L'homme mort  the northernmost premier cru of chablis copy

Chablis 2016 & 2015: Quality Over Quantity

featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2017

Extreme weather conditions vexed growers in Chablis in 2016 and 2015, but both vintages produced many very good to excellent wines that avoid the tooth-rattling acidity and forbidding austerity of examples from more classic years. Today the 2016s appear to be more transparent to their terroirs but the best ‘15s may surprise us with their vineyard specificity after they’ve had a chance to burn off some of their considerable baby fat.

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Verticals of Ramey’s Hyde & Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnays

featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2017

David Ramey, one of California’s proven masters of Chardonnay, has compiled an admirable track record for making rich, complex wines with uncanny staying power, as a recent tasting of his Chardonnays from the Hyde and Ritchie vineyards made clear.

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Argentina New Releases: Cool Times in the Desert

featured, Argentina

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2017

Within just the last six weeks I’ve experienced global warming up close and personal: 92-degree late-May weather in Burgundy, 102 degrees in Walla Walla before the end of June, and the steam heat of a New York City summer. But somehow Mendoza, Argentina’s engine of wine production, a semi-arid desert region that could not produce wine without irrigation from melting Andes snow, has not had a classically warm, dry growing season since 2012 – until this year, that is.

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A Bond Extravaganza

featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2017

A remarkable comprehensive tasting at Bond Estates in March spotlighted the consistently high quality of the Bond wines and brought their distinctive terroir character into sharp relief.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 2007 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2017

At the level of the better producers, 2007 was a splendid vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. These very dense, ripe, deeply fruity yet lively wines are evolving slowly and gracefully.

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Bryant’s Cabernet Sauvignon: 1994-2014

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Stephen Tanzer, May 2017

A number of accomplished cooks have stirred the broth at Bryant over a quarter-century of winemaking, but the power, purity and personality of this elite Pritchard Hill site have always come through in the maturing wines.

Morning at boekenhoutskloof in franschhoek

A Splendid 2015 Vintage in South Africa—Time To Discover Swartland’s Wines

featured, South Africa

Stephen Tanzer, May 2017

South Africa’s more ambitious wines—whites as well as reds—are fresher and better than ever, and they have never offered more stunning value in export markets than they do today.

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Seavey Cabernet Sauvignon: A Complete Retrospective

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2017

In 1979, Bill and Mary Seavey purchased a roughly 200-acre property in the sheltered rolling hills of Conn Valley – barely four miles east of St. Helena as the crow flies but farther as the road winds – as a weekend retreat. This comprehensive vertical tasting traced the arc of the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon all the way back to the inaugural 1990 vintage.

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Colgin Syrah IX Estate: A Complete Retrospective

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2017

Who knew that an isolated spot in the eastern hills above St. Helena, in an area best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, would produce one of America’s most consistently spectacular Syrah bottlings? Apparently, Ann Colgin did.

Henri boillot's cellar copy

The 2001 Red Burgundies at Age 15

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2017

Owing to tricky weather conditions during the weeks leading up to the harvest, the 2001 red Burgundies received mixed reviews at the outset. Growers themselves expressed reservations about the wines. But the 2001s have evolved gracefully and the better examples are pure, classic red Burgundies with noteworthy transparency to site.