Home Industry News Releases The Wine Independent Debuts Vintage Guides and Announces Champagne Reviewer

The Wine Independent Debuts Vintage Guides and Announces Champagne Reviewer

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The Vintage Guide will offer 40 vintage reports for Bordeaux and the Napa Valley

October 16th, 2023 – Napa Valley, CA – The Wine Independent, a leading wine publication focusing on storytelling, emotive professional photography, and expert wine reviews, has debuted The Wine Independent Vintage Guides. Authored by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, the Vintage Guides will initially cover 40 vintages of wines from Bordeaux and the Napa Valley and offer comprehensive and detailed information on crucial vintage years in both regions. Each guide offers the reader Vintage Ratings from specific growing regions within each appellation, the top wines of a specific vintage, and accurate and distinct reports on the key stages of each growing season. Going forward, the Vintage Guides will be updated with each new Napa and Bordeaux vintage in bottle.

The Vintage Guides launch with the 1982 vintage. Beginning with Bordeaux, Perrotti-Brown says, “1982 was a dream vintage. Not only was the growing season warm, sunny, and blissfully uneventful, but the crop was abundant. A hot, dry September ensured all three of the major red varieties had the opportunity to achieve optimal ripeness. The best reds proved delicious out of the gate—generous and fruity with soft acidities and plush tannins. But some critics viewed these attributes as the antithesis of a classically austere, structured Bordeaux vintage. What was more concerning, yields even at some of the top Châteaux were cresting a whopping 60 hectoliters per hectare. For these reasons, many professionals judged the wines to lack the structure and stuffing for long-term aging, with the notable exception of the minority, including a newcomer to the wine criticism scene: Robert M. Parker, Jr. It was the vintage that sealed his reputation.” The report continues, including how well Bordeaux dry whites and Sauternes fared that year.

The first ten reports highlight vintages between 1982-1991, with the 1991 Napa Valley report reading, “1991 is a legendary vintage for the best-performing Napa Valley Cabernets. Abundant spring rains put an end to the malingering drought that preceded, helping to set a potentially large crop. A long, moderate growing season meant that vigilance was required in terms of shoot thinning and green harvesting to ensure that the vines could fully ripen their loads. It was a late harvest, with most of the Bordeaux red varieties being picked in mid to late October, and some fruit was still hanging in November. Those that got the vine balance right brought in beautifully ripe, complex, and expressive grapes with firm yet velvety tannins and well-knit acidity. The most successful 1991 Napa Cabs remain stunning today and well worth the hunt.”

Additionally, The Wine Independent has added a Champagne reviewer, Sarah Mayo, to its roster. Born in Oklahoma, USA, Sarah Mayo has worked internationally in wine, food, and hospitality her entire life, living in France, Australia, Japan, and Singapore and with early forays in even more far-flung locales such as Peshawar, Pakistan, and Havana, Cuba. Sarah obtained her WSET Diploma in Hong Kong and then founded The Local Nose and Asia Wine Events in Singapore. She worked as Deputy Editor of Robert Parker Wine Advocate and managed North America for the Rathbone Wine Group (owner of Australian wineries including Yering Station and Mount Langi Ghiran) prior to her current role. Fluent in French, Sarah’s passion for Champagne stems from a deep knowledge of the region’s terroir, tradition, and craft. Currently based in New York City, Sarah is also the Global Sales and Marketing Director at Black River Caviar, a premium Oscietra caviar producer in Uruguay.

To learn more about The Wine Independent, please visit: https://thewineindependent.com/

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