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Rhys: The Stellar 2021s

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Sep, 2023

The Rhys 2021s are off the charts. After a very difficult year in 2020, Mother Nature provided far more ideal conditions in 2021. Annual rainfall was down 50%, and yet combined effects of drought and a cool season with no heat extremes or shock events yielded a set of powerful, deep wines. Cool nights during the final phase of ripening helped preserve acidity. Readers will find wines that marry uncommon textural depth with intense vibrancy and minerality. Moreover, the 2021s are also incredibly expressive of site, something I always look for in vineyard-designate wines. I followed the 2021s over several days and saw them blossom beautifully over that time, with the exception of one or two wines that remain a bit closed.

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Brilliance in Santa Barbara

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Sep, 2023

Santa Barbara continues to impress with a wide range of exceptional, world-class wines. After the challenging but ultimately strong 2020 harvest, producers were welcomed with far more favorable conditions in 2021. It is a spectacular vintage for the whites, quite possibly the best I have seen in more than a dozen years of tasting these wines, but ultimately less consistent for the reds, as we will explore in this year’s report.

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Sonoma’s Sensational 2021s

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2023

After a very challenging 2020, Sonoma bounces back big time with a fabulous vintage in 2021. Bold Pinots, savory Syrahs, vibrant Chardonnays and nuanced Zinfandels are all part of the mix. Two thousand twenty-one is the best Sonoma vintage since 2018. While that may not be saying all that much in terms of the time elapsed, the 2021s are both very high in quality and consistent across the board. It’s a vintage full of stunning, compelling wines.

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Cellar Favorite: Seven for Seven – A Brief Tour of Napa Valley

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2023

I was delighted to curate this small, intimate tasting for one of our private corporate clients. The objective was to taste representative wines from reference-point producers in top vintages across several appellations. I picked the first six wines, while our host added the seventh. As much as I enjoy tasting new releases in Napa Valley, sitting down and focusing on a smaller group of wines years after release is every bit as instructive. I would like to thank the team at the Press Club in San Francisco for handling all aspects of wine service with extreme care. It was a tremendous evening all around.

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Cellar Favorite: 2013 Screaming Eagle

United States: California, napa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2023

The 2013 Screaming Eagle remains a very young wine. Dark, brooding and quite potent, the 2013 possesses tremendous depth backed by equally serious tannins.

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Paso Robles: Boundless Diversity

featured, United States: California

Eric Guido, May 2023

There’s real momentum and energy that can be felt in Paso Robles. Even through the struggles of drought, heat and smoke, the best producers have found a way to prevail. Paso is a region geared to surpass consumer expectations, with a broad range of varieties, world-class wines and a welcoming atmosphere for tourists and wine lovers alike.

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The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Stepping Back in Time

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2023

Two thousand-one is one of the most important vintages in Napa Valley of the last 25 years or so. Highly regarded at the time, 2001 continues to impress with dark, potent wines, many of which are in the sweet spot for current drinking.

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Cellar Favorite: Two from Mayacamas

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2023

It’s always a pleasure to spend time at Mayacamas. As much as I enjoy tasting today’s current releases, it is also a great deal of fun to go back and revisit wines made by Bob Travers before he sold the winery. These two Cabernets will delight Mayacamas fans.

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Vinous Table: Napa in the City 2022: The BYOB Gala Dinner

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2023

Napa in the City is an event we have wanted to do for many years. The logistics of hosting such large events are pretty daunting, so the moment never seemed right. But, in 2022, as we emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown, the time finally did seem right to bring together a number of reference-point Napa Valley winemakers, our readers and the city’s top sommeliers for a weekend of great wine, food and conviviality for the inaugural edition of Napa in the City.

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Vinous Table: Private Dinner at Wheeler Farms, Saint Helena, CA

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2023

This was a fabulous dinner that I will remember for a very long time. Many thanks to our guests for the spirited discussion and the Wheeler Farms team for a magical night.