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2016 Bordeaux: It’s Now or Never, Baby

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

The 2016 growing season presented château owners with plenty of challenges, but ideal weather at the most critical time of the year made up for the early struggles of the vintage. The best 2016s are deep and intense, yet also pulse with a real sense of energy. For the 2016s to be successful in the market, however, owners will have to be sensible with prices. That’s why for Bordeaux It’s Now or Never, Baby.

Pichonbaron(cover) copy

2016 Bordeaux: 30 Top Values

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

Bordeaux’s 2016 en primeur campaign – the time of the year when the new vintage is sold as futures – is about to get heated. While most of the attention this spring will be focused on Bordeaux’s big guns, savvy readers will find much to like among the more modestly priced wines of 2016.

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Colgin Syrah IX Estate: A Complete Retrospective

Verticals & Retrospectives, United States: California, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2017

Who knew that an isolated spot in the eastern hills above St. Helena, in an area best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, would produce one of America’s most consistently spectacular Syrah bottlings? Apparently, Ann Colgin did.

The famed hermitage vineyards rise above tain'l'hermitage  as viewed from tournon copy

2015 Northern Rhônes: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2017

More than a few producers I visited this winter called 2015 “a vintage marked more by the climate than by terroir,” with the fruit and the warm conditions speaking more strongly than place character. That may be true for now but I also believe that 2015 is a seriously great vintage and one of the best in a generation for the northern Rhône.

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2016 Champagne: Harvest Report

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

My annual spring tastings of vins clairs suggest 2016 is an uneven vintage in Champagne. The wines I tasted were on the softer, more open-knit side of things relative to how vins clairs show in the very best vintages. Of course, vins clairs will go through several transformations as they are blended and bottled to become Champagne, and then aged prior to being disgorged and ultimately released, a process that takes a minimum of a few years. These are some early observations.

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The 2001 Red Burgundies at Age 15

France: Burgundy, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2017

Owing to tricky weather conditions during the weeks leading up to the harvest, the 2001 red Burgundies received mixed reviews at the outset. Growers themselves expressed reservations about the wines. But the 2001s have evolved gracefully and the better examples are pure, classic red Burgundies with noteworthy transparency to site.

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The Wines of Basilicata: Paradise Lost and Regained

Italy: Center & South, featured

Ian D'Agata, Apr 2017

The combination of the majestic Vulture volcano’s soil and microclimate and a world-class grape variety, Aglianico, should have ensured Basilicata and its wines worldwide fame and fortune decades ago. But it’s only now that a new generation of young winemakers is making fresh, precise, site-specific wines.

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Domaine Leroy: The 2014s from Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

Lalou Bize-Leroy doesn’t miss a beat. The years may pass, but Bize-Leroy remains a beacon of uncompromising quality and a fountain of strong, deeply held convictions. Leroy’s 2014s are tense, brilliant wines endowed with remarkable energy, translucence and expression of site, all of which give them a sense of classicism that will thrill Burgundy lovers.

Winesoncart

Larcis Ducasse Retrospective: 1945-2014

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

This comprehensive retrospective at Larcis Ducasse spanned a remarkable eight decades and included wines all the way back to 1945 that trace the evolution of the estate during the three distinct eras that bridge those years.

The hillsides at turckheim and the zind humbrecht winery cover

Alsace: The 2015s and Late-Released 2014s

France: Alsace, featured

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

Although the 2014 and 2015 vintages posed distinct challenges for growers and winemakers alike, the former year produced some sleek, delicious, brisk whites (especially Rieslings) while the latter vintage yielded many rich, powerful examples, including some of the best Gewürztraminers in decades.