Da wines 1 copy

Miani’s Friulano Filip and Buri: 1991-2014

Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

No other estate in Italy boasts a line-up of white wines as strong as Enzo Pontoni’s at Miani. His Friulano is the country’s greatest example of this wine. Magnificently deep, multilayered and unctuous, it offers a textbook example of Pontoni’s talent as well as a glimpse of the heights this variety can reach.

Late spring near brouilly copy

2015 Beaujolais Part 2: A Vintage of Richness and Energy

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

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.

Steltzner family photos feb 08 015

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.

Photo chehalem mountains copy

Oregon: Beyond Pinot Noir

United States: Oregon, featured

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.

Hmwhitesoils copy

Napa Valley Trilogy: 2014, 2015 & 2016 - Parts 1-3

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.

Mille e una notte evrtical copy 2

Donnafugata's Mille e Una Notte: 1995-2011

Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Donnafugata’s Mille e Una Notte is one of Italy’s most complex and refined red wines, admirably showcasing the high quality Nero d’Avola can attain. My recent vertical tasting of every vintage released to date revealed many riveting bottles, still with years of life ahead of them.

2 lineup diagonal

Marquis d’Angerville: Volnay Clos des Ducs 1920-2010

France: Burgundy, featured

Jay McInerney, Dec 2016

This past July I organized a vertical tasting of d’Angerville Clos des Ducs. It’s a wine I’ve loved and followed for many years. I’ve been tasting at the estate and collecting Clos des Ducs for a number of years. When Guillaume d'Angerville told me he was going to be on the East End of Long Island I decided it was time to conduct a vertical. One of the qualities demonstrated by our tasting was remarkable consistency.

The bishop creek vineyard in yamhill carlton  now owned by nicolas jay copy

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

United States: Oregon, featured

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.

Cartizze vineyrads at col vetoraz copy

Bubbles Ahoy!: Prosecco and Lessini Durello, Veneto’s Knockout Sparklers

Italy: North, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Veneto is a source of world-class bubblies suitable for all palates and pockets. While wine lovers think of Prosecco as a simple quaffer, better examples are anything but that, and require long work hours per hectare to make what can be outstanding wines of uncommon balance and complexity. Also noteworthy are Veneto’s deep, multilayered but perhaps little-known Lessini Durello sparklers made by secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Carricante vineyard copy

Sicily: Moving Fast While Slowly Rediscovering its Past

Italy: Center & South, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Sicily’s 2015 and 2014 white wines are quite successful thanks to their generally lively, harmonious acidities. As for the island’s reds, the 2013 and 2011 vintages are better than average, while the recently released 2014s from Etna are downright epic.