featured, Italy: Piedmont
As is our custom, we present our annual Barolo coverage in two installments. This article covers recently bottled 2016 Barolos and a number of other late releases that are in the market. Readers will find everything from benchmark producers to lesser-known growers who made some of their best wines ever.
Mendoza Malbec is synonymous with easygoing reliability. The enormous constituency of US consumers, which ranges from New Haven to Houston, Phoenix to Milwaukee, drank 82 million bottles of Argentine wine in 2019 and sees Malbec as something you can slip into like a comfortable pair of old slippers. For these fans, I have both good and bad news.
France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
Larcis Ducasse is now regarded as one of the leading Saint-Émilion estates, not surprising given its outstanding terroir. However, as this vertical back to 1945 proved, success came late compared to its peers.
Austria, France, General Interest, featured
As the reality of a prolonged lockdown started to settle-in this past Spring, I thought it would be fun to do something different, to write an article on regions and estates I don’t usually cover and that have been missing from our pages. I hope you enjoy this tour through some of my favorite properties.
featured, South Africa
The annual Cape Winemakers Guild auction plays an important role within the South African wine industry, showcasing limited edition cuvées from some of its most revered winemakers, as well as raising money for vital internship programs. This year’s forthcoming auction is studded with gems.
featured, Italy: Piedmont
Keeping up with the fervent pace of change in Alto Piemonte and Valtellina is no easy task these days given the ever-increasing number of estates making fabulous, noteworthy wines. I had originally intended to add the producers in this report to my article Nebbiolo in Its Many Guises: Alto Piemonte & Valtellina, published earlier in the year, but as I tasted through the wines I became convinced these estates, many of them new to Vinous, deserved to be showcased in a separate article.
France: Bordeaux, featured
Three bottles tasted and two separate, independent critical opinions, both in one place. Neal Martin and I offer our views on the 2018 Château d'Yquem.
France: Champagne, featured
Clos du Mesnil is one of the most revered sites in Champagne. Rémi and Henri Krug bought the 1.84-hectare vineyard in 1971 with the goal of securing a high-quality fruit source. But once they started working with the fruit, they realized they had something special. The first Clos du Mesnil, the 1979, remains epic to this day. Although not be design, Clos du Mesnil is also the archetype for what many grower Champagnes would later become – single vineyard, single variety, single vintage wines. I recently had the chance to taste the 2006 Clos du Mesnil, the latest release, with Olivier Krug over Zoom, which is how everything seems to happen these days.
United States: California, featured
About ten years ago I met Bill Harlan at a small winery a stone’s throw from Meadowood and The Napa Valley Reserve. Harlan took a set of maps and spread them out over a coffee table. “This is our latest project,” he told me as his eyes lit up. Harlan explained that he had chanced upon the property while hiking back in the 1980s and used evocative phrases like “the land” and “the territory” to describe a place that sounded like something out of the Wild West or a fairy tale, possibly both. That sort of mysticism is not often associated with Napa Valley, but Napa Valley can be that way once you move away from the well-known areas. That place was Promontory. I recently had a chance to taste the first three vintages of Penultimate, the newest wine from the property, with Will Harlan and Winemakers Cory Empting and David Cilli.
France: Burgundy, featured
The 2018 and 2019 Chablis growing seasons are cut from a similar cloth, but on close examination there are crucial differences that sway their respective styles. This report compares the two and asks to what extent climate change might erode Chablis’ uniqueness.