featured, Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives
Montalcino has come so far in a relatively short amount of time. Generational transitions, a focus on terroir and the willingness to showcase Sangiovese’s inherent character above winemaking wizardry have come together, resulting in many wines that have never been better than they are today. In this article I look back at the 2001s, wines from another era that, in a sense, helped pave the way to the region's success. So where do the 2001 Brunellos stand today, twenty years later?
France: Bordeaux, featured
The 2018 Bordeaux vintage produced some incredible wines, but is it truly a legendary year? In the largest in-bottle report that I have ever published with over 1,000 wines reviewed, I answer that question and explain the reasons underlying its successes and shortcomings.
featured, France: Champagne
Our annual Spring Preview takes a look at new Champagne releases as they enter the market. Watch this space for more on Champagne in the coming weeks.
featured, New Zealand
In my inaugural red wine report, I consider the latest crop of New Zealand Pinot Noirs with a focus on the 2019 vintage and take a look at 2018 Bordeaux blends and Syrahs flowing from Hawke’s Bay.
featured, Italy: North
Veneto is home to a number of oenological riches, from the whites of Soave to the reds of the Valpolicella district, including the renowned Amarone, one of Italy’s most important wines. The region’s most dynamic, passionate producers are determined to show that their wines stand in stark contrast to the at times indifferent wines that once penalized the image of these appellations in the mind of the consumer.
featured, Vinous Remembers
Harry was a constant figure on London’s tasting circuit and Bordeaux en primeur week. A visit to his restaurant in Swiss Cottage was a rite of passage for anyone connected with the wine industry or interested in wine. His passing deserves a tribute because I am not the only person to declare that a valuable chunk of my vinous education took place at The Arches.
South Africa, featured
It was early March 2020, and I was meeting dear friends for our annual lunch at Limewood in the New Forest, where we put the world to rights and gossip like there’s no tomorrow. And in a sense, there was no tomorrow. This turned out to be the last time any of us enjoyed a day trip, mingling with others without fear of falling ill. But the normal world was slipping away, as evidenced by the manner in which the receptionist kept her distance, the novelty of widely spaced tables and, on the train journey home, news that my daughter’s exchange trip to Germany was canceled. I remember the wine that day, a delicious bottle of 2017 Chardonnay from Ataraxia, prompting thoughts of visiting the Cape in the late summer, when surely the pandemic would be in the rearview mirror.
featured, Italy: Piedmont
The 2017 Barolos arrived literally as we published the last of our 2016 Barolo reviews. Time to start all over with new wines and a new vintage. In the last two decades Piedmont has become one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Keeping up with the pace of releases these days is quite a challenge, but it’s an incredibly stimulating challenge, as there is so much to discover. Interest for Barolo and Piedmont has never been higher, pandemic or not. There is plenty to like about the 2017 Barolos, as readers will see.
While serious wine fanatics are well acquainted with Ribera del Duero, Toro and Rueda, much of the world consumes millions of gallons of wine a year made in the less lofty nearby regions, especially La Mancha and the far-reaching Castilla y León, both of which often deliver excellent value. Then there are unsung DOs like Campo de Borja, where readers will find some of the biggest bang-for-the-buck Grenache in the world.
featured, Italy: Tuscany
The 2018 Tuscany Preview revives a tradition from years back, when I published an early look at new releases from Tuscany each spring. Well, the Tuscany Preview is back and features some of the year’s most exciting upcoming releases, many of them reference-point wines of historical significance.