Cf may202024

Cellar Favorite: Castello di Ama - Looking Back at the 2006s

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, May 2024

I vividly remember the first time I truly fell in love with Castello di Ama wines. It was 2009. After we had gone through the releases, Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti opened a few older wines. It was at that moment that I started to understand how well these wines can age. In the years that followed, I had the good fortune to report on several verticals.

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Vinous Table: The Modern, New York City, NY

United States: New York, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, May 2024

I was excited when my dining companion booked a table at The Modern for this recent lunch. I had not been to The Modern in quite some time, so I was very much looking forward to going back. Over the years, I have had some very good experiences here and some that have been rather lackluster, hence my long absence. Walking into the dining room felt like a refreshing new beginning in a place I have often loved.

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Bordeaux at the Crossroads: 2023 En Primeur

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, April 2024

Tasting Bordeaux en primeur is largely the art of shutting out extraneous noise and concentrating just on the wines. This year, the noise is especially loud as estate owners, winemakers, consultants, négociants and other professionals debate the merits of 2023 within the context of today’s global market. Many of these views are fueled by agendas, which is certainly understandable. For this taster, it’s only about what is in the glass. When all is said and done, 2023 has a lot to offer. It is not a great vintage across the board, yet plenty of wines merit serious attention.

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Vinous Table: The Progress, San Francisco, California

Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2024

This fabulous dinner was a nice break from my recent tastings of new releases from Sonoma. COVID-19 disrupted so many routines, including what used to be frequent trips to San Francisco. As readers know, the city has changed in recent years as it grapples with deep economic and social issues. Even so, San Francisco is a city I love.

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Vinous Table: Plénitude, Paris, France

France, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2024

Three-star Michelin restaurants are usually not my cup of tea. Let me get that out of the way. I often find the ambiance at these establishments far too formal and structured for my personal taste, while I tend to enjoy simpler, more ingredient-driven cooking most of the time. However, when I asked friends and colleagues whose opinions I respect where to eat in Paris, one name popped up on everyone’s list.

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Champagne: The 2024 Spring Preview

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2024

Our annual Champagne Spring Preview takes a look at the year’s first releases ahead of my more comprehensive coverage later in the year. Readers will find a bevy of gorgeous wines in this report that span the full stylistic breadth of what Champagne has to offer.

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Vinous Table: Le Dôme Montparnasse, Paris France

France, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2024

Aside from the obligatory foie gras dish, the menu at Le Dôme is pretty much all fish and seafood. I can’t say if the other options are as good as the seafood tower, but I have made it a point to find out very soon. Paris can be a challenging city for eating, especially on the weekends, when so many places are closed. Le Dôme is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, which makes it a very useful address. Service is incredibly professional and friendly.

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Domaine de la Romanée Conti: A Survey of the 2021s

featured, France: Burgundy

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2024

What a difference a year makes. After the decidedly exuberant 2020s, the 2021s from Domaine de la Romanée Conti show another side of Burgundy, one marked by a highly challenging growing season that tested the mettle of growers. In many ways, difficult years make for the most interesting discussions because individual choices so deeply inform the wines. There was plenty to talk about as Co-Directors Bertrand de Villaine and Perrine Fenal showed the 2021s in this tasting organized by long-time US importer Wilson-Daniels.

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Vinous Table: Glen Ellen Star, Glen Ellen, CA

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2024

I was very much looking forward to this dinner at Glen Ellen Star after a long day of tastings. The restaurant is in the small village of Glen Ellen, just a few minutes north of Sonoma, in the heart of Sonoma Valley. I spent a lot of time here when we worked on our Sonoma Valley map project a few years ago. Sonoma Mountain is just behind the restaurant, while Moon Mountain is east. Being in this unique part of Sonoma County always brings back a lot of memories.

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2021 Bordeaux: L’Enfant Terrible

France: Bordeaux, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2024

After three highly successful vintages, Bordeaux owners and winemakers were presented with a highly challenging growing season in 2021. En primeur tastings presaged a vintage with a high degree of variability. Extensive tastings from bottle confirm that initial first impression. Within that context, though, readers will find a wide range of compelling wines that merit attention.