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Alsace: The 2014s and Late-Release 2013s

France: Alsace, featured

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2016

Alsace is home to the best Gewürztraminers on the planet, along with Rieslings and Pinot Gris that are among the finest anywhere. All three varieties also produce what are some of the world's most profound late-harvest sweet wines. Alsace's 2014 vintage is not going to be remembered as particularly memorable, but the more serious 2013 wines, most of which are bottled and released later, have turned out nicely.

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Cellar Favorite: 1995 Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal Selection de Grains Nobles

Cellar Favorites

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2016

Golden yellow. Aromas of peach, orange oil, candied lemon peel, truffle and honeyed raisins. Multi-layered and complex, with luscious stone fruit and ripe citrus flavors complicated by sweet spices and a touch of clover honey.

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The Undiscovered California – 2016 Edition

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2016

The pace at which new projects pop up in California remains nearly impossible to keep up with. Once again, I was deeply impressed with a number of new projects I tasted over the last year. Most of the wineries in this article have only released a few vintages, while some are literally just getting started. This year’s Undiscovered has something for every palate; from cutting edge sparkling wines, to cool-climate Chardonnays, Pinot and Syrahs, all the way to Napa Valley Cabernets.

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On Music and Wine

Fellowship, featured

Bryce Wiatrak, Feb 2016

At a recent masterclass, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe explained that a singer, much like a wine drinker, must explore the way the text feels on the palate. Awestruck by this notion, Bryce Wiatrak, Vinous Fellowship winner for 2015, was inspired to explore the commonalities and joy of music and wine.

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Standing in the Uplight: A Conversation with Winemaker Chris Bratcher of Bratcher Vineyards

Loam Baby, United States: California

R.H. Drexel, Feb 2016

In September of 2014, Winemaker Chris Bratcher, of Bratcher Vineyards, located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County, severed his right arm above the wrist in a harvest accident. I remember I was hanging out with a winemaker at a nearby pub when we heard the news. Neither one of us had met Chris at the time, but we’d heard that he was a private, hard-working, talented winemaker. We had both enjoyed his wines, which can be invigorating and also age-worthy.

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Cellar Favorites: 1996 & 1985 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2016

What a treat it is to taste these two Pichon Lalandes straight from the chateau’s cellar...

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Vinous Table: MET Restaurant, Venice, Italy

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2016

The MET is a one Michelin-star restaurant located in the upscale Metropole hotel, about a ten-twelve minute walk along the shoreline from Venice’s famous St. Mark’s square.

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The Consistently Delectable 2014 Red Burgundies

France: Burgundy, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jan 2016

Two thousand fourteen is a delicious midweight vintage with alluring fruit, juicy supporting acidity, expressive terroir character, supple tannins and considerable early appeal. Best of all, the wines display an attractive natural balance and elegance, and should offer at least medium-term ageability.

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Through the Fire: Sitting Down with Manfred & Elaine Krankl

United States: California, Loam Baby, featured

R.H. Drexel, Jan 2016

The hillsides of Ojai are still shimmering from a hard rain the night before. The unmistakable smell of chaparral that permeates much of this valley is especially sharp and fresh the morning I make my way up the road to Sine Qua Non. This past year has been a tremendously difficult and trying one for the Krankls. Last September, Manfred was in a devastating motorcycle accident above the Ojai Valley. “In all reality,” Elaine says, “this recovery that Manfred is experiencing was not the prognosis offered at first…”

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Cellar Favorite: 2005 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis La Forest – 1er Cru

Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2016

Dauvissat’s 2005 Chablis La Forest is in a gorgeous place right now. Inviting and sensual in the glass, the 2005 is nicely softened from its time in bottle yet also has more than enough freshness to drink well for another two decades...