October 25, 2013
We regret to announce that Sommelier Journal has suspended publication. We are negotiating with a group that hopes to resume publishing the magazine at some point in the future. Sommelier Journal's Online Archive of past articles will remain accessible to current subscribers for as long as possible at www.sommelierjournal.com. Thank you for your loyal support over the past six years.
September 20, 2013
Daniel Boulud’s celebrated db bistro moderne in New York City has undergone a top-to-bottom, front-to-back-of-house makeover; also in Manhattan, Pagani has opened with a seasonal Italian menu and a mostly-Italian wine list. Similarly, Brooklyn’s Bergen Hill is a mod new raw bar serving Asian- and Italian-influenced seafood alongside craft cocktails and mainly Mediterranean wines. Duke’s Grocery caters to Washington, D.C., denizens with housemade charcuterie and locally sourced grub and suds in its British-style pub and market space. And in Philadelphia, acclaimed chef-restaurateur Marc Vetri has unveiled Pizzeria Vetri, where Neapolitan-style pies pair with microbrews.
Craft beer continues its inland invasion, too, with the launch of Haymaker in Austin, Texas, which also specializes in gourmet sandwiches and poutine. Meanwhile, at nearly 100 years old, New Orleans fine-dining institution Broussard’s reopens to put a current spin on the city’s classics: think broiled redfish with Japanese roe and vodka-orange broth or phyllo-crusted drumfish goujonettes with alligator sausage in caraway cream. Anchoring Denver’s sprawling new urban specialty market The Source is contemporary kitchen Acorn, from the gents behind Boulder, Colo., hot spot Oak at Fourteenth.
Out West: In San Francisco, the Bohemian-themed Bergerac is doing globally inspired small plates and cocktails, while wine bar InoVino focuses on sips and nibbles from Italy. New York’s legendary Italian spot Rao’s has opened an outpost in Hollywood.
In San Jose, Calif. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has promoted Karl Antink to head white winemaker, while Trefethen Family Vineyards in Napa has made COO Jon Ruel its president; he is also current board president of Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
September 19, 2013
The final batch of articles from the August 31, 2013, issue is available at our website: http://www.sommelierjournal.com/articles/issue.aspx?year=2013&month=8. Six new pieces of content are available: an overview of Bulgaria, a Tasting Panel on dry Rieslings, Bartender column, The Winemaker's Art, Mailbox, and Calendar.
Since it's Thursday our weekly eNewsletter has also been published.
Each week we will continue to use the blog to point out stories from our archives that are similar to the just published new articles.
The Wines of Moldova (November 30, 2011)
The Unspoiled Beauty of Croatia (November 2008) (subscriber-only)
Brkić Winery Spotlight (April 15, 2013) (subscriber-only)
Dry Riesling Tasting Panel
Southwest France versus South America Tasting Panel (April 15, 2013) (subscriber-only)
Chile versus The World Tasting Panel (July 15, 2013) (subscriber-only)
Tête de Cuvée Sparkling Wines Tasting Panel (December 2009) (subscriber-only)
How You Play the Game (December 15, 2010) (subscriber-only)
Sam Smail, Whitehaven, Marlborough, New Zealand (July 31, 2011) (subscriber-only)
September 19, 2013
The rest of this Postcard can be found in the August 31, 2013, issue of Sommelier Journal
In 1997, Chile’s Santa Rita purchased Doña Paula, more than half of whose 1,600 acres surround its Luján de Cuyo winery, planted in the 1960s and 1970s; the remainder is divided among three smaller parcels in Uco Valley. The company exports 95% of its annual production to 53 countries, led by the United States and United Kingdom, in four lines: the screwcapped Los Cardos and Paula and the higher-end Estate and Selección de la Bodega. Pristine varietal expression and clear acidity are the hallmarks of its whites.
Manuel Ferrer’s family came from the concrete business to form Achával Ferrer, where a 10-day warm fermentation in open-top cement tanks is followed by quick cooling and oxygenation with fans, and the use of 100%-new French oak is de rigueur. The estate’s three primary sites— Mirador, in Medrano; Bella Vista, adjacent to the winery in Luján de Cuyo; and Altamira, in the Uco Valley’s La Consulta—are planted primarily to Malbec vines more than a century old. Its top-tier wine, Quimera, is a blend containing a sizable proportion of other Bordeaux varieties. A partnership between Santiago Achával, Pablo Gimenez Riili, and American Michael Evans, Vines of Mendoza is one of several new private housing-vineyard developments in the city.
