Yearly Archives: 2023

Portugal’s icon wines: top bottles from the Douro

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the launch of Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 1931. This iconoclastic Port from a single 1.7ha plot of five-year-old vines bucked the Douro’s staunch tradition of blending parcels (‘vinhas’) and estates (‘quintas’). How else to obtain balance, complexity and finesse in an extreme continental climate? Yet Nacional is widely …

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Château Grand-Puy Ducasse Pauillac 2020 $45 (94 points)

Flows wonderfully from the start, with an already accessible feel to the mix of cassis and dark blackberry notes inlaid with singed alder, warm paving stone, tobacco leaf and graphite accents that then carry the finish. In the end, there’s no rush at all here. A pretty gorgeous Pauillac. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2025 through 2038. Tasted twice, …

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Vinography Images: Dawning of Spring

The rows of vineyards glow an emerald green in the light of dawn in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. A heavy dose of rain this winter will ensure lots of new growth on, and around, the vines as Spring unfolds. INSTRUCTIONS:Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting “save link as” or “save target as.” Then select the desired …

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Wine Reviews: Valentine’s Selections

Six more weeks of winter is the call. And it seems the groundhog ritual came up right this time, as much of the country was hit with a solid burst of cold air. I’m looking forward to spending some time outdoors this weekend (I love the cold), slow-cooking some pork, and popping some Rioja or a red Burgundy while catching …

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The 2020 Chardonnays from Testarossa Winery

Bill Brosseau, the talented winemaker at Diana and Rob Jensen’s Testarossa Winery, crafts very flavorful Chardonnays sourced from some of the best vineyards along California’s Central Coast, especially the Santa Lucia Highlands.  As with the 2019 Chardonnays we wrote about last year, these are well crafted wines harvested at optimal ripeness and made to balance rich flavors with fresh acidity …

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Alain Voge Cornas Les Chailles 2020 $65 (94 points)

Dark and alluring yet also pretty, with expressive violet, dried lavender and blackberry paste built atop an underlying freshness. Concentrated on the palate, with balsamic, black pepper and subtle iodine building on the meaty, plump character. A beam of iron and firming tannins dry out the finish, though this is drinking great now. Drink now through 2032. 1,285 cases made, …

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Gérard Bertrand Vin de France White Orange Gold 2021 $25 (89 points)

An outlier in style, but in a good way. Golden in color and more savory than fruit-driven, with crushed apple layered with herbal tea, salted brioche and mint. A subtle tug of tannins firms and dries the finish, which is marked by a bitter quinine bite. Chardonnay, Muscat, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. Drink now through 2026. 10,000 …

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Wildfires Threaten Some of Chile’s Oldest Vines

A state of emergency was declared in southern Chile’s bucolic Ñuble and BioBio regions this morning as wildfires rage out of control, worsened by strong winds. The blazes broke out in Concepcion province after a record heatwave. At least four people are dead. The National Service for Disaster Prevention and Response reported 39 separate fires are currently burning. However, authorities …

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Decanter returns to New York for its world-renowned Fine Wine Encounter in June 2023

After a sensational debut in 2022, Decanter’s Fine Wine Encounter returns to New York City on Saturday 10th June 2023 at Manhatta – an elegant 60th-floor venue in Manhattan. Tickets are available to meet 50 of the world’s most prestigious producers for the Grand Tasting, each personally invited by Decanter. This unrivalled wine tasting experience will allow you to taste, …

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Giuseppe Benanti, Who Helped Spark Mount Etna’s Wine Renaissance, Dies at 78

Giuseppe Benanti, a forerunner for the rebirth of Sicily’s now thriving wine scene on Mount Etna, died Feb. 1. He was 78. “Pippo Benanti was a charismatic, visionary and ambitious winegrower,” said Alberto Aiello Graci, owner-winemaker of Graci winery. “He helped to set a glorious path for the wines of Etna, believing in their value from the beginning, and investing with …

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