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Campania 2018: Early Appeal And Accessibility

Italy: Center & South, featured

Ian D'Agata, Nov 2019

Readers who have followed my writings over the years know I am a huge fan of Campania. The whites are some of Italy’s greatest and most ageworthy wines. The best Campania whites are terroir-driven and full of varietal character. With some notable exceptions, Campania's red wines are unfortunately less consistent because of the combination of overripe grapes and too much oak. For that reason, it pays to be especially selective when it comes to the reds.

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The Future’s Not What It Was: Bordeaux 2018

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2019

Having tasted en primeur during Spring for over 20 years, for one time only, I assess the 2018 vintage six months later than normal in September. The big question is this: Does 2018 truly belong among the legendary Bordeaux vintages?

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Accornero Bricco del Bosco Vigne Vecchie 2006-2015

Italy: Piedmont, featured

Ian D'Agata, Nov 2019

Accornero’s Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Bricco del Bosco Vigne Vecchie is arguably Italy’s best Grignolino, one that proves just how remarkably ageworthy the wines made with this highly underrated grape can be.

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Barbaresco 2016 & 2017 – A Tale of Two Vintages

Italy: Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2019

Piedmont fans will find plenty of new releases in the market this fall. The 2016s confirm all of the promise they have always shown. It is a stunning, brilliant vintage across the board. Mother Nature was not as kind in 2017, a year that is going to require a much more selective approach.

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South Africa New Releases: Don’t Deny Yourself

South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2019

As someone privileged with more than his fair share of rare and expensive Grand Cru Burgundy and First Growths, I can unhesitatingly state that the best of South Africa punches at the same weight. This report burgeons with wines born in climactic knife-edge, dry-farmed vineyards, often from ancient vines, and with minimal intervention by talented and frequently young winemakers in the opening chapters of long careers. Those winemakers are creating a scene that is incredibly exciting and dynamic.

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Santa Lucia Highlands Braves the Heat in 2017

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Nov 2019

The Santa Lucia Highlands produced a bevy of outstanding wines in 2017, despite a growing season that had some challenges, including a heat wave over Labor Day weekend. While the 2017s deliver plenty of up-front appeal, they also have the depth and balance to age gracefully for years to come.

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Exploring the Santa Cruz Mountains

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2019

The Santa Cruz Mountains remains one of the most fascinating regions in the United States. These hillside vineyards, tucked above the urban sprawl of Silicon Valley, are home to a number of world-class estates, as I was reminded once again this year after tasting a number of older wines. Mountain viticulture is by its own definition a struggle against the elements. But it is precisely that struggle that so often yields wines of singular beauty.

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Marquis d’Angerville’s Volnay Clos des Ducs: 1920-2017

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Oct 2019

Guillaume d’Angerville makes one of the Côte de Beaune’s true icon wines from an ideally situated walled vineyard whose borders have not changed for at least 500 years. His methods are uncomplicated: fanatical attention to detail in the vineyard and in the winery. This vertical tasting made it clear that the Clos des Ducs is frequently a wine of grand cru intensity, aromatic complexity and staying power.

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The Saar’s Deliciously Diverse 2017s

Germany: Saar, featured

David Schildknecht, Oct 2019

In 2017, the better Saar Rieslings benefited from their region’s generally cooler, breezier conditions vis-à-vis the Mosel proper, to achieve mouthwatering ripeness while avoiding unwelcome botrytis.

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Through the Other Side: Burgundy 2016 in Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Oct 2019

The 2016 Burgundy vintage is infamous for the devastating late spring frosts and inclement weather. Yet the surviving fruit enjoyed a blissful second half of the growing season. The reds are small in quantity but supposedly big in quality. So how do they shape up when assessed blind?