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Napa and Sonoma: The 2017 Summer Update

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2017

Keeping up with the pace of new releases in Napa Valley, Sonoma and neighboring appellations is a nearly impossible task. This article covers producers that I missed earlier in the year because of scheduling conflicts and treacherous weather during the winter. A number of wineries are appearing in Vinous for the first time, reaffirming our commitment to offer readers unparalleled insight on exciting, new projects as they develop.

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The Rosé Wave Keeps Building

featured, Rest of the World

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2017

As incredible as it may seem, worldwide demand for rosé seems to actually be increasing beyond what were already historical highs. While many experienced members of the trade have been fearful of market saturation and consumer ennui or even burnout, according to importers, retailers and sommeliers that I’ve spoken to recently, that just hasn’t happened. This article focuses on a number of new releases and wraps up our coverage of Rosés for 2017.

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Domaine Armand Rousseau: Chambertin 1988 - 2002

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2017

This tasting of Rousseau’s Chambertin spanned eleven vintages back to 1988. As so often happens with Burgundy, there were a few surprises. In this case, those surprises came in the form of several wines that were far more expressive and rewarding than the pedigree of their vintages might have suggested.

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Chablis 2016 & 2015: Quality Over Quantity

featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2017

Extreme weather conditions vexed growers in Chablis in 2016 and 2015, but both vintages produced many very good to excellent wines that avoid the tooth-rattling acidity and forbidding austerity of examples from more classic years. Today the 2016s appear to be more transparent to their terroirs but the best ‘15s may surprise us with their vineyard specificity after they’ve had a chance to burn off some of their considerable baby fat.

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2015 Rhine Riesling: No Pfalz Modesty

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Aug 2017

Growers in Germany’s Pfalz picked most of their 2015 Riesling by the end of September, but the results by no means lack ripeness or aromatic finesse. The fact that many a Pfalz collection is not notably superior to its much later-harvested 2014 counterpart should by no means be taken as a sign of weakness. Without question, the aggregate rate of Riesling success in 2014 and 2015 is highest in the Pfalz and Nahe.

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Vinous Tasting Group - The Wines of Bruno Giacosa

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2017

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to join a group of avid Piedmont lovers, many of whom I have known personally since the early days of Piedmont Report, for this remarkable tasting of wines from Bruno Giacosa. We all brought bottles from our cellars organized around several loose themes and enjoyed them over a delicious dinner at DeGrezia in New York City.

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Verticals of Ramey’s Hyde & Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnays

featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2017

David Ramey, one of California’s proven masters of Chardonnay, has compiled an admirable track record for making rich, complex wines with uncanny staying power, as a recent tasting of his Chardonnays from the Hyde and Ritchie vineyards made clear.

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Book Excerpt: Appellation Napa Valley – Stags Leap District

featured, United States: California

Richard Mendelson, Jul 2017

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 Stags Leap District AVA and the many untold stories that took place during this important and formative period in Napa Valley’s history.

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Remembering Domenico Clerico

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2017

Late Sunday evening, as I sat in one of my favorite wine bars in Piedmont, the long-dreaded news that had been in the air for the last few days finally arrived. Domenico Clerico had succumbed to his battle with cancer at 67 years of age. One of the most beloved personalities in Piedmont, Clerico touched many lives during a career that saw him rise from total obscurity to become one of the world’s most admired winemakers.

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Northern Rhône: Solid ’14 Reds and Outstanding ’15 Whites

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2017

The northern Rhône produced a number of excellent red wines in 2014, although yields are down. Happily, 2015 brought an ideal growing season and harvest, with healthy quantities of clean fruit. My early look at the finished white wines indicates that ’15 is a vintage for the ages.