News and notes from the world of wine.
According to studies performed by ETS Laboratories, a wine-analysis lab based in St. Helena, California, shaving 3/16-inch of oak from used barrel staves prior to heating the barrel to 400ºF for two hours is the prescription for eradicating Brettanomyces microbes from the barrel wood. Brettanomyces is a yeast notorious for producing off-putting aromas in wine, such as horse blanket and burlap.
The second-growth Bordeaux estate Château Brane-Cantenac will use Carmenère in its Grand Vin for the first time, according to château owner Henri Lurton. Traditionally, Carmenère proved to be difficult to fully ripen in Bordeaux. However, due to climate change and warm growing seasons, Carmenère is now ripening well, Lurton further reported.
According to the Champagne house Philipponnat, for the first time in its 490 year history, the house has announced allocation-only sales for its tête de cuvée, Clos des Goisses. The change in policy is due to ultrahigh demand for the house’s 2002 vintage.
On Thursday, March 15, whisky giant Glenfiddich broke the record for the most expensive bottle of whisky sold at auction. Its 55-year-old Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve netted $94,000 at a New York charity gala hosted by actor Adrian Grenier and Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman in celebration of the distillery’s 125th anniversary.
According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), Italian wine exports reached a record $5.75 billion in 2011, with Germany, Britain and the United States as the biggest markets. Exports by value grew 12% in 2011 from 2010, while exports by volume increased by 9% to 624 million gallons.