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An American Bordeaux in Paris

Celebrating 75 years of American-owned Château Haut-Brion in Paris

Posted: May 28, 2010  By James Suckling

I attended in Paris last night the 75th anniversary party for the Dillon family's ownership of the famous first-growth Château Haut-Brion, and besides the beauty and grandeur of the event, which was held at the Academie Diplomatique Internationale in the center of the great city, I was impressed with the interest and passion that nearly all the people seemed to have attending the event. Here are my notes on the vertical tasting of Haut-Brion presented.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Hong Kong’s Fine Wine Moment

Between VineExpo and three high-profile auctions, Hong Kong is the world's fine-wine capital this week

Posted: May 25, 2010  By James Suckling

All I have heard for the past year is how the Far East via Hong Kong and, in particular, China, is gobbling up all the great wines of the world. Or let's say it's buying the blue-chip, trophy wines from France and a little bit of the New World that many in Europe and the United States have forsaken due to price fatigue. Not many can afford these mega-expensive bottles.

Moreover, I hear that China and the rest of the Far East are really gearing up for buying big time in the Bordeaux futures market, considering the excellent quality of the 2009 vintage for the upper echelon of the region.

But seeing is believing. And the next couple of days will be telltale.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Get to Know Bordeaux

People are saying that Bordeaux is losing its prestige, but there's a whole new world of inexpensive and interesting Bordeaux wines

Posted: May 19, 2010  By James Suckling

I read with interest Eric Asimov's well-reported story in today's edition of the New York Times, "Bordeaux Loses Prestige Among Young Wine Lovers," and I felt sad that so many wine lovers in my country don't appreciate the good value that exists in Bordeaux. Moreover, most of these well-priced reds and whites are almost all made by people with dirt on their boots and wine stains on their hands. They are not suits. They are ragged jeans and t-shirts.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Vertical of Icons from Bordeaux and Tuscany

At a recent tasting, I had the opportunity to compare the iconic wines of Château Haut-Brion and Tenuta San Guido's Sassicaia going back to the 1980s

Posted: May 14, 2010  By James Suckling

I believe in icon wines, even if they may not be the very best from their respective regions. Some wines are the real deal, both for their pedigree and their ability to represent where they come from, regardless of the quality in the bottle.

I was thinking of this a few weeks back when I was sitting in a room with about two dozen other wine lovers tasting a range of wines from Bordeaux's great Château Haut-Brion and Tuscany's legendary Sassicaia. These two famous red wine producers have in their own ways changed the way their areas make wine, and they are symbolic of the quality of the wines from there. The wines were served side by side in pairs, Sassicaia with Haut-Brion. Here are my tasting notes.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

America’s Wine Pioneers

The more wines I taste from nontraditional winemaking states here in America, the more I find that good wine can be made almost anywhere

Posted: May 10, 2010  By James Suckling

I don’t know if there is really a grassroots movement in America for fine winemaking, but with the advances in viticulture and winemaking, it seems that good wine can be made just about anywhere in the States. I have been impressed with wines from Arizona, Michigan, Virginia, New Mexico and Idaho. Are we becoming the United Vineyards of America?

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Fun in Virginia

Discovering some unexpectedly excellent wines in Virginia wine country

Posted: May 7, 2010  By James Suckling

I spent the weekend driving into the depths of Virginia and West Virginia with some friends after the Grand Tour in Washington, D.C., and we stopped off at two Virginia wineries, Boxwood and Chrysalis. I have to say that I didn't have great expectations for these places. But I was obviously wrong. Here are my notes on some of the wineries' best wines.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Thoughts on Fakes

When finding a bottle purchased years ago is counterfeit, is the wine merchant still obligated to make good?

Posted: April 30, 2010  By James Suckling

I had dinner the other night in L.A. again with my collector buddy from Hong Kong, Hendra Anwar. We went for some pasta at Angelini Osteria restaurant, which is always good. Hendra brought a couple of Burgundies: 2002 Fontaine-Gagnard Bâtard-Montrachet and 1991 Armand Rousseau Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes. I brought a bottle of 1997 Antinori Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso Tenuta Belvedere.

But the most interesting part of the evening for our vinous endeavors was Hendra's insistence that the wine merchant who sold him two cases of bogus 1978 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle was still responsible for the sale after 15 years. (For more on that, check out my April 23 blog.) Yes, he bought the wine 15 years ago and he wants it to be replaced, or get a refund.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Marriage Made in Vegas

I tasted some amazing wines at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in Las Vegas, but the highlight may have been an impromptu wedding

Posted: April 26, 2010  By James Suckling

Vegas is Vegas. I can't think of a more fun place to hang out for a weekend and taste more than 200 outstanding wines from all over the world. I am still thinking today about all the wonderful wines I tasted on Saturday night during the Grand Tour at the Venetian Hotel.

Some of the super wines that come to mind include 2001 Palmer, 1999 Haut-Brion, 2004 Lafite Rothschild, 2004 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva, 2007 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive, 2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta, 2004 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Real Deal, and a Not so Real Deal

Dining with a friend at Cut in Beverly Hills, we enjoyed some very impressive Burgundies, with one notable fake exception

Posted: April 23, 2010  By James Suckling

My friend was really pissed off. Hendra Anwar, who lives in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, invited me for dinner last night at Cut in Beverly Hills and brought some amazing bottles to drink, including a 1989 Louis Latour Montrachet, 1993 Emmanuel Rouget Echézeaux, and 1978 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle. What almost ruined his night was that the last wine was a rotten fake.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Tuscan Visit During a Volcanic Delay

While my children's flight to England was delayed during the Icelandic volcano eruption, we decided to visit Bibi Graetz, home of Testamatta

Posted: April 19, 2010  By James Suckling

My two children were supposed to fly out on Friday to Manchester, England, from Florence, Italy, but their flight was canceled like hundreds of others in Europe due to the live volcano in Iceland. We were sitting around the small airport in a daze and I thought let's go up and check out the winery of Bibi Graetz in the hills of Fiesole just about the renaissance city. They didn't mind. They were happy not to go back to gray England. So we drove up and checked it out.

Bibi, 43, makes one of Tuscany's true cult wines, Testamatta. It's a pure Sangiovese that has the race and breed of a grand cru Burgundy. Think of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's La Tâche. I like to go up and talk wine with Bibi every once in a while. He is a freak for old vines in Tuscany.

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