Media Conversations

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Focus on the Southern Rhone

Focus on the Southern Rhone

Last year, after tasting the 2007 southern Rhônes, especially the top wines from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Côtes du Rhône, and the most hallowed appellation of the south, Châteauneuf du Pape, I stated it was “the vintage of a lifetime.” Tasting the 2007s out of bottle has confirmed my thoughts – this is a truly historic and profoundly great vintage. I have never tasted better Côtes du Rhônes, Gigondas, or sumptuous, rich, complex Vacqueyras than the 2007s. Moreover, the profoundly concentrated, vividly aromatic, and remarkably fresh, yet substantial, full-bodied, and flawless 2007 Châteauneuf du Papes I tasted in the southern Rhône in...
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Robert M. Parker, Jr., October 31, 2009
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James Suckling’s comments on recent Bolgheri and Maremma vintages

James Suckling’s comments on recent Bolgheri and Maremma vintages

"Producers are equally happy in Bolgheri and Maremma, another key area in Tuscany...Many excellent reds were made in both 2006 and 2007, and it's hard to say which is the better vintage. The region shows no signs of letting up, with some winemakers in the area heralding the quality of 2008, and many new producers now introducing their wines to the market. Overall, I rate the 2006 vintage 95 points and give 2007 a preliminary rating of 93-97."
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James Suckling, October 31, 2009
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20 Great Rhône Wines: Tardieu-Laurent and Les Vins de Vienne lead the way among the Rhône Valley’s quality-oriented micro-négociants

20 Great Rhône Wines: Tardieu-Laurent and Les Vins de Vienne lead the way among the Rhône Valley’s quality-oriented micro-négociants

"Tardieu-Laurent has hit a home run in 2007 with its Southern Rhône reds (its 2007 Northern Rhône wines are not yet released). It's the best lineup yet from Michel Tardieu, who works closely with the consultant Philippe Cambie. The wines are hypermodern in style, with lush textures and dense black fruit profiles, but each appellation they bottle maintains its distinctive terroir. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Speciale bottling, made entirely from Grenache, features no destemming, resulting in a distinctly traditional-styled wine, albeit with a modern facelift, proving modernity has its advantages when applied efficiently ..." To read the full article, click here.
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James Molesworth, October 2, 2009
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2007 and 2008 vintage summary

2007 and 2008 vintage summary

"Cellarmaster Eric Remy describes 2008 as a classic vintage for Domaine Leflaive. Humid, showery weather had threatened widespread outbreaks of mildew and oidium, and Leflaive did a total of 13 treatments against vine maladies. After the rains of early September, the estate did a labor-intensive pass through the vines, eliminating 10% to 15% of the fruit. But then the north wind that began in the middle of the month saved the crop, concentrating sugars and acids. At the harvest, which started here on September 22, grape sugars were typically 12.8% to 13% or more (very little chaptalization was done), and...
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Stephen Tanzer, September/October 2009
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The Next Great Classics

The Next Great Classics

"New Zealand’s Central Otago Pinot Noirs, at their best, effortlessly balance lush New World fruit against a savory strength that recalls great Burgundy. Felton Road, founded in the early 1990s, is arguably the region’s top producer ..."
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Ray Isle, October 2009
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The Wine Advocate on Kumeu River: “…what New Zealand is capable of…”

The Wine Advocate on Kumeu River: “…what New Zealand is capable of…”

"Michael Brajkovich MW produced a brilliant array of 2007s. The cooler growing season meant that they harvested one week earlier than 2006 with lower yields and sugar levels, high acidity levels but with greater expression of mineralilty. If you have never tried these wines, then it is time you see for yourself what New Zealand is capable of. All his Chardonnays can be drunk immediately but do resist temptation and save some bottles to drink over 5-6 years (or more) as they can age beautifully. Just don't ask Michael if he could bottle your allocation under cork!"
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Neal Martin, September 2009
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Vintage summary: 2008 and 2007 White Burgundy

Vintage summary: 2008 and 2007 White Burgundy

"Morey's 2008s-especially the wines in his colder Morey-Blanc cellar-had only recently begun their malolactic fermentations so I will have to wait until next year to provide notes. He described 2008 as a tricky vintage that required a lot of selection. But he's clearly high on 2007, which he says 'combines the abundance and minerally acidity of 2004 and the warmer style of 1999." The fruit in 2007 benefitted from being picked earlier, when the days were still long,' he went on. 'They remind me a bit of the 1996s in the way they combine good sugar and good acidity, but...
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Stephen Tanzer, September/October 2009
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A Young Oregonian’s Wide Range

A Young Oregonian’s Wide Range

People in the wine industry — writers, especially — rely on an awful lot of generalizations. The danger of over-generalizing was reinforced recently after the wine panel tasted 20 bottles of Oregon pinot noir. Now, what follows is the sort of generalizing that I warned about earlier, so be wary. The ’07 growing year was cool and rainy. Those producers who met the challenge were largely able to make balanced wines with moderate levels of alcohol and a lot of freshness, which comes from good acidity. By contrast, the ’06 vintage was easier in terms of the weather, and producers...
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Eric Asimov, September 2, 2009
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Comments on 2008 White Burgundy

Comments on 2008 White Burgundy

"Two thousand eight is yet another vintage in which miraculous September weather allowed Burgundy’s better growers and smarter winemakers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ... There’s an impressiveness about the 2008s in many cellars. Some producers described them as 'dramatic.' Others felt the 2008s had outstanding inherent richness and potential but needed to be refined through further élevage. The best of these wines are sweet and sexy and nicely reflective of their sites. Some wines show a level of concentration reminiscent of the 2006s but with less of that vintage’s exotic aspect ..."
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Stephen Tanzer, September/October 2009
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Comments on 2008 White Burgundy

Comments on 2008 White Burgundy

"Two thousand eight is yet another vintage in which miraculous September weather allowed Burgundy’s better growers and smarter winemakers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ... There’s an impressiveness about the 2008s in many cellars. Some producers described them as 'dramatic.' Others felt the 2008s had outstanding inherent richness and potential but needed to be refined through further élevage. The best of these wines are sweet and sexy and nicely reflective of their sites. Some wines show a level of concentration reminiscent of the 2006s but with less of that vintage’s exotic aspect ..."
To read the full article, click here.
Stephen Tanzer, September/October 2009
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