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Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain: 1979–2014

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2018

From the outset, Randy Dunn’s flagship Cabernet has been one of Napa Valley’s slowest agers and most consistently outstanding wines. This retrospective going back to the inaugural 1979 vintage showed the Howell Mountain Cabernet to be a wine of great intensity and staying power but also of restraint and class.

Early signs of autumn at the zuccardi winery in paraje altamira copy 2

Argentina’s Wines Enter the World Stage

featured, Argentina

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2018

Against a backdrop of some recent tricky growing seasons and the constant economic challenge of doing business in Argentina, the country’s best producers are making more refined, aromatically complex and vibrant wines than ever before – bottles that should satisfy even hard-core fans of classic European wines.

Mayacamas cellar

Vintage Retrospective: 1991 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2018

My tasting of the 1991 Napa Valley Cabernets this spring brought decidedly mixed results. A handful of wines were truly spectacular and full of life, but I was struck by the notion that, at just over a quarter-century old, there was very little middle ground: wines were either in full flower, capable of going on for years, or in decline.

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Williams Selyem: Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard 1987–2016

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2018

Whether a grand cru or a fine premier cru, Williams Selyem’s second flagship Pinot has established a 30-year record for individuality, longevity and consistency.

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Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard: 1993 – 2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2018

Three years ago I had the good fortune to taste a complete set of Turley Wine Cellars’ Hayne Vineyard Petite Syrah, made from vines planted in 1953. This past March I followed up with a comprehensive look at Turley’s first—and arguably greatest—Zinfandel bottling, also from Hayne Vineyard, in this case from vines planted in 1903!

Hundred acre's kayli morgan vineyard copy

Vintage Retrospective: The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2018

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.

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Vinous Table: Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg, CA

Vinous Table, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2018

Charlie Palmer opened his Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant in the Hotel Healdsburg on the town’s historic plaza in 2001. A number of executive chefs succeeded him over the years with varying degrees of success, but when Scott Romano, veteran of the Palmer and Puck organizations, assumed the role in 2016, he re-established Dry Creek as a destination for foodies.

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O’Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Howell Mountain: 2000–2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2018

O’Shaughnessy Estate is the project of Minnesotan Betty O’Shaughnessy, who prior to her Napa Valley adventure had a career in real estate investment and development followed by a stint as owner and teacher of a cooking school in Minneapolis. After falling for Napa Valley, she purchased a parcel of land in Oakville in 1990 where she built a home, then bought additional vineyards over the next decade on Howell Mountain (beginning in 1996) and Mount Veeder (in 2000). O’Shaughnessy's Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a unique blend that can feature up to seven Bordeaux varieties.

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Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place: 1999 – 2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2018

Crocker & Starr’s Stone Place Cabernet Sauvignon has flown under the radar of enophiles who gravitate to more flamboyant cult wines, but in my recent vertical tasting demonstrated remarkably consistent quality and old-vines concentration.

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Vineyard 29 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective

featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2018

With his spare-no-expenses winery and meticulous attention to detail, former tech start-up expert Chuck McMinn has fashioned a classic and long-lived Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at Vineyard 29, his estate at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains in St. Helena’s Northern Corridor.