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Wine Buzz – February 2016

Posted on  | January 21, 2016   Bookmark and Share
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Zonin Dresses Up a Trio of Blended Bubblies 

Zonin is tapping into Italy’s deep connection to fashion with a new limited-edition “Dress Code” Collection, designed both to showcase the blending potential of Prosecco’s signature Glera variety and to communicate different moods via the packaging and character.

The White Edition (Glera & Pinot Bianco), with floral and fresh notes, is intended to evoke a free and joyful mood. The Grey Edition (Glera & Pinot Grigio) has intense aromatic and fruity notes, delivering a modern, informal message. And the Black Edition (Glera and Pinot Noir) has aromatic notes accented by the finesse of Pinot Noir; it is designed to be mysterious, elegant and charming. Sold separately while line-priced at $16.99; time will tell if retailers stock the whole trio—and if consumers accept the fashion-minded bump up in price. zoninusa.com



Vintage Alert: 2014 Oregon Pinot Noirs Trickling In…

The New World, compared to the Old, is known for reliable weather and consistent vintages. Oregon Pinot Noir, however, has traditionally been an exception. Which sets the stage for 2014, widely considered to be the biggest and best ever, especially in the all-important Willamette Valley. Credit the “Goldilocks”-like weather—not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy—and higher than normal low temperatures fostered early bud break and accelerated ripening. Dry weather for the September harvest was icing on the vintage cake. Look for the 2014s to win Oregon Pinots even more admirers; early releases are arriving now.


 Coravin Model Two: Game-Changing Device Gets an Upgrade

When Coravin hit the wine scene in 2013, it provided a solution to a challenge most wine lovers had not even imagined. The hi-tech needle and argon system lets you access, pour, and enjoy wine from a bottle—without pulling the cork. This in turn enabled restaurants to expand their by-the-glass programs into rare and expensive wines that previously were available only by the bottle.  

Reports of bottle breakage by a handful of users represented a speed bump; a protective sleeve solved that issue and the device continues to be widely embraced in the restaurant world (including such locales as Morton’s, Oceanaire and Smith & Wollensky). Coravin also empowered private wine collectors, who now could tap into their mega-bottle cellars one glass at a time.

Even more important: after engaging users around the country to get feedback, Greg Lambrecht (who had spent a decade designing the original model) and his design team, went back to the lab and came up with a new, streamlined and easier-to-use version. Coravin Model Two (SRP is $349.95, $50 more than the original) has even more appeal for home users now, thanks to a thinner needle with a faster pour; more intuitive clamps; and easier capsule handling. While Coravin is available at some national retail outlets (Bloomingdale’s, Sur La Table), it is also available wholesale to wine merchants, packaged for resale. coravin.com


Wagner’s Copper Cane Targets Zinfandel Via Beran Label 

With the Meomi brand, recently sold to Constellation, Joe Wagner showed his golden touch with Pinot Noir. Next up: Wagner hopes to restore Zinfandel, arguably California’s most historic grape, to its full former glory. The Beran 2013 Sonoma County Zinfandel (SRP $34.99) joins the 2013 Beran California Zinfandel ($24) and the 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel ($48), both released in 2015. Beran Wines join Carne Humana Napa Valley blends and Elouan Oregon Pinot Noir in Wagner’s Copper Cane Wines & Provisions portfolio. beranwine.com


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