On paper the very cool 2011 vintage on California’s North Coast is a year best forgotten, but the surprising reality is that a number of excellent wines were produced and many of them were made from pinot noir. Enophiles who prize richness and weight over finesse will probably have a tough time finding wines to suit their palates. But fans of elegant, precise pinots, which many Burgundy lovers would argue is exactly the type of wine the variety should produce, are going to be quite pleased with 2011. Finding the best examples, though, may be tricky, as production was uniformly low across the region, and many of the better pinots are made in small quantities to begin with. READ MORE »
Can you name one or two up-and-coming producers in your region that you believe will be stars in the near future? What do they specialize in, why do you like them, and what wines should Winophilia readers look for?
Chester Osborn, d’Arenberg (McLaren Vale, Australia). The relatively new noise right now in McLaren Vale is S.C. Pannell. Stephen Pannell is ex-chief winemaker of Hardy’s. He is winning quite a few awards, especially for reds, but his whites are very good also. He works well with grenache and blends and also with nebbiolo. So far he doesn’t export much. READ MORE »
Having just returned from the swanky high-rent district of Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune and its hoity-toity villages of Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, I can assure you that there are still no better chardonnays made anywhere than the ones crafted here. The problem, though, is that following a few vintages that were short on quantity, Burgundy prices are at record levels today. Then too, Burgundy is always a minefield: you can easily spend—and lose—an arm and a leg on a disappointing bottle. READ MORE »
For many food fanatics the chance to experience fresh seafood in Galicia ranks up there with prowling the barbecue restaurants of Texas hill country or eastern North Carolina, doing the tapas crawl of San Sebastian or Barcelona, comparing steakhouses in New York, and hitting the sashimi and sushi stalls at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market In short, it’s on any self-respecting hard core gourmand’s short list of must-dos, and I finally made it there a couple of weeks ago. READ MORE »