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featured, France: Bordeaux
This article cleans out my cupboard of miscellaneous Bordeaux tasting notes. It embraces legendary bottles and iconic vintages, minnows and seasons long-forgotten, even derided. Few pleasures in life surpass that of a bottle of wine with years under its belt.
France, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
In the early days of my career, I drank a lot of mature bottles from Domaine de Trévallon, including one memorable dinner in London with numerous vintages.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured
Like the rest of the Rhône valley, and Europe, Gigondas has been confronting hot, dry weather conditions since 2017. Luckily, the best, most experienced growers and winemakers have handled the situation with a steady hand. Still, there’s no question that many wines from recent vintages are distinctly powerful, often high in alcohol, with more dark fruit character and tannic structure than usual.
United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
I have always had a soft spot for Diamond Creek Vineyards, charmed by Al and Boots Brounstein, who would regularly pour their wines in London in the early days of my career.
Italy: Tuscany, featured
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcinos immediately appealed to buyers, consumers and restaurant-goers. While warm and dry, 2012 yielded balanced wines, but the big question has always been: how well will they mature over time?
Luján de Cuyo is a historic region that is reinventing itself and looking to a terroir-based future. This report covers the relaunch of the first D.O.C. in South America, several new Malbecs and a handful of old vintages, exploring how a region with much to offer is making the most of its best qualities.
France: Burgundy, featured
This opinion piece was originally composed as part of my 2021 Burgundy report. Given the escalation of prices in recent years, here, I discuss what is fueling this inflation, its potential consequences and trends I have seen with respect to Burgundy’s distribution.
After the highly problematic and uneven 2018s, Barolo bounces back with a stellar vintage in 2019 that could very well represent the beginning of a new cycle of strong, outstanding years for this historic appellation. The 2019s are potent, tightly wound wines that will thrill readers who appreciate the nuance, subtlety and structure of Nebbiolo. Today, the 2019s show elements of youthful austerity that, at times, recall vintages such as 2016, 2005 and 1999. The only thing 2019 lacks is some of the visceral excitement found in the very best years, although the top wines certainly check all the boxes.
United States: California, featured
It’s far too early for me to have a complete view of the 2021 vintage in Sonoma County, but the wines I have tasted so far suggest this is a very good and possibly outstanding vintage. The best 2021s are deep, beautifully layered and highly expressive of site. Watch this space for updates in the coming weeks.
Germany, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
Klaus-Peter Keller’s wines have become collector catnip in recent years, with prices to match. It seems a long time since I made my only visit to the estate. In 2022, I was fortunate to taste several recent vintages and almost forgot this mature gem.