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Cellar Favorite: 2005 & 1995 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2018

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.

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New Releases from Santa Lucia Highlands & Neighbors

Santa Lucia Highlands, United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2018

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.

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Best Kids’ Meals in Napa Valley

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2018

Traveling with young children in wine country isn’t always easy. Neither is finding places to eat that can satisfy the desires of both young diners and their parents. In this article, my son, Giulio, and I profile six of our favorite dining destinations in Napa Valley that serve outstanding kids' meals and also offer plenty for the adults. Our criteria in evaluating these six restaurants are quality of food, menu choice and service.

The mineral rich soils of the willow creek district produce wines of uncanny freshness for such a hot region copy

Paso Robles 2016 & 2015: New Releases

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2018

Paso Robles ranks among the most dynamic wine regions anywhere in the world, in spite of a string of drought-affected vintages. There’s a youthful energy and open-mindedness here that’s palpable, and it comes through clearly in the wines, many of which are outstanding in the 2016 and 2015 vintages.

Old school farming at bien nacido  santa maria

Santa Barbara Dreamin'… Part One & Part Two

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2018

I first visited Santa Barbara over a decade ago. Immediately I was struck by the finesse of wines born from microclimates that are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Subsequent visits have only reinforced my long-held view that Santa Barbara is one of the world’s elite grape growing and wine producing regions. This report focuses mostly on the 2016s, which are just being released onto the market. In 2016 Mother Nature gifted producers with the conditions to make striking wines of grace and nuance.

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Double Vertical of Ridge's Geyserville and Lytton Springs

United States: California, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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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Santa Cruz Mountains – The Gorgeous 2016s

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2018

Readers who appreciate the transparency and nuance of site-specific Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Bordeaux blends will adore the 2016s from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wines are aromatically nuanced, delineated and highly expressive of their origins. After brutally low yields in 2015, Mother Nature was more generous in 2016. Yields are never especially high in the mountains, but producers had enough fruit to bottle all of their labels, a highly positive development compared to 2015, when a number of wines weren't made at all. As always, I am struck by the complexity and world-class pedigree that seems to come naturally in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a bucolic, seemingly remote region that is in reality quite close to Silicon Valley and some of the most vibrant communities in the United States.

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Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain: 1979–2014

United States: California, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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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Vinous Table: SingleThread Farms

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2018

This recent dinner at SingleThread was one of the most remarkable meals I have had in a very long time. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, everything was simply perfect. Fabulous food, a welcoming atmosphere and first-class service make SingleThread a must for readers visiting Northern California wine country.

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Vintage Retrospective: 1991 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

United States: California, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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.