Over the years, I have got to know Hong Kong well and made many friends within its thriving wine scene. And it’s a wine scene like no other. Weekly mouthwatering dinners, verticals and winemaker-tutored retrospectives create an almost frenzied atmosphere on libation, only possible here where there is such a concentration of collectors within a 15-minute drive of each other.
United States: Washington, featured
Washington has experienced an unbroken succession of six very warm to hot years, but by now the state’s most serious growers and winemakers have proven that they can stand the heat. While there are underperformers in Washington, at the level of the better wineries quality has never been higher than it is today.
featured, France: Burgundy
Bordeaux is a dog. A dog will always fetch the stick or come to heel. Dogs are predictable. But a cat? You never know what a cat might be up to at any given moment—licking its paws or catching mice. Cats are as unpredictable as opening a bottle of Burgundy. You never know what to expect until you pull the cork. Burgundy is a cat….
cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
The magical properties of the time-buckling 1942 Richebourg Vigne Originelle Française Non Reconstitutée defy the laws of mature Pinot Noir. Over the course of 90 minutes, the wine gains substance from the ether.
Vinous Table, France
Arpège is one of the world’s best-known restaurants, a temple of high gastronomy where foodies flock to share in chef Alain Passard’s unique ability to turn vegetables (but not only vegetables) into the stars of a memorable meal.
featured, Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont
The 2014 Barolo vintage offers readers plenty of intriguing options, although a little work is required to cull out the gems and avoid wines that were affected by a growing season with some of the most challenging conditions in recent memory. In a few cases, growers decided not to bottle some or all of their top single-vineyard wines, making a number of the entry-level Barolos particularly compelling. I remain just as excited by the top 2014 Barolos as I was when I first started tasting the wines in November of that year.
featured, France: Other, France: Normandy, France
Forget about grapes in Normandy. Here, the apple is king. Each fall, dozens of apple varieties, in field blends, are harvested, crushed and pressed into cider. In Calvados, much of that cider is distilled into the exquisite apple brandy. It has taken time, but slowly over the past two decades, a serious generation of Calvados producers have elevated the spirit into a conversation with the world’s other great brandies.
featured, Italy: Center & South
Campania is one of Italy’s best sources of distinctive white wines. A large number of indigenous grapes are matched to an equally diverse set of microclimates that give birth to striking wines. The reds are a bit of a mixed bag and run the gamut from extraordinary to overoaked and rustic wines that don’t always capture the full potential the region has to offer. Even so, Campania’s finest reds remain captivating.
cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
The 2010 Valmur and Clos were magnificent at a recent charity dinner. A few days later I opened the Blanchot for a dear friend who lamented the scarcity and pricing that has, sadly, become the norm for Raveneau. Two thousand ten is a vintage I tasted chez Raveneau from barrel and bottle, but I hadn’t tasted any wines from the vintage since then.
Vinous Table, Italy
Armando al Pantheon is arguably Rome’s best trattoria., Small, snug, and cozy in ambience, Armando al Pantheon is a real bastion of Roman comfort food and is not to be missed on your next trip to the Eternal city, provided you can get a reservation.