Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, Italy: Piedmont
Fratelli Alessandria’s 1995 Barolo Monvigliero provides a fascinating look into an early wine from an estate that has joined the ranks of the elite in recent years. Nineteen ninety-five is also a vintage that is really peaking today, with a number of wines showing better than they ever have.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Rhône & Beaujolais
The Rhône is not my specialty, but that does not preclude me from enjoying its wines. Indeed, some of the greatest bottles I have ever drunk have hailed not from Bordeaux or Burgundy, but the Rhône. This Cellar Favorite focuses on a bygone producer shrouded in mystique, a producer whose wines are now some of the most sought after in the world and with prices to match: Domaine Gentaz-Dervieux.
Verticals & Retrospectives, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux
Most wine-lovers suffer a sense of loss and enter a period of mourning, whenever a producer such as Gentaz-Dervieux ceases to exist. Even a change in name can bring out the black armbands and black veils. Perhaps the most well known are Château La Tour Haut-Brion and its white counterpart, Laville Haut-Brion. Prompted by a recent thread on Your Say, the Vinous subscriber forum, this Cellar Favorite takes a brief look at a dozen or so mature vintages of Laville Haut-Brion, mostly from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux
From the moment it is opened and served, the 1955 Latour is simply regal. Floral and remarkably bright for a wine of its age, the 1955 offers a level of pure seduction that is hard to capture with words.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
There are few elixirs that equal mature Sauternes or Barsac. The 1937 Château Coutet made a huge impression when it completed a bibulous dinner in Bordeaux.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
I rarely encounter mature bottles of the most deified Burgundy on the planet. It took 15 years as a professional before I could claim to have imbibed Romanée-Conti that was not either prenatal in barrel or just bottled.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
When I published my Pomerol book back at the end of 2012 there remained numerous historic wines that I had to still cross off on my “To do” list. My palate still awaited these wines to cross its threshold. It’s not easy. Ancient Pomerol is more difficult to find than much of Bordeaux since quantities have always been much smaller than those on the Left Bank. In bygone times, wines were not seen as worthy of long-term cellaring and consequently many were consumed in their infancy. Châteaux kept little library stock, in fact, I cannot think of any that have bins full of mature vintages in their cellar. One wine that eluded me for many years was the 1961 Latour-à-Pomerol, this despite undertaking two fairly comprehensive verticals in recent years.
featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, United States: California
Readers will find much to admire in David Abreu’s 2008s. In most vintages, the Abreu wines are very slow to develop, but the 2008s have largely entered an early plateau of maturity where they are quite expressive.
featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
The 1988 Montrachet was a stand out in a recent dinner that spanned 20+ vintages going all the way back to 1973. This is an especially fine example of a wine I have been fortunate to taste and drink many times over the years.
France, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Le Clos Joliette is a producer with an almost obsessive cult following. Whilst many might have never heard the name, I bet there are one or two readers going wobbly at the knees at the mere mention of this “unicorn” estate. I dislike that term. Yet Clos Joliette is certainly an enigma. There is a dearth of information on the internet and hardly any professional reviews, yet mature bottles are highly coveted and do not come cheap.