United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
This past March I conducted a fascinating 20-years-after tasting of Napa Valley’s 1994 Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux blends alongside my 10-years-after look at the 2004s. In many ways the experience was like tasting wines from two different generations. What made 1994 such a successful vintage for the North Coast’s big reds?
Rest of the World, featured
Many see Chardonnay as the future of the Jura, as local authorities pay producers to rip out old vineyards planted with Poulsard and Trousseau and replace them with Burgundian clones. Could this decision mark an upturn in, or the downfall of, the region's winemaking future?
Funnily enough, I have never been too impressed with Ceretto’s 1985s (an excellent vintage), but this Brunate is an absolute beauty.
Back in 2002, Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli decided to add an upscale bistro to their family specialty food shop and have basically never looked back. Today, Roscioli is a hangout of real foodies.
featured, United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives
Europhiles who are skeptical about the ability of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to age gracefully are especially likely to assume that warm, early vintages can't possibly last. But on my early spring visit to Napa Valley, a major horizontal tasting of the 2004s demonstrated that that was not the case. Not only were very few wines showing signs of age, but the best examples are developing at a snail’s pace and will continue to improve with more time in the cellar.
I tasted more top-notch Chilean wines this year than ever before, and at all price points. From racy Sauvignon Blancs that have been catching the lion’s share of the wine trade’s attention to high-end Bordeaux- and Napa-inspired Cabernets and Cabernet-based blends to exciting new Pinot Noirs and Syrahs, there’s something of interest for every palate.
Cellar Favorites, France: Alsace
Made from grapes culled from the Geisberg and Osterberg grand crus, Trimbach's Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile is believed by many wine lovers and experts all over the world to have only one problem. That is, having the even more mythical Riesling Clos Ste.Hune under the same family ownership, which fatally removes some of the spotlight from Frédéric Emile, undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest dry Rieslings.
Rest of the World, United States: California
Isolated within the wilds of Mendocino County lies Germain-Robin, America’s most prestigious brandy producer. Established in 1982, Germain-Robin has been a leader in the domestic craft spirits movement for over three decades, and has set a standard of excellence that is often emulated but rarely matched.
The Milling Room delivered a terrific dining experience, with classic, expertly rendered dishes, an energetic setting and warm hospitality. Although the wine list is well-priced and offers impressive depth for its modest size, The Milling Room’s accommodating corkage policy makes it an especially attractive choice for collectors who want to drink wines from their cellars.
featured, South Africa
When South Africa emerged from nearly a half century of apartheid in the early 1990s, its wine producers stepped up to the international plate with two strikes against them. Twenty-plus years later, they have dug themselves out of their early hole and prospered.