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2+2=5: Bordeaux 2021 In Bottle

France: Bordeaux, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Bordeaux winemakers endured a tumultuous season in 2021. It is easy to say that the wines are inferior as a result. But years of experience have taught me that is not necessarily true. Wine can defy logic, as if two plus two equals five. Keep an open mind, and you’ll find pleasant surprises.

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Nature Rules/Nature’s Rules: DRC 2021 In Bottle

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

The travails of the 2021 vintage in Burgundy spared no one, not even the most illustrious domaine of them all. At the end of the day, Nature rules. So, how did the team at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti fare, and how are the resulting wines?

2   the golden hour over the trapiche costa y pampa vineyards in chapadmalal  buenos aires province  in the humid pampa  6 kilometers away from the atlantic ocean shore. the dominant note is the green of the fields.

Argentina: Where Extremes Offer Up Unexpected Surprises

Argentina, featured

Joaquín Hidalgo, Feb 2024

Wine consumers often mistakenly conflate Mendoza with Argentina—not an unreasonable error given that 70% of the country’s grapes grow in the province. But, when one tilts their glass toward the country’s other regions, perceptions can often be altered. Argentina’s varied whites and reds reflect the essence of a vast range of quite different landscapes. This report takes us on a journey through them.

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2022 Burgenland and Austria’s East – A Heaven for Unsung but Compelling Reds

featured, Austria

Anne Krebiehl MW, Feb 2024

Austria’s central and eastern wine regions produced as much red wine as white. Tasting and thinking about the wines I encountered, it is clearer than ever to me that Blaufränkisch deserves a much wider audience. Moreover, it deserves to be planted far and wide in various corners of the globe. It is one of the last red sleepers out there. My estate visits in November 2023 yielded more tasting notes from the stunning 2021 vintage than from 2022. Because many wineries release wines with delay, this report also includes notes for a sizeable amount of 2020s, 2019s and 2018s – all of them current releases.

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Come On Aline: Château Coutet 1943-2017

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

Château Coutet has been revered as one of Sauternes/Barsac’s most prestigious sweet wines for decades. This article delves into its long history, but as we discover, under the indefatigable Aline Baly, Coutet is an estate that constantly looks to the future.

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2024 Tuscany Preview

featured, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2024

Readers will want to pay special attention to new releases from Tuscany’s 2021 vintage. Favorable growing conditions throughout the year and the gentler winemaking that is increasingly the norm yielded wines that impress with stunning beauty, finesse and exceptional balance. I started tasting the 2021s from barrel in the summer of 2022. Even then, the potential of the vintage was evident. The bottled wines confirm my early impressions. Many estates produced some of their best wines ever. Our Tuscany Preview report covers a handful of new releases ahead of my larger articles coming later in 2024. Watch this space for more.

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The Whites of Rueda Get Serious

featured, Spain

Joaquín Hidalgo, Feb 2024

A region famous for simple, fruity whites that are ideal for casual summer drinking, Rueda is increasingly producing wines of greater depth and sophistication. The effort put in by producers is beginning to pay off, although it is still early days. In this report, I review some of the bottlings that offer a glimpse into that promising future.

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Survive Us All: Latour 1858-2018

France: Bordeaux, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Neal Martin, Feb 2024

A First Growth vertical that spans 160 years and took over three years to complete? This epic tasting of Château Latour is virtually unique in scope. But instead of simply glorifying ancient vintages, this article painstakingly examines the backdrop to the wines, winemaking practices, those involved in their creation, critics’ reception, market prices and the ups and the downs of this storied estate.

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Alto Piemonte: Small Is Beautiful

featured, Italy: Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2024

Alto Piemonte remains one of the most glorious, under the radar regions in the world. Wines of delicacy and transparency communicate the essence of site in the handful of villages that comprise this series of small appellations in Northern Italy. Many estates featured in this report are quite small, making some bottles hard to find. Nevertheless, consumers and professionals seeking fine, artisan wines of place that can diversify any cellar will find so much to admire in Alto Piemonte today.

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2013 Brunello di Montalcino: The Throwback Vintage

featured, Italy: Tuscany, Verticals & Retrospectives

Eric Guido, Feb 2024

The 2013 Brunellos were often misunderstood on release. The cool, extended growing season yielded aromatic, high-toned wines sparked with elevated acidity, making them immediately appealing. Could they possibly be classic? Now, ten years later, the proof is in the bottle, and 2013 has shown itself to be worthy of attention.