tannin’s antioxidant benefits. Testing their effect on packaging for various edible oils, Kilmartin was able to extend the oil’s shelf life up to 30%.


Percentage of all wine auction sales at Sotheby’s in 2020 attributable to a single estate—the Domaine de la Romanée Conti. Considering Burgundy only, auction sales of DRC wines constituted a whopping 48% of the total. In 2020, DRC sales at Sotheby’s reached $19.4 million. The estate with the next closest sales—Bordeaux’s Pétrus—accounted for just $4.2 million.


Number of new wine products approved by the TTB (U.S. Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau) last year. In addition to an actual new wine, an existing wine is considered “new” and requires a newly approved label if the winery changed the graphics, pictures, or wording on the label, or if the bottler or importer changed. Some changes to the label that don’t require new approval: alcohol content, vintage date, and label shape or background color.


Number of wineries in British Columbia, Canada, up from just 19 in 1990. Despite its northern latitude, B.C. is warmer and more arid than the Napa Valley. It also gets 2 hours more sunlight each day in July and August. The most planted white grape variety in B.C. is pinot gris; the most planted red is merlot. (In 1990, it was riesling and pinot noir, respectively.

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