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2015 Barolo…The Bigger Picture

Piedmont, Italy, Italy: Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2019

Barolo lovers have become spoiled over the last fifteen years or so. While 2015 is clearly a mixed vintage, in any other previous era there is little doubt it would have been considered outstanding. Readers will find a number of dazzling 2015s, even if quality is uneven across the board. More importantly, though, the number of young growers and re-born older estates making compelling wines is greater than at any time since I first visited Piedmont in 1997. Quite simply, Barolo, and Piedmont more broadly, is going through a remarkable boom. I came away from my tastings more energized than ever.

Portland starter

Vinous Table: Portland, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

I came away from this dinner impressed by the restaurant, since the service and food had been exquisite, and with a higher appreciation of Chablis than ever before. If this evening set out to demonstrate the apotheosis of Chablis, then it is “job done.” These wines may actually have surpassed my high expectations.

Kumeu river line up

To Paint A Picture: Kumeu River Chardonnay 2006-2017

New Zealand, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

Kumeu River is New Zealand's greatest Chardonnay producer, one that is genuinely world class. Following the most comprehensive tasting ever conducted, this article traces the story of the Brajkovich family, details their vineyards and philosophies, to find out how they make such bloody good Chardonnay.

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Drouhin’s Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc: 1979-2016

France: Burgundy, France, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Feb 2019

Joseph Drouhin’s Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc is an oxymoron of a Burgundy: an insider’s wine that’s normally made in generous quantities. While some wine oenophiles may turn up their noses at the very idea of white wine from Beaune—not to mention the appellation in particular, as it possesses no Grand Crus, red or white—this Premier Cru is way more interesting, and serious, than it has any right to be.

Angelus 1953 bottle

Cellar Favorites: 1953 & 1975 l’Angélus

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

Sometimes these forgotten and frequently traduced periods are not as fallow as you might presume, especially in this Manichean age where we prefer to see things in black and white.

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Vinous Table: La Taverne Alsacienne, Ingersheim, France

France, Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2019

Ingersheim’s Taverne Alsacienne is one of the best easygoing, reasonably priced country restaurants you will eat at anywhere in the world. Its refined simplicity, great food and outstanding wine choices make it a must for food and wine lovers.

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Inspire Napa Valley 2018

United States: California, napa, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2019

I was thrilled to serve on the Honorary Committee for the inaugural edition of Inspire Napa Valley, along with Brad Grimes, Ray Isle, Samantha Rudd, David & Monica Stevens and Fran Tarkenton. The brainchild of Kerrin Laz, Inspire Napa Valley is a weekend of fabulous tastings, seminars and dinners held to benefit Alzheimers’ research. In its first edition, Inspire Napa Valley raised over $1 million.

Drc 2016 bottle line up

The Picardy Third: 2016 DRC In Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

Everyone is at the mercy of Mother Nature, including the most famous domaine in Burgundy. Late spring frost denied Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s three releases of their 2016 vintage, but how do the surviving crus fare now that they are in bottle? Do they finish on a major or minor chord?

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Vertical Tasting of Louis Jadot’s Corton Pougets

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Feb 2019

Jadot’s perfumed, distinctly feminine Corton Grand Cru—a red wine from white wine soil—has established a long track record for graceful evolution in bottle.

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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Feb 2019

From whatever perspective you examine this Clos de la Roche, at least on the basis of this solitary encounter, I can only conclude that it is a perfect wine.