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Margaux Focus 1: Château Durfort-Vivens

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2023

Durfort-Vivens is a Margaux estate with a lower profile than others, yet it is one château that has furrowed its own path and perhaps has discovered its identity. This article looks at its elliptical history and innovations implemented by proprietor Gonzague Lurton.

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Moving On Up: Mâconnais 2021 & 2022

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Aug 2023

The Mâconnais has come far over the last two decades. No longer a wine to rinse your glass, the Mâconnais now proudly boasts a clutch of newly-promoted Premier Crus. But readers should note that quality extends further than these, albeit in differing styles, in the 2021 and 2022 vintages.

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Bruno Giacosa Dinner at Legacy Records

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2023

This Bruno Giacosa retrospective and dinner, part of our ten-year anniversary celebration, was a great opportunity to go back and visit a wide range of benchmark wines from one of Piedmont’s most illustrious producers. To be honest, I had a hard time narrowing the selection down to a reasonable number of wines for a single evening. I chose to focus on vintages from Giacosa’s prime, wines that remain the reference points for the estate.

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Rhônes on the Rise: Washington State Takes the Lead

featured, United States: Washington

Eric Guido, Aug 2023

It’s about time Rhône varieties in Washington State receive the recognition they deserve. In addition to high-quality producers making wines that can compete with established global benchmarks, I found a surge in unique, terroir-driven and unforgettable reds of the highest caliber on my most recent trip to the region.

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A Century of Bordeaux: The Threes

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2023

As I do every year, in this article I take a look back at Bordeaux vintages ending in the same digit. This year, the “magic number” is three. I re-examine the disparaged 2013s and 1973s, feted 1953s and war veteran 1943s, all the way back to long-forgotten 1923s.

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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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Exploring New Releases from Coastal Tuscany

featured, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2023

Readers will find much to admire in new releases from the Tuscan Coast. Vintage 2020 is a bit uneven, but the best wines offer notable freshness and aromatic intensity, with less heft than is typical, not a bad thing for a region where wines can be a bit heavy. Based on what I have tasted so far, 2021 appears to be a much more even vintage endowed with all the classic signatures of textural richness that make the wines of Coastal Tuscany so distinctive. Although this report focuses on the coast, I include notes on a handful of other wines from other inland appellations that are too small to be covered on their own.

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Sancerre’s Charm Offensive

featured, France: Loire

Rebecca Gibb MW, Jul 2023

Two thousand and twenty-two provided another warm, dry summer in Sancerre, but the wines have achieved a harmony they failed to capture in previous hot seasons. It’s time to explore why this is a more consistent and balanced vintage.

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Penfolds Collection 2023

featured, Australia

Angus Hughson, Jul 2023

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover. There is little doubt that the headline act - the 2019 Grange and Shiraz wines in general - will receive the most attention in this range of new releases from Penfolds. But that would be a mistake in 2023 where there is plenty more worth exploring. The 2021 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon shines brightly in lockstep with the 2023 Eden Valley Riesling.

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The Age of Mountain Whites: Enjoying the Altitude

featured, Argentina

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jul 2023

A small revolution is taking place in the white wines of Argentina, particularly in the higher areas of the Uco Valley, on the cold, sunny slopes of the Mendozan Andes. In this report, I take a look at the best of the new wave of Argentine whites.