France: Bordeaux, featured
The Bordeaux 2009s were hailed upon release during a unique primeur campaign, though the crucial test would come when the wines reached 10 years of age. Now it’s time to put them to that test. Two tastings, one sighted and one blind, confirmed magnificent highs...yet no vintage should be beyond criticism.
Cave Spring Cellars was among the first estates in Canada to believe in the future of vinifera varieties in a country deemed too cold for them to survive. The estate makes a plethora of outstanding wines, none better than their world-class CSV Riesling.
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.
Italy: Piedmont, featured
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.
France: Bordeaux, featured
How did the admiration of an estuary view result in the resurrection of one of the most singular estates on the Left Bank? The story of Jean Gautreau is fascinating and worth telling in this, the 50th year since he bought Sociando-Mallet.
France: Burgundy, featured
Imagine if you asked 102 Burgundy winemakers: What is the most memorable bottle of wine you have ever drunk? Imagine no longer. And find out which winemaker never drinks wine.
Verticals & Retrospectives, France: Burgundy, featured
The Roty family’s Charmes-Chambertin from ancient vines has established a half-century track record as one of Burgundy’s monumental collectibles. My extensive vertical tasting of this bottling in December was also a celebration of a very private family—and the ghost in the room was the formidable personality of the late Joseph Roty, who was largely responsible for creating the “Roty style.”
In 2019 Madeira celebrates 600 years as a populated island. This report examines the history of Madeira wine and why its apparent agelessness. Focused on a momentous tasting of 19th-century Terrantez and augmented by additional notes, with a combined bottle age of 6,000 years, it is a veritable journey through time.
Italy: North, Italy, featured
A wine with an undoubtedly long name, Balciana is deservedly also long on fame. One of Italy’s 20 or 30 best dry white wines, Balciana’s viscous, late-harvested personality makes it the closest thing to a great Alsace white that Italy offers.
Italy, Italy: Tuscany, 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.