South Africa, featured
In Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility, one of literature’s finest works detailing the ups and downs of courtship and matters of the heart, Mrs. Jennings suggests to Elinor Dashwood that she drink a slug of finest old Constantia to recover from a fever brought on by her romantic interest, John Willoughby. Jennings counsels that the sweet wine not only cures “colicky gout,” but possesses “healing powers on a disappointed heart.” Like those characters in Austen’s novel, I do appreciate one of the iconic sweet wines of the world – one that, as I shall describe, is undergoing a quiet revolution.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
I don’t need to tell you that I review the contents of a bottle, not its aesthetic virtues. However, hats off to the Madeira Wine Company, whose quartet of new releases in conveniently sized 5cl bottles came nestled in a wicker box lined with linen in traditional Madeira colors of green and red.
United States: Oregon, featured
For many wine lovers, Oregon, and especially the Willamette Valley, is all Pinot Noir, all the time. Perhaps no other region in the New World is so closely associated with a single variety. And yet there’s so much more happening here, especially with Chardonnay. White wine and reds not made from Pinot Noir are approaching almost half of our annual Oregon coverage, which is a remarkable development over the last decade.
Hats off to Wayne Coyne and his very able band. How many artists in the fourth decade of their career remain as enticingly outré and original, but as popular as ever, and produce some of their best music.
Vinous Table, France: Burgundy
If pure enjoyment is the measure of a restaurant, then Le Pot d’Etain scored highly – certainly far higher than circumspect naysayers had led me to believe.
France: Burgundy, featured
Burgundy is where I truly learned to taste wine. It is the best school. Essentially one variety for white, one for red and that’s it. The rest is all about place, about trying to understand how the attributes of a site are expressed in what is in the glass. Nowhere is that more true than at Domaine Leroy, where everything that Burgundy represents, its purest essence, is dialed up all the way.
General Interest, featured
I am thrilled to announce that Rebecca Gibb MW is the newest member of our editorial team. In her new role, Rebecca will be responsible for covering the wines of New Zealand and the Loire Valley. I have known Rebecca for many years and have always been impressed by her extraordinary knowledge, writing skills and passion for wine.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy
Many of my most unforgettable moments in wine involve tasting fine, aged white Burgundy. There is just nothing like the thrill a perfectly stored bottle can deliver after 20, 30 or more years.
France: Champagne, featured
For the first time in a dozen years, this past spring I was unable to travel to Champagne to taste the new vintage and survey the latest releases. Given the extraordinary challenges this year of both traveling and collecting hundreds of samples in a timely fashion, we will be publishing Champagne reviews within this article in a continuous stream over coming weeks and months, as I taste the wines. The best way to stay up to date on additions is to make sure you are receiving our emails and turn on notifications within the Vinous app.
Vinous Table, United Kingdom
Having pulled its first ale over 200 years ago and survived numerous wars and depressions, not to mention the odd pandemic, I am optimistic that the Onslow Arms will weather this latest challenge.