Pedigree, rather than taste, is often the decisive factor in the commercial success of a fine wine. Nowhere perhaps is this more true than in Champagne. No matter how delicate their texture or subtle their flavors, sparkling wines from other regions suffer in the eyes of the untutored for not having been produced in the […]
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Since 1842, when the 270-year-old house of Moët & Chandon began maintaining records, it has produced only 70 vintage Champagnes, each one representing an exemplary harvest. But the two latest releases—Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2004 Brut ($60) and Grand Vintage 2004 Rosé ($68)—may be the most spectacular yet. That is partially because, unlike past […]
The Corsini family has owned the Le Corti Estate since 1427; however, the Marsiliana Estate, which the Corsinis first began managing in 1760, did not come into the family’s portfolio until the 19th century, when they finally purchased it. This vintage of Marsiliana contains a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, 70 percent […]
Bruno and Marcello Ceretto carry on the tradition begun over 70 years ago by their father, Riccardo, and are known for their sublime bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco. This particular Barolo features Piedmont’s glorious essences of tar and rose as well as secondary notes of licorice and forest floor.
Tasting notes: The seductive, smoky nose gives way on the palate to dark plum, blueberry, juniper berry, and cocoa essences. Worth knowing: Since 1961, when present patriarch, Angelo Gaja, first joined the business, he has introduced a number of groundbreaking practices, including the use of French oak barriques for aging and the production of single-vineyard […]
Tasting notes: The Rennina 2004, of which 2,200 cases were made, is a dark-red sangiovese redolent of violets, rosemary, spiced wood, and wild berries. Its flavor profile is an opulent amalgam of black cherry, vanilla, licorice, and a touch of wild game. Worth knowing: After World War II, the majority of Italian wineries emphasized quantity […]
Tasting notes: This ruby-colored wine’s flavors are a saturated and have a rich rotation of ripe cherry, wild berry, allspice, and a gamy touch of dried meat. Worth knowing: Although the four estates of Marchesi di Grésy have a history in the Alba region of Piedmont that stretches back many generations, their reputation for producing […]
Tasting notes: Grown northeast of Rutherford, Calif., near Lake Hennessey, this inky, voluptuous wine gives off heady, spellbinding aromas of blackberry, black cherry, rose water, and wildflowers, while its equally complex and protean palate seems to shift and alter endlessly, from flavors of blueberry and mineral to Asian spice, blackberry, plum, and violets. Worth knowing: […]
Tasting notes: Dances with astoundingly deep plum, blackberry, cassis and lively acid. As close to perfect as merlot gets. Worth knowing: The Ornellaia estate was first planted in Bolgheri by Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with advice from André Tchelistcheff. Robert Mondavi and the Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi were co-owners for several years, before complete ownership of […]
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