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.
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.
United States: California, featured
Challenging spring conditions, warm weather and a very early harvest produced rich, sumptuous Pinot Noirs, Zinfandels and Syrahs that offer a compelling interplay of dense fruit and vibrant, pulsating acidity. The best 2015s are exotic, viscerally thrilling wines endowed with phenomenal purity, depth and intensity.
Italy: Piedmont, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Over the years I have been fortunate to taste many of Bruno Giacosa’s wines. This comprehensive vertical of the Barbaresco Santo Stefano, held over two evenings and going back to the inaugural 1964, was truly unforgettable. There were plenty of surprises from a number of dark horse vintages, while the epic Red Label Riservas once again proved why these are some of the most coveted wines in the world. Above all else, though, the wines were a poignant reminder of the genius of Bruno Giacosa.
I haven’t tasted Beaulieu Vineyard’s 1970 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour in a few years. Time has been kind to the 1970. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say the 1970 has been kind to time.
Over the last few years, Guido Ristorante has become one of my favorite spots in Piedmont. Located in the stunning Villa Reale at Fontanafredda, Guido brings together a contemporary take on Piedmontese classics in a refined, striking setting. High ceilings and spread out tables add to an impression of airiness to the room. Guido is a perfect spot for a relaxed, leisurely dinner away from the hustle and bustle that is so common in other spots during truffle season.
Italy: North, featured
These new releases from Miani and proprietor Enzo Pontoni show that Friuli’s most inspired, quality-obsessed grower continues to push the boundaries with brilliant whites and reds that showcase the pedigree of the region’s best sites.
Cellar Favorites, United States: California
More than twenty years after it was made, Ravenswood's 1995 Zinfandel Monte Rosso is superb. Powerful and intense to the core, the 1995 offers up a compelling interplay of dark cherry, kirsch, licorice, leather, tobacco and wood smoke. Despite its considerable intensity, the 1995 has more than enough freshness and depth to drink well for another decade, perhaps more.
A completely unassuming strip mall in Rohnert Park right off Highway 101 might seem like an unusual place to find top-notch sushi, but locals and well-informed visitors alike swear by Hana as one of the best spots in all of northern California.