featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais
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.
featured, Portugal, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
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.
Da Nando, Aosta’s best trattoria, is revered by locals and tourists alike for an excellent wine selection, hearty, traditional food and very fair prices.
featured, United States: California
“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.
featured, France: Bordeaux
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.
featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy
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.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Thierry Allemand’s 2005 Cornas Chaillot is fabulous. Bold and pungent at the outset, with tons of whole cluster nuance, the 2005s offer striking interplay of bold, racy fruit and more floral/savory layers that are woven into the wine’s fabric.
Vinous Table, United Kingdom
Stuzzi is the antithesis to the previous night’s gustatory calamity. Instead of being slapped across the face, it slips an arm around your waist and titillates the olfactory senses before sitting down. The warm glow of intuition tells you: “Good choice my son, good choice.” Intoxicating scents drift over from the open kitchen as you soak in the buzzing atmosphere of a young crowd interspersed by families educating their offspring the delights of authentic Italian cuisine.
featured, France: Burgundy
Lalou Bize-Leroy’s 2015s are absolutely stellar. The wines capture all of the natural radiance and intensity of the year, but have also retained quite a bit of vibrancy. Above all else, the 2015s faithfully convey the essence of site. I can only describe tasting through the entire collection of bottled 2015s as a viscerally thrilling experience.
featured, France: Bordeaux
Name a Bordeaux château as enchanting as Ausone. It’s eye-candy perched on the fringe of Saint-Émilion, a picture postcard lookout post guarding a medieval village. This extraordinary recent vertical tasting included wines all the way back to 1912. I wish to emphasise that this is a historical examination of Ausone. It focuses upon what has been instead of what is or will be...