Hermitage 1995 blanc   cfjuly222024

Cellar Favorite: 1995 Domaine J.L. Chave L’Hermitage Blanc

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

I don’t drink enough white Rhône wines. But when I do, it might as well be amongst the very best.

Lamb cutlet copy cover

The Cocochine, London, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

There are many aspects of The Cocochine that I enjoyed, not least the quality of ingredients and execution. Perhaps the menu plays it safer than I was anticipating. Maybe that was because of my own choices - an observation rather than a criticism. There was something comforting about the dishes encountered at the test kitchen, and this translated onto the menu in terms of failsafe combinations, but that precluded a knockout dish where I wanted to jump up onto my chair and praise the epicurean gods above. I won’t find a better scallop or lamb this year.

Gr%c3%bcner veltliner vines on the alluvial flatlands close to the danube in the wachau copy

2023 Wachau and Lower Austria: Mercurial Weather Gods Smiled in the End

Austria, featured

Anne Krebiehl MW, Jul 2024

In 2023, all the signs pointed to a long growing season with a late harvest, but rains after a hot summer with record temperatures sped everything up. These August rains provided some relief from dry stress but also turned into devastating hailstorms in places. Coolish and sunny weather allowed hail-damaged grapes to dry, preventing what could have been a complete rot-fest. In the end, growers could harvest ripe grapes. Overall, Lower Austria and Vienna delivered exquisitely clean wines with vivid fruit expression and welcome crunch and contour. If recent comparisons serve, 2023 tops 2022 but does not quite reach the level of 2021 in all respects – even though some wines get there.

Leflaive 2022 bottles

A Burgundy Intermezzo

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

This brief Burgundy report looks at new releases from an established producer, Domaine Leflaive, a brand new grower, Arnaud Boué and a welcome return for the Chassagne-Montrachets of Domaine Michel Niellon, with an early look at their 2023s.

In the vineyards on the right bank of the layon river  chenin blanc can produce a diversity of styles from powerful dry whites to distinguished botrytized wines cover copy

Loire Chenin Blanc: Chaume the Way

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Jul 2024

Searching for its soul as well as sales, the Loire’s Chenin Blanc producers hope the creation of crus for dry whites will improve quality and their reputation on the world wine stage.

Cf july152024 %281%29

Cellar Favorite: 2015 Envínate Lousas Parcela Camiño Novo

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

During the Burgfest tasting, we tend to diversify our drinking habits at dinners as members proffer bottles from their cellars. One of the best was the 2015 Lousas Parcela Camiño Novo from Envínate, which translates as “wine yourself”.

Merry harrier trout cover copy

Vinous Table: The Merry Harriers, Surrey, UK

Vinous Table, United Kingdom

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

The Merry Harriers is a welcome addition to the rather jejune Surrey dining scene. All the best places tend to be tucked away in the middle of nowhere.

Castello di ama cc cover

Chianti Classico: The Magnificent 2021s

featured, Italy: Tuscany

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2024

Two thousand twenty-one is the single greatest young vintage I have ever tasted in Chianti Classico. Period. Full stop. The 2021s are majestic wines endowed with striking aromatics, layered fruit and all the energy that is such a signature of the appellation. Quality is consistently high across the region, while many wines hit breathtaking peaks of excellence. Last year, I wrote, “The 2021s, in particular, are some of the most exciting young wines I have tasted in more than 25 years of visiting the region.” The top bottlings, those being released this year, more than confirm that initial impression. This is a historic vintage Vinous readers will want to pay close attention to.

2020 burgfest cover option2

Variations on a Theme: Burgundy 2020 Whites

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

There is justifiable handwringing about Burgundy losing its typicité because of warmer growing seasons. Is that being borne out in the wines? In the first of two blind tastings at the annual Burgfest, I tasted over 200 whites from the 2020 vintage and found reasons to be cheerful.

Latour 1971 copy %282%29

Cellar Favorite: 1971 Latour & 1971 Les Forts de Latour

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2024

Wine is often a moving target. The greatest tend to be shape-shifters in the glass. Just when you think you’ve got a wine pinned down, it mutates into something different, and you end up crossing out words in your carefully written note. It’s like a child toying with you, playing peek-a-boo. Now you see me…now you don’t.