United States: California, featured
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.
France: Bordeaux, featured
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?
France: Bordeaux, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
These are the new releases from Château Latour, which since 2012 has released their wines only when they are deemed ready to drink rather than following the typical Bordeaux schedule for bottled wines. The exception is the 2008 Grand Vin, which is essentially being re-released this year, whereas the 2014 Pauillac and 2013 Forts de Latour have not been available previously. I tasted these wines during a visit to the property in April 2019.
Italy: Tuscany, featured
In a brilliant career that spanned five decades, Gianfranco Soldera established himself as one of the world’s most inspired and iconic winemakers. His untimely passing in an accident last February leaves an immeasurable void. Soldera’s wines remain an enduring legacy of his remarkable life and complex, rich personality.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy
Usually we either read about Burgundies as new releases or as older, mature wines. It is harder to find impressions on Burgundies in the 7-10 year-old range that are both drinking well and possibly available in the market or on restaurant lists at less than the stratospheric prices the most coveted Burgundies command these days. For those reasons I thought it might be interesting to feature Christophe Roumier’s 2012 Clos de la Bussière as this week’s Cellar Favorite.
United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
I was absolutely floored by Steve Kistler’s 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon Veeder Hills Vineyard, a wine I had never come across before.
Our Vinous Table column often highlights extraordinary meals and fabulous wines our critics have the privilege of enjoying all over the world. This week I want to spend some time on a slightly different topic – the pricing of wine in restaurants.
Italy: Tuscany, featured
This year I tasted more wines than ever before from the various appellations that comprise Central Tuscany. A rediscovery of indigenous varieties, greater focus on sustainable farming and the continued emergence of small, artisan estates is resulting in a wider range of wines across all styles than at any time in the past that I can remember. Readers will find everything from the racy, international wines of the coast to small production Syrahs made with whole clusters and aged in terra cotta, and everything in between.
featured, Italy: Piedmont
Barolo has lost many of its older guard over the last decade or so. But Beppe Rinaldi’s passing last summer somehow felt different, almost as if it signified the end of an entire chapter in the history of Barolo. That, along with the rarity of the wines gave this retrospective tasting a real feeling of emotional gravitas. The wines were truly spectacular, but as so often happens on nights like this, the shared moments were even more special.
Italy: Tuscany, Italy, featured
As Vinous readers know, I have long championed Chianti Classico as a source for pedigreed, ageworthy wines that the average consumer can still afford. That is, thankfully, still true. In 2015 and 2016, wine lovers will find two genuinely great back to back vintages that arrive precisely at a time when producers are seeking greater finesse and precision. The results are nothing less than thrilling.