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Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc: Moving Out of the Shadows

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2017

With the 2015 vintage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape stakes its claim as one of the Rhône Valley’s top growing regions for white wines. The better examples are now equal in quality to many of their highly esteemed and generally better-known northern Rhône cousins, even Hermitage and Condrieu. Unfortunately, there’s not much wine to go around.

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2017 Rosé Roundup: More Wines than Ever

featured, Rest of the World

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2017

The demand for pink wines has quickly gone from a wave to a surge to a flood at this stage and, no, it isn’t your imagination that there are far more of them than ever available, from all over the world.

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Spain’s New Releases, Part 2: Triumphs and Travails

featured, Spain

Josh Raynolds, May 2017

After struggling with difficult weather in 2014 and 2013, producers in Spain were thrilled with a healthy crop of fruit in 2015. Early indications are that this vintage produced a bounty of top-notch wines that should provide abundant pleasure in their youth.

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2015 Northern Rhônes: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2017

More than a few producers I visited this winter called 2015 “a vintage marked more by the climate than by terroir,” with the fruit and the warm conditions speaking more strongly than place character. That may be true for now but I also believe that 2015 is a seriously great vintage and one of the best in a generation for the northern Rhône.

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2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Power and Balance

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Mar 2017

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.

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New Releases from Chile: The Tail Wags the Dog

featured, Chile

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2017

After years of percolating beneath the surface of an ocean of corporate, albeit frequently well-made wines, Chile’s small-scale winemakers are slowly but steadily rising to the consciousness of wine lovers. At the same time, a number of the country's largest wineries are stepping up their own quality game, making these exciting vinous times for Chile, which for too long was spoken of more for its quality potential than for the actual merit of its wines.

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2017 New Releases From Spain, Part 1

Spain

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

Overall quality of Spanish wines continues to rise, as does their availability in export markets. The result is a rapidly increasing number of wines that are worthy of consumers’ attention. This year we will be publishing several articles throughout the year in order to align coverage with what has become a continuous stream of new releases.

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2015 Beaujolais Part 2: A Vintage of Richness and Energy

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

The last three vintages for Beaujolais have been a string of home runs, but 2015 is likely to be the one that delivers the greatest impact and pleasure for most wine lovers. Two thousand fifteen has plenty of candidates for wine of the year; wines that deliver concentration and energy, with opulent fruit character and the classic core of acidity that gives Beaujolais its trademark vivacity. These wines are also built to age but at the same time display an exuberance that makes many of them pretty irresistible now.

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Oregon: Beyond Pinot Noir

featured, United States: Oregon

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

Pinot Noir dominates Oregon’s wine production to the point where wine lovers are often totally unaware of the rising quality of many of the State’s other varieties. Most of these wines are produced in small quantities, but in many cases a search of the market is more than worth the effort, and pricing is often favorable as well.

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Oregon Pinot Noir: The Exceptional 2014s and Often Surprising 2013s

featured, United States: Oregon

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2016

Two thousand fourteen heralds what by all indications will be an unprecedented run of three exceptional vintages for Oregon Pinot Noir. Now that I’ve had the chance to taste finished 2014s from most of the best producers, I can say with confidence that this is the strongest and most consistently pleasurable vintage, overall, that I’ve tasted in my 31 years of following Oregon Pinot Noir.