Wine Grapes: A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours (Anglais) Relié – 25 octobre 2012
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Features extraordinarily detailed profiles of close to 1,400 vine varieties employed in the production of wine around the world ... I learned a huge amount ... What struck me most, though, was how engaging and passionate it was. This wasn't a dry cataloguing of grapes, a microscopic look at their DNA; this was a heartfelt exploration of wine history. (Max Allen [Australia's best-known wine writer] Weekend Australian)
This book is a thing of beauty - classic, well written and splendidly illustrated - and will be a point of reference for decades to come. With Christmas coming it may well be worth considering as a present for those wine enthusiasts amongst your friends and family. I am going to put it on my list when I write to Santa that's for sure! (Bordeaux Undiscovered)
A fantastic Christmas present for any wine geek, and one that will provide an endless source of fiendish questions for quiz-setters (Fiona Beckett Guardian)
A magnificent achievement: colossally informative, illuminating and intriguing (Andrew Jefford Decanter.com)
A phenomenal book in its detail and research ... the definitive guide to grape varieties ... an incredible piece of work, detailing 1,368 varieties (out of a possible 10,000 worldwide) with 80 beautiful colour plates - essential for all wine students, wine lovers, wine growers keen to experiment with new grapes - and anyone with a passing interest in grapes (Rose Murray Brown The Scotsman)
This has got to be the wine reference book to top all such guides (S Irene Virbila Los Angeles Times)
Definitely the WINE BOOK of the decade, if not the century! (Wine Appreciation Guild, San Francisco)
Even for the already knowledgeable and deeply well versed, the book offers countless new discoveries, surprises about grapes' true origins and kinships, and a plethora of varieties you've never even heard of (Michel Jamais LivetsGoda.se)
It is almost bible-like, which is perhaps quite fitting. I found the overall appearance quite beautiful. I was especially pleased to see many varieties have a description of the taste of their wines. From a drinker's perspective this must be the most important information (Steve Slatcher Winenous.co.uk)
Wine Grapes sets a new standard; it is a seminal new work (Joelle Thomson Dominion Post and Christchurch Press)
Oenophiles, you have here the ideal book to give others (and yourself!) this Christmas (Victor Franco Polakia.com)
Every wine lover MUST have this on their shelves (René Langdahl Jørgensen Gastro.dk)
Amazingly informative and insightful ... Wine Grapes is an essential reference that belongs on every wine lover's bookshelf, right up there next to The World Atlas of Wine. One of the biggest pleasures of wine is its diversity. Wine Grapes will inspire you to stick your nose and tongue into new aromas and flavors (Elin McCoy Business Week/Bloomberg.com)
There have been books on grapes before, but we were badly in need of a bang up-to-date properly researched book, and we indeed have it in the new Wine Grapes. To me it is already indispensable ... I can already see that this big fat book is a fabulous resource and essential for all serious wine lovers to own (Wink Lorch Winetravelmedia.com)
Wine Grapes is an invaluable resource destined to find a fascinated, albeit niche, audience (Anthony Rose anthonyrosewine.com)
What seemed at first like a prim reference tome to crack when I needed to sort out the 13 different varieties of Lambrusco has a more compelling mystery underneath ... The thoroughness (Listán Negro and Listán Prieto? Not the same thing, Canary Island fans) is matched by a sense of purpose, mostly because equal space is devoted to the esoteric (Grillo, Menu Pineau, Parellada) as to the obvious ... Along the way, it nullifies most simple homilies that litter the world of wine, instead offering a more complicated and interesting tale, one that reinforces wine as one of history's great culturing forces (Jon Bonné San Francisco Chronicle)
It is very rare for me to buy a wine book but I had no hesitation in buying it from Amazon for £78, and cheap for this amount of scholarship and research (Jim Budd, editor Circle [of Wine Writers] Update)
The ultimate reference work on wine grapes (LeVinPerdu.be)
