France: Alsace, featured
Although the 2014 and 2015 vintages posed distinct challenges for growers and winemakers alike, the former year produced some sleek, delicious, brisk whites (especially Rieslings) while the latter vintage yielded many rich, powerful examples, including some of the best Gewürztraminers in decades.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured
While the 2015 growing season was very warm in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this vintage is no replay of the high-octane 2007 or 2003. The ‘15s are hardly shrinking violets but they also display healthy balancing acidity and freshness.
France: Burgundy, featured
The best 2014 red Burgundies show exhilarating definition and lift, typically with high-pitched aromas and flavors of tangy red fruits, minerals, spices and flowers. And with mostly moderate levels of alcohol and baby fat, the 2014s are clear reflections of their terroirs.
Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Thinking of Pinot Grigio only in terms of insipid or boring wines is one of the biggest mistake made by wine lovers and wine experts today. The fact is Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s noble grapes. Tramin’s top of the line Unterebner bottling showcases the greatness the variety and wines are capable of.
United States: California, featured
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.
Italy: Piedmont, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Over the years I have been fortunate to taste many of Bruno Giacosa’s wines. This comprehensive vertical of the Barbaresco Santo Stefano, held over two evenings and going back to the inaugural 1964, was truly unforgettable. There were plenty of surprises from a number of dark horse vintages, while the epic Red Label Riservas once again proved why these are some of the most coveted wines in the world. Above all else, though, the wines were a poignant reminder of the genius of Bruno Giacosa.
Italy: Tuscany, featured
The superb 2012 Brunello vintage represents a conundrum: a hot, very dry year that produced a large number of wines in a cooler-climate style. Aromas and flavors are ripe in 2012, but the wines also have the acidity and steely tannic structure to evolve slowly and gracefully in bottle
Italy: North, featured
These new releases from Miani and proprietor Enzo Pontoni show that Friuli’s most inspired, quality-obsessed grower continues to push the boundaries with brilliant whites and reds that showcase the pedigree of the region’s best sites.
After years of percolating beneath the surface of an ocean of corporate, albeit frequently well-made wines, Chile’s small-scale winemakers are slowly but steadily rising to the consciousness of wine lovers. At the same time, a number of the country's largest wineries are stepping up their own quality game, making these exciting vinous times for Chile, which for too long was spoken of more for its quality potential than for the actual merit of its wines.
Two thousand-fifteen, a stress-free vintage for growers, overflows with generous, lovely wines that belie mid-summer drought and record-setting heat.