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Long Distance Runner: Brane-Cantenac 1924-2015

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

True, Brane-Cantenac has had its ups and downs over the years, but it is now creating some of its best ever wines. In one of the most comprehensive verticals ever written, we examine the estate from its formation to the present day and what influences the character of this singular Margaux.

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A Preview of 2018 and 2017 in Germany and Austria

Germany, Austria, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2019

In canvassing Germany’s precarious vintage 2000 for The International Wine Cellar in early 2002, I led off by observing: “The decade of the 1990s was an extraordinary one for German vintners. At its midpoint (back in Issue 64), I wrote: ‘We are in the midst of a streak of vintages utterly unprecedented in the history of German viticulture.’ And I hadn’t seen or tasted the half of it....!"

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Sonoma Preview: January 2019 New Releases

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2019

As is our custom, the Sonoma Preview highlights wines that are just entering the market now, in January, typically a very busy time for new releases. Readers will find much to like this year, including a number of stunning 2017s that show the vintage was much better and far more consistent for Burgundian varieties in Sonoma than it was for Bordeaux varieties in Napa Valley.

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2017 Burgundy: A Modern Classic

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

Winemakers’ prayers were answered when the 2017 Burgundy growing season bestowed them with normal yields, refilling cellars that were getting accustomed to being empty. But how good are the reds? Should you form an orderly queue to secure your allocation and if so, what growers or appellations represent the best potential value?

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Trentino: New Releases

Italy: North, Italy, featured

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2019

While it is common to refer to Trentino and Alto Adige as one region, Trentino and Alto Adige, are in fact, quite different from historical, geographic, and social perspectives. But the differences in terms of grape varieties and wines are just as big.

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2018 Dining & Drinking Memories

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Josh Raynolds, Jan 2019

I was fortunate to enjoy dozens of fantastic meals, casual as well as over-the-top, indulgent and gastronomic, as well as literally hundreds of superb wines, ranging from remarkable values to rarities this year, many of which will likely never pass my lips again. Choosing which ones were “best” is, frankly, impossible but here is a highly pared down selection of those meals and wines that made some of the strongest and most lasting impressions on me in 2018.

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Through the Wine Looking Glass: 2018 in Review

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Ian D'Agata, Jan 2019

Two thousand and eighteen is running out. Waiting for the new year allows me to finally sit back and take stock of a year’s worth of great wines and friendships, beautiful scenery and endless travel. Here is a summary of my 2018 diary.

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Memorable Moments from a Turbulent 2018

Germany, featured

David Schildknecht, Jan 2019

While I lack Neal’s talent or experience in this genre, I was invited to address one or more personal highlights of my year. If you and I are lucky, the recitation might pleasantly distract us from the symptoms of social and governmental dysfunction that have been so conspicuously in evidence. There was one vinous event in which I participated that could conceivably be set alongside the year’s many cultural calamities as “historic.”

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The Year in Review – 2018

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Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

Two thousand eighteen was a fabulous year full of highlights. More than anything else, though, as I type this, I realize how extraordinarily fortunate I am to do what I love more than anything each and every day for work. I hope readers will enjoy this look back at 2018. If you don’t, it is all Neal Martin’s fault – he pushed me to write about my favorite experiences of the year.

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Asti & Moscato d'Asti: The Delightful Lightness of Being

Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2018

Asti and Moscato d’Asti are two of Italy’s best-known and most delicious sparkling wines. Light in alcohol and strong on flavor, Asti and Moscato d’Asti are the ultimate party wines, but they can be remarkably nuanced and terroir-specific, too.