France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
News that the family of Jean-François and Jean Moueix sold 20% of Petrus to Colombian-born billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo sent shockwaves across the world. I know what Alejandro Santo Domingo is thinking. He is thinking: “I’ve splashed out millions on a minority share in Petrus. I wish an experienced wine critic would provide me with tasting notes of multiple back vintages.” Well, let me be of service.
Italy: Center & South, featured
Current releases from Abruzzo and Molise are mostly white wines from the very hot, dry, challenging 2017 growing season and fresh reds from the more classic 2016 harvest. Vintage difficulties aside, these regions offer many pleasant surprises, not to mention some stunning bargains.
Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, featured
The 2nd edition of Barolo MGA, The Barolo Great Vineyard Encyclopedia is the result of a quarter century of study, unlocking the mysteries of why Barolo's soil produces such profound wines. Representing an incredible 11 years of work, it demands a place in the library of anyone who loves Barolo. And that includes owners of the 1st edition.
United States: California, featured
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.
France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Christophe Roumier is one of the most revered winemakers in Burgundy. His wines are coveted across the world. This article examines the history of Domaine Georges Roumier, Christophe’s techniques and focuses upon his flagship cru, Bonnes-Mares. Spanning no less than eight decades and over 30 vintages, this vertical tasting constitutes one of the most comprehensive overviews ever conducted, one that might never be repeated.
Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, featured
“Barolo must be an austere, powerful wine, without fruit,” Beppe Rinaldi often told me. In his hands, the wines were often just that. But to talk about wine is almost superfluous in looking back at the remarkable life of a man who was first and foremost a cultural and intellectual icon, and a winemaker a close second. Sadly, Rinaldi lost his battle with illness a few days short of his seventieth birthday. He leaves behind a rich, multi-faceted legacy that will live forever under the stewardship of his wife, Annalisa, and daughters Marta and Carlotta.
France: Burgundy, featured
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.
Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
There is perhaps no single producer in Italy who has done more for their region and its wines than Costantino Charrère of Les Crêtes. Over the years, Charrère has made some of Italy’s best white wines from old, forgotten varieties, but he is also responsible for the best example of the Valle d’Aosta’s distinctive red grape, Fumin, as this recent vertical tasting amply demonstrates.
South Africa, featured
The last two decades have seen the South Africa wine industry reinvent itself as one of the most dynamic in the world. For my first South Africa report on Vinous, I examine recent releases from established names and cutting edge boutiques. Wines range from bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc to the sweet wines of Constantia, courtesy of established winemakers to those making their debut. If you have not discovered what South Africa has to offer in terms of quality and value, then it is time to stop missing out.
United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
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.