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Seeing 20/20 – Sonoma & Anderson Valley Preview

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

Two thousand eighteen is shaping up to be a spectacular vintage for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel-based reds. The 2018s are bright, vivid and exceptionally beautiful. Moreover, the wines are incredibly expressive of site, making 2018 a fabulous vintage for readers who want to explore the many nuances of top vineyards in Sonoma and Anderson Valley.

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2017 & 2018 Napa Valley In Depth

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

My tastings in Napa Valley this past fall were incredibly illuminating. Although much maligned, the 2017 vintage yielded a number of exceptional wines. Quality is irregular, though, and there are certainly many 2017s that show the signs of a very challenging growing season. Readers will need to be especially selective. Two thousand eighteen is a much more even year. The wines are still in barrel, in many cases not blended, but my early tastings suggest they have quite a bit of potential.

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Mount Eden Pinot Noir: 1984-2016

Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

Trends come and go, but classics never go out of style. This comprehensive tasting back to 1984 showcased the astonishing quality of Mount Eden's Pinot Noir over the last four decades. It was also a poignant reminder of the enormous potential in the Santa Cruz Mountains to produce ageworthy, world-class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Bordeaux blends of the very highest level. I have long admired Mount Eden for their complex, highly nuanced wines. Needless to say, an opportunity to survey a deep collection of Pinot vintages was a real thrill.

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Vinous Table: Mount Sinai Charity Dinner at Saison

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2019

This unforgettable evening was an auction lot built around an all-access pass to wines from my personal cellar paired with dinner donated by Saison that was sold at the most recent Festa del Barolo to support children’s pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Hospital. I would like to extend a huge ‘thank you!’ to our patrons for their extraordinary generosity. This dinner raised $55,000, 100% of which went to charity.

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Santa Lucia Highlands Braves the Heat in 2017

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Nov 2019

The Santa Lucia Highlands produced a bevy of outstanding wines in 2017, despite a growing season that had some challenges, including a heat wave over Labor Day weekend. While the 2017s deliver plenty of up-front appeal, they also have the depth and balance to age gracefully for years to come.

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Exploring the Santa Cruz Mountains

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2019

The Santa Cruz Mountains remains one of the most fascinating regions in the United States. These hillside vineyards, tucked above the urban sprawl of Silicon Valley, are home to a number of world-class estates, as I was reminded once again this year after tasting a number of older wines. Mountain viticulture is by its own definition a struggle against the elements. But it is precisely that struggle that so often yields wines of singular beauty.

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Santa Barbara: Present & Future

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2019

Santa Barbara remains one of the most fascinating regions in the world. Rich history, a culture of site-specific wines and reasonable pricing make Santa Barbara one of the most exciting and rewarding regions for consumers who want to discover distinctive, high-quality artisan wines that speak of place. I came away from my tastings this past summer more impressed than ever with the region, its producers and a bevy of wines that are truly magnificent.

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Cellar Favorite: 1985 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2019

This extraordinary bottle of Randy Dunn’s 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain brought back so many memories. Over the years, one of the ways I have learned about wine is doing a full-immersion of sorts with certain benchmark producers where I focus on a single estate for a few months or years, really trying to understand the essence of each property.

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Larkmead’s Solari Cabernet and LMV Salon: 2001-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Aug 2019

My recent tasting of Larkmead’s Solari Cabernet and LMV Salon blend showcased the comprehensive renewal that has taken place at this venerable property over the past 20 years in both the vineyards and the winery under the tenure of Cam and Kate Solari Baker.

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2018 Napa Valley – First Impressions…

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2019

After a tumultuous, hugely stressful 2017, Napa Valley winemakers and owners welcomed an essentially trouble-free growing season in 2018. As I have done for many years, this past spring I tasted the new vintage from barrel to get a first look at the wines ahead of my fall tastings. Based on what I have seen so far 2018 looks like a strong vintage, although there were some challenges as well.