Certified organic since 2007, Bodegas Krontiras boasts a production facility that was built on biodynamic principles, with the straw-filled concrete walls and all other building materials bearing some relationship to grapes or wine. Its Luján de Cuyo estate vineyards are planted to 100-plus-year-old Malbec and Tempranillo; Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Chardonnay are grown in Maipú. Commercial yeasts are added when necessary, though their use has declined since production began in 2005. The house style is one of purity and finesse.
Veteran winemaker Daniel Pi has seen Trapiche through three successive owners. Currently, Penaflor is an equal partner with two investment groups, the U.S.-based Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Argentina’s Bemberg Group. Argentina’s largest premium-wine exporter, Trapiche ships out 55% of the 3 million cases it produces annually. In addition to an experimental 12-acre vineyard at the Mendoza winery, which showcases an array of early-20th-century mechanical artifacts, Trapiche owns another 2,600 acres in the region. It’s also growing 30 acres of white grapes and Pinot Noir 2 miles from the sea at Mar de Plata—easily the country’s easternmost vineyard—with the intention of making sparklers and still whites. Pi works in a lot of oxygen during fermentation to mitigate red-grape tannins, resulting in a signature style of fine tannins and big, juicy fruit.
Carlos Pulenta, whose family once owned Trapiche, established Vistalba in 2001; today the property includes a small posada (hotel) and an excellent restaurant, La Bourgogne. The three red blends labeled Vistalba come from a 100-acre Luján de Cuyo estate that yields top-tier Malbec, Merlot, Bonarda, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit for the Tomero line is culled from 850 acres in Uco Valley. Some of Pulenta’s vines date to 1948; all are grown organically.
September 13, 2013
Out East: Manhattanites welcome Hirohisa, a Japanese eatery with a minimalist look and menu that includes uni chawanmushi and miso-marinated lamb. Continuing the upscale low-and-slow trend, Hometown Bar-B-Que has opened in Brooklyn to sling smoked meats alongside craft beers and whiskeys. Early next week, one of Boston’s most celebrated toques, Tony Maws of Craigie on Main in Cambridge, will finally unveil his long-awaited gastropub Kirkland Tap & Trotter, where he’ll be dishing up housemade spaghetti with chicken livers in brown butter, smoked pork neck with lentils and kimchi, and more, accompanied by bespoke cocktails. In Atlanta, the clubby new Smash Kitchen & Bar is part steakhouse, part contemporary-Southern kitchen, and a little bit everything else.
From the heartland: Detroit gets some good news with the arrival of microdistillery Two James, which features a swanky new tasting room and cocktail bar. Dallas denizens are heading to Plano for a taste of Taverna Rossa’s funky stone-fired pizzas and pastas (think lasagna made with barbecued brisket), plus local beers and pie-friendly wines; Houstonians, for their part, are hitting Morton’s Grille, the famed steakhouse chain’s first quasi-casual concept.
Out West: Seattle’s quirky artisanal dry-goods outlet E. Smith Mercantile now has a speakeasy-style back-room bar, serving Prohibition-inspired cocktails and small plates like burnt-sugar popcorn and chicken-liver mousse with whiskey aspic. In Portland, Ore., Piattino is gearing up to offer contemporary Italian eats. Next week, San Francisco’s legendary Fog City reopens with a redesigned interior and a new menu built on seasonal, wood-fired dishes. Next week will also see the buzzed-about arrival of The Vestry, a modern American restaurant attached to concert venue The Chapel, housed in a former mortuary (as the cheeky décor attests). And in Los Angeles, Del Rey Kitchen is cooking up Cal-Asian treats such as pasta with three types of roe, seaweed, and butter sauce or sake-glazed steak.
Finally, The American Society for Enology and Viticulture has named researcher Dr. James Kennedy its board president for 2013-2014.