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Owen Bargreen Joins Vinous

General Interest, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2021

I am pleased to announce that Owen Bargreen has joined Vinous as an Editor with the responsibility for covering wines from Washington State. Additionally, Owen will take a look at wines from often overlooked areas around the US, including Virginia, Michigan and Texas.

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Announcement: Stephen Tanzer Becomes Vinous Critic Emeritus

General Interest, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2021

I am delighted to announce that Stephen Tanzer is now Critic Emeritus at Vinous. Steve will transition day-to-day responsibilities for his key regions to our team of critics while continuing to write occasional articles.

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Remembering Jim Clendenen

featured, Vinous Remembers

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2021

The texts started coming in over the weekend. Jim Clendenen had passed away. I was in shock. We had a tasting scheduled in two weeks. Surely this was some sort of mistake. Sadly, those early reports turned out to be true.

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Cellar Favorite: 2018 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Dames Hospitalières

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2021

The 2018 Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Dames Hospitalières is a Hospices de Beaune bottling raised by Mounir Saouma of Lucien Le Moine for American importer Vintus.

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2020 Bordeaux En Primeur: Almost Back to Normal

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2021

Two thousand-twenty was a year of ups and downs. A number of challenges during the growing season kept vineyard managers and winemakers on their toes, just as the world grappled with the most serious health crisis in living memory. Now that the 2020s are being released en primeur, the Bordelais refer to the vintage as the third in a ‘trilogy’ that includes 2018 and 2019, but it’s not always easy to separate the marketing buzz from reality. How did the wines turn out?

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Cellar Favorite: 2015 Soldera Sangiovese

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, May 2021

Tasting the 2015 Soldera Sangiovese brings back so many memories of tasting the wine from cask with Gianfranco Soldera prior to his passing in 2019. The routine was always the same.

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What Makes a Great Barolo Vintage? Establishing a Framework

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, May 2021

What makes a great Barolo vintage? Unlike some regions, Bordeaux being the most notable, Piedmont does not have an established framework that sets out the criteria required for a vintage to be considered very high in potential quality. What follows is my framework of objective criteria that are necessary in order for a Barolo (or Barbaresco) vintage to be considered truly great. It is inspired by the late Denis Dubourdieu and the model he developed for assessing young Bordeaux vintages and the research my colleague Alessandro Masnaghetti has done in collecting and analyzing weather, harvest dates and other data. To that, I add my 20+ years of visiting the region and all of the information I have gathered in speaking with winemakers, agronomists and other professionals over that time, plus drinking more than my fair share of the wines. As with Dubourdieu’s model, this framework addresses the growing season, and does not venture into an assessment of the wines.

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California Vineyard Series: Kamen Vineyard

California Vineyard Series, United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, May 2021

With its undulating hills and striking contours, Kamen is one of the most evocative estates in Sonoma. The vineyard is just a short drive from the town square, yet it feels very remote. Screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen bought his property in 1980, mostly for the views, as he tells it. “I had just sold the screenplay for The Karate Kid and I wanted to celebrate,” Kamen told me recently.

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Remembering Pio Boffa

featured, Vinous Remembers

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

The news came over the weekend. It was not unexpected, but shocking just the same. Pio Boffa had succumbed to COVID-19 after a two-week battle in the hospital the texts said. And with that, Piedmont had lost another reference point.

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2005 Bordeaux: Here and Now

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2021

It all started innocently enough with a few bottles of 2005 Bordeaux during lockdown. Then a few more, and then some more after that. Before I knew it I had tasted through a good number of the reference points. The wines were absolutely thrilling, just as I remembered from my last large tasting of the 2005s, about five years ago. One of my close friends suggested a comprehensive look back at the vintage, so here it is.