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Finding Filhot: Filhot 1935-2015

featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, May 2019

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?

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Think Pink: Still More 2018 Italian Rosatos

featured, Italy

Ian D'Agata, May 2019

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.

Chateau montelena's estate cabernet sauvignon copy

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Estate: 1977-2010

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

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.

Monterosso cover copy

Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

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.

Burgundy la paulee line up

Burgundy With Plenty Of Age: 1865-1999

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, May 2019

The second part of my Mature Burgundy article brushes the dust off a unique treasure trove of bottles stretching back to the 19th century. These notes, accumulated over many months, include wines that might never be tasted again. Are they as magical as their prices would suggest? What makes them magical if they are?

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Napa Valley’s Cabernet crop in the mostly cool growing season of ’99 benefited from a late burst of heat, yielding lively, moderately dense, aromatically complex wines with very good staying power.

Clos vougeot rainbow

Burgundy With A Bit of Age: 2000-2014

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, May 2019

With in excess of 500 Burgundy tasting notes accumulated over many months, it was high time they see the light of day. This first of a two-part report broaches the 21st century, including mini-horizontals of several vintages at all levels of the hierarchy and unsurprisingly, all levels of quality.

Heimark vineyard  a key component in the j. daniel cuv%c3%a9e copy

Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016

featured, United States: California

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Lail Vineyards’ J. Daniel Cuvée, Robin Lail’s 21st-century interpretation of her family’s famed Cabernet-based wines of the past, has never been better than it is today.

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Think Pink: Italy’s Lively 2018 Rosatos

featured, Italy

Ian D'Agata, May 2019

In this first installment of a two-part series devoted to Italy’s almost infinite offering of Rosatos, the country’s penchant for making delicious pink wines from myriad different grape varieties is confirmed.

Backinblack

Bordeaux 2018: Back in Black

featured, France: Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2019

Two thousand eighteen was one of the most dramatic growing seasons in recent memory. Hail, persistent rain and blistering summertime temperatures tested the resilience of vineyard managers and winemakers throughout the entire year. Perhaps most importantly, though, 2018 comes at a significant inflection point in Bordeaux’s history. So, how did the wines turn out?