I am impressed by the depth of scientifically justified and clearly formulated answers to a wide range of origin-related questions ... Wine Grapes gains an extra dimension for its attention to the diversity of grape-names ... With this book Jancis Robinson and her team have not only enriched our genetic knowledge of grape varieties, but also made it accessible to all wine enthusiasts who would like to know more about their names, ancestors and characteristics ... The most important wine book since The Oxford Companion to Wine has arrived, and with it Jancis Robinson has universally established her name as wine educator (John Bindels Wijnwijs.eu)
It will undoubtedly race to its place ahead of the few other 'must stock' books in any serious winey-person's library ... the book genuinely breaks new ground, which is (a) quite rare for wine books, and (b) always a joy to fact-nerds like myself. Its main premise is to genetically trace the origins and ancestors of these grape varieties, and there are some surprises here (Sally Easton MW Winewisdom.com)
The most important wine book in years ... I am presented with a tome that will garner my attention for the rest of my life, make me smarter and give me pause to reconsider every time I imagine I might have done something of significance ... this book could easily pass for any writer's proudest moment, the culmination of a life's work (Tom Wark Fermentation)
Wine Grapes - the new book from the @JancisRobinson team - incredible! Staggered by the detail. Seminal work, am speechless, thank you (Ronan Sayburn MS)
In 'Abbuoto to Zweigelt' describes the book as one 'that I think any wine-lover would want to own' (Fiona Beckett Guardian)
An extraordinary new book ... an impressive new encyclopedic doorstop (Eric Asimov New York Times)
Some things you know you just have to have ... What a book! (Actor Sam Neill @ TwoPaddocks)
[the] book is for me a sine qua Doon (Randall Grahm Bonny Doon Vinyard)
The most important event of the century so far... In its way this book is the equivalent to Diderot's Encyclopedie, Johnson's Dictionary or Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. (Robert Slotover Slotovino)
...a beautiful object and a work of scholarship... an essential Christmas present for wine lovers (Henry Jeffreys The Lady)
The grape book to end all grape books (Joanna Simon House & Garden)
The only important new standard work of recent times; revolutionary! (Stuart Pigott)
Despite its density, a page-turner... An epic book (Talia Baiocchi Eater.com)
In short, if you are only going to have one wine grape book, then this is it (Mark Greenaway Vinodiversity.com)
Setting aside the book's beauty and reference value, there's a lot of good reading here... Wine Grapes is awesome, a reference that anyone interested in wine, botany, culture and history should have on hand (Tara Q. Thomas Wine & Spirits: BEST BOOK OF 2012)
According to Wine Grapes, the Pinot family, Noir, Meunier, Gris and Blanc, are genetically identical. In fact more than one type of Pinot has been found in the same vine. It's one of the things I love most about wine is that just when you think you've grasped something, it slips out of your grasp. Buy this amazing work of scholarship and you'll realise quite how little you know. (Henry Jeffreys Henry's World of Booze)
The most complete guide ever to grapes, vines and the bottles they produce. A wine buff's bible (Sunday Telegraph, Stella magazine)
A masterly work ... not only timely, but overdue ... a must-have (Eric Asimov New York Times)
Graced with lavish color plates depicting dozens of important grape varieties, this trusty encyclopedia will inspire novel wine match-ups for favorite recipes and settle wine trivia debates around the dinner table. History buffs, like your reviewer, will absolutely love how the book examines the earliest written references to their favorite grapes; for example we learn that Cabernet grapes trace back to ancient Basque varieties in northeast Spain; who knew! (David Lincoln Ross Saveur)
For anyone serious about wine, this is an endlessly fascinating volume - and a beautifully designed one too (Andrew Neather Evening Standard)
The most magnum of magna opera ... with the authoritative text and lovely illustrations reminiscent of a great, scholarly botanical book of the 19th century with its full colour plates ... a timeless classic (Wine-Pages.com)
Best Wine, Beer and Spirits Book and winner of the Jane Grigson award (IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Awards 2014)
A wine book of the year, 2013 (The Times)
Faiveley International Wine Book of the Year 2013 (Roederer Awards)
Best Viticulture Book 2013 (OIV Awards)
