Wine news September 28, 2015

Business Insider decodes wine labels. "Kleinhans explains that certain words, often those regulated by local government in the region a wine is produced, are reliable indicators of high-quality wine at any price point."

The Telegraph on a village in Bordeaux that is grappling with cancer rates five times the national average. "A new report has said scientists cannot rule out the possibility of a link to pesticides sprayed on the vineyards of Sauternes, overlooked by the village’s nursery and primary school."

In Grub Street scientists believe that they have found out what gives a wine terroir. "But, as it happens, there's something else less visible that contributes to this — the local microbes that populate the soil and live on the skin of the grapes that made your wine."

Science Alert reports that Prince Charles drives a wine powered car. "By boiling off the wine's 11 percent alcohol, condensing it and removing any remaining water, Green Fuels ended up with hundreds of litres of 99.8 percent pure ethanol, which they topped up with alcohol extracted from fermented whey collected from local cheesemakers," Ian Sample reported for The Guardian at the time."

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford on his experience at the harvest of Raventos i Blanc. "So far, no other producer has joined Raventos i Blanc in using the Conca del Riu Anoia name, perhaps because the quality charter which goes with it looks over-onerous (it stipulates 80 per cent estate grown fruit, only organic or biodynamic cultivation and only indigenous varieties), but more probably out of respect for their forbears."

The Drinks Business reports that Burger King has released its Whopper wine. "While this is Burger King’s first foray into wine, rival McDonald’s already sells wine in a number of its South American sites."

Alder Yarrow reports that the Lodi Zinfandel revolution continues."The Lodi Native project not only significantly redeemed my dissatisfaction with Lodi Zinfandel, it also inspired my faith in the future of California wine."

Jancis Robinson asks which is better Syrah or Shiraz? "But recently there has been a sea change in perceptions of the red wine platonic ideal so that even some Australian wine producers, notably those trying to make rather more refreshing versions of the grape, have started to call their wines Syrah rather than Shiraz, mirroring developments elsewhere in the southern hemisphere."

The Washington Post examines the 2015 vintage for Mid-Atlantic winemakers. "If the weather holds for just another week or two, we could be in for some great local wine from the 2015 vintage. Once all the grapes are in, it can rain for all it’s worth."

Vinepair on nine Bordeaux chateaux you can rent.