"Survey sees U.S. becoming No. 1 world wine market

The Editor's Vineyard

A study by the Bordeaux Vin Expo promoters states that the United States will surpass France as the Number One wine market within the next five years. It also revealed that Italy would remain in Number Two position and that for the first time Russia and China are in the top ten world markets in terms of consumption. The current world wine market is valued at $107 Billion.

Corbett Canyon is the latest winery to move to Screw Cap Closures which show a 25 per cent sales growth over the past year. Most of the wines that have moved to screw caps are marketed in the $10 range. The ACNielsen report added that the convenience of screw caps is widely appreciated by the average wine consumer.

New wine brands and labels now appear so frequently that the poor wine writer has his work cut out for him to keep abreast. Some are frivolous but others appear to be on a solid footing, from excellent vineyards and notable winemakers.

One new one we were impressed with is Pacific Oasis which has been created to showcase the wines of Santa Barbara County. Two new vintages that show this appellation in a very good light are 2005 Pacific Oasis Pinot Noir and 2005 Pacific Oasis Syrah. Winemaker Daniel Gehrs reports that he has styled the Pinot Noir in the style of a Cote du Beanne. The grapes were from both the Santa Maria and Los Alamos valleys. Smooth texture combine with full fruit flavors to make this an exceptional bottle of wine. The Syrah offers exceptional aroma and flavors and is remarkably soft on the palate. Perhaps a blending of five per cent Viognier completes this softness and flavor. The Pinot Noir is priced at $25 the Syrah at $14. Winemaker Gehrs has kept the alcohol in the 13 per cent range earning this Writer"s approval.

Organic wines

Mendocino County vintners have taken the lead in producing organic wines certified by California Certified Organic Farmers. On our recent tour of Mendocino vineyards we were able to taste these vintages at several different wineries. One such vintage is Parducci 2005 Chardonnay. Parducci is a proud name in Mendocino County as the winery exists since 1921 when started by Adolph Parducci and his family. One of the advantages of organic wines is the absence of added sulfites. We found this Chardonnay most traditional with a host of fruit flavors and a long lasting crisp dry finish. Parducci wines, now made and marketed by Mendocino Wine Company, are taking a leading role in biodynamic and organic faming of vineyards.

Another Mendocino vintner with a major role in organic farming techniques is Frey Vineyards in the Redwood Valley. We were impressed with the 2004 Frey Sangiovese, also organic and from a single vineyard. Hearty but mellow on the palate this is a wine sure to please. Also pleasing is the price tag of $13.

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Last Update:3/15/07

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