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Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

Readers will find a breathtaking array of wines from Sonoma, Anderson Valley and Mendocino 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 wines and Chardonnay as well. As always, the sheer diversity and breadth of Sonoma County and its neighboring appellations are truly remarkable.

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Burgundy With Plenty Of Age: 1865-1999

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

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Burgundy With A Bit of Age: 2000-2014

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Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016


Bordeaux 2018: Back in Black

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Think Pink: Italy’s Lively 2018 Rosatos

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Mediterranean Spain: Diversity and Consistency

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Fermented Grape Juice: Romanée-Conti 1953-2005

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Nahe Riesling 2017: Chills and Thrills

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The Margaux Paragon: Rauzan-Ségla 1900-2015

Vinous Table

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La Barrique, Rome, Italy

La Barrique is a typical Roman osteria, the sort of dining place the Eternal City does so amazingly well. Hearty, flavorful food, in a warm, easygoing environment, coupled with a choice of many wonderful, fairly priced bottles, is the recipe for success.

Vinous Favorites

2016 J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($25.00) 91

2016 J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, 91 points

J.K. Carriere’s entry-level Willamette Valley Pinot really shines in 2016. An elegant wine from an outstanding vintage, it smoothly blends generous New World fruit expression with Old World earthiness and balance. The 2016 is delicious right now but it can age, too. (JR)


Cellar Favorites

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1992-2011 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques 1er Cru

I feel that people sometimes look down on Jadot’s Clos Saint-Jacques because unlike the other four, it is part of a large company’s portfolio rather than a family domaine. However, in blind tastings I find it stands shoulder to shoulder with the competition.

1934 Cheval Blanc

1969 Caves des Liards Montlouis Demi-Sec

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