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Focus on Washington: The New Normal

United States: Washington, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Nov 2018

Washington has experienced an unbroken succession of six very warm to hot years, but by now the state’s most serious growers and winemakers have proven that they can stand the heat. While there are underperformers in Washington, at the level of the better wineries quality has never been higher than it is today.

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2016 White Burgundy: Excellent, But Complicated

France: Burgundy, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Sep 2018

Two thousand sixteen is a potentially classic white Burgundy vintage marked by a devastating frost event that sharply reduced overall production and dramatically complicated the lives of growers. Now long-time Burgundy collectors must navigate their own set of challenges to find the best bottles.

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2017 White Burgundy: Quantity, Quality and Great Charm

France: Burgundy, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Sep 2018

The largest white Burgundy crop since 2009 has yielded pliant, elegant, pure wines with considerable aromatic appeal and early accessibility, along with the balance and stuffing for at least mid-term aging.

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Double Vertical of Ridge's Geyserville and Lytton Springs

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2018

Ridge Vineyards was one of the earliest champions of single-vineyard Zinfandels from ancient vines. Their top two estate bottlings have admirably withstood the test of time.

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Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain: 1979–2014

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2018

From the outset, Randy Dunn’s flagship Cabernet has been one of Napa Valley’s slowest agers and most consistently outstanding wines. This retrospective going back to the inaugural 1979 vintage showed the Howell Mountain Cabernet to be a wine of great intensity and staying power but also of restraint and class.

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Argentina’s Wines Enter the World Stage

Argentina, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2018

Against a backdrop of some recent tricky growing seasons and the constant economic challenge of doing business in Argentina, the country’s best producers are making more refined, aromatically complex and vibrant wines than ever before – bottles that should satisfy even hard-core fans of classic European wines.

Mayacamas cellar

Vintage Retrospective: 1991 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

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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Williams Selyem: Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard 1987–2016

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

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.

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Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard: 1993 – 2015

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2018

Three years ago I had the good fortune to taste a complete set of Turley Wine Cellars’ Hayne Vineyard Petite Syrah, made from vines planted in 1953. This past March I followed up with a comprehensive look at Turley’s first—and arguably greatest—Zinfandel bottling, also from Hayne Vineyard, in this case from vines planted in 1903!

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Vintage Retrospective: The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernets

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2018

The crazy weather year of 2008 on California’s North Coast somehow managed to produce many highly concentrated, stylish, complex and balanced wines that are just now entering their periods of peak pleasure.