France: Bordeaux, Vinous Table
I wouldn’t ordinarily seek out Italian cuisine in France, but I couldn’t resist checking out TentaziOni, as I had heard many positive comments from locals. I was not disappointed. This fabulous dinner was a very nice and welcome break after two weeks of eating Bordelaise food.
featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives
With his spare-no-expenses winery and meticulous attention to detail, former tech start-up expert Chuck McMinn has fashioned a classic and long-lived Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at Vineyard 29, his estate at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains in St. Helena’s Northern Corridor.
featured, Italy: Tuscany
The taut, refined 2013 Brunellos offer early appeal and considerable aging potential. A surprising number of producers I visited or spoke to told me they believed the 2013 vintage to be close in quality to the much more famous 2010. The other good news for wine lovers this year is just how good the 2012 Brunello Riservas are. In fact, off the top of my head I cannot remember when I so thoroughly enjoyed tasting one Brunello Riserva after another.
featured, France: Bordeaux, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
During my week of château visits to inspect the 2017s in barrel, there was of course one significant, recalcitrant property whose wines will not be released onto the Place de Bordeaux this late spring. Château Latour withdrew after the 2011 vintage, since when they have embarked upon a series of bi-annual mature vintage releases, commencing with stock held in reserve during their respective en primeur campaigns. The latest trio of releases is the 2006 Grand Vin, the 2012 Les Forts de Latour and the 2013 Pauillac.
featured, United States: California
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.
Vinous Table, Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont
Repubblica di Perno, a favorite of locals and visitors alike, is a sure bet when it comes to good traditional Piedmontese cooking in the Langhe, with a fine choice of local and non-local fine wines to match.
featured, France: Bordeaux
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?
featured, France: Burgundy, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
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.
I won’t soon forget this spectacular dinner at Ristorante Osteria Carletti, a cozy restaurant/inn located in Bedano, Switzerland. For the occasion, dear friends in Lugano surprised me with a number of stunning wines and personal favorites. What a lineup! The team at Carletti prepared a fabulous menu.
featured, Germany, Germany: Ruwer, Germany: Saar
The Saar and Ruwer yielded a wealth of wines with improbable balance and finesse considering the meteorological extremes that characterized the 2016 growing season.