This small abbey next to the winery is part of the larger san marcellino church complex

Rocca di Montegrossi: Vigneto San Marcellino 1995–2013

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2018

From his first vintage in 1995, Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi has crafted powerful, yet elegant wines imbued with real character. This vertical tasting of the Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino once again showed the pedigree Sangiovese is capable of in the hands of an inspired grower guided by a desire to make wines that express the essence of site and vintage.

Haut condissas jean guyon nmwantsthisascover

Aiming High: Haut-Condissas 1997–2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Aug 2018

I rarely travel to the far northern reaches of the Médoc. Beyond Calon-Ségur, the Médoc is a Narnia...or north Essex. However, when Jean Guyon invited me for a complete vertical of Haut-Condissas back to 1997, I was intrigued to discover whether or not it fulfills its lofty ambitions.

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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.

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The Marital Margaux: d’Issan 1945-2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Château d’Issan is one of the most ancient estates in Bordeaux, and traces its history all the way back to the 12th century. D’Issan, at the time known as La Mothe-Cantenac, hosted the nuptials of the future King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152. Amazingly, some 866 years later, visitors can still tour the château and imbibe the wine that Henry and Eleanor purportedly drank on their wedding day. This article focuses on a comprehensive vertical that I undertook with co-owner Emmanuel Cruse that spanned the entire postwar period.

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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Looking Back To Go Forward: Lafite-Rothschild 1868 – 2015

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The de Rothschild family celebrates 150 years since Baron James de Rothschild’s acquisition of Lafite-Rothschild in 1868 with three intimate dinners. Each soirée is bejeweled with unique combinations of vintages: young and old, renowned and derided, famous and forgotten, as well as varied groups of guests. The notes in this article originate not only from the tasting at the property, but also a dinner in Hong Kong that I attended a few weeks earlier, and several other recent tastings. Together they offer a time-arching overview of Lafite-Rothschild and the wines as the château enters a new era under the stewardship of Chairman Saskia de Rothschild and CEO Jean-Guillaume Prats.

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In Excelsis: Château Latour 1887 – 2010

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Having toured through the five First Growths in my “Bordeaux In Excelsis” article, I now turn the spotlight onto Château Latour. Though the “first” in “First Growth” denotes Latour’s official status as per the 1855 Classification, personally speaking, the word has alternative meanings.

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Cellar Favorites: Laville Haut-Brion

Verticals & Retrospectives, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

Most wine-lovers suffer a sense of loss and enter a period of mourning, whenever a producer such as Gentaz-Dervieux ceases to exist. Even a change in name can bring out the black armbands and black veils. Perhaps the most well known are Château La Tour Haut-Brion and its white counterpart, Laville Haut-Brion. Prompted by a recent thread on Your Say, the Vinous subscriber forum, this Cellar Favorite takes a brief look at a dozen or so mature vintages of Laville Haut-Brion, mostly from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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Bordeaux In Excelsis

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jun 2018

WARNING: The article you are about to read contains more perfect wines and perfect scores than any published throughout my entire professional career. Readers with nervous dispositions or phobias towards rare, legendary and priceless wines are advised to stop reading immediately. Do not go any further. Press “Back” on your browser and read about delicious Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Provençal Rosés. Forget this report exists. The evening described never happened. That’s right. It’s just a work of fiction. Just an infantile wine writer fantasising about his ultimate Bordeaux tasting like everyone in idle moments. But you see, the event I am about to describe did occur...

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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.