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Rioja: The Past Is Always Present

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2021

Change comes slowly in Rioja. Many of the winemaking practices that were in place when the region was established in the third quarter of the 19th century are widely used today. Grapes are pressed traditionally and most of the best wines are aged, sometimes for many years, in oak barrels of various sizes, with a preference towards American oak. Many winemakers see oxidation during aging as an asset, not a flaw, that when done correctly, brings the unique perfume, complex flavors and supple texture that make serious Rioja among the world’s greatest wines.

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Remembering Pio Boffa

Vinous Remembers, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

The news came over the weekend. It was not unexpected, but shocking just the same. Pio Boffa had succumbed to COVID-19 after a two-week battle in the hospital the texts said. And with that, Piedmont had lost another reference point.

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2005 Bordeaux: Here and Now

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

It all started innocently enough with a few bottles of 2005 Bordeaux during lockdown. Then a few more, and then some more after that. Before I knew it I had tasted through a good number of the reference points. The wines were absolutely thrilling, just as I remembered from my last large tasting of the 2005s, about five years ago. One of my close friends suggested a comprehensive look back at the vintage, so here it is.

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Vino Nobile & Carmignano: Italy’s Forgotten Noble Reds

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

Italy is one of the world’s most fascinating and diverse countries. There are of course famous wines like Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo and Chianti Classico. But the country is also home to many other wines that have enjoyed periods of prominence mixed with less brilliant eras of near obscurity. Vino Nobile and Carmignano are two wines with long, rich histories, deep connections to the land and much for the curious wine-lover to explore.

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Tuscany Odds & Ends

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

This brief update mostly covers a number of Tuscan wines with releases that fall in between my larger regional reports as well as a handful of notable wines that were missing from our database.

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Finding Cool Sunshine: South Africa

South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2021

Postponed several times due to matters beyond my control, thankfully the intermittently showstopping wines of South Africa were worth the wait, proving that the pandemic has not slowed down the momentum of the Cape.

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Abruzzo and Molise: More Than Meets the Eye

Italy: Center & South, featured

Eric Guido, Apr 2021

The time has come to dig into Abruzzo and Molise, regions that offer everything from easy-drinking wines to world-class bottles, all while delivering terrific value. My recent tastings suggest the wines have come a long way - and this is just the beginning.

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Wiston Estate & The Trouble With Dreams

United Kingdom, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2021

Overseeing the wines of Wiston and his own label, Trouble With Dreams, Dermot Sugrue is one of the UK’s most talented and intriguing winemakers. Anyone believing that English sparkling wine should not be taken seriously should read this in-depth and revealing article.

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Bordeaux 2018: Not Back in Black

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2021

After an uneven vintage in 2017, Bordeaux was buzzing with anticipation over the 2018s. To be sure, the wines were showy from barrel, but tasting en primeur is always a moving target. The wines are of course very young and sensitive to atmospheric changes as well as other variables. Now that the 2018s have been bottled, do they live up to expectations?

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Interpreting Chenin Blanc

featured, France: Loire

Rebecca Gibb MW, Mar 2021

In my first Loire report for Vinous, I take the pulse of Chenin producers with a focus on current releases from Savennières and Vouvray.