December 16, 2007

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Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 6.48

Winemaker of Year Josh Jensen of Calera Wine Company has been named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Three decades of winemaking in a god-forsaken place known as Mount Harlan has finally earned Jensen, now 63, the accolades of an adoring wine drinking public. His wines are distinct and age worthy. Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy says, “When you drink wine that is 10 to 15 years old, my feeling is that the only one that can compete with the best Burgundies is Calera.”

DRC Production The wines of Domaine de la Romanee Conti are scarce and highly valued. Of the lineup of wines, the annual production is: La Romanee-Conti 7,000 bottles, La Tache 24,000 bottles, Grands-Echezeaux 14,000 bottles, Echezeaux 18,500 bottles, Romanee St. Vivant 14,000 bottles and Le Montrachet 3,000 bottles. The numbers change each year and the production numbers have been down in recent years.

Asia Wine Drinkers Increasing According to drinksinternational. com, wine consumption in Asia is increasing at more than seven times the global average. Middle classes in India, Japan and China, in particular. are showing significant interest in wine. According to IWSR research, between 2006 and 2011 China’s wine consumption will grow by almost 70%. Recent research from Vinexpo Asia Pacific indicated consumers worldwide spent more than $100 billion dollars on wine in 2006.

Burgundy Seminars at Scott Paul Scott Paul Wines in Carlton, Oregon has announced their 2008 calendar of Burgundy Seminars held in a relaxed and informal setting at the winery’s tasting room. All classes are on Saturdays from 6-8 PM. Both Burgundy 101 and Burgundy: The Graduate Course seminars are given on multiple dates. The seminars are led by self-professed Burgundy geek, Scott Wright, owner of Scott Paul Wines. Tasting of wines will be accompanied by artisan bread, French cheese and charcuterie. For reservations: www.scottpaul.com or call 503-852-7300. Cost is $40-$55.

More Women Supertasters According to genetic studies, women are more likely to be supertasters than men. Also, there are more supertasters among the Asian, African and South American populations regardless of gender. Supertasters are more sensitive to bitterness and prefer sweetness.

Luc Morlet has Own Label Luc Morlet, the son of Pierre Morlet, who directs the family Champagne house, was the winemaker at Peter Michael for five vintages beginning in 2000. He has now started Morlet Family Vineyards which has debuted with the 2005 vintage. The lineup includes La Proportion Doree (Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend), Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Coteaux Nobles ($75), Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir En Familie ($85), Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Joli Coeur ($95), and a Syrah. I have sampled the Joli Coeur and found it stunning. Stay tuned for futher reviews. The website for ordering is www.morletwines.com.

Open Wine Without Corkscrew Thanks to the blog, www.redislife.com, I found a brief article in Esquire (June, 2007) titled, “How to Open a Bottle of Wine without a Corkscrew.” The instructions were as follows. Wrap the base of the wine bottle in a towel. Hold the bottle horizontally and proceed to rhythmically pound it base-first against the wall. Be firm, not violent. As the wine sloshes forward with each impact, it will squeeze into the neck of the bottle, creating a primitive water hammer. The cork will eventually be driven out far enough that you can grab it and finish the job manually.

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