A tasting with Emmanuel Rouget

When uttered by a Burgundian, the words ‘my uncle used to say…’ often preface interesting insights into times past. In Emmanuel Rouget’s cellar, however, they carry particular weight, for at this address ‘le tonton’ refers to none other than the late Henri Jayer—no matter which generation is speaking. Burgundy’s most influential twentieth-century vigneron, who passed … More A tasting with Emmanuel Rouget

Ridge Monte Bello: a study in singularity

In 1962, from an isolated vineyard perched high above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Cruz Mountains, four Stanford Research Institute engineers made history, producing North America’s first post-Prohibition vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon. Since that inaugural vintage, Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello has maintained a record of consistent brilliance unrivalled in California. Indeed, this cuvée has … More Ridge Monte Bello: a study in singularity

Some mature Burgundies

One of my favorite pastimes in Burgundy is tracking down mature wines. To my mind, older bottles offer incomparable insights into the character of the region’s terroirs and the families which translate them into wine. Their textural plenitude, aromatic complexity and sapid, gastronomic qualities are unrivaled. What’s more, I believe the great postwar vintages to … More Some mature Burgundies

Wine & Culture

Consider the wine list of a typical starred restaurant in London, New York or San Francisco. More likely than not, it’s a list that encompasses extraordinary geographic diversity, ranging widely across the old world and the new. Amidst the excitement of choosing, we seldom reflect that a wine list like this, a gazetteer of almost … More Wine & Culture

Rebel Aesthetic: the wines of Jean-Marie Guffens

This article originally appeared in Noble Rot (13).  Jean-Marie Guffens may have mellowed with age, but he remains a bull in the china shop of his fellow vignerons’ sensibilities. This ruddy faced Belgian-turned-Burgundian is certainly not afraid to shock. ‘When Parker told me I was one of the three best white winemakers in the world, … More Rebel Aesthetic: the wines of Jean-Marie Guffens

Reflections on tasting from barrel: revisiting Vincent Dancer

Tasting from bottle is essentially a matter of recording one’s impressions. Bottled wines are stable and evolve comparatively slowly; though they may be more or less open, easier or more difficult to read, tasting them is, at least in principle, a simple enough task. Tasting from barrel is appreciably more difficult: seldom does one encounter … More Reflections on tasting from barrel: revisiting Vincent Dancer