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Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

Readers will find a breathtaking array of wines from Sonoma, Anderson Valley and Mendocino in this report. The 2017s have turned out to be a big surprise given the challenges of a growing season punctuated by three significant heat events. Pinot Noirs and Syrahs are the most consistent varieties, but there are peaks of brilliance in Zinfandel-based wines and Chardonnay as well. As always, the sheer diversity and breadth of Sonoma County and its neighboring appellations are truly remarkable.

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Burgundy With Plenty Of Age: 1865-1999

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, May 2019

The second part of my Mature Burgundy article brushes the dust off a unique treasure trove of bottles stretching back to the 19th century. These notes, accumulated over many months, include wines that might never be tasted again. Are they as magical as their prices would suggest? What makes them magical if they are?

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Napa Valley’s Cabernet crop in the mostly cool growing season of ’99 benefited from a late burst of heat, yielding lively, moderately dense, aromatically complex wines with very good staying power.

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Burgundy With A Bit of Age: 2000-2014

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, May 2019

With in excess of 500 Burgundy tasting notes accumulated over many months, it was high time they see the light of day. This first of a two-part report broaches the 21st century, including mini-horizontals of several vintages at all levels of the hierarchy and unsurprisingly, all levels of quality.

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Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016

United States: California, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Lail Vineyards’ J. Daniel Cuvée, Robin Lail’s 21st-century interpretation of her family’s famed Cabernet-based wines of the past, has never been better than it is today.

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Think Pink: Italy’s Lively 2018 Rosatos

Italy, featured

Ian D'Agata, May 2019

In this first installment of a two-part series devoted to Italy’s almost infinite offering of Rosatos, the country’s penchant for making delicious pink wines from myriad different grape varieties is confirmed.

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Bordeaux 2018: Back in Black

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2019

Two thousand eighteen was one of the most dramatic growing seasons in recent memory. Hail, persistent rain and blistering summertime temperatures tested the resilience of vineyard managers and winemakers throughout the entire year. Perhaps most importantly, though, 2018 comes at a significant inflection point in Bordeaux’s history. So, how did the wines turn out?

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Mediterranean Spain: Diversity and Consistency

featured, Spain

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2019

From northeastern Catalonia to the country’s southeast corner and all the way west to Andalusia, Spain’s Mediterranean Ocean–influenced winegrowing regions have been experiencing a run of almost uniformly very good to epic vintages.

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Fermented Grape Juice: Romanée-Conti 1953-2005

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2019

They say that dreams come true. Well, I am still waiting for Southend United to win the FA Cup and Keira Knightley to call. But I no longer have to dream about a vertical of Domaine Romanée-Conti. It really happened. And I am going to tell you about it.

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Nahe Riesling 2017: Chills and Thrills

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Apr 2019

The Nahe suffered significant crop losses to April frost. But when unseasonably chilly weather arrived once again after mid-September, it proved a blessing, allowing the creation of wines that combine aromatic finesse and textural allure with invigorating energy and infectious sheer juiciness.