Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 6

(continued from p. 4)
label was grounds to indict a winemaker for fraud. The labeling also has been presented to
other wine trade unions: the CNAOC, Vins IGP, the organic associations FNAB and France
Vin Bio and the union of cooperatives. The Vin Méthode Nature union is also working on a
task force with France's INAO and Ministry of Agriculture to make the label officially legal.
Currently, the syndicate numbers more than 200 members, mostly French, along with some
Swiss winemakers. To date, 60 cuvées from the 2019 vintage received the labeling, all of them
from France, the only country to recognize the designation. However, the union's goal is to
gain approval for the seal at the European level within the next five years. ■

Climate-Positive Pea Gin
The Arbikie Estate is a 2,000acre farm in Angus, on the east
coast of Scotland. Since five
years ago, when siblings John,
Iain and David Stirling built a
distillery in an old barn on the
property, their mission has been
to operate sustainably, using only
ingredients grown on the farm.
Those might include juniper for
Master Distiller Kirsty Black's
gin, or honey harvested from bee
colonies on the farm, or citrus
and chiles grown in tunnels underground.
Recently, Black partnered with Abertay
University and the James Hutton Institute to
produce what they claim is the first "climate
positive" spirit. Dubbed Nàdar ("nature" in
Gaelic), the spirit is distilled from peas. The
"pot ale"-normally a waste product left after
distilling-in this case goes to feed cows on a
neighboring farm. That fuels the company's
"climate positive" claim, as the farm would
otherwise use soybean-based feed, which is
commonly imported from cleared rain-forest

areas. They've run the numbers to
show that substituting pot ale for feed
mitigates more emissions than the
spirit's production creates.
Peas are also a great nitrogen
sink, as the plants take the gas
from the atmosphere and fix it in
the soil, which improves fertility
and eliminates the need for
nitrogen-based fertilizers (another
factor in Arbikie's climate positivity
calculation). The legumes complete
Arbikie's seven-year crop rotation
of peas, barley and potatoes, a combination
that can help rejuvenate soils. Organizations
such as Zero Foodprint have pinned high hopes
on the capacity of healthy soils to sequester
atmospheric CO2 to help slow global warming.
Nàdar, the spirit, conveys a delicate, pale
green pea-shell character complemented by
scents of Kaffir lime, lemongrass and orange.
The light, summery flavors would be right at
home in a classic gin and tonic, or add a bouquet
of mint along with the lime wedge, then sit back
and enjoy the summer heat. -Corey Warren

A Modern Somm Movie
Uncorked, a film from Netflix, breaks new
ground in the sommelier-film genre by telling
the story from the eyes of a black protagonist,
and with a hip-hop soundtrack. Elijah Bruener
(played by Mamoudou Athie), who works at a
wine shop in Memphis, Tennessee, wants to
go to school to become a Master Sommelier;
his father (played by Courtney B. Vance) would
rather his son take over the family's BBQ joint.
The quiet victories of the film are in moments
like a classroom scene where Elijah stands, like
David to Goliath, to compete in a blind tasting against a classmate who boasts he's from Harvard
and has correctly identified the last five wines. The film pokes fun at wine novices and sommeliers
alike, and offers some comic relief as Elijah struggles to balance work and school, finance his study
abroad in Paris and deal with his mother's illness. Just when he's about to put the exam on hold,
Elijah's community helps prepare him to meet the task he's worked so hard to achieve. This is the
debut film for director Prentice Penny, a coproducer of the TV series Insecure. -Sydney Love
6

WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

Roederer Buys
Diamond Creek
Frédéric Rouzaud,
president and CEO of
Maison Louis Roederer,
has expanded his firm's
presence in California
with the purchase
of Diamond Creek
Vineyards. The legendary
vineyards are now part
of Maison Louis Roederer's collection of North
Coast properties, which includes Anderson Valley's
Roederer Estate, founded by Rouzaud's father, JeanClaude, in 1982, and Merry Edwards, the Sonoma
County pinot noir specialist, acquired in 2019.
One of the earliest serious explorations of Napa
Valley terroir, Diamond Creek was planted in 1968
by Al and Boots Brounstein and focused exclusively
on cabernet sauvignon-based wines, using vine
cuttings Al smuggled into the country from two firstgrowth châteaus in Bordeaux.
The property covers 79 acres in the northern
sector of Diamond Mountain, with 25 planted to
vines.
The wines have been made by Phil Steinschriber
since the early 1990s, when the Brounsteins
were beginning a massal selection, a nursery to
propagate the vines, and a renewal of their first
generation of vineyards. Al Brounstein passed away
in 2006 and Boots continued to run the estate with
her son, Phil Ross, until her death in 2019. Now,
after collecting 16 W&S Top 100 Winery awards,
Diamond Creek remains one of the most consistent
and collectible cabernet producers in Napa Valley.
Ross, Steinschriber and other members of the
Diamond Creek team will remain with the estate
while Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, the technical director
for Maison Louis Roederer, begins to plan for the
future of the vineyard. -Joshua Greene

Napa Wine, Virtually
The Napa wine experience isn't dead; but for
now, consider having it from home. Following
California's winery closures due to covid-19, wine
travel agency Priority Wine Pass has partnered
with local wineries to offer virtual wine tastings
in two easy steps: Purchase a selection of wines
to be delivered to your door, then schedule a
private online video chat with the winemaker.
Participating wineries include Boeschen
Vineyards, Courtesan Wines, Modus Operandi,
Prime Solum and Sciandri Family Vineyards, with
more to be announced. prioritywinepass.com.
-S.L.


http://www.prioritywinepass.com

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 4
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
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