The best bottles of 2017

It was difficult to chose just ten of the many great bottles I’ve enjoyed this year, but these are some of the best, listen in no particular order. Reviewing thousands of young wines, I generally gravitate towards mature specimens when drinking for pleasure, and 2017 was gave me abundant opportunity to gratify that preference. What’s … More The best bottles of 2017

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