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Vinous Santa Lucia Highlands Map: Behind the Scenes

United States: California, featured, California Vineyard Series

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

For the last two years Alessandro Masnaghetti and I have been hard at work on a map of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Our first edition is nearly complete. Formal approval of a change in the AVA’s southern boundary is all we are waiting for to wrap things up. In the meantime, we are going take you behind the scenes in this article, which represents a summary of our work so far. It will surely be updated and refined in the coming months.

Serilhan bottles

Choose Wisely: Château Sérilhan 2008–2017

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2021

Bordeaux is often criticized for charging a king’s ransom for its top wines. In reality, it is a vast cradle of quality that can offer unbeatable value, depending on how far you are willing to venture beyond the famous names. Some of the price tags dangling from ordinary Burgundy Villages reinforce the argument that wine lovers get much more bang for their buck in Bordeaux than in the Côte d’Or. However, the plethora of châteaux means that consumers can easily become overwhelmed, which is why it is important to shine the spotlight on top performers from lesser-known names, away from the Grand Cru Classés.

Sonoma 2021 bottles

Sonoma Preview: 2021 Edition

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

January always means a stream of new releases from Sonoma and neighboring appellations. As we have done in the past, this year we present our Sonoma coverage in a series of installments.

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San Luis Obispo: Excellence Hiding in Plain Sight

United States: California, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2021

It’s an ongoing mystery to me that, aside from a small handful of producers, San Luis Obispo hasn’t received the attention it deserves for its almost universally high quality wines. In the excellent 2018 vintage, SLO’s wineries outdid themselves.

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The Power of Three: New Vintage Rosso di Montalcino

featured, Italy: Tuscany

Eric Guido, Jan 2021

Rosso di Montalcino took a bit of a backseat this year due to all of the excitement over 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, but now it’s time to focus some attention on these wines. The three vintages currently in the market all have their merits, and also provide some insight as to what might be in store for Brunello.

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Napa Valley’s Thrilling 2018s & 2019s, Part 1

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

Napa Valley experienced two stunning back-to-back vintages in 2018 and 2019 the likes of which I have never seen. Both vintages produced a bevy of breathtaking wines that will thrill Napa Valley fans. The 2018s are refined and vibrant, while the young 2019s have a bit more depth and energy.

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New Releases from the Tuscan Coast

featured, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, Jan 2021

The Tuscan Coast is one of the most idyllic, evocative regions in Italy and beyond. Breathtaking landscapes dotted with striking vineyards influenced by the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea give birth to compelling wines that run the gamut from daily drinkers to highly coveted, age-worthy reds that stand with the very best wines from around the world. This report focuses on 2018s and 2017s that are in the market now, along with a handful of entry-level 2019s.

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2020: The Year in Review

featured, United States: New York, General Interest

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

My Year in Review article is usually a greatest hits of the past twelve months, a write up of fabulous meals, wines and tastings. Obviously, there was not much of that this year. I almost did not write this article at all, but 2020 has its own vibe and story. Ultimately, I thought that should be documented…

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California Vineyard Series: Bedrock Vineyard

United States: California, featured, California Vineyard Series

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2020

First planted in 1854, Bedrock is one of the most historically significant vineyards in Sonoma Valley’s Central Corridor, a stretch of land that runs northwest from the town of Sonoma and includes a number of notable sites, including Serres Ranch, Old Hill, Pagani Ranch, Beltane Ranch, Wildwood, Kunde and others. In my view, these are among the most pedigreed vineyard sites anywhere in the world.

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2020 - In The Rear View Mirror

featured, Beyond Wine, General Interest

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

Though 2020 was tumultuous, the virus failed to stop great wines, wonderful dinners, amazing music or classic TV. It made them even more precious - shards of light in dark times. Now that I managed to reach the end of the year, time to look back before looking forward.