tim fish

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News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 California Sparkling Wines

New reviews of non-vintage bubblies from the Golden State, each under $40

Posted: August 18, 2014  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News

Sonoma County Sues Winemaker Paul Hobbs

Officials contend three vineyard developments violated environmental laws; winemaker says allegations are misleading

Posted: August 15, 2014  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Bargains Abound with 2012 California Merlots

After tough vintages in 2010 and 2011, value lovers can rejoice

Posted: August 13, 2014  By Tim Fish

The 2011 and 2010 California Merlots, for the most part, are hard and herbal, plus they lacked depth and Merlot's telltale appealing texture. Nature just didn't play fair those years.

However, I'm beginning to taste 2012s as I prepare the annual Merlot report, and there's good news. The 2012s are downright fun to drink, and what they lack in depth, they balance with luscious fruit and silky body. That makes it a great year for value hounds.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Getting a Taste of California’s Forbidden Fruit

Rare delegation of Cuban sommeliers explores Napa and Sonoma counties

Posted: August 6, 2014  By Tim Fish

California wine is all but impossible to get in Cuba, and even harder to get than a good Cuban cigar here in California. That's why it was such a milestone when a delegation of Cuban sommeliers toured Napa and Sonoma counties last month to get a rare taste of Golden State wine. It was their first wine-buying trip since the United States government opened the Cuban market to American wine just last year.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

9 Winning Napa Merlots

New reviews of reds from the 2011 and 2012 vintages

Posted: July 28, 2014  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Honoring the World’s Best Wine Lists

There’s a lot of hard work and devotion behind Grand Award-winning restaurants

Posted: July 2, 2014  By Tim Fish

Some of my favorite non-fiction books are restaurant wine lists. I can read them for hours. But have you ever been to a restaurant that seemed out of a key wine or two on the list? Sometimes you have to wonder if a wine list is more fiction than fact.

That's not a concern when it comes to restaurants with Grand Awards from Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List program. Each potential Grand Award winner is thoroughly vetted and goes through an onsite inspection. The goal is to discover and honor truly great wine programs, and nine times out of 10 that's exactly what we find.

June 30, 2014 Issue  :  Retrospective/Vertical

Revisiting 2004 and 1994 California Zinfandel

Two turning-point vintages reveal the potential and the limits of Golden State Zins

Posted: June 30, 2014  By Tim Fish

June 30, 2014 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Precision Zinfandels

The best wines of 2011 are structured, vibrant and flavorful

Posted: June 30, 2014  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Could Harvest Be Just Six Weeks Away in California?

Early signs of veraison point to an unusual start for crush in 2014

Posted: June 18, 2014  By Tim Fish

Take your vacation soon, California winemakers. Early signs of veraison are already upon us. Veraison—when grapes begin ripening, turn softer and change color—rarely starts this early. It usually doesn't get going until the Fourth of July.

Veraison is significant for many reasons, but it's a big indicator of when harvest could begin: about six weeks later is the general rule. A lot depends on the region, grape variety, how a vineyard is farmed and, of course, the weather, but it boggles the mind that harvest could begin before Aug. 1, and not just for sparkling wine.

Dining & Travel  :  Monterey

Discovering the Monterey Coast

Beauty, adventure, great food and wine await

Posted: June 15, 2014  By Tim Fish

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