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Abreu – The 2009s Revisited

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

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2019

I still remember the first time I tasted the Abreu 2009s. It was fall of 2011, the year Robert Parker asked me to take over Napa Valley coverage at The Wine Advocate. Those 2009s were so showy and unbelievably alluring when they were young. Needless to say, I was deeply intrigued to revisit them at nearly ten years of age.

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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Estate: 1977-2010

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Chateau Montelena’s classic, long-aging flagship Cabernet from Calistoga has been steadily updated in recent decades through harvesting and cellar improvements as well as by the addition of fruit from volcanic hillside vineyards, which has contributed power, clarity and minerality to the wine. This retrospective traces the history of the Estate Cabernet back to 1977.

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Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

Readers will find a breathtaking array of wines from Sonoma, Anderson Valley and beyond in this report. The 2017s have turned out to be a big surprise given the challenges of a growing season punctuated by three significant heat events. Pinot Noirs and Syrahs are the most consistent varieties, but there are peaks of brilliance in Zinfandel-based reds and Chardonnay as well. As always, the sheer diversity of Sonoma County and its neighboring appellations is truly remarkable.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Napa Valley’s Cabernet crop in the mostly cool growing season of ’99 benefited from a late burst of heat, yielding lively, moderately dense, aromatically complex wines with very good staying power.

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Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016

featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Lail Vineyards’ J. Daniel Cuvée, Robin Lail’s 21st-century interpretation of her family’s famed Cabernet-based wines of the past, has never been better than it is today.

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

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

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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Cellar Favorite: 1982 Kistler California Cabernet Sauvignon Veeder Hills Vineyard

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, March 2019

I was absolutely floored by Steve Kistler’s 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon Veeder Hills Vineyard, a wine I had never come across before.

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Cellar Favorite: 1986 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyard

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2019

Joel Peterson’s Ravenswood wines have a track record of aging brilliantly, so I was intrigued to check in on this 30+ year-old Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc-based blend.

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Inspire Napa Valley 2018

featured, napa, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2019

I was thrilled to serve on the Honorary Committee for the inaugural edition of Inspire Napa Valley, along with Brad Grimes, Ray Isle, Samantha Rudd, David & Monica Stevens and Fran Tarkenton. The brainchild of Kerrin Laz, Inspire Napa Valley is a weekend of fabulous tastings, seminars and dinners held to benefit Alzheimers’ research. In its first edition, Inspire Napa Valley raised over $1 million.

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The Art of the Blend

United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

Early one morning Philip Norfleet, Director of the Napa Valley Reserve, and I were discussing a series of events and tastings for 2018 and 2019. A crazy idea flashed across my mind. I asked Norfleet if I could blend a barrel of wine at the Reserve to auction off for charity. “Let me ask around,” he said. “I will get back to you soon.” A few hours later I had my response…