Tastingthisquarter edited

Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1921-2016

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2017

Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is arguably the single hottest château on Bordeaux’s Left Bank right now. Quality has been steadily on the rise for some time, culminating in a trio of spectacular wines in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This remarkable retrospective, many months in the making, provided a fascinating opportunity to explore the château’s rich history.

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1996 Piedmont: The Proof is in the Pudding

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2017

Nineteen ninety-six occupies a special place in the hearts of Piedmont lovers. The 1996 Barolos and Barbarescos have always been thrilling. But the wines have also been very slow to develop. How are they showing at 20 years of age?

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Louis Sipp: Riesling Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé 1971 – 2014

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Oct 2017

Louis Sipp is located in the heart of Ribeauvillé, one of Alsace’s most famous and prettiest towns. Sipp has always been one of the best, if not the best producer, of Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé Riesling. A recent vertical back to 1971 provided a great opportunity to taste a number of wines from this famed Grand Cru site.

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Tasca d’Almerita’s Rosso del Conte: 1979 – 2012

featured, Italy: Center & South, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Oct 2017

Rosso del Conte is an iconic Italian wine, one of the first to show that southern Italy could produce world class, age-worthy reds. Rosso del Conte was tinkered with, over the years (not always succesfully, in my view,) but is back to where it should be, showcasing the heights that Nero d’Avola (and Perricone) can reach in the right hands.

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Cayuse Vineyards’ Syrah Bionic Frog: 2000 – 2014

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: Washington

Stephen Tanzer, Oct 2017

Christophe Baron’s adventures in Walla Walla Valley quickly bore fruit. Since the turn of the new century his wines — especially his Syrahs — have consistently stood out from the crowd in Washington State. Baron’s Bionic Frog bottling is the best of them, as a comprehensive recent vertical tasting made clear.

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Prà Soave Classico Monte Grande: 1998 - 2015

featured, Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2017

Prà’s distinctive and atypical Soave Classico Monte Grande bottling offers an important glimpse of the quality that other great Soaves might deliver in the future.

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Harlan Estate Vertical at The Naples Winter Wine Festival

featured, napa, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2017

I was thrilled to moderate this charity tasting at the Naples Winter Wine Festival this past January. For the occasion, Harlan presented ten vintages of their flagship wine going back to 1992, which also happens to be the first vintage of Harlan Estate I tasted on release. Needless to say, it was fascinating to taste a cross-section of vintages ranging from the estate’s early days to the present, including a number of modern-day reference-points.

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Feudo Montoni’s Nero d’Avola Lagnusa and Vrucara: A Definitive Tasting of Two Great Italian Reds

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2017

I have always been awestruck by the purity and true-to-type aromas and flavors that owner Fabio Sireci is able to tease out of Nero d’Avola. Just as importantly, his two single vineyard Nero d’Avolas, Lagnusa and Vrucara, also showcase the characteristics of specific Sicilian terroirs. The two are absolute benchmarks of traditionally made Nero d’Avola wines.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1997 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Sep 2017

For a year with wall-to-wall sunshine and a very early harvest, the 1997 Napa Valley Cabernets are surprisingly classic in style. The better wines have aged beautifully on their sheer strength of material and balance, and often show striking aromatic complexity, not to mention uncanny retention of fresh fruit. Some of the best ‘97s are from higher-altitude vineyards that enjoyed extra hang time owing to cooler afternoon temperatures and yielded more structured wines.

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Next of Kyn – The First Seven Years: 2007-2013

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2017

This retrospective tasting provided a great opportunity to revisit the first seven releases of Manfred and Elaine Krankl’s Next of Kyn. As compelling as the Krankls’ Sine Qua Non wines are, I have always found Next of Kyn to be just as fascinating, especially in recent years. This vertical only served to reinforce that impression.