A few years ago, a wine enthusiast wrote a letter to Wine Spectator’s Dr. Vinifera asking whether it’s safe to decant Sauternes. The letter writer had just come back from a restaurant and had been surprised to see that the sommelier poured a 1995 Château d’Yquem from a decanter. Dr. Vinifera responded that decanting Château d’Yquem certainly isn’t a common practice, but it’s also not a bad idea. Like any other fine wine, some Sauternes vintages open up with a little aeration and become more expressive.
In 2015, journalist Melissa Chang was invited to a private wine tasting party built around unique Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon food pairings. Each dish was designed specifically to complement a particular Dom Pérignon wine. The classic 2004 Dom Pérignon was served with bacon jam biscuits. A bottle of 1998 Dom Pérignon P2 was paired with smoked king salmon. The night wrapped up with glasses of 2003 Dom Pérignon Rosé followed by a sweet tofu dessert. Chang said the tasting reminded her just how versatile Dom Pérignon and other fine Champagne can be. She says, “Champagne is like a little black dress—it goes with everything.” This guide will show you how to create the ideal pairing for all the bottles in your collection.
What makes a great Château d’Yquem vintage? All of these wines are excellent–the château doesn’t release a vintage if the grapes aren’t satisfactory–and they’re all designed to age for decades, so there aren’t many vintages that fall short. Still, different vintages have different strengths. You’ll find vintages that taste mature just 35 years after release and others that still taste exceptionally young at age 50. Some collectors prefer Château d’Yquem bottles that develop mature flavors fairly early whereas others prefer wines that age more slowly. This guide will help you find the best Château d’Yquem vintages based on your personal preferences and goals.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche is one of the greatest wine labels in the world. Even the lowest-rated vintages from this estate are still exceptionally high in quality, which means it’s nearly impossible to invest in a bad bottle of La Tâche. However, as with any label, some vintages are more valuable and impressive than others. Seeking out the very best wines from this producer ensures you’ll get the highest return on your investment and will get to enjoy only the finest wines the estate made.
The reason so many wine enthusiasts adore Meursault wine is that it is opulent yet approachable. These wines taste luxe and silky even in their youth, making them some of the easiest wines in the world to collect. You don’t have to worry about opening your Meursault too early, as even the youngest wines have spectacular balance and layers of flavor. Whether you’re starting a Meursault collection for the first time or you want to explore a few lesser-known producers or styles from this area, this guide will help you discover all that this region has to offer.
For the wine enthusiasts in your life who seem to have everything, the most memorable gift is one you can make yourself. Rather than buying them yet another waiter’s corkscrew or monogrammed glass, you can give a curated Champagne gift basket unlike any they’ve seen before. Even if the person on your gift list has a fully-stocked cellar, a carefully-selected basket of fine Champagne and accessories will make their holiday season unforgettable. These baskets also appeal to casual wine drinkers, so you can make one for nearly anyone on your gift list this year.
Opening a bottle of fine Champagne on Christmas Eve is one of life’s greatest luxuries. A flute of Champagne is synonymous with celebration and is one of the simplest ways to get everyone in the holiday spirit. It’s no wonder why this wine is a holiday classic: vintages are often meticulously crafted, age-worthy, and storied.
After your first experience with the best Southern Rhône producers, it’s hard not to fill your cellar up with these incredible bottles. One of my colleagues started buying Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Pure in 2004, and she has continued to buy this label ever since. The wine’s fine tannin, elegance, and perfectly ripe fruit flavors draw her back to this producer year after year, and she has also started collecting some of the estate’s other delicious wines, like the Signature label.
Usually, winemakers in Bordeaux are hesitant to call a vintage superb until all of the grapes have been picked and the wine has finished fermenting. This year, however, winemakers across the region are thrilled with the quality and ripeness of the grapes–they’re already calling the 2018 Bordeaux harvest one of the most successful of the past decade. While it’s still too early to make any definitive predictions about the investment potential of the 2018 vintage, based on the health of the grapes picked so far, you can expect to see plenty of age-worthy, intense wines. This is a vintage that you’ll want to keep a close watch on as it develops over the next few months.
Champagne is home to more than 100 different houses, and each one has its own distinctive style. From Bollinger’s biscuity, full-bodied profile to Gimonnet’s delicate apple flavors, Champagne house styles are incredibly diverse. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult for even experienced collectors to find producers that make wine in the style they most enjoy. Whether you’re starting your collection of top-quality Champagne from scratch or you’re an experienced collector who wants to try new producers, learning about individual Champagne house styles can help you invest in wines that will suit your palate.
If you’re looking to expand your Champagne collection, investing in wines from either Taittinger or Bollinger is a wise decision. But how do these producers compare? Which estate is the better investment? While Taittinger is elegant and dances on the palate, Bollinger tends to be richer and more powerful. Because they both produce consistently top-quality wine, your preference for either Taittinger or Bollinger will come down to personal taste, vintage, label quality, and how long you plan on storing your bottles. Weighing all of these factors will help you find the wine that speaks most strongly to you.
What are the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape vintages for cellaring? Nearly all of them, to some extent. This region has a reputation for producing wines with great aging potential–most red Châteauneuf-du-Pape benefits from at least five years in a cellar, and the finest vintages can even last for decades. Last month, I met a collector who had a bottle of 1998 Pégaü Cuvée Laurence in his cellar that he had completely forgotten about until this summer. When he opened the wine, he was met with wonderfully intense, earthy aromas, soft tannin, and rich flavors of smoked meat. After 20 years, the wine had reached near perfection.