Connoisseur’s Guide to Collecting Fine Wine

Genuine collectors thrive on an invigorating blend of passion and discipline. Their collections are purposefully designed, and exhibit a pronounced sense of order. True collectors do not merely create a cellar and stock it; they carefully select their wines according to their developed interests. Beginners should spend a few years enjoying a wide variety of […]

Lanson 1998 Brut Noble Cuvée

son dates to 1760, making it one of Champagne’s oldest grande marque houses. An early owner, Jean-Baptiste Lanson, was a Knight of the Order of Malta, and he inspired the company’s signature trademark, a red Maltese cross. This noble heritage is matched by a reputation for producing equally noble wines. The Lanson 1998 Brut Noble […]

Perrier-Jouët 2002 Fleur de Champagne Rosé

Founded in 1811, Epernay-based Perrier-Jouët has always taken a progressive, forward-thinking approach to the art of winemaking. That tack has enabled the house to uphold the highest traditional standards of the Champagne region while setting some new standards of its own. In 1858, for instance, the company became the first house to produce a vintage […]

Best of the Best 2008: Spirits

Absolut vodka has become a modern classic, thanks not only to its famous and relentlessly inventive ad campaign but also to its smooth, clean, all-natural flavors. However, even an icon as absolute as Absolut cannot rest on its reputation. Parent company Vin & Sprit (which Pernod Ricard purchased from the Swedish government for $8.34 billion […]

Best of the Best 2008: Spirits: Le Voyage de Delamain Cognac

The protestant Delamain family fled the Huguenot persecution in 17th-century France and began an illustrious career of public service in the British Isles, chiefly in Ireland, under the protection of the royal family. In 1759, the young James Delamain, whose father, William, had been marshal of Dublin, journeyed back to the family’s original home in […]

Best of the Best 2008: International Sparkling & Dessert Wines

The legendary Dom Pérignon thought he was drinking stars when he first tasted sparkling wine, and Champagne lovers have echoed his joy with each new release of Moët & Chandon’s prestige cuvée. The Moët & Chandon 1999 Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon (www.domperignon?.com, $155) is elegant and complex on its own, but also superb with food: […]

Best of the Best 2008: International White Wines

The estate that would become Villa Russiz was Italy’s most forward-looking when it was built in 1869 by French count Théodore de La Tour. De La Tour invested his Italian dream estate in the rolling Collio hills with the latest in French technology, built a vaulted underground cellar, and introduced French grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc, […]

Best of the Best 2008: International Red Wines

By the time I returned from two weeks in Argentina in March of this year, I had become firmly convinced that this country on the east side of the Andes is currently the best place on the planet for winegrowing. I had tasted nearly 150 releases, and more than half of them received scores of 90 […]

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