james laube

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News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Noteworthy California Reds

New reviews of Rhône-style wines from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County

Posted: October 28, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Do I Smell Mocha in this Wine?

I find the caffè mocha aromas of coffee and chocolate in today's wines much more frequently than those of yesteryear

Posted: October 23, 2013  By James Laube

"Mocha" has worked its way into my vocabulary as a wine descriptor over the past decade or so. I use it in reference to the aroma of a caffè mocha, particularly that dusting of cocoa powder on top of the foamed milk.

I first used "mocha" as a tasting descriptor in the magazine in 1998. In 2000, it appeared in 43 Cailfornia wine reviews and 150 Wine Spectator reviews from around the world; in 2005, it appeared in 134 and 246, respectively. So far this year, "mocha" has popped up in 232 reviews of California wines (out of more than 3,700 total), and it's been used in 614 reviews of nearly 20,000 wines around the world, so it's not just me: Mocha's popularity as a tasting descriptor is at an all-time high.

But where does that mocha aroma come from?

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

30 Vintages of Shafer Hillside Select: The Evolution of a Classic Napa Cabernet

Shafer Vineyards' first vintage was an accidental success; the winery really hit its stride in the early 1990s

Posted: October 22, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

Numbers Game

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  News

Caymus Pays Large Fine for Bottling Too Much Wine

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Six to Watch

Posted: October 15, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec, Augustus Weed, Aaron Romano, James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

California Pinot Noir Cools Off in 2011

A chilly summer and rainy harvest slow the momentum of recent vintages

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Understanding Calera Pinots: From Vineyard to Bottle

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

True Grit

Josh Jensen's passion for Pinot Noir and quest for California limestone led him to the hinterlands of Mount Harlan and the peaks of Calera

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reminiscing on a Day Immersed in the Pinot Noir Harvest

Thirty-four years ago, I worked one day of the Carneros Pinot Noir harvest

Posted: October 8, 2013  By James Laube

Before I made wine, I picked grapes.

Yesterday I relived my first harvest as I watched a crew pick a Pinot Noir vineyard in Carneros. The first time I picked grapes was in 1979, when I joined a team harvesting Pinot Noir at Winery Lake Vineyard, not far from where I watched yesterday morning's harvest.

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