This comprehensive retrospective at Larcis Ducasse spanned a remarkable eight decades and included wines all the way back to 1945 that trace the evolution of the estate during the three distinct eras that bridge those years.
Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy
Roumier’s 1989 Chambolle-Musigny Amoureuses is a lovely, mature Burgundy to drink now and over the next handful of years. Dried flowers, tobacco, leather, spice and dark-fleshed fruit overtones all waft out of the glass with effortless grace.
Vinous Table, France: Champagne
La Gare is an ideal place to stop by for an informal meal while visiting wineries and vineyards in Champagne’s Côte des Blancs. Housed in a former train station, La Gare is full of old world, countryside charm.
France: Alsace, featured
Although the 2014 and 2015 vintages posed distinct challenges for growers and winemakers alike, the former year produced some sleek, delicious, brisk whites (especially Rieslings) while the latter vintage yielded many rich, powerful examples, including some of the best Gewürztraminers in decades.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured
While the 2015 growing season was very warm in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this vintage is no replay of the high-octane 2007 or 2003. The ‘15s are hardly shrinking violets but they also display healthy balancing acidity and freshness.
Cellar Favorites, France: Champagne
The 1993 Comtes de Champagne Rosé has not changed much since I last tasted it three years ago. Soft, aromatically open and super-expressive, the 1993 possesses exceptional balance and class.
Readers spending time in Verona and looking for a hearty meal with well-cooked dishes and a fairly priced wine list especially rich in local wines of the Veneto (with some older vintages going back to 1995), would do well to check out Trattoria Al Pompiere. Super popular, Al Pompiere is always packed. Italians and foreigners alike fill the tightly spaced tables in two rooms decorated with exposed wooden beams, old photos of past and current patrons and host of other rustic charms. One caveat - the noteworthy din made up of happy chatter and laughs does not make for an especially romantic evening. The eye gazes over the cheese corner, where about 100 different Italian cheeses are in full view, before moving to the charcuterie corner, which is a filled with about 40 different salumi. As if that weren’t enough, prosciuttos and salamis hang from the rafters in true postcard style.
France: Burgundy, featured
The best 2014 red Burgundies show exhilarating definition and lift, typically with high-pitched aromas and flavors of tangy red fruits, minerals, spices and flowers. And with mostly moderate levels of alcohol and baby fat, the 2014s are clear reflections of their terroirs.
Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Thinking of Pinot Grigio only in terms of insipid or boring wines is one of the biggest mistake made by wine lovers and wine experts today. The fact is Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s noble grapes. Tramin’s top of the line Unterebner bottling showcases the greatness the variety and wines are capable of.
Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont
I have always enjoyed Francesco Rinaldi’s single vineyard Barolos, both of which are made from two of the denominazione’s greatest sites, Brunate and Cannubi.