Wine News: October 2009 Archives

By Courtney Cochran

A proverbial bomb dropped in the wine world late last week when online sales giant Amazon.com notified erstwhile winery partners it would no longer be getting into the online wine sales business. Reactions to the news ranged from astonished to relieved, with many speculating the cause of the ouster can be traced to fulfillment partner New Vine Logistics' recent bankruptcy and pressure from the government to prevent so-called third-party wine sales.

Wine Tasting with Robert M. Parker Jr.

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ciaParker.jpgST. HELENA, CA - Great news for wine enthusiasts anticipating the tasting of the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape vintage at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with Robert M. Parker, Jr. Three more wines have been added to the flight, making a total of 21 wines from this excellent vintage to be tasted. This annual event has generated an endowment in excess of $1 million for Wine Advocate scholarships for the CIA's Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. This year's tasting is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. at the CIA's Napa Valley campus.

When Parker first reviewed the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape wines, he awarded them ratings in the mid to high 90s. According to Parker, "the entire vintage will be very long-lived given the extraordinary balance in the wines. (And) given this quality, the high demand and limited supply from these producers makes 2007 one of the most collectible vintages in recent memory."
PH-Oppenlander-06.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

In the world of wine as we know it, few winemakers have followed so circuitous a route to oenophilia as Toby Hill, owner/winemaker for Phillips-Hill Estates in Philo. A California native who grew up in Manhattan before returning to the Bay Area for high school, then heading back to New York to pursue a successful career as an artist and ultimately settling down in Mendocino, Hill literally began making wine on a whim when a friend gave him several bottles of unfinished wine one harvest. Several years later, the self-taught winemaker is turning heads with his extremely limited, Burgundian-style Pinots made from Mendo's emerging comptche sub-region. Read on for notes on my favorite of his current offerings.

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