News 09 08

Fine wine news roundup: 3-9 August


US remains ‘most attractive’ wine market

The US has once again topped the charts as the most attractive wine market in the world, according to Wine Intelligence’s Global Compass 2019 report.

According to the research, the US’ successful attractiveness rating "rests largely on the willingness of American consumers to trade up in terms of the price they pay for the wine they do buy, while other categories such as craft beer and spirits compete more strongly for share of personal alcoholic beverage consumption".

The US is followed by Canada, France, Germany and The Netherlands, which has moved up from 9th place last year. South Korea has also seen a boost in ‘attractiveness’, making it into the top 10 for the first time.

According to Luis Osorio, senior project manager and editor of Compass, “more people are paying more money for their wine around the world than ever before”. However, he added that the global trade picture is likely to change within the next 12 months. “An escalation of the Trump tariff war and the threat of a disorderly Brexit are known factors, but unquantifiable at the moment given the range of possible outcomes they represent,” he said.


Chile shows a promising 2019 vintage despite low yields

As many considered Chile’s 2018 vintage to be the best for a decade, its 2019 offering was always going to struggle in comparison. However, winemakers in the country are predicting a good vintage in terms of quality.

Christian Supulveda, winemaker at Bouchon Family Wines, told Decanter: “The wines this year are more concentrated because the ration of pulp to skin increased. In general, 2019 is a good vintage with good ripeness, low PH levels and a good level of acidity.”

Meanwhile, Vina San Pedro winemaker Matias Cruzat noted that “broadly speaking, red wines have a very good colour with structure and volume”.

However, while the Ministry of Agriculture has not yet published any official statistics on the volume of wine produced this year, many are anticipating lower yields due to temperature spikes in the summer and drought in the winter.

In its annual report, The National Winemakers’ Association estimates a lower yield of between 10% and 20% on average in the major Central Valley regions.


Penfolds releases 2019 collection

Australian fine wine brand Penfolds has launched its ‘2019 collection’, marking the winery’s 175th anniversary and chief winemaker Peter Gago’s 30th year with the estate.

The release covers vintages from 2015 to 2018, including the 2018 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling and the 2015 Grange. The collection also marks the 10th release of Bin 23 Pinot Noir, the 25th anniversary of the Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, the 20th anniversary of the Eden Valley Riesling and the 60th anniversary of the Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz.

Elsewhere in the collection is the 2017 Yattarna, 2016 St Henri and 2017 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz. According to Gago, the St Henri may be the best the label has ever made.


Penfolds begins using blockchain wine bottles to tackle counterfeiting

Also in Penfolds news, the label has teamed up with blockchain platform VeChain and Chinese importer DIG to launch blockchain-encrypted wine bottles for its Bin 407 label.

Each of the bottles on sale in China will be fitted with an NFC tag containing a chip, allowing customers to read data on provenance and to verify the wine’s authenticity.

DIG and VeChain launched their Wine Traceability Platform back in June 2018. The partnership with Penfolds marks the second phase in its development, although this is the first time Penfolds has adopted technology like this.

The label is frequently the focus of counterfeiters. In November 2018 more than 50,000 bottles of fake Penfolds wine was seized near Beijing, while in April of this year a further haul of counterfeit bottles – worth over US$2.8 million – was confiscated in China’s central Zhengzhou city.

Other Australian wineries, including Wakefield Wines and Seppeltsfield, have already introduced traceable technology into their labels in a bid to prevent fakes.


What does your wine preference say about your social media persona?

There are plenty of studies out there – scientific and otherwise – that lay claim to a variety of personality traits and quirks based on your wine preference. The latest intel? Your social media persona.

According to a new survey from Villa Maria, the majority of Syrah drinkers (85%) prefer to keep in touch with their nearest and dearest via technology, while Chardonnay fans are more likely to want to catch up in person.

Meanwhile, rose drinkers are most likely to use social media to reconnect with lost friends, while still red and white fans say they primarily use the technology to stay up to date with long distance friends and family.

The research was conducted as part of Villa Maria’s Value of Conversation campaign, which shines a spotlight on the value of face to face conversation over a glass of wine.

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