- The Underground Wine Letter - https://www.undergroundwineletter.com -



As humans we are all confronted with the fact that none of us can accurately see the future. Yet that does not stop some from professing to have magical predictive powers.  But, most of us learn to expect the unexpected. Even so, 2017 brought several twists in my life. For a part of the year I was not well and this prevented me from going on my annual Burgundy trip. For over 35 years (excepting 4 along the way) I have gone to Burgundy with friends to taste the new vintage from barrel. So 2016 is one vintage I missed. In 2018 I hope to return to Burgundy to taste the 2017s. And, just before Christmas, we were displaced from our home in Montecito, CA for 2 weeks as the Thomas Fire (the worst fire in Califonia’s history) fiercely burned through nearly 282,000 acres and skirted the edges of our property in one of  its final bursts to oblivion. Thankfully, our house (including the wine cellar) was not harmed. However, fences, trees, plants, tools, equipment, out buildings, and power were damaged or destroyed. We are now in the process of cleaning, replanting, replacing, restoring, and rebuilding. On the positive side, in 2017 we enjoyed many great old wines from my cellar. And, accompanied by friends, had many great meals highlighted by fabulous meals at Charcoal Venice [2] and at The Canyon Villa [3] in Paso Robles. But, most importantly, we learned that we will have a new grandson joining the Tilson tribe in the early part of next year. So my wife Laurie and I are happy to be alive and feel truly blessed.

In year’s past I have made many fearless forecasts. But, this coming year I am again going to play the role of a bystander. The article I did in 2016 has my earlier forecasts and outcomes along with a wealth of information on The Underground Wineletter, the history and role of  The Underground Wineletter in the world of wine and links to many particularly significant articles (to read the complete history click here [4]).


So that’s enough for the past. All eyes on the road ahead. I still have a lot of catching up to do to get the old Underground Wineletter issues on the website. I have been reviewing them and it is fascinating to see how things were and how things are now in the world of wine. It is truly a mixed bag. (To read the old issues and the updates called Retrospective Reviews click here [6]). I look forward to drinking more wines from my cellar in 2018 and sharing with friends. After we returned to our house from the evacuation we drank a bottle of 1988 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay. I have been visiting, buying, cellaring, writing Mount Eden Vineyeards articles, and drinking the wines of Mount Eden Vineyards since it first debuted in 1972. The 1988 was absolutely stunning and possibly the best Chardonnay I have ever had in my life (to read more about Mount Eden Vineyards and their great wines including links to all my Mount Eden Vineyards articles click here [7]).

Next year I hope to find time to do more Cellar Notes articles and write about great old wines like the 1988 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay. Yet it is also very gratifying for me to try to keep up with the California wineries that are making traditionally styled wines. They continue to improve and are truly world class. And, there are a lot of them right here in my area of the Central Coast. So next year I hope to have more reports on new wines from some of my favorite wineries.

Here’s to your health!


And always remember :

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson