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Vacqueyras 2016 and 2015: Value and Consistency

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Nov 2018

Vacqueyras enjoyed virtually flawless growing seasons in 2016 and 2015 and its producers responded by making wines of consistently high quality. While prices have been steadily rising for current releases from neighboring Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, pricing for Vacqueyras wines has mostly been holding steady, which is terrific news for wine lovers.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc: 2016 & 2017

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2018

White wines are just a drop in the bucket of Châteauneuf-du-Pape production, but that doesn’t mean vignerons don’t give them a lot of love. On the contrary, these are among the most exciting wines being produced in the Rhône Valley today. Three outstanding vintages are now in the market or on deck.

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New Releases from Santa Lucia Highlands & Neighbors

featured, Santa Lucia Highlands, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2018

Two thousand sixteen in the Santa Lucia Highlands and across Monterey County brought a long, problem-free growing season, with abundant beneficial rain throughout the year followed by an extended, generous harvest of clean, ripe fruit. In sum, it was a nearly ideal year, and that comes through in the wines.

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Paso Robles 2016 & 2015: New Releases

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2018

Paso Robles ranks among the most dynamic wine regions anywhere in the world, in spite of a string of drought-affected vintages. There’s a youthful energy and open-mindedness here that’s palpable, and it comes through clearly in the wines, many of which are outstanding in the 2016 and 2015 vintages.

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Make Way for Even More Rosé

Rest of the World, featured

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2018

This summer gave me an opportunity to sample a number of high-quality Rosés, wines that are ideal companions to hot-weather food or for just enjoying by themselves. But don’t be in a hurry as their adaptability at the table often makes them year-round drinking options.

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2016 Gigondas – A Slam Dunk

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2018

Two thousand sixteen in Gigondas, as in the rest of the southern Rhône, experienced a growing season for the record books, yet again – producing expressive, intense, fruit-driven wines of often profound depth as well as energy.

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2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: The Beat Goes On

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2018

Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings.

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Rosé New Releases: No Slowing Down in 2018

Rest of the World, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2018

I’ve been waiting for the market to hit a saturation point with pink wines for several years. It looks like I will have to wait a bit longer. Pink wines have never been in such worldwide demand as they are now. Producers from seemingly every red wine region on earth have been eagerly jumping on the bandwagon at a positively dizzying pace.

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Elegance Returns to the Northern Rhône in 2016

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2018

Following the huge success of the 2015 vintage, which produced deeply concentrated, structured and age-worthy wines, 2016 pivoted almost 180 degrees by issuing an abundance of graceful, elegant reds that showcase balance and freshness over mass and power.

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2016 Northern Rhône Whites: Excellent but Often Scarce

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, May 2018

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.