featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
The 1988 Montrachet was a stand out in a recent dinner that spanned 20+ vintages going all the way back to 1973. This is an especially fine example of a wine I have been fortunate to taste and drink many times over the years.
United Kingdom, Vinous Table
There are parts of London that I know like the back of my hand. Hanover Square in salubrious Mayfair is one. I know every paving stone. I’m on first name terms with every grand oak that lines its garden. You see, I worked here for over a decade when I was a wine buyer. Wine-Journal was essentially born here. Perhaps I should use the past tense, because this Regency square is unrecognizable since we parted ways in 2006, entire buildings demolished or disemboweled to make way for the new Crossrail line. The only features extant since my days here are the trees and the waifs going in and out of the Vogue office. My old office in Mimosa House is now an art gallery and what was a branch of “Thai Square” has recently emerged as “Stem”. Stem is the third restaurant opening for Mark Jarvis following the much-lauded “Anglo” in Clerkenwell and “Neo Bistro” (also in Mayfair). On this showing, just days after its soft launch, “Stem” might well be the best.
Back in 2010 I saw Janelle Monáe at an intimate gig in Camden, London. The Archandroid, her debut album, had just been released to ecstatic reviews. To this day I regard it as a classic, a dizzying smorgasbord of musical genres crammed into an epic concept album. I was convinced that Monáe was up there with the greats, not least alongside her obvious muse, Prince.
featured, Italy: North
No other region in Italy offers as large a selection of outstanding white wines from so many different grape varieties as Friuli Venezia Giulia does, while the region’s native red grapes yield wines that are equally distinctive.
featured, France: Bordeaux
Over the last twenty years La Conseillante has emerged as one of the finest properties in Pomerol. In this latest in-depth château profile, I recount La Conseillante’s history from the 18th century to the present day, the vineyard and current viticultural techniques practiced by winemaker Marielle Cazaux, reviews of the last 20 vintages, plus additional mature bottles back to the 1960s and also ask whether La Conseillante’s purple design is their tribute to the late pop star, Prince.
France, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Le Clos Joliette is a producer with an almost obsessive cult following. Whilst many might have never heard the name, I bet there are one or two readers going wobbly at the knees at the mere mention of this “unicorn” estate. I dislike that term. Yet Clos Joliette is certainly an enigma. There is a dearth of information on the internet and hardly any professional reviews, yet mature bottles are highly coveted and do not come cheap.
I live in Venice anywhere from one weekend to one week a month. There is nothing in the world I like more than a good “bacaro”, the city’s historic standing bars where patrons order and drink directly at the bar counter. Over the years many bacari have expanded, also offering table service more in the style of the city’s osterie).
featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais
Hot on the heels of the outstanding 2015 vintage, 2016 produced one of the strongest sets of white wines from the northern Rhône region in recent memory. The only issue will be actually finding them, as production in many cases was pitifully small.
featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California
The crazy weather year of 2008 on California’s North Coast somehow managed to produce many highly concentrated, stylish, complex and balanced wines that are just now entering their periods of peak pleasure.
The Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Villa Bucci Riserva is one of Italy’s top white wines, and also ages splendidly. It’s also a bottling of significant historic importance – the first to reveal the huge potential of the Verdicchio grape and its wines to Italy and the world.