High altitude vineyards in gigondas  like at domaine des bosquets  provide optimal conditions wines of balance and freshness. copy

Gigondas Maintains Its Tempo

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2020

Gigondas, like the rest of the southern Rhône Valley, experienced lows and highs, in that order, in 2017. The low points came at the beginning of the year, when warm weather set off early flowering, and in May, when shatter severely affected Grenache, resulting in significant crop loss across the region. Fortunately, the remainder of the season was picture perfect, if warm, while the quality of the crop was very high.

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Alto Adige: On a Roll

Italy: North, featured

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2020

Readers will find some of Italy’s best wines in Alto Adige, the northerly mountain region that borders Austria. It is here that the country’s top white wines are made, while there are increasingly more compelling reds to choose from as well. Readers won’t want to miss out on the latest vintages. Overall quality has never been higher.

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Refusing to Follow the Script: Jean-Marie Guffens

Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, 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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2016 Barolo: Right Place, Right Time

Italy: Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2020

In so many ways, 2016 is all about being in the right place at the right time for Barolo. An ideal growing season with all the prerequisites for a great vintage comes at a time when so many winemakers are in their primes, past the stage of experimentation and settled into their own personal styles. The result is a vintage full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that captures all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of.

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Volpe Pasini Pinot Bianco Zuc di Volpe: 1999-2017

Italy: North, featured

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2020

Pinot Bianco has called Friuli Venezia Giulia home for centuries now. Volpe Pasini’s Zuc di Volpe single-vineyard bottling is one of the best Pinot Biancos Italy has to offer. Pretty and varietally expressive, it’s also quite ageworthy.

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Vintage Seeks Home: Bordeaux 2017 In Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Jan 2020

A surprise late spring frost was not the greatest start to the Bordeaux 2017 vintage, and unexpected import tariffs meant that the wines hit the shelves in an uncertain market. Despite all this, the vintage contains pleasant surprises. They just need to find homes.

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Paso Robles Can’t Stop Winning

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2020

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, 2017 yielded yet another exceptional harvest for Paso Robles. It’s the latest in a stretch of outstanding vintages that extends, unbroken, back to 2011, which was by no means a truly bad year. The best wines deftly combine richness and energy, with a balance of fruit and structure that is compelling.

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Postcard from Chablis: The 2018s & 2017s

France: Burgundy, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2020

I found a lot to like in the 2018s and 2017s, wines from two very different vintages. The 2018s are open-knit and fleshy, while the 2017s are built along much more classic lines. I also came across a number of new or newly revitalized domaines making truly compelling wines.

Joliette vineyard

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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Multifarious 2017 Mosels, Part 1: Winningen to Wehlen

featured, germany: Mosel

David Schildknecht, Jan 2020

Along the Mosel, local weather conditions, vine genetics and snap picking decisions counted in 2017 for almost as much as site, viticultural regimen or talent. Superb wines are numerous, but still the exceptions.