Anthony Bourdain is on this issue’s cover, along with 2012 Bordeaux (750+ wines rated), California Rhones, Charlie Hebdo wine labels and the state of wine lists on cruise lines. [level-members]
First, the front of the book: the letters section is entirely devoted to commentary on Matt Kramer’s recent column on wine apps and how they will not replace wine critics. Dangerous ground he’s treading, though folks do weigh in on both sides of the debate. Interesting stuff, to say the least, and you’d be foolish not to be up on the wine-guide apps that your customers are likely to be using. A quick search will turn up dozens of them, but your better off asking best customers which the tools they prefer. (And why they prefer them.)
Chateau Barrail des Graves has, for more than 40 years, commissioned Charlie Hebdo cartoonists to design labels. The producer will continue to use the cartoonists to create their labels despite having lost 3 close friends among the 12 killed January’s attack.
James Laube lauds the increasing quality of South African wines. New bottlings inspired by old world styles – Bordeaux and the Rhone among them – are gaining favor. Sauvignon Blancs are also beginning to come into their own, with taste profiles similar to the New Zealand wines of the same varietal.
Matt Kramer continues to be our favorite WS columnist. This time around he extols the value and necessity of seeking out new wines and new wine frontiers. Hungary, Greece, Western Australia, all worth a look …
Is 2012 “lipstick on a pig” territory for Bordeaux. WS writes that buyers “fatigued by exorbitant prices” in recent vintages may find that 2012 “provides the best buying opportunity in some time.” We’re reading that to mean the wines aren’t all that and a bag of chips and value will still be hard to find.
2012 California Rhones fare better across the board, and there are some good values, though there are quite a lot of wines at the higher end. Only the Santa Barbara wines are sub-90-points overall. [/level-members]