We kicked off the week with my article about the renaissance of Moldovan wine, entitled ‘horses, carts and spaceships’ (a reference to Tony Laithwaite’s memorable quote at the end). I was expecting a bit of flak for devoting an article to such a niche subject and indeed it has inspired some dispute as to the origins of two Fetească vine varieties. Moldova is certainly fascinating, both historically and geographically.
Also on Saturday Nick reviewed a new restaurant in East London run by an extremely young but obviously hard-working couple. And on Monday we published an enthusiastic report on the 2022 vintage in the Minervois.
This was supplemented on Monday by Paula’s tasting article and review of new developments in Austria’s flagship white-wine region, the Wachau. The local co-op, the estimable Domäne Wachau with its 250 members (many of them pictured above), has managed to inspire many of the smart individual producers to follow it along the path to more sustainable practices. This has been accompanied by a perceptible lightening in style of the Wachau’s often-weighty Grüners and Rieslings.
On Tuesday we published an extremely controversial allegation of price fixing, that British wine merchants are ignoring the legal requirement that retailers should be free to decide how to price what they sell. On the same day, Sam Cole-Johnson offered us much less of a hot potato, an Oregon miscellany.
The next day, Greek wine aficionado Julia highlighted yet another wine revolution, the upscaling of Savatiano, Attica’s dominant vine variety, long dismissed as worthy only of yielding neutral bulk wine or the base for the least exciting form of retsina. Of the 28 Savatianos she tasted (including nine retsinas), she rated 19 of them 16.5 or more.
On the same day, vigneron’s daughter Pauline Vicard, of the wine think tank ARENI Global, wondered what profitability should look like in wine production. The introduction to her article may constitute the first, but by no means the last, time you encounter the expression ‘degrowth’.
Yesterday we took a close look at two important red wine grapes. Our tasting article was my detailed look at Austria’s red pride and joy Blaufränkisch, while our Throwback Thursday republication examined the tricky question: where is the birthplace of Zinfandel? You may think you know the answer but many a Montenegrin thinks you’re wrong.
Today it’s the turn of Richard’s account of what he’s been drinking – sorry, tasting – in Singapore with his January 2023 Singapour. And Julia’s wine of the week today is … Greek, a delicious-sounding Cretan red Liatiko.
There is so much to learn. However do today’s MW students do it?
Wishing them all the luck in the world with their studies,