Christian Navarro

The Big Valley: Rhône

There is an old saying that, if it smells like a Bordeaux and tastes like a Burgundy, it must be a Rhône. Indeed, the wines of this southern region of France strike an interesting medium between the lushness of those from Pauillac and Pomerol and the exquisitely structured austerity of those grown in the Côte […]

Tiny Bubbles: Champagne

Although the wines of Champagne are all too easy to sip, they are actually quite difficult to make. Yet these adversities are partly responsible for the creation of the sparkling wines that have come to define this cool countryside, which lies east of Paris. Historically, Champagne’s cold climate—unlike that of any other major wine-producing region—would […]

Red King, White King: Burgundy

It has been said that Bordeaux is for the rich, but Burgundy is only for kings. Indeed, the region’s history reveals regal ties: One of its grand crus, Corton-Charlemagne, is named for the first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite its glorious past, however, this illustrious swath of French countryside frustrates oenophiles as often […]

Liquid Legends: Bordeaux

Those who like to argue such points could certainly claim with justification that Bordeaux is the greatest winemaking region in all the world. Blessed by the even climate and ideal soils of southwest France, the vintners there excel at producing the rich, full-bodied reds that have made them the oenological envy of the world. Moreover, […]

Ideal Iberians: Spain and Portugal

At present, the iberian Peninsula is producing arguably the best wines in Europe. The wine industries in Spain and Portugal have undergone significant transformations in recent decades. In both countries, traditional winemakers and the more avant-garde new school of oenologists seem to have struck a harmonious balance in which each group borrows techniques and practices […]

Cru North: Washington and Oregon

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has recently emerged as one of the most prolific and diverse wine-growing areas in the world, successfully producing a wide array of varietals that, only decades ago, few thought would thrive there. Interestingly, Oregon and Washington share the same latitudes as Burgundy and Bordeaux, so it should […]

Wild, Wild West: Central and Southern California

California’s Central Coast stretches from Ventura to San Simeon, but its three most important wine regions are Paso Robles, the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara County, where the film Sideways was shot. The success of that production fueled a surge of interest in the area’s wines, and the winemakers there have […]

Taylor Scion NV Very Old Port

Since 1825, Domaine Faiveley has produced spectacular Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from its grand cru and premier cru vineyards in Burgundy. Run by legendary manager Bernard Hervet, Faiveley is the largest family-owned domaine in all of Burgundy. ($180)

Pursued by Bear 2008 Baby Bear

Actor Kyle MacLachlan demonstrates that, unlike Special Agent Dale Cooper (whom he portrayed in television’s Twin Peaks), his passions extend well beyond Douglas firs, black coffee, and cherry pie. Earth, mountain berries, licorice, and spice flavors dominate this inky, opulent Syrah. ($60)

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