Issue Release Schedule

The following is our approximate release schedule/contents for 2020 –  check back frequently the week or two before an issue release since this page is updated regularly – even with the time of release a day or two before it is available:

First Quarter Issue – January 15, 2020  ~ 11 am PST – Issue 77 – 2018 (with some 2017s revisited) Côte de Nuits Reds, current release California and Oregon pinot noir

Second Quarter Issue – April 21 2020  @ 1 pm PST – Issue 78 – 2018 (with some 2017s revisited) Côte de Beaune Reds, current release California and Oregon pinot noir

Third Quarter Issue – June 11, 2020 @ 2 pm PST  – Issue 79 – 2018 (with some 2017s revisited) Côte d’Or Whites, current release California and Oregon pinot noir

Fourth Quarter Issue – October 10, 2020  – Issue 80, part 1 – 2018 Chablis, Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise, current release Champagne, Beaujolais, California and Oregon pinot noir, New Zealand pinot noir special report

Fourth Quarter Issue Supplement (electronic version only) – ~December 15  Issue 80, part 2 – 2019 Chablis, Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise (due to Covid-19, Allen was unable to be in the region as usual in the summer of 2020, but is there from late-September to visit as many producers as possible, before his regular visits in the Côte de Nuits in October, November and December for the January 2021 issue.)

In addition, each issue normally includes:

  • A Vintage Report
  • Weather and Harvest
  • The Wines
  • What to Buy
  • A Recap of the Previous Vintage
  • The En Plus section includes wines that are reviewed/tasted outside of the theme of the current issue; but are normally reviewed (i.e. Burgundy – red and white, Chablis, California Pinot Noir, Oregon Pinot Noir, Champagne, etc.)
  • A Special Progress Report (or two)

It would be impossible for one person to offer reviews of thousands of burgundies all at once. Even if it was possible, Allen wouldn’t do it for the simple reason that no one can taste burgundies as early as some suggest and actually have a well-informed idea of what the wines are truly going to be like. Some reviewers taste at the en primeur tasting in London, but most serious burgundy collectors know that those samples are not always representative of the final wines. This is not a criticism of any reviewer who chooses to do so, but to point out there is “no free lunch” in wine journalism. Allen chooses to take the methodical route, going from cave to cave and tasting carefully and at the right time – not a “line ‘em up and knock ‘em down” approach. He never evaluates wines at trade tastings as it’s not an ideal approach. That explains why Allen spends nearly five months a year in Burgundy tasting grower by grower.

Allen tastes the majority of the white burgundies he reviews about 17 to 18 months after the harvest. The reason the whites are reviewed after the reds is that malos are typically (though not always) longer for whites. As such, a serious evaluation of the whites requires waiting until they have completed their malos. No wine will be reviewed if it has not yet finished its malos because there is enormous potential for a wine to radically change and evolve between the pre and post malo stages. This simple fact explains why Allen insists on tasting the whites after malo but as early as possible thereafter for pre-order and purchase. We understand, and fully respect, that some journalists claim that they can accurately review wines that are still in malo, or in some cases have not even started, yet we strongly believe that the results are suspect. This belief is substantiated by a steady stream of producers who comment on how different their wines are before and after the malos are completed. We appreciate that consumers would like to have individual wine reviews, as early as possible. At the same time, we believe that it is better to issue more accurate reviews later than make buying suggestions on wines that will typically be very different once the malos are complete.

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