WineNews 002

Fine wine news roundup: 11-17 January


Biondi Santi to release special edition 2012 Riserva Brunello

Brunello di Montalcino winery Biondi Santi has announced it will release a special edition 2012 Riserva to honour the late Franco Biondi Santi.

Franco was the estate’s head winemaker from 1970 until his death in 2013, and was responsible for developing Biondi Santi’s acclaimed style of elegant, ageworthy wines in a time when full-bodied, fruit-driven wines were in style.

Speaking of Franco’s work, his grandson Tancredi Biondi Santi said: “It takes a strong character to not be influenced by trends and fashions of the time and to continue to hold onto a vision that was not always applauded.”

The specially labelled Riserva Brunello di Montalcino 2012 will be released on 1st March, with a recommended price of £460 per bottle. To date, Biondi Santi has only released a Riserva wine from 39 vintages since 1888.


Burgundy’s 2018 whites prove a ‘pleasant surprise’

Burgundy’s winemakers have noted consistently over the last year their high expectations for the region’s 2018 reds, but it appears that its whites have performed above expectation, too.

As thedrinksbusiness reports, this week’s tastings have revealed a larger white wine harvest than anticipated. Couple with a hot vintage, many producers feared the whites would be too rich as a result of the weather, or too dilute due to the size of the crop. The result is instead “a happy medium”.

“The whites are a surprise,” said Giles Burke-Gaffney at Justerini & Brooks, “and they’re surprisingly consistent.”

Meanwhile, Flint Wines director Jason Haynes told the publication: “I’m not sure it’ll be a massively long-lived vintage, but the massive 1982s [another hot vintage] are still going strong.”


Rivetto becomes first Barolo winery to be certified biodynamic

Rivetto has become the first winery within the prestigious zones of Barolo and Barbaresco to be certified biodynamic by Demeter, one of the largest biodynamic certification bodies. The estate’s entire 100,000 bottle-a-year production will be certified, starting with its 2019 vintage.

The certification is notable not only because it’s a first for the region, but because many other Barolo and Barbaresco producers already use biodynamic methods, but have not pursued official accreditation.

Rivetto achieved organic status in 2016, but the estate wanted to go further. Enrico Rivetto – the fourth generation of the family – told Decanter that “Organic isn’t complete as it only governs the things you aren’t allowed to use,” adding that biodynamics is a “complete self-sustaining agricultural system” and should be the “norm” for any agricultural property.

The achievement marks 10 years of rigorous work for the property. “I don’t know that this will help me sell more wine,” said Rivetto, “but it is a demonstration that if you work hard you can achieve significant results.”


Bordeaux chateau unveils region’s first wine with augmented reality label

Chateau Laffitte Carcasset has launched what it says is Bordeaux’s first wine with an augmented reality label.

When viewed through an app on a smartphone, the label appears in augmented reality, telling the story of privateer Jean Laffitte, who purchased the estate in 1781.

The wine itself, named The Corsair, is a classic blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

The Saint-Estephe-based estate says it hopes the move will bring “young, connected” consumers to the label, and also to Bordeaux.


‘Reverse microwave’ can cool wine in just three minutes

The days of hurriedly plonking wine in the freezer in a bid to cool it quickly are numbered, thanks to a new gadget which aims to chill a bottle of wine in just three minutes.

Called ‘Juno’, the device has been created by Silicon Valley thermal engineering specialist Matrix Industries, and uses ‘reverse microwave technology’ to rapidly chill wine to sommelier-recommended temperatures.

Juno can chill a full-size bottle of white wine to 10°C in three minutes, or cool a bottle of beer to its optimum serving temperature in under 60 seconds. It will feature pre-set temperatures for red and white wine, as well as options to customise chilling levels.

First unveiled at tech show CES this month, the device – which could make having surprise guests over a lot easier – is expected to go on sale in October.

CW Homepage an investment like no other

Join our wine newsletter

Wine investment insights delivered straight into your inbox