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Santa Barbara: An In-Depth Look at the 2018s

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2020

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.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2020

Sandwiched between three cool years and three growing seasons affected by late-season heat spikes, 2001 has proven to be a Napa Valley classic for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. The better wines are in fine form today.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 2010 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Stephen Tanzer, May 2020

The Vinous vintage chart rates 2010 as the top vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet between 1991 and 2013. As my recent retrospective tasting showed, the 2010s are overdelivering on their early promise.

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Winemaking and Wine Marketing in a Plague Year

featured, General Interest, New Zealand, Argentina, France, United States: Oregon, Australia, United States: California, Italy

Stephen Tanzer, May 2020

In just the past couple of months, the novel coronavirus has profoundly changed the production and sale of wine around the globe. In this roundtable interview, 35 producers get specific about the challenges they are facing.

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Cellar Favorite: 2007 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Eric Guido, Apr 2020

Too few people think about cellaring the Carlisle Syrahs. That’s understandable, considering that the wines’ primary fruit and intensity gives so much pleasure upon release. But it is only with cellaring that the wines start to take on the complexities and characteristics that Rhône lovers so often seek.

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San Luis Obispo: Solidifying an Identity

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2020

The best-known region within San Luis Obispo County is, of course, Paso Robles. However, most wines that carry the San Luis Obispo designation bear little resemblance to those from that AVA, emphasizing elegance and energy over ripeness and strength.

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Seeing 20/20 – Sonoma & Anderson Valley New Releases

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

Two thousand eighteen is shaping up to be a spectacular vintage for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel-based reds. The 2018s are bright, vivid and exceptionally beautiful. Moreover, the wines are incredibly expressive of site, making 2018 a fabulous vintage for readers who want to explore the many nuances of top vineyards in Sonoma and Anderson Valley.

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Vinous Table: Providence, Los Angeles, CA

Vinous Table, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2020

This recent dinner was a great opportunity to catch up with friends over a leisurely meal and enjoy some nice bottles. The food was off the charts, and the wines were pretty terrific too.

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Paso Robles Can’t Stop Winning

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2020

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, 2017 yielded yet another exceptional harvest for Paso Robles. It’s the latest in a stretch of outstanding vintages that extends, unbroken, back to 2011, which was by no means a truly bad year. The best wines deftly combine richness and energy, with a balance of fruit and structure that is compelling.

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2017 & 2018 Napa Valley In Depth

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

My tastings in Napa Valley this past fall were incredibly illuminating. Although much maligned, the 2017 vintage yielded a number of exceptional wines. Quality is irregular, though, and there are certainly many 2017s that show the signs of a very challenging growing season. Readers will need to be especially selective. Two thousand eighteen is a much more even year. The wines are still in barrel, in many cases not blended, but my early tastings suggest they have quite a bit of potential.