On May 23, The Court of Master Sommeliers awarded the Master Sommelier diploma to the following candidates: Dennis Kelly (The French Laundry, Yountville, California), Roland Micu (San Francisco), Sabato Sagaria (The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado), and Thomas Price (The Metropolitan Grill, Seattle). Since the first Master Sommelier exam, which was proctored in the United Kingdom in 1969, there have been 190 professionals who have received the title of Master Sommelier.
The Champagne house, Bollinger, has launched the 1846 bottle—a new narrow-neck format that purportedly decelerates the wine’s aging process. The bottle is modeled after a similar shape used in the 1840s. According to Mathieu Kauffmann, chef de cave, the curved form simulates a magnum with its narrower neck and wider base. The new bottle will be used for the entire Bollinger range.
California’s Francis Coppola Winery is releasing a new red blend, Eleanor, in June. Named after Coppola’s wife, the 2009 offering is made from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Coppola’s vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. The wine is expected to retail for $48/750 ml, with a label that features Eleanor Coppola’s artwork.
Fabrice Rieu has been named president of Vinisud, the Mediterranean wine tradeshow. Previously, Rieu was president of the Roussillon Wines Joint Trades Council. He succeeds Bernard de Roquette-Buisson.
A screwcap for sparkling wine has been released after five years of research and development between Guala Closures Australia, De Bortoli Wines and glass manufacturer O-I. The closure, called Viiva, is restricted to bottles containing sparkling wine made using the charmat method. According to the manufacturers, this closure prevents cork taint and loss of carbonation, and it also eases the opening process.