Gérard Bertrand Launches Organic Orange Wine “Orange Gold”

Languedoc producer Gérard Bertrand has launched his first organic orange wine, which aims to blend Georgian tradition with a southern French modern twist.

Orange Gold 2020 is Gérard Bertrand’s first orange wine called “Orange Gold.” The wine is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Mauzac and Muscat.

Bertrand was inspired to create a modern, fresher expression that respected Georgian traditions.

Chosen for their aromatic complexity, the six grapes used to make the wine are fermented in whole bunches on their skins to add colour and tannin to the wine.

According to Bertrand, Orange Gold has “an unusual profile and remarkable finesse and subtlety, reflecting the vibrancy, minerality and freshness of the south of France.”

The aromas you will find in the wine are white flowers, candied fruit, grapefruit, orange water and white pepper. Bertrand is very proud of the wine’s “light bitterness” on the finish, which he believes “whets” the appetite.

“Orange Gold was bottled a week ago and I’m very proud of it. I’ve tried a lot of different orange wines from around the world, some of which I enjoyed, others I was disappointed by,” Bertrand said.

“I wanted to create an orange wine that blended the tradition of the Georgians with the modernity of the South of France, so it sees oak and stainless steel.”

Bertrand believes the wine offers a new taste experience and pairs well with hard cheeses and spicy dishes. Orange Gold 2020 is on sale via the Gérard Bertrand website priced at €12.50 a bottle.

“Human beings have forgotten that nature has given us the chance to be here. We feel like we’re the king of the world now, which is not true. We created the brand to put nature first again, which is what we need to do,” Bertrand said.

 

 

Louis Roederer Launches Single-Vineyard Still Wines

Champagne house Louis Roederer has launched a pair of single-vineyard Coteaux Champenois wines, known collectively as ‘Hommage a Camille’.

Named after Camille Olry-Roederer, the great-grandmother of the house’s current CEO, Frederic Rouzaud, the wines are single-site, varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Pinot Noir is made from a plot of 43 ‘ares’ (100 ares to a hectare) in the ‘Charmont’ lieu-dit in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, while the Chardonnay is from an old 55-ares plot in the ‘Volibarts’ lieu-dit in Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger.

The Pinot Noir is known as ‘Camille Charmont’ and the Chardonnay known as ‘Camille Volibarts’ are from the 2018 vintage.

The house said in a statement that both wines are the result of, “a long process of observation and experimentation”, which reveals, “another facet of the Champagne terroirs”. The house’s cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, has been experimenting with still wines since at least 2002.

Camille Olry-Roederer took over the running of the Roederer company after the death of her husband Léon in 1932. She remained in charge until 1975 and was known to be especially fond of the house’s still wines.

The wines will be released in March, with the Pinot Noir priced at €160 (£155) and the Chardonnay at €140 (£130). Production figures are low: 1,631 bottles of the Pinot and 2,880 of the Chardonnay.

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A Scientific Journal Proves Terroir’s Influence on Whisky  

A recent scientific study conducted by Foods, a scientific journal of food science has provided “conclusive proof” of terroir’s influence on whisky. The researchers say that this paves the way for an “Appellation Controlée System” of provenance similar to that used for wine.

The whisky industry has long been debating the influence of terroir on whisky, with some claiming that any effect would not ‘survive’ the distillation process. However, the authors of this academic paper say they have found proof of terroir’s existence in whisky.

The paper, entitled ‘The Impact of Terroir on the Flavour of Single Malt Whisk(e)y New Make Spirit’, was published February 18th, 2021 by the Whisky Terroir Project, a joint venture between Waterford Distillery in Ireland, Oregon State University, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Enterprise Ireland, Minch Malt and the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The study explores the differences found in spirits made from two barley varieties: Olympus and Laureate, which are grown on two farms in different environments in 2017 and 2018. One sample was grown in Athy in County Kildare, while another was cultivated in Bunclody, County Wexford.

Each sample was micro-malted and distilled under laboratory conditions to produce 32 whisky distillate samples. These samples were then tested using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–olfactometry (GC/MS-O) technology as well as by a panel of sensory experts.

The tests isolated over 42 different flavour compounds, half of which researchers said were “directly influenced by the barley’s terroir”.

Eight of these compounds – (E)-2-nonenal, β-damascenone, 3-methyl-1-butanol, furfural, ethyl hexanoate and 1 unidentified compound (unknown 10 with a herbal/grass character) – were deemed the most influential, with a further 15 having an impact on the aroma, but to a lesser extent.

Barley grown in the sheltered inland Athy site had higher pH levels and increased calcium, magnesium and molybdenum in its limestone-based soil. Temperatures were higher and more consistent than the more exposed Bunclody site, with lower rainfall. The new make spirit produced from barley grown in Athy had flavours of toasted almond, with a malty, biscuity and oily finish.

