Img 8705 2

Brilliance in Napa Valley: 2016 & 2015 Cabernets

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2018

Two thousand sixteen is shaping up to be a fabulous vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, trailing only 2013 as the finest vintage of the decade so far. The 2016s continue to impress with their dazzling aromatic presence, finesse and nuance. Readers will have to be more selective with the 2015s, which are far less consistent.

Bordeaux 2014 southwold corks

Bordeaux 2014: The Southwold Tasting

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

Southwold, in case you are wondering, is a picturesque Suffolk coastal town famed for its pebble beaches, pastel-hued beach-huts, quaint shops and most importantly, the Adnams pubs serving some of the finest ale known to mankind. For many Januaries it was the venue for an annual Bordeaux tasting, to my mind the only one whereby practically all the major châteaux present bottles for blind comparison. I use the past tense, for recently the tasting had to relocate from Southwold, but the name and its ethos continue to thrive. Whilst the en primeur “circus” witnesses legions of journalists descending to dish out scores and basically gift Bordeaux free press for the coming primeur campaign, how many tasters will sit down later and redo the exercise blind and question those original assessments of unfinished samples?

Cover copy

Cellar Favorite: Jadot’s 2015 Beaune 1er Cru Celebration

featured, France: Burgundy, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

I remember the first time I tasted Jadot’s 2009 Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary several years ago. An assemblage of numerous Beaune climats, the 150th Anniversary was incredibly expressive and flat-out delicious from the very beginning.

Ayler kupp copy

Saar & Ruwer: Beauties Despite a Bumpy 2016

featured, Germany, Germany: Ruwer, Germany: Saar

David Schildknecht, Mar 2018

The Saar and Ruwer yielded a wealth of wines with improbable balance and finesse considering the meteorological extremes that characterized the 2016 growing season.

D auvenay bonnes mares bottles

The Magic of d’Auvenay: 1989 – 2011

featured, France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

It was like a thunderbolt hitting my senses: the tension, the complexity and intensity sent shivers down my spine. It was difficult to put down in words, yet this wine became instantly and indelibly etched onto my brain. Now I understood why oenophiles genuflected at the altar of white Burgundy.

Vines in morgon on june 4  2016  the morning after a violent hailstorm edited

2016 Beaujolais: Hail, Yes

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Mar 2018

Following the often opulent 2015s, the 2016 vintage in Beaujolais marks a return to the classic expression of the region, producing bright, energetic wines that show real charm and early appeal.

Madeira

Cellar Favorite: Blandy’s Madeira – Recent Releases

featured, Portugal, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

My love affair with Madeira began whilst holidaying on the namesake Atlantic volcanic island in 2003, where in a pique of curiosity I ordered a 1927 Bual. Afterwards I understood why those with good taste revere this profound, time-buckling, ethereal and enigmatic wine. Madeira is so unfashionable it is the epitome of cool. These are the latest releases from Blandy's.

Img 1617 copy

Ridge 2017 Monte Bello En Primeur

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2018

“Selling Monte Bello en primeur came about totally by accident,” Paul Draper told me recently. “In 1984, Bordeaux had a very weak harvest. The London merchants told us the vintage did not look all that promising and asked us if we would be interested in selling Monte Bello futures." I recently had a chance to taste the 2017 Monte Bello in component lots and in a core base blend with Draper and current Ridge Winemaker Eric Baugher, who worked alongside Draper for more than twenty years before taking over the helm when Draper retired from day to day operations in 2016.

Labelscollage

Here We Go Again: Value Bordeaux 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Mar 2018

This report, my first on the 2015 Bordeaux for Vinous, focuses on affordable wines. You could buy some of these with a twenty-dollar bill and still come home with change. I will offer my views on the Grand Cru Classé and First Growths in the coming weeks.

Cover copy

The Glorious 1999 Red Burgundies

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Mar 2018

From the outset, the 1999 red Burgundies offered a rare combination of charm and power. Most of the better wines were balanced and alluring from the start, but they are evolving very slowly and still have plenty of life ahead of them. While many of the ’99s I sampled with the producers this winter in the course of my tastings of ’16s and ’15s have gone through sullen stages in bottle, most of them have launched into their periods of peak drinkability. If you own these wines – and especially if you chose wisely at the outset – you will be amply rewarded.