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Mission Complete: La Mission Haut-Brion 1928–2011

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

One of the most revered château in Bordeaux, this article on La Mission Haut-Brion presents both a historical and contemporary insight courtesy of a Q&A with winemaker Jean-Philippe Delmas, plus tasting notes back to the 1920s.

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Royal Tokaji: 2017 Latest Releases

Hungary, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

The Royal Tokaji Company’s collection of 2017 new releases sets the bar high as their new winemaker takes the reins of this famous estate.

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Left Bank on the Right: Jean Faure 2007–2018

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

Jean Faure is a bit of an anomaly in Saint-Émilion, an estate built around Cabernet Franc instead of Merlot. This was the first time that I conducted a vertical of recent vintages, and it led to a better understanding of the wines.

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From Domesday to Now: Nyetimber

featured, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

Nyetimber pioneered the use of noble varieties that had been so successful in Champagne, a game changer that predicated today's flourishing English sparkling wine industry. This article examines innovations at the estate as well as tasting notes of mature and current releases.

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Sancerre: Taking the Temperature

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Aug 2021

I head to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé to discover growers battling challenging conditions year after year. The latest releases from the hot 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages offer a ripe expression of Sauvignon in the central Loire, which may be a sign of things to come.

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Back For More Beaujolais

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

My first foray into Beaujolais was not writing about it, but shipping it from one side of the world to the other. Mea culpa: I played my part in the not-so-carbon-neutral tradition of freighting jumbo jets full of Beaujolais Nouveau to Japan every third Thursday in November. Fortunately, I was never asked to dive into a swimming pool foaming with Gamay. I just had to get it there on the dot.

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Changing Perspectives in Beaujolais

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2021

Two-thousand nineteen provides a somewhat welcome return to a mostly classic style of Beaujolais following the often weighty, ripe, and dark-fruited wines of 2018 and 2017. Compared to 2016, 2014 and 2011, most of the 2019s are definitely on the richer side, but I ran across few examples that approached the weight, much less the warmth, of their 2018 and 2017 siblings.

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Umbria & Lazio: Italy’s Underdogs

featured, Italy: Center & South

Eric Guido, Aug 2021

It won’t be long before the word is out on the superb quality and tremendous value that both Umbria and Lazio offer. Looking beyond the obvious is the trick, and that’s exactly what I will share with you in this report.

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2021 in Argentina: An Unusual Year That Ended in Balance

featured, Argentina

Joaquín Hidalgo, Aug 2021

The 2021 season in Argentina undermined the long-held idea that nothing much changes year by year. With higher than average rainfall and lower temperatures, those who interpreted the conditions well are celebrating a sublime equilibrium in their wines. Producers also reported substantial differences between the various regions up and down the Andes. Early indications are that 2021 was an excellent year for Cabernet Sauvignon, the best of the past eight, and for reds in general.

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The Enduring Power of California’s Old-Vine Field Blends

featured, Fellowship, United States: California

Caitlin Miller, Aug 2021

My discovery of Zinfandel, and more specifically its role in California’s old-vine field blends, came late in my wine education. The word ‘discovery,’ of course, is an overstatement; I had tasted Zinfandel before and associated a very specific set of characteristics with it: big, high-octane, low to medium quality - or sweet and pink. I thought this description was also well-supported by my own research; I had sampled many of the grape’s defining wines and found those views to be fairly accurate. But this was different...