Posted: February 25, 2014 By James Laube
Mike Drash brought about his own climate change.
The 45-year-old vintner, who's been making wine in California, including Napa Valley, for two decades, has relocated with his family to Kasota, Minn., where he signed on as winemaker at Chankaska Creek Winery, a growing 5,300-case operation; the nearest big city is Des Moines, Iowa, to the south.
Posted: February 21, 2014 By James Laube
Michael Broadbent, 86, is one of wine's foremost authorities. In honor of his service to the wine auction industry at Christie's, he was the recipient of Wine Spectator's Distinguished Service Award in 1991. A prolific author of more than a dozen books, he is a scholar with a preoccupation for ancient wines, mostly French, but also German, Vintage Port, Champagne and Madeira. His two reference works, The Great Vintage Wine Book (Knopf, 1980), and its successor, The New Great Vintage Wine Book (Knopf, 1991), should be in any wine lover's library.
Posted: February 5, 2014 By James Laube
There's a downside to aging wines too long. That might seem obvious, but few wine lovers take that into consideration when purchasing wines to lay down in the cellar for a while.
In a conversation and tasting with John Kongsgaard the other day, we talked about terroir, to what extent it exists (and can be identified), at what age it might be most readily identified in a wine and, ultimately, that with enough age, all wines lose their terroir. They become old wines inseparable from one another.
Illustrating this point, Kongsgaard poured two Cabernets that he made early on his career, as a 26-year-old home winemaker in the 1970s with his father, Thomas, in Napa.
Posted: February 3, 2014 By James Laube
Posted: January 17, 2014 By James Laube
Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube reports his latest findings on the percentage of corked and tainted California wines that were tasted in Wine Spectator's tasting room in 2013. Cork taint frequency was up just a tick last year to a 4.26 percent failure rate.
Posted: January 13, 2014 By James Laube
Posted: December 31, 2013 By James Laube
Posted: December 19, 2013 By James Laube
Bottle size matters when it comes to wine, but maybe not as much as you might think. That's important to understand if you own larger-format bottles, or are considering buying some.
Conventional wisdom is that smaller bottles age faster than larger ones because smaller bottles have a smaller ratio of wine volume to oxygen, of which there is about the same amount in all bottle formats. That anecdotal thinking has been passed along for decades, becoming one of winedom's golden rules. Actually testing the theory is more difficult.
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