Nm review 2020 cover

2020 - In The Rear View Mirror

featured, Beyond Wine, General Interest

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

Though 2020 was tumultuous, the virus failed to stop great wines, wonderful dinners, amazing music or classic TV. It made them even more precious - shards of light in dark times. Now that I managed to reach the end of the year, time to look back before looking forward.

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La Lumière Noire: 2019 Burgundy - Côte de Nuits

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

The second part of my 2019 Burgundy report examines producers based in the Côte de Nuits. Did Pinot Noir excel or suffer in the warm, dry summer?

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California Vineyard Series: Monte Rosso

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

Few vineyards in California are as evocative as Monte Rosso. Known for producing wines of extraordinary character and longevity, Monte Rosso (‘red mountain’) is every bit as magical as its name suggests.

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La Lumière Noire: 2019 Burgundy - Côte de Beaune

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

As Burgundy contends with warmer, drier growing seasons, the 2019 vintage demonstrates how vine and winemaker are adapting and often thriving in the so-called “new normal”. First, we look at the Côte de Beaune.

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Italy’s Sparkling Advantage: Prosecco and Franciacorta

Italy, featured

Eric Guido, Dec 2020

The holidays are upon us. It’s the season where more bubbly is purchased and consumed than at any other time of the year. Whether it’s for gifting, celebrating or the perfect pairing at your holiday meal, a bottle of bubbly always fits the bill. This report looks at Prosecco and Franciacorta, two of Italy’s greatest treasures.

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Paso Robles 2018 & 2017: Grace and Power

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2020

Following the hot 2017 vintage, growers and winemakers in Paso Robles were relieved to have a cooler vintage in 2018. The long growing season and moderate conditions led to an unhurried harvest and a larger-than-normal crop of healthy fruit. The results are outstanding.

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California Vineyard Series: Pagani Ranch

United States: California, California Vineyard Series, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

Since 2015 we have been working on a large-scale project to map the vineyards of California. To date, we have published seven regional Napa Valley maps and have several more in the works, including a five-map set of Sonoma Valley and map of the Santa Lucia Highlands, both of which are nearly finished. Although travel restrictions related to COVID-19 have delayed final, on-the-ground checks that are such an essential part of the quality control process, we are eager to share our work and show you a little bit of what we have been up to through this series of excerpts that kicks off with a look at Pagani Ranch.

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Lagrange 1959-2015

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

Suntory’s acquisition of Château Lagrange in 1983 saw an under-performer blossom into one of the most consistent and widely-appreciated wines of Saint-Julien. This article details its history, terroir and winemaking, plus a complete vertical from 1983 to 2015.

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Washington: Neither Smoke Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Frost of Night…

featured, United States: Washington

Stephen Tanzer, Dec 2020

Since enduring record heat in 2015, Washington’s growers and winemakers have enjoyed an unprecedented string of very good to exceptional vintages. Even 2020, so tricky in Oregon and parts of California owing to massive wildfires up and down the West Coast, appears to have been very successful in Washington. This year’s report features mostly red wines from 2018 and 2017 and whites from 2019 and 2018. All three of these growing seasons were capable of yielding outstanding wines.

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Collectable Argentina: Precision and Refinement in the Cellar

featured, Argentina

Joaquín Hidalgo, Dec 2020

All serious drinkers collect wine. Some to commemorate significant moments, others, especially those with access to a cellar, because the vintages are of such quality that their value will accrue over time. Whatever the reason, it’s a significant and prestigious feather in the cap for a producer to make it onto a collector’s rack. No one would dare to question the merit of output from hallowed ground such as Pomerol or Barolo, and this is reflected in the wines' desirability and price tags. But what about other regions in the world? It’s often the case that collectors are skeptical about wines whose credentials seem to lack historical precedent. Generally, Argentina falls into this category although in many ways it is also a unique case unto itself.