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beaujolais, gamay, hawke's bay, loire valley, lorraine, new zealand -

There’s lots of great wine made from Gamay, but it’s not appreciated as much as it should be. It’s historically been planted in the wrong places on the wrong soils; criticized for the wrong reasons; often made into inexpensive wines that take advantage of its naturally high yields; and associated with Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released just a few weeks after the harvest. The conclusion: Gamay should be drunk immediately without any thought. Cru Beaujolais is proof that all these conclusions are wrong as they are some of the finest wines in France. These wines have become more popular (and...

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gamay, gisborne, grüner veltliner, hawke's bay, marlborough, new zealand, pinot gris, viognier -

Over two-thirds of plantings in New Zealand are of Sauvignon Blanc. It's a style which has, since the 1980s, transformed perceptions of the grape variety and although we keep predicting the Marlborough boom will crash at some point it still hasn't. Before the Sauvignon Blanc explosion, New Zealand wine was a laughing stock to anyone who was actually paying attention. Because of Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand is one of the most important wine producing countries in the world: small scale, big influence. But New Zealand producers are conscious that they can't solely rely on Sauvignon Blanc. It's tricky because quarantine...

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gros manseng, madiran, pacherenc du vic-bilh, petit manseng, tannat -

The south-west of France has so much history, with many regions and local grape varieties. But the regions are often forgotten about, overshadowed by nearby Bordeaux which historically had a port to ship its wines from which the other regions didn’t. Bordeaux gained an international audience, the regions of south-west France less so. In general, the climate is quite warm but moderated by the Atlantic and by the nearby Pyrenees, so there’s a balance between ripe fruit, full body, and fresh acidity. In the past, I’ve had wines in the club from Bergerac, which is essentially a warmer, drier extension of...

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argentina, chile, malbec, país -

The two most famous wine-producing countries in South America are Argentina and Chile, although great wine is made elsewhere, most notably Uruguay. The wines can get overlooked, often seen as inexpensive, entry-level supermarket wines or simply poured by the glass in bars. But there is far more to South American wine, and I'm excited to have two new wines in the club to share some of the love. Argentina's wines became popular in the early 1990s because of Malbec, which was first planted in the country in the 1850s. It’s a French variety that had mostly been forgotten about, but...

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burgundy, chardonnay, meursault -

I recently tasted a white wine from Burgundy. On the first smell, I said "Meursault." But it was labeled Bourgogne Blanc. Why? Because 80% of the fruit is from Meursault, but the other 20% is from Pommard and Volnay which are—in terms of the appellation labelling rules—red wine (i.e. Pinot Noir) only. Therefore, the wine can't be classified as Meursault. (And look at me for immediately identifying it as Meursault even if technically it isn't.) The wine in question is by Pierre Girardin, a young winemaker producing superb expressions of Burgundy. It's still an expensive wine, at $55: but less...

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