United States: California, featured
Readers will find a wealth of superb wines to explore in this year’s crop of new releases from Santa Barbara. A mix of established producers upping their games and younger winemakers building their reputations are at the heart of one of the most dynamic regions anywhere in the world. The 2018 harvest gave producers the raw materials to make stunning wines that capture the promise I sensed when I first started tasting the vintage from barrel last year, but quality is variable in some, so a little care is essential.
The last few weeks have been a time of deep introspection at Vinous. We’ve been shocked and saddened by recent events in our country. From the very beginning, we have strived for a culture of inclusion. But we can do more, and we will. Today, I am proud to announce the Vinous Mentorship for BIPOC Wine Professionals.
Italy: Tuscany, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
It is hard to believe Gianfranco Soldera is no longer with us, as he was such a force of nature. Long coveted by those in the know, Soldera’s wines remain incredibly singular expressions of Sangiovese and Montalcino. Over the years I have been fortunate to visit the estate many times and taste numerous wines from cask including the 2013 and 2014 reviewed here from bottle.
Vinous Table, United Kingdom
In our first Vinous Table since lockdown, I revisit a fabulous dinner at CORE by Clare Smyth in London.
Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured
The annual presentation of new releases from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in early March was the last tasting I attended before lockdown. Initially I thought I would publish this article as a bookend, when things returned to normal. Back then, I could have never imagined where we would be today. After reading Neal Martin’s article Complex, Not Complicated: 2017 DRC in Bottle chronicling the London edition, I decided to shamelessly rip off his format. So, here you have my version…
France: Bordeaux, featured
“You must really like your wine,” the FedEx delivery person said as he dropped off yet another stack of boxes shipped from Bordeaux. The global lockdown that began in March ended any hopes of en primeur tastings in the spring. After weeks of indecision, the Bordelais finally moved ahead with a summer en primeur campaign, setting in motion a flurry of shipments across the ocean and a series of equally fast releases. Do the 2019s live up to the early hype?
General Interest, featured
As the world grapples with several major crises, the outlook for the future has never been less certain. Things change from day to day, often unpredictably. Beyond what is obvious from reading headlines full of stories on the COVID-19 pandemic, major economic duress and racism, it is clear the current situation is causing levels of stress and anxiety that are hard to quantify, but that are clearly exerting a heavy toll. “I have real misgivings about promoting my wines right now given what is going on in the world” numerous industry professionals have told me. “Is wine really all that essential?” others have asked. Well, these are my thoughts…
France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Pavie-Macquin is one of the great success stories of Saint-Émilion. This retrospective going all the way back to 1928 provided a remarkable opportunity to witness the evolution of the property from underachiever to superstar, with all of the highs and lows that invariably accompany an extensive vertical that spans epic, average and challenging vintages. For the occasion, estate manager Nicolas Thienpont and consulting oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt gathered every wine they have made at Pavie-Macquin, with a few surprises thrown into the mix.
I will admit it, I am not impartial. Rush was a big part of my musical education. I remember one of my best friends in school handing me an album with a burning red star floating in a galaxy. It was, of course “2112.” The album opened to reveal a photo of the band dressed in what looked like satin cream and white kimonos, a look that was at once weirdly futuristic and ancient. The term “WTF” did not exist back then, but if it had, that’s exactly what I would have uttered. Then I put the record on the turntable, and my whole idea of what rock music could be changed. Forever. So, to say I am a huge Rush fan is an understatement.
Italy: Piedmont, Italy: North, featured
There is no question that Nebbiolo is one of the world’s greatest and most noble red grapes. An ability to convey the essence of site and vintage through the lens of producer style places Nebbiolo in rarified company. Once consumers experience the magic of Nebbiolo – most often through the wines of the Langhe – it is only natural to ask: What else is out there? The answer is Alto Piemonte and Valtellina, two separate and distinct regions, both of which offer so much to explore.