Italy: Piedmont, featured
I came away from my late summer tastings of Barbarescos deeply impressed. Reference-point estates are upping their game, while a number of ambitious, young winemakers are making significant improvements in quality. The 2016 Barbarescos, wines from a potentially historic vintage, are hugely promising. As I traveled from producer to producer, I experienced that sense of excitement and energy I always feel when in the presence of important vintages and wines.
Vinous Table, Italy: Tuscany
Tuscany is littered with dozens of exceptional and even world-class wine estates. When it comes to dining, though, things get much more dicey. It is not always easy to cut through the plethora of anonymous restaurants serving indifferent fare to the unsuspecting tourist crowd and find places that excel with both delicious, well-prepared food and a carefully thought out wine program. Located steps away from Siena’s Piazza del Campo, Osteria Le Logge is one of the bright spots in Tuscany’s food and wine scene.
Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Tuscany, featured
Despite its short history, Le Potazzine is universally regarded as one of Montalcino’s top dozen or so wineries. The estate is known for remarkably refined Brunellos that speak of vintage, place and grape variety with utmost precision.
France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Photographs so often convey history better than words. They can stimulate our imagination and trigger emotions. A photograph presents minimal information, its temporal limitation governed by the click of the lens that ensnares a moment in time. Our minds are left to colour in what comes before and after. This retrospective traces the history of Domaine Henri Gouges through eight decades and more than fifty wines.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, United States: California, featured
Mayacamas continues to make striking wines under its new ownership. In addition to a host of current and upcoming releases (covered in my forthcoming Napa Valley report) I also had a chance to revisit two Cabernets from the estate’s library.
Italy: North, Vinous Table
Langosteria is one of the hippest restaurants in Milan that harkens back to Paris brasseries, but with a Milanese fashion attitude, very good food and a truly outstanding wine list.
Santa Lucia Highlands, United States: California, featured
Two thousand sixteen in the Santa Lucia Highlands and across Monterey County brought a long, problem-free growing season, with abundant beneficial rain throughout the year followed by an extended, generous harvest of clean, ripe fruit. In sum, it was a nearly ideal year, and that comes through in the wines.
France, France: Other, featured
The halcyon days of Vins Doux Naturels lie back in the 1940s and 1950s. Tastes moved on. This is the story of how forgotten barrels and vats, dormant for decades, are being “rescued” from obscurity. These remnants of a bygone age can be quite profound – and they won’t break the bank.
Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Piedmont, featured, Piedmont
Arneis is an Italian native white grape that can give remarkably charming wines with early appeal and juicy fruitiness. Malvirà’s outstanding Vigna Renesio bottling shows that Arneis can also produce layered, ageworthy wines.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux
It is now almost impossible to separate myth from reality with respect to Henri Jayer. It has almost become an existential domaine, as if Jayer never made mortal fermented grape juice. Prices are irrational, and yet the wealthiest wave blank chequebooks in the air at auction, feverish demand fuelled by the fact that fewer and fewer bottles will come onto market as time goes by. Domaine Henri Jayer is rarely seen. It is even more rarely consumed.