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La Lumière Noire: 2019 Burgundy Additions

featured, France: Burgundy

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

When it comes to Burgundy, the job is never done. So having published some 2,500 reviews in December, this article includes a tranche of notes from additional producers’ 2019s that were subsequently tasted in the UK.

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Vinous Santa Lucia Highlands Map: Behind the Scenes

United States: California, California Vineyard Series, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

For the last two years Alessandro Masnaghetti and I have been hard at work on a map of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Our first edition is nearly complete. Formal approval of a change in the AVA’s southern boundary is all we are waiting for to wrap things up. In the meantime, we are going take you behind the scenes in this article, which represents a summary of our work so far. It will surely be updated and refined in the coming months.

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Cellar Favorite: 1967 Château d’Yquem Sauternes Premier Grand Cru

France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2021

I have been fortunate to taste the legendary Château d’Yquem a number of times since the early 1980s but hadn’t had the opportunity to actually drink it in many years. That was until a generous friend brought a surprise bottle along to an indulgent Château Petrus vertical this fall, to be shared among a small group of wine lovers at the outstanding Peppercorn’s Grill in Hartford, Connecticut.

Serilhan bottles

Choose Wisely: Château Sérilhan 2008–2017

France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

Bordeaux is often criticized for charging a king’s ransom for its top wines. In reality, it is a vast cradle of quality that can offer unbeatable value, depending on how far you are willing to venture beyond the famous names. Some of the price tags dangling from ordinary Burgundy Villages reinforce the argument that wine lovers get much more bang for their buck in Bordeaux than in the Côte d’Or. However, the plethora of châteaux means that consumers can easily become overwhelmed, which is why it is important to shine the spotlight on top performers from lesser-known names, away from the Grand Cru Classés.

Japanese dishes vinoustable nealmartin

Vinous Table: New Year Lockdown

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

Surviving until the end of this wretched year felt like something worth celebrating, so we decided upon a Japanese-themed evening. Given that we were isolating in Guildford rather than Tokyo, we had to make some compromises on the food front.

Sonoma 2021 bottles

Sonoma Preview: 2021 Edition

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

January always means a stream of new releases from Sonoma and neighboring appellations. As we have done in the past, this year we present our Sonoma coverage in a series of installments.

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San Luis Obispo: Excellence Hiding in Plain Sight

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2021

It’s an ongoing mystery to me that, aside from a small handful of producers, San Luis Obispo hasn’t received the attention it deserves for its almost universally high quality wines. In the excellent 2018 vintage, SLO’s wineries outdid themselves.

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The Power of Three: New Vintage Rosso di Montalcino

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Eric Guido, Jan 2021

Rosso di Montalcino took a bit of a backseat this year due to all of the excitement over 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, but now it’s time to focus some attention on these wines. The three vintages currently in the market all have their merits, and also provide some insight as to what might be in store for Brunello.

Taylors single harvest 1961

Cellar Favorite: 1961 Taylor’s Very Old Single Harvest Port

Portugal, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

After half-a-century, Taylor’s have just released a 1961 Very Old Single Harvest Port. The 1961 growing season was no write off.

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Napa Valley’s Thrilling 2018s & 2019s, Part 1

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

Napa Valley experienced two stunning back-to-back vintages in 2018 and 2019 the likes of which I have never seen. Both vintages produced a bevy of breathtaking wines that will thrill Napa Valley fans. The 2018s are refined and vibrant, while the young 2019s have a bit more depth and energy.