Montecillo vinous

Sonoma’s Sensational 2015s, Part One

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

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.

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Cellar Favorite: 1995 Ravenswood Zinfandel Monte Rosso

Cellar Favorites, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2017

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.

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Ovid: The First Nine Years 2005-2013

United States: California, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2017

Ovid is one of the most exciting new entrants in the world of premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Since their first commercially released vintage in 2005, Ovid has shown what is possible on Pritchard Hill’s Long Ranch Road sector. This vertical provided a rare opportunity to track the estate’s evolution from the first release to the present.

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Cellar Favorite: 2006 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill

Cellar Favorites, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2017

Colgin’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill is simply extraordinary. The aromatics alone are dazzling. Sweet tobacco, graphite, mocha, black cherry and spice give the 2006 its exotic, alluring personality.

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Grower Spotlight: Dick Steltzner

United States: California, featured

Kelli White, Jan 2017

Dick Steltzner was born and raised in Piedmont, California – just outside of Oakland. His mother was a member of the extended Schilling family of Schilling spices (now McCormick). Although this particular branch of the family had effectively run through their fortune by the time Steltzner came along, the name still carried weight within San Francisco society, and they retained a handful of aristocratic tendencies, such as regular travel to Europe and the drinking of wine with dinner.

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Napa Valley Trilogy: 2014, 2015 & 2016

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2016

Napa Valley delivered another exceptional vintage in 2014. The wines are bright, energetic and focused, with tons of character and pedigree. Even better, the 2014s will be easier to drink young than the 2013s that preceded them. This article focuses on the bottled 2014s, although I tasted many 2015s and some 2016s as well.

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Vinous Napa Valley Vineyard Maps

Italy, featured, Italy: Piedmont, United States: California

Vinous, Nov 2016

Created through extensive proprietary research and boots-on-the-ground work, Vinous’ Napa Valley Maps represent the state of the art in modern cartography. Each map shows property boundaries on the front and more detailed information on the back, including historical background for each region and 3-D images that allow for unprecedented perspective of vineyard sites.

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Santa Lucia Highlands: New Releases

United States: California, Santa Lucia Highlands, featured

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2016

Two thousand fourteen has provided fans of Santa Lucia Highlands wines with a bevy of rich yet energetic wines that showcase intense, highly perfumed fruit without excess weight. A picture-perfect growing season resulted in healthy small berries. The result was wines that lead with their fruit but also have the depth and structure to age.

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Paso Robles: Taming the Beast

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2016

Recent vintages in Paso Robles have been exceptional, quality-wise, but an extended drought has slashed fruit yields between 25% and 50%, resulting in a classic “good news, bad news” situation that is driving producers and wine lovers nuts. Fans of full-throttle wines will find plenty to like from Paso Robles in 2014, although sourcing the wines may prove to be more of a challenge.

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The Rutherford and Oakville AVAs - Early Days

United States: California, featured

Richard Mendelson, Sep 2016

In this excerpt from his book Appellation Napa Valley – Building and Protecting an American Treasure, Richard Mendelson shares his first-hand account of the early days in the creation of the Rutherford and Oakville AVAs and the many untold stories that took place during this important and formative period in Napa Valley’s history.