Browse using the new Vinous website now. Launch →
United States: California, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives
As the 2011 Napa Valley Cabernets reached the ten-year mark, revisionist thinking about the wines started to surface. Had the Cabernets of this much-derided vintage turned out better than expected? Absolutely not! The top 2011s were always gorgeous. Today, with the added benefit of bottle age, the best 2011s are showing especially well.
France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
During en primeur week, I attended a dinner at Château Figeac. Following a raft of wines in large formats that included the 1989 and 1975, the evening’s climax was a mystery wine that guests were invited to identify. A few brave souls raised their hands to give their tentative answer – all wildly off, not by years, but decades.
France: Bordeaux, featured
Aside from widespread frost, constant rain, humidity, rot, muddy terrain, June’s biblical deluges, leafhopper infestations, a cool and overcast summer, delayed vine growth, spun-out véraison, stubbornly low phenolic ripeness, shortages of pickers and an incorrect weather forecast in the eve of harvest…the 2021 season was a piece of cake.
It is pretty unusual that in mid-April there aren’t many grapes left to harvest in Argentina, where winery doors typically close in early May. For better or worse, unusual weather makes for an unusual vintage. Overall, the 2022 harvest can be summed up as one of great quality. Bumps in the road could be overcome by good decision-making and precise timing.
France: Bordeaux, featured
The 2021 Bordeaux have turned out to be such a surprise. Weather conditions were challenging, and yet the top properties turned out gorgeous, classically built wines that will absolutely thrill readers who appreciate freshness and energy. Restrained alcohols and mid-weight structures will remind readers of Bordeaux pre-2000s. The best wines offer a striking combination of old-school classicism with modern-day precision. Quality is inconsistent though, so choosing carefully is essential. Even so, there is much to like in the 2021s.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Loire
It was actually during a visit to Ducru-Beaucaillou that I chanced upon this week’s Cellar Favourite. Entertaining a fellow wine scribe for lunch, proprietor Bruno Borie invited me to choose their pre-prandial white before I had to shoot off to another appointment.
featured, Germany: Saar
While you aren’t likely to mistake a 2019 German Riesling for its 2020 counterpart – least of all in the Greater Mosel – the two growing seasons had surprisingly much in common. And from that, there’s a lot to learn.
United States: California, featured, Santa Lucia Highlands
The brilliant 2018 vintage in the Santa Lucia Highlands was a tough act to follow, but 2019 is proving to be more than up to the challenge. Finely etched, precise fruit is a hallmark, while the wines should age gracefully on their balance and well-integrated tannins. The 2019s can be drunk young or cellared; either way, they are going to deliver a lot of pleasure throughout their lives.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont
Luca Roagna’s 2010 Barbaresco Pajè is one of the Barbarescos we featured in a recent Roagna masterclass that kicked off this year’s La Festa del Piemonte; the other two were the 2014 and 2016 editions. From the moment I open the bottle, I know we are in for a treat.
United States: California, featured
The wines of San Luis Obispo continue to grow in popularity and availability. Recent vintages will only enhance the region’s well-earned reputation for high quality. The consistent success of the wines from this cool, Pacific Ocean-influenced region resulted in the creation of the new San Luis Obispo Coast AVA.