Bunclody’s barley, which was grown on shale-based soil with increased amounts of iron, copper and manganese, produced a spirit that was lighter and more floral with fresh fruit flavours. The site was closer to the coast and experienced more changeable weather conditions.

Dr. Dustin Herb, the lead researcher, and post-doctoral research at Oregon State University, states: “This interdisciplinary study investigated the basis of terroir by examining the genetic, physiological, and metabolic mechanisms of barley contributing to whisky flavour. Using standardised malting and distillation protocols, we preserved distinct flavours associated with the testing environments and observed year-to-year variations, indicating that terroir is a significant contributor to whisky flavour.”

“Critics claimed any terroir effect would be destroyed by the whisky-making process, saying there is no scientific evidence to prove that terroir even exists. Well, there is now.”

The paper concluded: “This study has clearly demonstrated variations in the contribution of the aroma active volatiles and sensory attributes in these new make spirits and reflects changes in barley growth in relation to environmental elements including soil nutrients and prevailing seasonal weather patterns, and therefore reveals a “terroir” effect.

“This has not been previously determined and creates the possibility of producing whisk(e)y from different “vintage” with new make spirit that encompass the factors impacting on the growth of the barley variety as well as the subsequent processing parameters.

“Further research is required to better understand the specific environmental impact on barley growth and the management and processing thereof with respect to the genetic, physiological, and metabolic mechanisms contributing to the terroir expression of new make spirit and whisk(e)y.”

Source:  Foods, www.mdpi.com

Great Italian Wines Masterclass – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – The “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella Varieties

I attended an amazing Masterclass last week: “Great Italian Wines – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties.”  The seminar was led by the knowledgeable Sandra Colosimo, a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers. Sandra led us to explore and learn about the “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella varieties, their qualities, traceability, terroir and unique characteristics.

Here are details on the two wines tasted:

2016 “Rocolo” Valpolicella DOC Superiore (Agricola Piccoli Daniella S.S.)

Grape varieties: Corvina 40%, Corvinone 25%, Rondinella 30%, Oseleta, Molinara and Croatina 5%
Alcohol:14.5% vol.

Notes:
Ruby red hue with hints of purple; elegant yet complex nose with floral notes and berries evolving to eucalyptus, and slight touches of smokiness and balsamic; very well-balanced wine, some flavours of cherry and raspberry with hints of vanilla – long elegant finish

Food pairings: red meat, game dishes and strong hard cheeses

2018 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo DOC

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo
Alcohol: 14% vol.

Notes:
typical Nebbiolo with a ruby-red hue, perfumed bouquet of violets and red fruits, with dusty chalky tannins – lovely long finish.

Food Pairings: Aged cheeses, Meat or mushroom-based pasta and rice dishes

To enhance the tasting experience, the wines were paired with and appetizer plate of Italian specialty foods: Prosciutto di Parma DOP, Grana Padano DOP, Salame Finocchiona Toscano IGP, Piave DOP, Olive Taggiasche, and Olive Baresane, Taralli.

This masterclass series is organized in collaboration with Cavinona, Terroni’s exclusive wine agency.

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Institute of Masters of Wine Webinar: Climate Change & Global Wine Trade – February 17th, 2021

The Institute of Masters of Wine is continuing its webinar series next Wednesday February 17, 2021 with a session on “The Impact of Climate Change on the Global Wine Trade.”

This webinar will examine the impact of climate change from vine to glass with leading experts climatologist Dr Greg Jones, economist Mike Veseth and CEO of Wine Intelligence Lulie Halstead sharing their views in a discussion covering the impact on growing grapes and wine quality, trade and distribution and on wine consumers. 

Climate change is having an impact on wine production. Increasing temperatures affect vine phenology with reduced winter dormancy, and earlier physiological ripening. They also affect the spread of disease and pests. Climate change is leading to more frequent and more extreme, extreme weather events with increased drought conditions and wildfires in regions such as Australia, California, Spain and South Africa, spring frosts and more violent storms leading to flooding. This means greater variation in quantities of wines produced from one year to the next with increased volatility in wine prices. Climate change imperils the smooth flow of goods as transport infrastructure and ports are vulnerable. Wine consumers are increasingly concerned about climate change and are becoming more demanding in terms of wanting to know what goes into the products they buy and how they are made. This discussion will cover each of the aspects across the entire global wine supply chain.

The event will be moderated by Jane Masters MW and there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The panel includes:

Dr Greg Jones – Chair, Evenstad Center for Wine Education / Wine Studies
Lulie Halstead – CEO Wine Intelligence
Jane Masters MW (moderator) – view MW profile
Mike Veseth – Wine Economist, Professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington)

This webinar is open to everyone, but capacity is limited. Follow this link to register.