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Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

Readers will find a breathtaking array of wines from Sonoma, Anderson Valley and Mendocino in this report. The 2017s have turned out to be a big surprise given the challenges of a growing season punctuated by three significant heat events. Pinot Noirs and Syrahs are the most consistent varieties, but there are peaks of brilliance in Zinfandel-based wines and Chardonnay as well. As always, the sheer diversity and breadth of Sonoma County and its neighboring appellations are truly remarkable.

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Burgundy With Plenty Of Age: 1865-1999

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

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Burgundy With A Bit of Age: 2000-2014

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Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016

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Bordeaux 2018: Back in Black

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Think Pink: Italy’s Lively 2018 Rosatos

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Mediterranean Spain: Diversity and Consistency

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Fermented Grape Juice: Romanée-Conti 1953-2005

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Nahe Riesling 2017: Chills and Thrills

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The Margaux Paragon: Rauzan-Ségla 1900-2015


Vinous Table

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La Barrique, Rome, Italy

La Barrique is a typical Roman osteria, the sort of dining place the Eternal City does so amazingly well. Hearty, flavorful food, in a warm, easygoing environment, coupled with a choice of many wonderful, fairly priced bottles, is the recipe for success.


Vinous Favorites

2017 Herència Altés Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta ($13.00) 90

2017 Herència Altés Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta, 90 points

This vibrant, dark berry and floral-dominated Grenache is a terrific example of the value that Herència Altés consistently delivers. Concentration, flavor intensity and balance make the 2017 extremely flexible with food, but it is also delicious alone thanks to gentle tannins. (JR)

($13.00)

Cellar Favorites

Cheval blanc 1934

1934 Cheval Blanc

Naming my favorite Bordeaux château is always a difficult task, but if forced to choose my top five, I would unquestionably include the property that is Pomerol in all but classification: Cheval Blanc. The vintage that alerted me to the pedigree of Cheval Blanc’s old vintages is not the legendary 1947 nor the fabled 1921, but the 1934.

1969 Caves des Liards Montlouis Demi-Sec

2014 Domaine d’Eugénie Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru


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