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Burgundy Under the Radar

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Aware that some Burgundy lovers might point out that they have known some of the growers included in this report since they produced their first vintage back in 1903, nevertheless, Burgundy remains a vast ocean of growers beyond the most famous names. Nothing gives me more pleasure than foraging for winemakers unknown to myself, or those that I have never visited. There are innumerable “under-the-radar” growers in Burgundy, and I use that term knowing that some oenophile’s radars are better than others. There is always one more grower that you have to visit around the corner. When it comes to Burgundy there is no full stop.

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Plundering Burgundy Past

featured, France: Burgundy, France

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Question: What do you get if you cross the best wine list in the world, mature Burgundy of perfect provenance, a party of Burgundy-obsessed hedonistic wine-lovers from the Far East, one patient sommelier, one Vinous scribe and four days in Paris? Answer: A journey through Burgundy at its finest and a reminder that humble bottles can turn out to be the most memorable.

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Vintage Retrospective: 1991 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2018

My tasting of the 1991 Napa Valley Cabernets this spring brought decidedly mixed results. A handful of wines were truly spectacular and full of life, but I was struck by the notion that, at just over a quarter-century old, there was very little middle ground: wines were either in full flower, capable of going on for years, or in decline.

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Looking Back To Go Forward: Lafite-Rothschild 1868 – 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The de Rothschild family celebrates 150 years since Baron James de Rothschild’s acquisition of Lafite-Rothschild in 1868 with three intimate dinners. Each soirée is bejeweled with unique combinations of vintages: young and old, renowned and derided, famous and forgotten, as well as varied groups of guests. The notes in this article originate not only from the tasting at the property, but also a dinner in Hong Kong that I attended a few weeks earlier, and several other recent tastings. Together they offer a time-arching overview of Lafite-Rothschild and the wines as the château enters a new era under the stewardship of Chairman Saskia de Rothschild and CEO Jean-Guillaume Prats.

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Sonoma & Napa Valley Supplement 2018

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2018

As I look at the producers I regularly cover in Sonoma and Napa Valley, I am astonished by the number of wineries that did not exist just five years ago when I founded Vinous. Many of those that were around offer a wider range of wines today than they did back then. All of that makes keeping up with new releases from California a huge but also rewarding challenge. Most importantly, though, the number of new, high-quality wineries that continue to pop up is one of the main reasons I remain so excited about the future of California wine. Our Sonoma and Napa Valley Supplement mostly covers wines that for one reason or another I was unable to taste during the course of my focused regional tastings.

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In Excelsis: Château Latour 1887 – 2010

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Having toured through the five First Growths in my “Bordeaux In Excelsis” article, I now turn the spotlight onto Château Latour. Though the “first” in “First Growth” denotes Latour’s official status as per the 1855 Classification, personally speaking, the word has alternative meanings.

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Pfalz Riesling 2016: Restraint Rewarded

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Jun 2018

Like their counterparts from Rheinhessen, the top Pfalz Rieslings of 2016 are wines of delicious and animating complexity that managed to benefit from the growing season’s chilly October.

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Bordeaux In Excelsis

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

WARNING: The article you are about to read contains more perfect wines and perfect scores than any published throughout my entire professional career. Readers with nervous dispositions or phobias towards rare, legendary and priceless wines are advised to stop reading immediately. Do not go any further. Press “Back” on your browser and read about delicious Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Provençal Rosés. Forget this report exists. The evening described never happened. That’s right. It’s just a work of fiction. Just an infantile wine writer fantasising about his ultimate Bordeaux tasting like everyone in idle moments. But you see, the event I am about to describe did occur...

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The Last Frontier: Nebbiolos of Alto Piemonte & Valtellina

featured, Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, Italy: North

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2018

Capable of expressing the purest essence of site, vintage and producer style, Nebbiolo is without question one of the world’s elite red grapes. Skyrocketing prices and soaring demand make it increasingly difficult for consumers to find the best Barolos and Barbarescos. But the glories of Nebbiolo stretch far beyond those prestigious appellations. Readers will find a bevy of striking, captivating wines in Alto Piemonte and Lombardy’s Valtellina.

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Williams Selyem: Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard 1987–2016

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2018

Whether a grand cru or a fine premier cru, Williams Selyem’s second flagship Pinot has established a 30-year record for individuality, longevity and consistency.