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Sonoma Preview: January 2019 New Releases

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

As is our custom, the Sonoma Preview highlights wines that are just entering the market now, in January, typically a very busy time for new releases. Readers will find much to like this year, including a number of stunning 2017s that show the vintage was much better and far more consistent for Burgundian varieties in Sonoma than it was for Bordeaux varieties in Napa Valley.

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Vinous Table: An Unforgettable Charity Dinner at Saison

Vinous Table, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

This recent charity dinner at Saison was easily the finest meal I have had there and also one of my best dinners of 2018, period. The evening came together as a charity lot that was auctioned off at the most recent La Festa del Barolo to benefit children’s oncology at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Napa Valley’s Extraordinary 2016 Cabernets

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

Napa Valley enjoyed an extraordinary vintage in 2016. The bottled 2016s are every bit as viscerally thrilling as they were last year when I tasted them from barrel. Best of all, 2016 is a captivating vintage from top to bottom, with a bevy of stunning wines for every palate and budget, as well as a number of bottles that are destined to become icons.

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Cellar Favorite: 2005 & 1995 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2018

Mayacamas continues to make striking wines under its new ownership. In addition to a host of current and upcoming releases (covered in my forthcoming Napa Valley report) I also had a chance to revisit two Cabernets from the estate’s library.

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New Releases from Santa Lucia Highlands & Neighbors

Santa Lucia Highlands, United States: California, featured

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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Best Kids’ Meals in Napa Valley

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2018

Traveling with young children in wine country isn’t always easy. Neither is finding places to eat that can satisfy the desires of both young diners and their parents. In this article, my son, Giulio, and I profile six of our favorite dining destinations in Napa Valley that serve outstanding kids' meals and also offer plenty for the adults. Our criteria in evaluating these six restaurants are quality of food, menu choice and service.

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Paso Robles 2016 & 2015: New Releases

United States: California, featured

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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Santa Barbara Dreamin'… Part One & Part Two

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2018

I first visited Santa Barbara over a decade ago. Immediately I was struck by the finesse of wines born from microclimates that are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Subsequent visits have only reinforced my long-held view that Santa Barbara is one of the world’s elite grape growing and wine producing regions. This report focuses mostly on the 2016s, which are just being released onto the market. In 2016 Mother Nature gifted producers with the conditions to make striking wines of grace and nuance.

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Double Vertical of Ridge's Geyserville and Lytton Springs

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2018

Ridge Vineyards was one of the earliest champions of single-vineyard Zinfandels from ancient vines. Their top two estate bottlings have admirably withstood the test of time.

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Santa Cruz Mountains – The Gorgeous 2016s

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2018

Readers who appreciate the transparency and nuance of site-specific Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Bordeaux blends will adore the 2016s from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wines are aromatically nuanced, delineated and highly expressive of their origins. After brutally low yields in 2015, Mother Nature was more generous in 2016. Yields are never especially high in the mountains, but producers had enough fruit to bottle all of their labels, a highly positive development compared to 2015, when a number of wines weren't made at all. As always, I am struck by the complexity and world-class pedigree that seems to come naturally in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a bucolic, seemingly remote region that is in reality quite close to Silicon Valley and some of the most vibrant communities in the United States.