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

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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

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

A tasting with Jean-Charles Fagot

The wines of the Côte d’Or are becoming unaffordable. Village wines from the most sought-after domaines routinely retail for three-figure sums. It’s a problem felt particularly acutely by restaurants, so it’s not surprising that one man who’s bucking the trend is a restaurateur: Jean-Charles Fagot, the proprietor of one of my favourite places to eat … More A tasting with Jean-Charles Fagot

The best bottles of 2016

2016 has been a truly wonderful year, replete with great wines. Exploring the 2015 vintage in Burgundy and Germany in particular has left indelible memories—after all, who could forget tasting 2015s with the likes of Klaus-Peter Keller and Marie-André Mugneret? And I’ve been reminded time and again of the kindness and humanity that abound among … More The best bottles of 2016