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The Deep Bench of Gigondas

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2023

Like the rest of the Rhône valley, and Europe, Gigondas has been confronting hot, dry weather conditions since 2017. Luckily, the best, most experienced growers and winemakers have handled the situation with a steady hand. Still, there’s no question that many wines from recent vintages are distinctly powerful, often high in alcohol, with more dark fruit character and tannic structure than usual.

C%c3%b4te r%c3%b4tie in late winter  just before their wines come out of hibernation  and  unfortunately  often get hit by frost  as in 2021  brutally copy

Never a Dull Vintage in the Northern Rhône

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2022

It’s an interesting time for wineries in the Northern Rhône valley. On the one hand, demand for their wines, especially for small-production, single-vineyard bottlings, is higher than ever. On the other, nature hasn’t been playing nice for the last several vintages. Luckily, the best producers have handled the increasingly challenging conditions with aplomb.

Henschke's famed hill of grace vineyard  the source of one os australia's most iconic wines copy

South Australia, Victoria and a Bit Beyond

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2022

The sheer diversity of wine styles in greater South Australia is nothing short of mind-bending. Name it, they make it. That makes generalizing about this vast swath of territory a fool’s errand. The attitude toward Australian wines seems to finally be shifting to what is and has been happening here, albeit slowly. Still, far too many wine lovers view Australia’s massive and far-flung vinous culture as simply about big, full-throttle reds, all day long. Stereotypes do tend to die hard.

The adelaida district is home to paso robles' highest altitude sites as well as some of the oldest vines in the region copy

Paso Robles: Seductive 2018s and 2019s

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2022

The 2018 and 2019 vintages in Paso Robles yielded a great number of outstanding wines. Top examples from both years are marked by energy, precision and complexity, and are destined for long aging, assuming readers have the willpower to resist their upfront, seductive fruitiness.

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Santa Lucia Highlands: Back-to-Back Greatness in 2018 & 2019

featured, United States: California, Santa Lucia Highlands

Josh Raynolds, May 2022

The brilliant 2018 vintage in the Santa Lucia Highlands was a tough act to follow, but 2019 is proving to be more than up to the challenge. Finely etched, precise fruit is a hallmark, while the wines should age gracefully on their balance and well-integrated tannins. The 2019s can be drunk young or cellared; either way, they are going to deliver a lot of pleasure throughout their lives.

John alban's home vineyard  planted in 1990  is the source for some of the new world's most sought after  rho%cc%82ne variety based red and white wines  which age effortlessly..jpg copy

San Luis Obispo: At the Edge of the Ocean

featured, United States: California

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2022

The wines of San Luis Obispo continue to grow in popularity and availability. Recent vintages will only enhance the region’s well-earned reputation for high quality. The consistent success of the wines from this cool, Pacific Ocean-influenced region resulted in the creation of the new San Luis Obispo Coast AVA.

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Cellar Favorite: 2011 Matthieu Barret Cornas Billes Noires

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2022

Cornas has been having a moment for the last decade, thanks to the excellent work of a new generation of winemakers who have breathed new life into what were once the most rustic, wild wines of the northern Rhône.

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Oregon’s 2019 Pinot Noirs - A Return to Classicism

United States: Oregon, featured

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2022

The Willamette Valley’s winning streak, which has seldom been interrupted for almost the past two decades, continued through 2019, a year that has produced some epic Pinot Noirs of noteworthy elegance and energy. This is truly a golden age for high-quality Pinot Noirs from across Oregon. One could convincingly argue that the last six vintages, from 2014 through 2019, produced many of the greatest wines to ever emerge from the state.

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Cellar Favorite: 2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2022

Marcel Lapierre was a living legend in Beaujolais when he passed away at the age of sixty, in October 2010, just after harvest. Such was his renown that his obituary was published in the New York Times as well as in major newspapers across the globe.

Many of the region's most renowned wineries as well as oldest vines can be found spread across the plains of tanunda  in the heart of the valley

The Barossa: An Ascent to Higher Quality

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2021

The greater Barossa winegrowing area has the varied climate, altitudes and exposures needed to make pretty much all styles of wine, ranging from high-tension, dry Rieslings to some of the most decadent, high-octane red wines in the world. Lush, flamboyant and often head-spinning, high-alcohol wines have long defined the region for many wine lovers. Today, Barossa deserves a different reputation.