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United States: California, featured
As is our custom, we present our reviews of new releases from Sonoma County and neighboring North Coast appellations in a series of installments over the coming weeks. This report focuses on the 2020s and the 2019s, which I first covered in last year’s article. There’s a lot to talk about, so grab a glass and settle in. This might take a while.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont
What a thrill it is to drink Bruno Giacosa’s 2005 Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive. The 2005 has been consistently brilliant since I first tasted it over a dozen years ago, but I confess that I had forgotten just how captivating the 2005 is. The word ‘classic’ is over-used, but that is exactly what the 2005 is. Classic.
France: Burgundy, featured
Following last year’s examination of the 2017 Burgundy whites, how did the reds fare under the same peer group blind tasting conditions? As usual, there were a few surprises along the way.
Italy: Piedmont, featured
Piedmont has so much to offer the curious wine lover. Barolo and Barbaresco are now firmly established among the world’s greatest reds. Alto Piemonte has made huge strides in recent years. But there is so much more to Piedmont beyond those famous appellations and wines. In the hands of the best growers, Dolcetto, Barbera, Langhe Nebbiolo and Piedmont’s other reds and whites deliver the same qualities that have made the region’s top bottlings so coveted. These are artisan wines from family-run domaines that convey a sense of place.
Italy: Tuscany, featured
We buy Brunello for the cellar, to watch it mature into glorious wines befitting of the region’s reputation. However, we seldom talk about these mature beauties in the same manner as we do the wines of Bordeaux or Barolo, which is a shame, because the best of Brunello can and does stand the test of time.
France, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
Like many winelovers, I am fascinated by the Jura region, but for my sins, have never found the time to visit. Whenever I visit Burgundy on a clear day, I often stop and gaze towards its hills in the far distance and resolve that one day I shall venture across.
United States: California, featured
My annual report on Napa Valley is jam-packed. The 2019 Cabernets are big, bold wines that show the extroverted side of Napa Valley. There are plenty of fabulous wines at all levels, but 2019 does not have the across the board consistency of a truly great vintage, so readers will have to be selective.
Italy: Center & South, featured
If one region in Italy has the potential to keep pace with the best that Piedmont and Tuscany have to offer, it is Campania. With each passing year, new releases show a glimmer of their best possible selves, while some are transcending to the next level. Although the number of world-class wines continues to increase, there are still a number of hurdles that Campania must overcome. At the other end of the spectrum, Campania is full of values, readers just need to know where to look.
France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
Marcel Lapierre was a living legend in Beaujolais when he passed away at the age of sixty, in October 2010, just after harvest. Such was his renown that his obituary was published in the New York Times as well as in major newspapers across the globe.
Beyond Wine, featured
Last year, in the middle of lockdown, several readers asked me to do the popular “Ten Albums in Ten Days” challenge on social media. I am nowhere near organized enough to do that, but those messages planted a seed. So, in between major reports, I put together this list, with some context, written in the same vein as my article Ten Wines that Changed my Life from a few years ago. Every now and then writing about something other than wine is cathartic. I hope this article might provide something different to read over the holidays.