IWR February 2024 Newsletter: A Look Forward

Our last newsletter reviewed our varied activities and publications in 2023.  In this newsletter, we take a look forward.  We begin with our just-published report on Colorado wine, which was led by Joel Butler MW. And then move on to other projects this year in the Santa Cruz Mountains, South Africa, Georgia, Navarra and Italy.

COLORADO WINE: MILES HIGH, DOWN TO EARTH  This, our 98th report, looks at the tremendous growth in wine production and wine quality in the Mountain High State, despite very challenging growing conditions.  Published February 2024. Associate Editor Joel Butler MW has worked with the International Wine Review on several wine projects in the past, and we’re happy to report he will continue working closely with us.  Joel is the lead author of the Colorado report.

CALIFORNIA’S SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS  This historic growing region is filled with small wineries making high quality mountain wines.  Since the wineries are small and the wines not widely distributed, the region is not well known. But the quality is high, and the wine are distinctive. We’ll be heading there in March/April to discover its vinous treasures.

Agnes de Vos’ 1956 Chenin Blanc Vineyard in Paarl

SOUTH AFRICA CHENIN BLANC  We’re in the Western Cape as we write this, focusing on the national grape, Chenin Blanc.  Many of these wines are simply outstanding, sourced from dry farmed vineyards, many of them very old.  Fortunately, many of the best wines are imported to the US, and we’ll give our assessment of the wines and talk about the producers. Shown here, Duncan Savage and his hundred-year-old Chenin vineyard.

GEORGIA  Called “the cradle of wine” due to recent archeological finds of 8 thousand year old winemaking clay vessels called qvevri, Georgia is also very complex.  Not only does it have almost 500 indigenous grape varieties, but its most famous wines are made with skins [and sometimes stems] in qvevri, which imparts an earthy, dry fruited character to the white wines. Last year we visited wineries in Kakheti and Kartli in western Georgia, and a report will be forthcoming later this year.  This year we return to Georgia to visit the very different wine growing region in western Georgia.

NAVARRA  Late last year we visited Navarra where a new generation of winemakers are putting the focus on the traditional strengths of the region, Garnacha and Rosados.  We’ll continue tasting Navarra wines this year with the goal of updating our earlier report on The Wines of Navarra.

TUSCANY  Finally, we head off in February to Tuscany’s annual Anteprima where the new releases of Chianti Classico, Montepulciano, and other wine regions will be released.  We’ll let you know our opinion of the new vintages.

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Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/02/07/iwr-february-2024-newsletter-a-look-forward/

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