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Beaulieu’s Georges de Latour Private Reserve: 1965–2016

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2019

Beaulieu Vineyard’s Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet is California’s first cult Cabernet. Adamantly Médoc-like in its earlier decades, it has evolved with the times. Recent vintages are as remarkable as ever, if in a more modern style.

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Domaine des Lambrays’ Clos des Lambrays 1966-2012

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2019

This past December seemed an ideal time for me to taste a vertical collection of the Domaine des Lambrays’ historic Grand Cru Clos des Lambrays going back to the 1960s. Under the steady hand of widely respected estate manager/winemaker Thierry Brouin, the Clos des Lambrays has been restored to Grand Cru status after decades of neglect.

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Faiveley’s Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley: 1986-2015

featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, March 2019

The new generation at Faiveley has taken some of the tannic edges off the estate’s outsized Clos des Cortons, making this powerfully built, long-lived Burgundy more palatable in its youth. This vertical back to 1986 provided a unique opportunity to follow the arc of Faiveley’s flagship wine over four decades.

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Joseph Roty’s Charmes-Chambertin Très Vieilles Vignes

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Feb 2019

The Roty family’s Charmes-Chambertin from ancient vines has established a half-century track record as one of Burgundy’s monumental collectibles. My extensive vertical tasting of this bottling in December was also a celebration of a very private family—and the ghost in the room was the formidable personality of the late Joseph Roty, who was largely responsible for creating the “Roty style.”

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Drouhin’s Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc: 1979-2016

France, featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Feb 2019

Joseph Drouhin’s Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc is an oxymoron of a Burgundy: an insider’s wine that’s normally made in generous quantities. While some wine oenophiles may turn up their noses at the very idea of white wine from Beaune—not to mention the appellation in particular, as it possesses no Grand Crus, red or white—this Premier Cru is way more interesting, and serious, than it has any right to be.

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Vertical Tasting of Louis Jadot’s Corton Pougets

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Feb 2019

Jadot’s perfumed, distinctly feminine Corton Grand Cru—a red wine from white wine soil—has established a long track record for graceful evolution in bottle.

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Château de la Tour Clos-Vougeot Vieilles Vignes 1985-2016

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2019

The largest single owner of land in Clos de Vougeot is making some of its best wines today. Director François Labet’s special bottling from vines planted in 1910 has been an essence of this legendary grand cru in recent years.

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2019 Burgundy Verticals

France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Jan 2019

All of the producers I visited in December presented their wines in the same way: from youngest to oldest, with the bottles uncorked shortly before the tasting and not decanted. Beginning with the youngest vintage and working backward has always been my preferred approach to vertical tastings, for the simple reason that this order allows me to understand how wines develop with bottle age.

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Focus on Washington: The New Normal

United States: Washington, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Nov 2018

Washington has experienced an unbroken succession of six very warm to hot years, but by now the state’s most serious growers and winemakers have proven that they can stand the heat. While there are underperformers in Washington, at the level of the better wineries quality has never been higher than it is today.

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2016 White Burgundy: Excellent, But Complicated

featured, France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Sep 2018

Two thousand sixteen is a potentially classic white Burgundy vintage marked by a devastating frost event that sharply reduced overall production and dramatically complicated the lives of growers. Now long-time Burgundy collectors must navigate their own set of challenges to find the best bottles.