featured, Italy: Tuscany
Readers will find much to admire in these current releases from Tuscany’s Maremma, Montepulciano and smaller neighboring appellations. As always, it is the extraordinary diversity of regions, microclimates and varieties that define Italy’s rich oenological landscape. Best of all, with few exceptions, pricing for so many wines remains quite modest in today’s world.
France: Bordeaux, Vinous Table
I wouldn’t ordinarily seek out Italian cuisine in France, but I couldn’t resist checking out TentaziOni, as I had heard many positive comments from locals. I was not disappointed. This fabulous dinner was a very nice and welcome break after two weeks of eating Bordelaise food.
featured, United States: California
Two thousand sixteen is shaping up to be a fabulous vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, trailing only 2013 as the finest vintage of the decade so far. The 2016s continue to impress with their dazzling aromatic presence, finesse and nuance. Readers will have to be more selective with the 2015s, which are far less consistent.
featured, France: Burgundy, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
I remember the first time I tasted Jadot’s 2009 Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary several years ago. An assemblage of numerous Beaune climats, the 150th Anniversary was incredibly expressive and flat-out delicious from the very beginning.
featured, United States: California
“Selling Monte Bello en primeur came about totally by accident,” Paul Draper told me recently. “In 1984, Bordeaux had a very weak harvest. The London merchants told us the vintage did not look all that promising and asked us if we would be interested in selling Monte Bello futures." I recently had a chance to taste the 2017 Monte Bello in component lots and in a core base blend with Draper and current Ridge Winemaker Eric Baugher, who worked alongside Draper for more than twenty years before taking over the helm when Draper retired from day to day operations in 2016.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Thierry Allemand’s 2005 Cornas Chaillot is fabulous. Bold and pungent at the outset, with tons of whole cluster nuance, the 2005s offer striking interplay of bold, racy fruit and more floral/savory layers that are woven into the wine’s fabric.
featured, France: Burgundy
Lalou Bize-Leroy’s 2015s are absolutely stellar. The wines capture all of the natural radiance and intensity of the year, but have also retained quite a bit of vibrancy. Above all else, the 2015s faithfully convey the essence of site. I can only describe tasting through the entire collection of bottled 2015s as a viscerally thrilling experience.
France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Even after all these years, the 1990 Troplong Mondot remains absolutely stunning. Soaring aromatics, spectacularly rich fruit and silky tannins give the 1990 is exotic, alluring personality. Raspberry jam, spice, mocha and espresso nuances are some of the many aromas and flavors that fused together in a wine of extraordinary beauty. Plush and sensual on the palate, with no hard edges, the 1990 is every bit as arrestingly beautiful as it has always been.
featured, France: Bordeaux
Two thousand fifteen has turned out to be a fabulous vintage for Bordeaux. A dry, hot summer followed by late-season rains introduced a degree of variability in some of Bordeaux’s main appellations, but where sites were well positioned to cope with those challenges, the wines are absolutely thrilling.
When friends weren’t able to travel to Piedmont this past fall, they did the next best thing and brought Piedmont to their home. This intimate dinner featured a lovingly chosen selection of Piedmontese classics, paired with a fabulous menu and an ungodly amount of white truffles. What could possibly be better?