Pierre Rovani to leave Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Rovani, who was largely responsible for reviews on Burgundy, South Africa, and the Pacific Northwest of the United States since 1996, says he is leaving to pursue a career working in the wine trade.

On erobertparker, Rovani offered these comments:

“Early in my tenure with The Wine Advocate, I was often asked if I missed anything from my previous life as a wine merchant. My responses were always the same: I missed my constant contact with people and the adrenaline rush of making “the deal.”

He added: “Therefore, I have decided to return to the wine trade and have recently initiated discussions with some people who are interested in what I have to offer.”

Wine International also reports that he may not be the first.

There is speculation that another contributor, Daniel Thomases, who writes on Italian wines, is also expected to leave the Parker stable.

What does this exodus mean for the Parker franchise? Job openings baby! I doubt Parker has the time to pick up the slack all by himself.

You can read Pierre’s post on erobertparker.com here, or visit Wine International.com for the news story.

A Wine You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Wine Cellar SorbetDon’t eat and drive after you’ve had this sorbet. Wine Cellar Sorbet is made from finished wine from California, Oregon and New York, and packs a 5% abv. The brainchild of Bret Birnbaum and David Zablocki, this sorbet comes in varietal specific flavors like Pinot Noir and Riesling, complete with the wine vintage dates on each pint. Do I see a way to make a variation on the good old Ice Cream Soda here?

David first tasted Wine sorbet in Big Sur, CA, where he was a chef, and began making it himself in 2000. Bret loved the product so much, instead of opening a wine bar in New York and incorporating it onto the menu, he pushed to start a company based around wine sorbet. Currently, it is only available at gourmet stores in New York and New Jersey, but they hope to add more locations soon.

Visit the Website here.

Watch Vive Le Screwcap!

StelvinTake a few minutes to enroll in the Dooniversity, and watch as Bonny Doon Vineyard explains the virtues of the screwcap. This is an informative, scientific, comedic attempt to inform all the cork snobs in the world that there really is a better wine closure.

Watch Vive Le Screwcap here

(Click on the Dooniverse when the Navigation loads, Then on “Learn our ways” , Then “Watch Vive le Screw Cap” and hit the play button.

Then, head over to the De Long Wine Moment blog and read Steve’s Comparison of alternative closures.

Three Year Anniversary For Winexpression!

Winexpression LogoThree years ago, after this first post, a blog covering the world of wine was born. What was once a hardly trafficked weblog hosted for free on blogger, has now become a somewhat respectable resource on wine with numerous daily visitors from around the world. I am both humbled and happy that readership is up and just want to use this post to say thank you. Thank you for your comments, thank you for your readership, and thank you for the encouragement.

So, I raise a glass, to you, the Winexpression reader tonight. (Don’t worry, I’ll open something good for you.)
Here’s to three more years.


And the Best Wine From New York Is…

Hermann WiemerDry Riesling?

The 2005 Dry Riesling from the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard beat out 702 other wines to earn the Governor’s Cup or “best white wine” and “best of show.” Last years warmer growing season allowed for a broader wine, according to Wiemer, that isn’t typical for the Lakes. Only 2,000 cases of this $16 wine were produced.

The Finger Lakes region in New York is actually taking it’s place as one of the best regions in the world for Dry Riesling. Except for 2005, Dry Riesling’s from the Finger Lakes region have garnered the New York Wine and Food Classics’s top award since 2000.

Although not all wines from the state are represented in this tasting, it is a pretty good representation of what New York has to offer. Lenn at Lenndevours, a fellow wine blogger focused on New York Wines, compiled the complete list of winners on his website here, and offers a few comments on the contest.

Read [NYTimes]

Russian River Valley’s Big Three Pinot Noir Producers

Gary Farrell Pinot NoirMost likely, if you’re a fan of Pinot, you’ve heard of Gary Ferrell, Rochioli Vineyards, and Williams Selyem. These three producers have been making some of the best Pinot Noir to come out of California, and they’re all located in the Russian River Valley. The San Francisco Chronicle’s wine editor, Linda Murphy, does a fine job relaying the rich history of the 3 wineries in today’s wine section. Did you know that Ed Selyem and Burt Williams began making Pinot in their garage in 1979 under the label “Hacienda del Rio”? Or that Gary Ferrell started working with Rochioli fruit in 1974 at Davis Bynum Winery as winemaker, where he remained on while accepting the same role at Rochioli in 1982? Did you know that Joe Montana can throw a football close to 300 yards?

