France: Burgundy, featured
“Am I going too fast?” Lalou Bize-Leroy asks as she takes me through her bottled 2016s. Not a chance. One of the first things I observed when I started visiting the domaine years ago was Lalou’s intense pace, which remains pretty much the same today. “I like to taste quickly,” she adds. “With wines its either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is no middle ground. Just like people.” That insight is one of many that emerge over the course of this remarkable survey of the 2016s.
United States: Oregon, featured
Two thousand sixteen is yet another link in an unprecedented chain of outstanding vintages in the Willamette Valley that began in 2014 and has now extended to 2018. Compared to the ‘14s and ‘15s, the ‘16s, while on the rich side for Pinot Noir, show more freshness than wines of the previous years at a similar stage.
South Africa, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Two Chrises (Alheit and Mullineux). Two winemakers. Two Chenin Blancs. Two wines that have helped transform the image of South African wines. Two vertical tastings here in one Vinous article.
General Declarations of Vintage Port tend to be spread three or four per decade and never successively. But hot on the heels of the fêted 2016 arrive their 2017 counterparts. What kind of growing season prompted this unprecedented move and do these latest releases offer something different?
Italy: Piedmont, featured
Although Barolo, Barbaresco, and, more recently, Alto Piemonte get the lion’s share of attention, Piedmont has so much to offer beyond those highly-regarded appellations. Dolcetto, Barbera, Freisa, Timorasso and a host of other indigenous varieties give consumers myriad options for discovering the breadth of diversity that makes Piedmont one of the world’s most dynamic regions.
Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured
Tireless work in the vineyards and a lighter hand in the winery have enabled Jean-Louis Trapet to restore his family’s estate to greatness in the 21st century. This remarkable vertical tasting of the flagship Chambertin encompassed most of the vintages made under Jean-Louis Trapet’s tenure, along with a handful of older gems from the Trapet family’s cellar.
France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Filhot is among the largest and grandest estates in Sauternes, yet over many years of experience, its wines often pose as many questions as answers. Would visiting the estate, plus a vertical tasting stretching back decades, alter my opinion?
Italy is characterized by a huge diversity of rosatos, made from a rainbow of colorful grape varieties, in many different styles. Unlike most other countries, Italy offers numerous takes on pink wines, not just the ultra-pale and delicate rosé style currently popular all over the world.
United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
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.
United States: California, featured
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.