Best Drink Book 2012 (Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards)
Best Beverage Book 2012 (James Beard Awards)
Best Drink Book 2012 (André Simon Awards)
Hall of Fame for Best Wine Book 2012 (Gourmand World Cookbook Awards)
Best Drinks Book 2012 (Wine & Spirits magazine)
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Now comes this new volume, which is anything but pocket-sized. Massive and slip-cased, it has the gravitas of an aged Premier Cru. For each of nearly 1400 varieties there is an entry that gives you its color (from among five choices), common synonyms (for some widely grown grapes there are many), other varieties it is often mistaken for, and what is known of its origins and heritage (relying on recent, extensive, DNA testing of wine grapes). Then there is a brief summary of how it grows (vigor, resistance, when it ripens, and the like) and where it grows. As warranted, there is a discussion of what it tastes like and the quality of the wine it produces. Many of these grapes are actually very marginal from a wine making viewpoint, and are of interest for historical or relationship reasons. (I do miss the little sliding bar from the earlier book that suggested at a glance the likelihood of the grape producing a decent wine.)
The relationship information is fascinating. Selected grapes have a family tree associated with their entry. Looking at Cabernet Sauvignon we learn that Chenin Blanc is a sister of Sauvignon Blanc and, hence, an aunt of Cabernet Sauvignon. Freisa turns out to be a cross of Nebbiolo with an unknown grape. The foldout genealogy of Pinot Noir is remarkable. Who would have guessed that Lagrein is a granddaughter of Pinot, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are both great granddaughters? On a down side, the figure is sewn so deeply into the binding that part of the tree can't be read.
I decided to check on a grape of local (but not wine drinking!) interest. In the earlier book there is an entry for the Mission grape, the first wine grape brought to California; there is was associated with the Monica grape. The current volume doesn't have an entry for Mission (it has entries pointing you to a main entry for some synonyms, but not for others). Checking the index it turns out that Mission is actually Listan Prieto. (Which I'd certainly never heard of before.)
There are also beautiful color plates, originally published in France over a century ago, of selected grapes. (Interestingly, one is labeled "Mission"!)
But there are, alas, some imperfections. I've mentioned how the Pinot family tree is bound so that it is not all readable. While the paper in a volume this size is necessarily thin, the see-through on some pages is annoying; more opaque paper would have been nice. The label on the front of the slip case is somewhat crooked, and the one on the edge quite so. Production quality could have been better.
Had this been a standard book at half or even two-thirds the price it would have been an easy five stars. But in a slip-cased book at this list price you expect a little better attention to detail than this book manages. So I reluctantly drop my rating to four stars. Still an excellent investment for or gift to a devoted oenophile, it is not quite the value it could have been with a little better physical execution.
We're going to try writing to the publisher to see if we can get separate sheets of the full fold outs. After all, I paid for them.
This seems to be a very good reference that one would keep throughout a career in wine. No point in cheaping out on the book design and publication.
My only complaint is that I'm really not a fan of the rigid binding though, it makes a few of the larger pullout pedigree diagrams useless because the printout goes all the way to the spine. They are aware of the problem and have made the pedigrees available in PDF format at [...]
Thanks Jancis, Julia and Jose
One, there's a small white barcode/price tag on the back of the book (not the case). It consists of flimsy paper and a strong adhesive, which is a terrible combination, the result of which is you're left with a splotch of fileted paper if you try to remove it. There's no getting it all off. I should have let it be, despite the tackiness of a price tag on such a handsome book, but it simply shouldn't have been applied in the first place.
The second quibble is regarding the several fold-out pedigree charts. No consideration was given for the deep gutter, so you can't read the contents there! Bad form. Should have made them two-folded with the whole chart then viewable.