It’s all in today’s article.[sfgate.com]

Wine News This Week

A few stories worth a look:

Wine as an investment is up thanks to the Internet [Ledger-Enquirer.com]

The ban of liquids on planes in the U.S. is already hurting sales from some wineries. Normally, visitors to California’s wine regions buy a few souvenir bottles, and carry them on the plane when they head home, which is especially important if they live in a state that still doesn’t allow direct shipping. Wineries are now thoroughly packing wine so it can be included with the checked-in luggage. [KESQ.com]

Is white wine as healthy as red? A new study by scientists at the University of Connecticut and University of Milan claims that “the flesh of grapes is equally cardioprotective” as the skins. [UPI.com]

Wine Blogging Wednesday’s latest round-up, and next months theme have been posted.

Combatting Wine Fraud With Computers

HalWith the prices of wine futures soaring, and the large international market for rare bottles growing, fraudulent scammers and crooks are sure to take advantage of people by selling impostors and fakes. Traditionally, to combat fraudulent wine from being sold, professional tasters have been called in to make a determination on a bottle by tasting and comparing the wine for validity against his or her palate. Now, that process is closer to being automated by computer, as scientists from NEC’s System Technologies laboratory and Mie University, both in Japan, have developed a robot capable of comparing and identifying the unique characteristics that make up 30 different wines, with a larger field of recognition promised in the near future. Earlier in the year, students in Europe were essentially able to do the same thing, but the scientists were able to take it a step further by providing a comparison table for each bottle of wine analyzed.

Here’s how it works:

For analysis, a 5 millilitre sample of wine is poured into a tray in front of the machine. Light emitting diodes then fire infrared light at the sample and the reflected light is sensed by an array of photodiodes.

By identifying the wavelengths of infrared light that have been absorbed by the sample, NEC says the wine-bot can correctly identify the unique organic components of 30 popular wines within 30 seconds.

Simple and effective, and less prone to error than a human taster. Will advances in this field lead to the death of the wine critic in the future? Only time will tell.

Read [New Scientist Tech]

WBW #24: Loire Whites

2004 Clos Le Vigneau Vouvray White Table Wine Val de LoireFor this two year edition of the ever popular Wine Blogging Wednesday, Alder, Uber blogger from Vinography.com, suggested we try the wines from the Loire, namely Chenin Blanc as opposed to Sauvignon Blanc. A great theme indeed, and one that most Americans don’t really appreciate, as Chenin Blanc is not a popular choice for most. But why shouldn’t it be? With variables from mineralty, to citrus notes, to off-dry with a hint of residual sugar, this grape can pair with a myriad of meals. Unfortunately, this is a varietal and or region that isn’t always available at the local mega mart, so you just might have to hunt it down at your finer wine retailer.

I headed down to the Wine Steward in Pleasantan, whose selection is diverse, and grabbed a bottle of the 2004 Clos Le Vigneau Vouvray White Table Wine Val de Loire. The Alcohol level was at a mere 12.5%, but it seemed to taste about as alcoholic as some 14-15% whit wines I’ve had from Napa. Your nose is greeted with Apple, Pear, and Apricots, with a light, slightly acidic taste that is full of lemon zest and minerals. A pretty straightforward, simple wine, with an O.K. finish, at $15 USD this isn’t a bad value at all.

One thing that continues to bug me about French wine labels is the missing varietal names on bottles that are labeled White or Red wine. Sometimes it’s nice to know the grape you are drinking so you can return to it in the future. Thankfully, someone at the Wine Steward was able to direct me to a White Wine that consisted of Chenin Blanc. Here’s to a knowledgeable wine staff.

Wine: 2004 Clos Le Vigneau Vouvray White Table Wine Val de Loire
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Price: $15
Notes: Apple, Pear, and Apricots on the nose with a mineral / lemon zest flavor, crisp and clean with a smooth finish. 12.5% ABV
Score: 86 pts JAT