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2016 Bordeaux: It’s Now or Never, Baby

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

The 2016 growing season presented château owners with plenty of challenges, but ideal weather at the most critical time of the year made up for the early struggles of the vintage. The best 2016s are deep and intense, yet also pulse with a real sense of energy. For the 2016s to be successful in the market, however, owners will have to be sensible with prices. That’s why for Bordeaux It’s Now or Never, Baby.

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Cellar Favorite: 1973 Krug Vintage & Krug Collection

Cellar Favorites, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

It is always illuminating to taste the original release of Krug’s Vintage Champagne next to the late release. For this fun, informal tasting, the bottles were covered so as to remove any preconceived notions about the qualities of the two wines, but that turned out to be an unnecessary exercise, as it was plainly evident to all which wine was which.

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2016 Bordeaux: 30 Top Values

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

Bordeaux’s 2016 en primeur campaign – the time of the year when the new vintage is sold as futures – is about to get heated. While most of the attention this spring will be focused on Bordeaux’s big guns, savvy readers will find much to like among the more modestly priced wines of 2016.

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Cellar Favorite: 1991 Vilmart & Cie Brut Cœur de Cuvée

Cellar Favorites, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

What a treat it is to taste Vilmart’s 1991 Cœur de Cuvée. Proprietor Laurent Champs opened two bottles on my most recent visit. The first was a relatively recent disgorgement from 2013, the second was the original disgorgement from 1999. I much preferred the original release, which was, paradoxically, far fresher and more nuanced than the late release.

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Vinous Maps BYOB at Michael Chiarello's Ottimo

Vinous Table, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

This BYOB Dinner at Chef Michael Chiarello’s just-opened Ottimo in Yountville showed just how powerful wine can be in its ability to bring people together. The occasion was the formal launch of the Vinous map of the vineyards of Yountville, a project our maps team has been working on for several years. It was great to share this night with my colleagues Alessandro Masnaghetti, Kelli White and Bryce Wiatrak.

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2016 Champagne: Harvest Report

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

My annual spring tastings of vins clairs suggest 2016 is an uneven vintage in Champagne. The wines I tasted were on the softer, more open-knit side of things relative to how vins clairs show in the very best vintages. Of course, vins clairs will go through several transformations as they are blended and bottled to become Champagne, and then aged prior to being disgorged and ultimately released, a process that takes a minimum of a few years. These are some early observations.

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Cellar Favorite: 1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino

Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

Over the years, I have been fortunate to taste and drink more than my fair share of the 1990 Monfortino, but this is the first time I have tasted the wine at the winery, from a bottle that has never moved.

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Cellar Favorite: 1996 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto

Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

Bruno Giacosa’s 1996 Barolo Riserva Falletto more than lives up to its lofty reputation. The wine needs time in the decanter for some initial VA funk to blow off, but when it does, what emerges is a Barolo of utterly captivating beauty.

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Domaine Leroy: The 2014s from Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

Lalou Bize-Leroy doesn’t miss a beat. The years may pass, but Bize-Leroy remains a beacon of uncompromising quality and a fountain of strong, deeply held convictions. Leroy’s 2014s are tense, brilliant wines endowed with remarkable energy, translucence and expression of site, all of which give them a sense of classicism that will thrill Burgundy lovers.

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Larcis Ducasse Retrospective: 1945-2014

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

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.