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Refusing to Follow the Script: Jean-Marie Guffens

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2020

The outspoken Jean-Marie Guffens has spent almost four decades making superb Mâconnais wines. This retrospective would always be entertaining. But what do Blade Runner and Pink Floyd have to do with it?

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Resurrecting the Mystery: Clos Joliette

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Other

Neal Martin, Jan 2020

There are few enigmas left in wine. The Internet can tell you anything about everything. However, Clos Joliette, the most revered producer in the Jurançon, remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. This article sheds light on its history and its present status, as well as examining recent releases.

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Gulfi Nero d’Avola Nerosanloré: 2001-2015

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2020

Gulfi was the first winery in Sicily to believe in single-contrada Nero d’Avolas. Today, Gulfi makes four such wines that highlight the extraordinary diversity of these sites, all of them so well-suited to showing the potential of Sicily’s indigenous Nero d’Avola. This vertical spanned a representative selection of the Nerosanloré - arguably the most elegant of the wines.

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DeLille Cellars Chaleur Blanc: 1995-2016

United States: Washington, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jan 2020

DeLille Cellars’ Chaleur Blanc has been Washington State’s most consistently brilliant white wine since the mid-2000s. It has achieved an exceptional track record for longevity over a quarter-century of production, as this vertical back to 1995 showed.

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Masseto Retrospective at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

Well, I have to hand it to the Nashville Wine Auction and President/CEO Holly Whaley. They really knew how to get me to say ‘yes’ to participating in a Masseto tasting in Nashville. Wine, guitars and country music, all for charity. That will get me every time. I was thrilled to co-host this complete Masseto retrospective with winemaker Axel Heinz, singer/songwriter Martina McBride and her husband, producer John McBride. It was a phenomenal weekend.

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Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Perrières 1984-2014

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Dec 2019

The finest vintages made by Dominique Lafon at his family domaine clearly demonstrate that Meursault’s mineral-driven premier cru Les Perrières is capable of producing wines with grand cru mineral intensity, precision, nuance and longevity.

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Mount Eden Pinot Noir: 1984-2016

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, United States: California

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

Trends come and go, but classics never go out of style. This comprehensive tasting back to 1984 showcased the astonishing quality of Mount Eden's Pinot Noir over the last four decades. It was also a poignant reminder of the enormous potential in the Santa Cruz Mountains to produce ageworthy, world-class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Bordeaux blends of the very highest level. I have long admired Mount Eden for their complex, highly nuanced wines. Needless to say, an opportunity to survey a deep collection of Pinot vintages was a real thrill.

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La Ricolma: A Complete Retrospective

Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

So many of Tuscany’s most famous wines achieved their vaunted status by accident. That is the case with Sassicaia, Masseto and Solaia. What about San Giusto a Rentennano’s Merlot La Ricolma? Well, it turns out La Ricolma has a pretty interesting story too. This complete vertical of La Ricolma, the first ever held at the estate, provided a fabulous opportunity to learn more about the wine and the Martini di Cigala family’s rich lineage.

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Cristal in Magnum: It’s Another World

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

I have had a number of unforgettable and deeply educational tastings at Roederer over the years. This was one of the most fascinating. It is well known that wines show better from magnums. That is especially true with Champagne. But why? Roederer’s long time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon pulled out a remarkable selection of Cristal and Cristal Rosés earlier this year to show exactly why.

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Grosjean Petite Arvine: 1997-2016

Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: North, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2019

Although the birthplace of Petite Arvine is contested between the Switzerland’s Valais and Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, there is no doubt both countries make beautiful wines. The Grosjean family’s Petite Arvine is especially fine, and it ages well, too.