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Smoke Taint Concerns Grape Growers

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Lately there hasn’t been much to celebrate about and as a result Champagne growers are facing challenges due to the pandemic and collapsing sales. So far the French government has not offered any actionable help. Can growers and winemakers work together to hold prices steady?

Franzia is selling a backpack that holds an entire box of wine. As it turns out their apparel site has a bunch of other swag you can purchase as well.

If wildfires and air quality indexes in the very unhealthy to hazardous zone for over three weeks weren’t enough, triple digit heat was recorded for several days in many grape growing regions of California. The specter of smoke taint is something that has most in the industry adopting a wait and see attitude. Mike Pomranz pens a piece for Food & Wine looking into the complexities of dealing with smoke taint as a grape grower or a winemaker.

Bill and I discuss these items and more in this week's addition of VinoWeek. Thanks to everyone for listening. Cheers!

Our wine recommendation this week is the 2016 Newton Napa Valley Unfiltered Chardonnay. Most of the grapes for this Chardonnay were sourced from the Carneros region of Napa, due southeast of the city of Napa bordering the San Pablo Bay. A small percentage of the grapes are sourced from up valley in the Rutherford area. Using indigenous yeast the Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented. After fermentation the wine was transferred to French oak barrels 24% which were new. The wine was aged for one year and received bâtonnage as needed. After barrel ageing the wine was allowed to settle in tanks and then it was bottled unfiltered. This wine strikes a nice balance between the California oak bombs of yesteryear and no oak Chardonnays that are more in fashion today. This is Alberto Bianchi, who hails from Milan, first vintage at Newton and he has crafted a remarkably sophisticated, powerful and complex Chardonnay. The color is light straw. Green apples, pear and oak aromas are reconfirmed on the firm and juicy palate. The wine has good depth and roundness at this stage. This is a wine to drink now or you could cellar it for several years to allow it gain some bottle complexity. 14 % abv $35 - $40 Buy it here.

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