What do Harlan Estate, Opus One, and Screaming Eagle have in common? All of these iconic producers own vineyards in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Oakville AVA is a small California winegrowing region located at the center of the Napa Valley that is famous for its production of top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon labels like Harlan Estate and Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnément are made in the tiny Oakville region.
Following the Burgundian Grand Cru model, The Donum Estate’s goal is to produce the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay possible, as expressed through single-vineyard wines in California’s Carneros, Russian River, and Anderson Valley regions (and soon Bodega, too). The newly released 2017 vintage was just reviewed by Erin Brooks at Wine Advocate and James Suckling…
Though the youngest of all the estates ranked in the Bordeaux classification of 1855, Château Montrose quickly gained fame as an estate capable of producing incomparable wine. Since most years are good years for this estate, choosing from among the best vintages of Château Montrose is no easy task. Whether you intend to hold a bottle as an investment or just long enough to savor a glass at its peak, this guide will help—but buying multiple vintages certainly won’t hurt, either.
As two of the biggest names in the Napa Valley wine industry, Opus One and Caymus make highly sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon blends of outstanding quality. However, this is where their similarities end. When you compare Opus One vs. Caymus, there’s a clear difference in style and flavor. In this guide, you’ll learn what the flavor differences are between Opus One and Caymus as well as the differences in value, age-worthiness, and collectability so that you can curate your ideal collection of great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wines produced in the Margaux appellation in Bordeaux are often as complex and spirited as the histories of the estates that bear their names. The best vintages of Château Palmer are no exception. Often delicate, precise, and profoundly pleasing to the palate, the first taste of almost any of this estate’s Bordeaux leaves you wanting more—an exceptional achievement for a wine that was long ago, and perhaps unjustly, classified as a third growth.
Without a doubt, the best region in Oregon for growing top-tier Pinot Noir is the Willamette Valley. This relatively cool, dry American Viticultural Area (AVA) located in the northwest region of the state produces wines that are perfectly balanced in virtually every way. The best Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is deeply concentrated in flavor, yet also soft and graceful. It’s earthy, but also sweetly fruity and full of bright red berry flavors like cranberry and cherry. Some wine critics even compare Willamette Valley Pinot Noir to top-quality Burgundy.
When temperatures dip, many people want to cozy up by the fireplace with a bold, full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. These rich wines are comforting this time of the year and often pair beautifully with hearty winter meals. But full-bodied red wines aren’t the only beverage of choice for the chilliest winter months. Opulent and creamy white wine can be just as warm and comforting in the cold seasons. In fact, bolder white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier, Champagne, and Sauternes pair even better with some traditional winter foods than red wines do.
Some of the most expensive and collectible wines in the world are made in Burgundy by estates like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) and Domaine Georges Roumier, and these wines are becoming even more expensive year after year. Average wine prices in Burgundy are rising due to increased demand for these bottles on the secondary market. Yet not every bottle of Burgundy has to cost thousands of dollars. You can still find many Burgundy wines of exceptional quality that sell for less than $200 per bottle and taste incredibly complex for the price. Whether you’re on a limited budget or you’d like to invest in a few affordable bottles while you wait for your more expensive wines to mature, this guide to the best Burgundy under $200 will help you build a high-quality collection for a reasonable cost.
Sonoma Valley in California has earned a stellar reputation for producing some of the most fascinating wines in the New World. An incredible array of wines is made here, from refined and elegant Pinot Noir that dances delicately on the palate to robust and hedonistic Zinfandel that’s full of unctuous fruit flavors. What makes this region so diverse? More than a dozen microclimates and terroirs are packed into this small county. There are 18 Sonoma wine appellations (called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs for short), each producing different styles of wine. No two appellations are exactly alike.
Spain is home to many passionate producers that pride themselves on crafting opulent styles of wine with impressive aging potential. From the concentrated and oaked wines of Rioja to the aromatic and polished wines of Ribera del Duero, Spain has so much to offer. Vinfolio’s resident Master of Wine Adam Lapierre says that more collectors should get excited about Spanish wines, as many wines from this country are growing more valuable and delicious every year.
Now that producers in Burgundy have brought in the last of their 2019 crop, spirits are high across the region. Extremely warm weather and uneven flowering early in the season reduced yields, but the quality of the surviving fruit is exceptional. Early reports show that the grapes are deeply concentrated and intense this year—a quality that could signify great aging potential and value in the future. In this 2019 Burgundy vintage report, we highlight the wines we believe will have the greatest complexity and value this year so that you can make the most informed decisions about how to invest when the vintage is released.
To say first-growth Bordeaux wine is high in quality is an understatement. There are only five first-growth estates in Bordeaux, and each of them crafts some of the most elegant, prestigious, and valuable wines in the world. Wines with official first-growth classifications are often worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more than their lesser-ranked peers and are considered by many to be the cornerstone of any serious French wine collection.