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Vinous Santa Lucia Highlands Map: Behind the Scenes

United States: California, California Vineyard Series, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

For the last two years Alessandro Masnaghetti and I have been hard at work on a map of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Our first edition is nearly complete. Formal approval of a change in the AVA’s southern boundary is all we are waiting for to wrap things up. In the meantime, we are going take you behind the scenes in this article, which represents a summary of our work so far. It will surely be updated and refined in the coming months.

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Sonoma Preview: 2021 Edition

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

January always means a stream of new releases from Sonoma and neighboring appellations. As we have done in the past, this year we present our Sonoma coverage in a series of installments.

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Napa Valley’s Thrilling 2018s & 2019s, Part 1

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

Napa Valley experienced two stunning back-to-back vintages in 2018 and 2019 the likes of which I have never seen. Both vintages produced a bevy of breathtaking wines that will thrill Napa Valley fans. The 2018s are refined and vibrant, while the young 2019s have a bit more depth and energy.

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New Releases from the Tuscan Coast

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

The Tuscan Coast is one of the most idyllic, evocative regions in Italy and beyond. Breathtaking landscapes dotted with striking vineyards influenced by the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea give birth to compelling wines that run the gamut from daily drinkers to highly coveted, age-worthy reds that stand with the very best wines from around the world. This report focuses on 2018s and 2017s that are in the market now, along with a handful of entry-level 2019s.

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Cellar Favorite: 2012 Domaine François Raveneau Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

It’s always a pleasure to pull a bottle of Raveneau from the cellar. These are among my favorite wines from anywhere in the world. Of all the domaines I once covered but have since handed off to other critics at Vinous, Raveneau might very well be the one I miss visiting most, as the wines are so often transcendental.

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2020: The Year in Review

featured, General Interest, United States: New York

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

My Year in Review article is usually a greatest hits of the past twelve months, a write up of fabulous meals, wines and tastings. Obviously, there was not much of that this year. I almost did not write this article at all, but 2020 has its own vibe and story. Ultimately, I thought that should be documented…

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California Vineyard Series: Bedrock Vineyard

United States: California, California Vineyard Series, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

First planted in 1854, Bedrock is one of the most historically significant vineyards in Sonoma Valley’s Central Corridor, a stretch of land that runs northwest from the town of Sonoma and includes a number of notable sites, including Serres Ranch, Old Hill, Pagani Ranch, Beltane Ranch, Wildwood, Kunde and others. In my view, these are among the most pedigreed vineyard sites anywhere in the world.

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Cellar Favorite: 1997 Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

Marcassin’s 1997 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is without a doubt one of the most compelling wines I tasted in 2020. At 23 years of age, it has aged exquisitely.

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California Vineyard Series: Monte Rosso

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

Few vineyards in California are as evocative as Monte Rosso. Known for producing wines of extraordinary character and longevity, Monte Rosso (‘red mountain’) is every bit as magical as its name suggests.

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California Vineyard Series: Pagani Ranch

United States: California, California Vineyard Series, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

Since 2015 we have been working on a large-scale project to map the vineyards of California. To date, we have published seven regional Napa Valley maps and have several more in the works, including a five-map set of Sonoma Valley and map of the Santa Lucia Highlands, both of which are nearly finished. Although travel restrictions related to COVID-19 have delayed final, on-the-ground checks that are such an essential part of the quality control process, we are eager to share our work and show you a little bit of what we have been up to through this series of excerpts that kicks off with a look at Pagani Ranch.