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Cellar Favorite: 1964 Krug Private Cuvée & 1979 Collection

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2020

My experience with mature vintage Champagne is not as extensive as others’, although I have enjoyed more than my fair share.

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Close to the Edge: Chablis 2018 & 2019

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2020

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.

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Antinori Solaia From Magnum: 1978-2016

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2020

It’s always great to be in London. There is something magical about the city. Its energy and pulse are so inspiring. This vertical of Antinori’s iconic Solaia going back to the inaugural 1978, with all but the very early vintages from magnum, was truly unforgettable.

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Vinous Table: Noble Rot Soho, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2020

When restaurants are valiantly forming a rearguard action against COVID, the opening of Noble Rot Soho at this moment represents a rare event as neighbors remain mothballed for fear what winter will bring.

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Chianti Classico: More Than Meets The Eye

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2020

For the first time in many, many years I was not able to make my summer trip to Tuscany to taste the wines of Chianti Classico. That’s 2020 for you. But you know what? There is something to be said for the perspective gained by tasting the wines far away from those stunning hillside vineyards, removed from the charming towns, without any of that amazing food. Would the wines be as impressive as I have long thought?

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The Sta. Rita Hills: Wine & People of the Wild West

United States: California, featured

Brenna Ritchey, Sep 2020

Better understanding the Sta. Rita Hills appellation has been a project of mine for a while now (before a certain global pandemic threw a very heavy, very rusted wrench in those plans). My postgrad job working at a local tasting room in Santa Barbara had convinced me that I knew next to nothing about the wheres and whens and whos of the wines I was selling. Names like Brewer-Clifton, Sanford and Au Bon Climat that I grew up seeing my parents enjoy in the 1990s and early 2000s, my 9-year-old eyes level with the kitchen countertop, were an early inspiration and pointed me towards the Sta. Rita Hills as a great place to start.

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Verdicchio – Italy’s Killer V

Italy: Center & South, featured

Eric Guido, Sep 2020

Verdicchio is one of the most versatile grapes in all of Italy. It can be vibrant and remarkably fresh, or crafted in a more serious style with the potential to mature for upwards of a decade. When harvested late, Verdicchio takes on textural depths and ripeness that balance wonderfully against naturally high acidity. Oak? It can handle that too, while still communicating purity. No matter what the expression, Verdicchio almost always makes a killer wine, and yet it still does not get the full attention it deserves.

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Cellar Favorite: 1978 & 1989 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Collina Rionda

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2020

Bruno Giacosa is no longer with us, but these Barolos from his prime remain riveting testaments to an extraordinary legacy.

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Vinous Table: La Casita, Guildford, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Sep 2020

I have not returned to Spain for a long time, though my penchant for its cuisine has never abated. Therefore, every now and again I book a table at my local tapas restaurant, La Casita – in my estimation, one of the finest in Guildford.

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Santa Cruz Mountains: Wines of Breathtaking Pedigree

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2020

I tasted more truly exceptional wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains this year than at any time over the past decade. The 2018 Pinots are utterly breathtaking, while the 2017 and 2016 Bordeaux reds and 2016 Rhônes aren’t too far behind. I have long believed that the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the world's preeminent regions for fine whites and reds that speak of place. These new releases certainly make a statement.