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Northern Rhône: Solid ’14 Reds and Outstanding ’15 Whites

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2017

The northern Rhône produced a number of excellent red wines in 2014, although yields are down. Happily, 2015 brought an ideal growing season and harvest, with healthy quantities of clean fruit. My early look at the finished white wines indicates that ’15 is a vintage for the ages.

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2017 Rosé Roundup: Drink Now, Drink Later

Rest of the World, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2017

Among the oldest of many wine cliché’s is that Rosés don’t age well and, like seersucker suits, are out of style after the Labor Day following the vintage. While wearing summer suits out of season might not be in good taste, drinking the best pink wines year-round is highly recommended.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc: Moving Out of the Shadows

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2017

With the 2015 vintage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape stakes its claim as one of the Rhône Valley’s top growing regions for white wines. The better examples are now equal in quality to many of their highly esteemed and generally better-known northern Rhône cousins, even Hermitage and Condrieu. Unfortunately, there’s not much wine to go around.

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2017 Rosé Roundup: More Wines than Ever

Rest of the World, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jun 2017

The demand for pink wines has quickly gone from a wave to a surge to a flood at this stage and, no, it isn’t your imagination that there are far more of them than ever available, from all over the world.

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Spain’s New Releases, Part 2: Triumphs and Travails

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, May 2017

After struggling with difficult weather in 2014 and 2013, producers in Spain were thrilled with a healthy crop of fruit in 2015. Early indications are that this vintage produced a bounty of top-notch wines that should provide abundant pleasure in their youth.

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2015 Northern Rhônes: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2017

More than a few producers I visited this winter called 2015 “a vintage marked more by the climate than by terroir,” with the fruit and the warm conditions speaking more strongly than place character. That may be true for now but I also believe that 2015 is a seriously great vintage and one of the best in a generation for the northern Rhône.

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2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Power and Balance

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Mar 2017

While the 2015 growing season was very warm in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this vintage is no replay of the high-octane 2007 or 2003. The ‘15s are hardly shrinking violets but they also display healthy balancing acidity and freshness.

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New Releases from Chile: The Tail Wags the Dog

Chile, featured

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2017

After years of percolating beneath the surface of an ocean of corporate, albeit frequently well-made wines, Chile’s small-scale winemakers are slowly but steadily rising to the consciousness of wine lovers. At the same time, a number of the country's largest wineries are stepping up their own quality game, making these exciting vinous times for Chile, which for too long was spoken of more for its quality potential than for the actual merit of its wines.

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2017 New Releases From Spain, Part 1

Spain

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

Overall quality of Spanish wines continues to rise, as does their availability in export markets. The result is a rapidly increasing number of wines that are worthy of consumers’ attention. This year we will be publishing several articles throughout the year in order to align coverage with what has become a continuous stream of new releases.

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2015 Beaujolais Part 2: A Vintage of Richness and Energy

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

The last three vintages for Beaujolais have been a string of home runs, but 2015 is likely to be the one that delivers the greatest impact and pleasure for most wine lovers. Two thousand fifteen has plenty of candidates for wine of the year; wines that deliver concentration and energy, with opulent fruit character and the classic core of acidity that gives Beaujolais its trademark vivacity. These wines are also built to age but at the same time display an exuberance that makes many of them pretty irresistible now.