Cellar Favorite: Blandy’s Madeira – Recent Releases

featured, Portugal, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

My love affair with Madeira began whilst holidaying on the namesake Atlantic volcanic island in 2003, where in a pique of curiosity I ordered a 1927 Bual. Afterwards I understood why those with good taste revere this profound, time-buckling, ethereal and enigmatic wine. Madeira is so unfashionable it is the epitome of cool. These are the latest releases from Blandy's.

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Ridge 2017 Monte Bello En Primeur

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

“Selling Monte Bello en primeur came about totally by accident,” Paul Draper told me recently. “In 1984, Bordeaux had a very weak harvest. The London merchants told us the vintage did not look all that promising and asked us if we would be interested in selling Monte Bello futures." I recently had a chance to taste the 2017 Monte Bello in component lots and in a core base blend with Draper and current Ridge Winemaker Eric Baugher, who worked alongside Draper for more than twenty years before taking over the helm when Draper retired from day to day operations in 2016.


Here We Go Again: Value Bordeaux 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

This report, my first on the 2015 Bordeaux for Vinous, focuses on affordable wines. You could buy some of these with a twenty-dollar bill and still come home with change. I will offer my views on the Grand Cru Classé and First Growths in the coming weeks.

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The Glorious 1999 Red Burgundies

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Mar 2018

From the outset, the 1999 red Burgundies offered a rare combination of charm and power. Most of the better wines were balanced and alluring from the start, but they are evolving very slowly and still have plenty of life ahead of them. While many of the ’99s I sampled with the producers this winter in the course of my tastings of ’16s and ’15s have gone through sullen stages in bottle, most of them have launched into their periods of peak drinkability. If you own these wines – and especially if you chose wisely at the outset – you will be amply rewarded.

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Domaine Leroy: The 2015s From Bottle

featured, France: Burgundy

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

Lalou Bize-Leroy’s 2015s are absolutely stellar. The wines capture all of the natural radiance and intensity of the year, but have also retained quite a bit of vibrancy. Above all else, the 2015s faithfully convey the essence of site. I can only describe tasting through the entire collection of bottled 2015s as a viscerally thrilling experience.

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Long and Winding Road: Ausone 1912–1999

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

Name a Bordeaux château as enchanting as Ausone. It’s eye-candy perched on the fringe of Saint-Émilion, a picture postcard lookout post guarding a medieval village. This extraordinary recent vertical tasting included wines all the way back to 1912. I wish to emphasise that this is a historical examination of Ausone. It focuses upon what has been instead of what is or will be...

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Sardinia's Wines: High Quality, Low Visibility

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, March 2018

Sardinian wines have improved dramatically over the last two decades but remain relatively unknown. Numerous distinctive native grapes, wines in all colors and styles, and gentle prices are just some of the incentives for wine lovers everywhere.

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The Magician’s Fool: 1950s Bordeaux

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Feb 2018

Question: what happens when you mix the golden age of rock ‘n roll, Grease, mini-hamburgers, a magician, a deck of cards and a cluster of Bordeaux bottles that all hail from the 1950s? Answer: one gobsmacked wine writer. Read on...


2015 Bordeaux: Every Bottle Tells a Story...

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2018

Two thousand fifteen has turned out to be a fabulous vintage for Bordeaux. A dry, hot summer followed by late-season rains introduced a degree of variability in some of Bordeaux’s main appellations, but where sites were well positioned to cope with those challenges, the wines are absolutely thrilling.

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Book Excerpt: Barolo, MGA Vol. II, The Birth of an Appellation

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Alessandro Masnaghetti, Feb 2018

In this excerpt from his forthcoming book, Barolo MGA Vol. II, Alessandro Masnaghetti discusses the birth of the Barolo Appellation. A stunning work of historic significance, Barolo MGA Vol. II includes never seen before research on harvest dates, the Barolo 1970 map that compares vineyard areas of present day to those of 1970, a case study of Vigna Rionda and the first English translation of Ferdinando Vignolo-Lutati’s groundbreaking 1929 essay On the Delimitation of Wine Zones of Typical Wine.