Lifer releases wine from prison | Wine-Searcher News and Features

Killer wine, new Sherry rules and price issues in Bordeaux – it’s all happening this week.

©Eurosport | River Plate fans – still seen here on the warpath – now have their own wine.

As the world prepares for the release of Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday, more positive 2022 harvest reports continued to filter through news sites this week.

That’s not all, however. Here are some of the stories you may have missed:

Hooligan Lifer launches its own wine label

Former River Plate football hooligan boss Alan Schlenker, who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a faction rival, has released a wine label honoring his business behind prison bars from Chubut, in the south of Argentina.

The wine – a Mendoza Malbec said to be produced in the Uco Valley – bears the River Plate house title (known as “barra brava” in Argentina), Los Borrachos del Tablón (“Drunks in the bleachers” ), accompanied by a photo of a crowd of fans waving flags and the number “14” (known as “the drunk” in Argentine bingo/lottery calls).

“I have the enormous satisfaction to report that after much effort, a two-decade dream has come true,” Schlenker told the wine outlet via Twitter. “Now River [Plate] fans have their own Malbec wine from Mendoza.”

The ad was posted with grainy images of a winery and wines rolling down a bottling line. The wine is available for 1,150 Argentine pesos a bottle (US$7.20) through the company’s website. losborrachosdeltablon.com.ar and is produced by the Uco Wines winery, which offers a private label service.

“We did a tasting with many wineries[…] through the person who is in charge of all this,” Schlenker told Argentinian news outlet Infobae. “In the end, we opted for the Uco Wines winery because they offered us a good product and also have three export channels – a very important in Los Angeles, USA, where we also want to take on the Los Borrachos brand.”

“I sell the wine practically at cost,” he added. “My goal is not to make money. Have I tasted the wine? No. I’m in jail, you can’t.”

Schlenker is currently serving life in prison for the murder of his barra brava rival Gonzalo Acro, who was shot and killed in 2007 when Los Borrachos split into two rival factions, one led by Schlenker, the other by Adrian Rousseau (for whom Acro was a right-hand man). Schlenker, who also made headlines for marrying behind bars earlier this year, maintains his innocence.

Sherry thinks outside the triangle

Changes to Jerez’s winemaking code will allow producers outside of the so-called “Sherry Triangle” (the three towns of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María) to age and release their wines under the title Sherry/Jerez.

According to Spanish wine news site Vinetur.com, the expansion of the Sherry production area is the “prominent” change in the region’s latest wine code revision.

“So far, the final aging of [Sherry] the wines had to take place in one of the three towns of the Jerez triangle, although the grapes could come from any municipality in the DO [Denominación de Origen – a form of appellation] territory,” the news site said, listing neighboring municipalities in the triangle of Trebujena, Lebrija, Chipiona, Rota, Chiclana, and Puerto Real. “Now wineries located in any of these regions will be able to perform the full process of manufacturing [Sherry] wines, covered by the Denominación de Origen and with all its rights [labeling, marketing, etc.].”

The regulations also changed the “Jerez Superior” label, which until now could only apply to eligible vineyards in the Triangle. From now on, these wines can also come from all neighboring regions and will be decided solely on “technical criteria.

The changes also defined the labels Manzanilla Pasada and Fino Viejo “based on an average age greater than seven years” and terms such as “en rama”, “abocado” and “amoroso” were further codified by the ruling. . While many amendments will come into effect immediately, parts of the new decision will require approval from Brussels.

Tables Côtes du Rhône Snatch

Winegrowers in the Côtes du Rhône wine region in southern France have raised the likelihood of vine-grubbing and emergency distillation schemes to balance production. According to French wine news site Vitisphere.com, regional leaders have “submitted official requests to resize their vineyard and reduce their stocks”.

Although recent harvests have not been overproductive on an annual average, the effects of the global pandemic on consumption and lower bulk sales have seen inventories gradually build up over the past three years.

“For three vintages, we have had an accumulation of stocks,” the president of the Syndicat des Vignerons des Côtes du Rhône, Denis Guthmuller, told Vitisphere. “It’s the current stock that weighs us, according to the producers, between those who have exhausted and those who have too much.”

As noted, the issue is further complicated by shortcomings in some areas. Indeed, Guthmuller indicated that any grubbing-up program would likely be temporary.

“At the moment there is too much red wine on the market,” he said. “We need white wines for the future. We might as well uproot, let the soil rest and replant.”

Questions and issues around vine-grubbing systems are currently making the rounds of France, and the Côtes du Rhône is one of many large regions in the country considering the possibility of such a move (which often accompanies requests government funding). The Bordeaux region has recently made headlines for such a debate – see New Bordeaux Boss Quashes Vine-pull Scheme.

Bordeaux stops publishing bulk wine prices

Bordeaux wine trade body, the CIVB, announced this week that it would not release bulk wine prices from the region in what is seen as an attempt to avoid panic in the local industry . According to the regional media France3, the industry “is going badly”.

“The Bordeaux vineyard, like other sectors, is going through a serious economic crisis,” said Thursday’s publication. He pointed to the effects of the global pandemic and, in particular, the isolation of the Chinese market as well as the closures of bars and restaurants, which have weighed on consumption over the past two years.

Other pressures include the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices, global distribution issues and dry commodity costs (many of which are interrelated). Additionally, according to the publication, wine consumption in France is down – for red wine in particular.

Hence the announcement of the cessation of the publication of the wholesale price of Bordeaux wines. According to France3, the reasoning of the CIVB is that the price, already not indicative of the price of the individual bottle, would lead to an additional slowdown in the market, pulling the whole sector down.

“The Council fears that the publication of this indicator will put everyone in the same basket,” he said. “And artificially lowers the value of all Bordeaux wines.”

“It is no longer a relevant collective indicator at the moment,” said a CIVB representative. Others, however, took a more cynical view of the move.

“They break the thermometer so that we don’t see the extent of the fever,” a campaign union spokesperson told France3.

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