Here’s all the most recent news after our first full week of 2023, complete with alcoholic beats and affordable bubbles.
© Alex Siemens|The ASM group has carved a special niche merging wine with old-fashioned hip hop.
Another new year and another mild go back to red wine news throughout the non-English speaking world where little has changed considering that we left 2022. Aside from the remnants of Champagne suggestions and articles on January abstaining (see our take here), the likes of inflation, dry items concerns, consumption declines (a subject much-covered in the French nationwide press over the last couple of weeks) and market crystal-ball-gazing continue apace.
The primary story out of France this week was the news that prominent organic Roussillon manufacturer Domaine Gauby in Calce (which was hit by an extreme forest fire in the summer season) has actually been offered to two private French investors. According to Le Revue de Vin de France the estate will still be run by the Gauby family with the backers playing “sleeping partners”.
Meanwhile, here are some of the stories you may have missed this week:
Natural Red wine rappers get broadsheet profile
Euro-rap group ASM (A Frame Of Mind), understood for drawing motivation from wine areas and their natural white wines, got the full-profile treatment in French broadsheet Libération this week with the slugline “with rap group ASM, natural red wine has discovered its circulation”. The group, made up of MCs FP, or Funkypoet (Maik Schindler) and GT Lovecraft (Benji Bambach) together with DJ Rhino, regularly sing about natural red wines and have released 3 albums.
The group (whose members are spread out in between Frankfurt, Montpellier and Brussels– typically compose and produce online) came together at the International High School in Frankfurt and often namedrops regions, red wines and producers in their tunes– a strange angle, they explained, they have been doing for a years.
“We did a job called Origin & & Juice, which is clearly a recommendation to Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice,” they informed Libération. “We made a series of videos with a natural white wine, a traditional dish, a sample and a track per country.”
The group was profiled previously in March 2022 by local Swiss paper La Tribune de Genève in which (online) the paper featured a song by the group reviewing a wine-pack released by Vinsupernaturel (a wine subscription service based in France) all made by female wine makers.
“A celebration of the girls makin’ beautiful juice,” the song begins. “In a Lambrusco state of mind? Required a bubbly [noticable “boobley”] rouge? Examine Alanna Lagamba’s cool and ruby-red fruits: Frauen Power. A Pét-Nat from Dornfelder, Silvaner– Rheinhessen represent. Pop it when it’s real time.”
While the group remains, admittedly, some method from the mainstream, this appears to suit them.
“We do rap in an incredibly artisanal way, on the fringes of mainstream and industrial rap,” FP informed Libération. “Precisely like the natural winegrowers we draw motivation from.”
Nevertheless, the trio’s profile is growing.
“When we began, we discussed the bottles that we had found on our own and that we enjoyed,” said FP. “But as we get a growing number of popular, now there are winegrowers who come to see us carry out with their wines and, later on, they want us to do a tasting backstage.”
“It was while talking with the winegrowers that we recognized that we made music like they make white wine: with a love for information, for the little things.”
Producers concerned bottle might run out for 2022 vintage
While French white wine news website Vitisphere seized the day last week to re-run a variety of articles from last year, one highlighting the bumper French harvest of 2022 (“2022 harvest will re-establish France’s position as second-largest red wine producer”), regional paper Ouest France published an unwitting counterpoint today asking “Will there be enough bottle for the 2022 vintage?”.
Citing Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières estate, Domaine de Cézin, the piece concentrated on winemaker Amandine Fresneau who, in spite of a bumper crop last year, was “connecting herself in knots” with bottle supply concerns.
“To bottle the vintage, Domaine de Cézin needs 75,000 glass bottles,” said the report. “These bottles have actually been ordered, but they have not all showed up and small consignments are showing up piecemeal.”
Fearmongering, or a sign of things to come?
Ups and downs for Spanish bulk wine exports
More of the same from the Spanish Red Wine Market Observatory (the OeMv) this week as it released figures for bulk wine sales across the very first 3 quarters of 2022. Once once again, due principally to inflation, export values have actually gone up with bulk white wine exports representing a EUR48.4 million uptick (a boost of 11.9 percent, year-on-year) while volumes decreased over the exact same duration by roughly the exact same amount (12.5 percent).
Almost all sections of Spanish bulk red wine fell in volume with only the varietal category (instead of the likes of table wine or wines by geographical denomination) posting any favorable gains in the period– in this instance, a meager 1.1 percent rise.
As to be expected, the total distinction in volume/value (a 12 percent drop in volume and a 12 percent increase in value) was broadly accounted for by an increase of just under 28 percent of the typical per-liter cost of bulk white wine over the period, closing at EUR0.46 per liter.
Crémant d’Alsace posts record year
It seems Champagne is not the only classification of bubbles to have published record profits last year. According to local news outlet BFM Alsace, Crémant d’Alsace had a record year too, selling over 38 million bottles of the eastern French bubbles.
“A Crémant d’Alsace is significantly less expensive [than Champagne],” said the tv channel, “for that reason far more appealing [to consumers] in a time of inflation.”
The channel kept in mind that, while domestic usage was a significant motorist, sales abroad, and especially in the USA, were likewise showing strong growth.
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