Talking Wine – February 2019

It might be worth checking your wine rack this week end. Were you sitting on a bottle of 1945 Domaine de Romanée Conti it would have fetched £424,000 for the one bottle in a recent auction. In the same auction, in New York, a bottle of 1926 Macallan reached £650,000. Has the world gone completely mad?!

A Californian winery has left some Oregon wine growers really angry after cancelling a contract to buy grapes from them. The grapes would normally go into Oregon sourced branded wines made in the Napa Valley but the Californians have been stretching the law and are now in breach of federal labelling laws which state that 95% of the fruit must come from that region and that the wine has to be bottled in state. Instead of holding their hands up they have used the excuse that the grapes are tainted with smoke following the recent fires in that area . However the growers claim that it is bogus and just a “smokescreen” for getting out of legal contracts. The amount of smoke damage appears very low and the levels of Guiacol and Methylguico, the compounds released by burning wood, were well below any levels of concern.

This reminds me of a friend who, a few years ago, had his peaches rejected by a large supermarket as they were the wrong shape. Rather strange that the previous shipment was no different but the supermarket share price has just taken a dip after some bad publicity. An extraordinary coincidence!