Italy: Center & South, featured
Tiberio’s Pecorino has fast become a gold standard for the variety, delivering aromas and flavors and a relatively rich glyceral texture that are archetypal of the cultivar, but with more refinement than most wines made with this trendy Italian native grape.
United States: California, featured
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.
United States: California, featured
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.
featured, France: Burgundy
Burgundy can be confounding at the best of times, both in a positive and negative sense. For many, that’s part of its allure. The 2018 vintage sprung many surprises, thankfully many of them positive. The bigger question is whether it is a harbinger of things to come.
Italy: North, featured
Along with Piedmont and the Valle d’Aosta, Friuli Venezia Giulia offers wine lovers the greatest diversity in grape varieties and wine styles of any region in Italy. The whites and sweet wines are among the best in the country, and the reds have also become especially enticing in recent years.
United States: Washington, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
DeLille Cellars’ Chaleur Blanc has been Washington State’s most consistently brilliant white wine since the mid-2000s. It has achieved an exceptional track record for longevity over a quarter-century of production, as this vertical back to 1995 showed.
Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Well, I have to hand it to the Nashville Wine Auction and President/CEO Holly Whaley. They really knew how to get me to say ‘yes’ to participating in a Masseto tasting in Nashville. Wine, guitars and country music, all for charity. That will get me every time. I was thrilled to co-host this complete Masseto retrospective with winemaker Axel Heinz, singer/songwriter Martina McBride and her husband, producer John McBride. It was a phenomenal weekend.
featured, United States: New York
Readers are by now likely aware that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is considering a second round of tariffs on French and EU goods in connection with France's Digital Services Tax and the WTO’s recent ruling on the Airbus/Boeing dispute. If enacted, these tariffs, which could range from 25-100% on all EU wines, will have catastrophic effects on the US wine industry and many thousands of working-class families that depend on the economic viability of EU goods. Read Antonio Galloni’s letter to President Trump outlining the case against imposing a second round of tariffs.
General Interest, featured
Two thousand nineteen was up and down, with a ton of highlights and some challenges, too. In the end, though, tasting wine for a living and running Vinous are two enormous privileges. While I could give readers a long list of super-rare wines I had in 2019, this list is all about Moments. Specific events that were about much more than just wine….
General Interest, featured, United Kingdom
A fellow scribe confessed that earlier this year, a winemaker had offered his condolences about my untimely death. This annual review confirms that in fact I did reach the end of 2019. The last 12 months were full of highs and deepest of lows - yet there was always wine, music and a tomorrow.