james laube

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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Technique Vs. Terroir

California and Oregon winemakers put terroir to the test with an interstate Pinot Noir exchange

Posted: October 2, 2013  By James Laube

Terroir can be an endlessly entertaining intellectual exercise. There’s little denying the role of the winemaker in creating any wine, but how does one measure that against the signature of the site? Here’s how a trio of Americans put terroir to a hands-on test.

The ground rules for the Cube Project were simple: three winemakers, three vineyards from three appellations, from three different vintages, 2010 to 2012. Each of the winemakers—Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton appellation, Andrew Brooks of Bouchaine Vineyards in Carneros and Leslie Mead Renaud of Foley Estate and Lincourt in Santa Barbara—shared 6 tons of grapes (2 tons each) from their respective vineyards, resulting in nine different wines each year. Each winemaker determined the pick date of their vineyard, all from Pommard clones, meaning each winemaker started out with grapes at the same level of ripeness, measured in sugar, or Brix.

Sept. 30, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

The Great Bottle Test

Posted: September 30, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Outstanding Napa Cabernets

New reviews of California Cabernets from the excellent 2009 vintage

Posted: September 23, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Drawbacks of a Bountiful Harvest: More Grapes, More Problems

The abundant 2013 California harvest is accelerating, and vintners are starting to wonder where they're going to put all those grapes

Posted: September 20, 2013  By James Laube

Too early and too much.

These are but two thoughts on the minds of many California vintners as harvest accelerates during what has been a largely uneventful season. Heat spikes haven't been a big issue; rain isn't expected to be a concern. The immediate weather forecast for the North Coast calls for milder temperatures over the next week, which will be a plus. All of that seemingly good news means vintners may be dealing with more than they bargained for.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

New TCA Study Confirms Suspicions

The cork taint compound actually shuts down our ability to smell a wine

Posted: September 19, 2013  By James Laube

A new study has revealed that 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, or TCA, the compound often responsible for corked wine, is responible for more than just that off-putting moldy aroma: TCA actually blocks our olfactory senses. That cork-tainted wine impedes our sense of smell is no surprise to me. It's something some of us have been witnessing for years now, even if we didn't have the scientific backing.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Impressive Napa Cabernets

New reviews of outstanding bottlings from the 2010 vintage

Posted: September 9, 2013  By James Laube

Aug. 31, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

Remembering André

Posted: August 31, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Judge for Yourself

John Kongsgaard ages some of his Napa Chardonnays for as long as four years in oak

Posted: August 29, 2013  By James Laube

Oak is a divisive issues in wine. One way of looking at it is that if a little is good, then more is better. Not many people would actually subscribe to that theory, though.

Napa vintner John Kongsgaard has been experimenting with extended barrel aging for his Chardonnays for years, with increasingly impressive results. Not only were his two 2010s the cream of the crop in this year's roundup of California's best Chardonnays, but one wine he's been tinkering with spent four years in oak.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Outstanding Rutherford Cabernets

New reviews of top 2010 Cabernet Sauvignons from the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley

Posted: August 26, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Exciting Napa Cabernets Under $70

New reviews of outstanding 2010s at prices that won’t break the bank

Posted: August 19, 2013  By James Laube

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