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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube
Archives

May 2006

Dog Days of Summer
Posted: May 31, 2006 10:14am ET
Hannah, my loyal canine companion, is on her last legs. She recently turned 14, which in dog years, puts her in her late 90s. I grew up with dogs and pets and have had my own dogs since my college days.
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Judging Infant Wines
Posted: May 30, 2006 12:38pm ET
Which wines are the most difficult to evaluate in their infancy -- in barrel or bottle? For me, there are several contenders. Syrah can be devilish out of barrel because of its intensity. Big, rich, hearty and loaded with a beef stew of flavors.
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In Defense of Blind Tastings
Posted: May 26, 2006 12:49pm ET
There’s a thread on another Web site discussing the pros and cons of blind tasting. A reader sent me a clip from that dialogue citing one comment that blind tasting is “vastly overrated.” Really? Maybe the person meant "vastly underappreciated.
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What Would Julio Gallo Think About All This?
Posted: May 25, 2006 2:56pm ET
Too bad Julio Gallo is no longer with us. I’d love to know his thoughts on two pressing industry issues -- closures and vintage dates. The late, great winemaker, who with his brother Ernest built E. & J.
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And The Winner of the Paris Tasting 2006 Is...
Posted: May 24, 2006 6:51pm ET
Ridge Monte Bello 1971. It won first place at both the Napa and London tastings staged today. In second place was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973, which was the big winner the first time the comparative tasting of Cabernet-based wines from Bordeaux and California was held in Paris in 1976.
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Paris, Three More Times
Posted: May 22, 2006 10:04am ET
This week, the Paris Tasting (aka the Judgment of Paris), returns for a yet another curtain call. But that seminal event 30 years ago is not just being re-created, but turned into a three-ring circus with venues in Napa (at Copia), London and Sacramento.
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A Name That Wine Game
Posted: May 18, 2006 10:34am ET
I played a round of mystery decanter on Saturday night with a group of friends. It’s a game any wine lovers who want to test their name-that-wine skills will enjoy, whether they’re novices or geeks.
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A High-Stakes Vintage
Posted: May 16, 2006 12:14pm ET
Snowden Vineyards has a lot riding on the 2005 vintage. After a run of excellent vintages from 1993 to 2001, including solid efforts in the challenging years of 1998 and 2000, this Napa Valley Cabernet specialist hit a huge pothole – two in fact.
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A Look At The 2005 Cabernets
Posted: May 14, 2006 5:39pm ET
This week is my first comprehensive look at the 2005 vintage of California Cabernet Sauvignon, which according to winemakers, should be a dandy. This year, I'll be doing a blind tasting of barrel samples from more than 60 producers, mostly from Napa Valley.
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Red, Red Wine Stains
Posted: May 12, 2006 12:23pm ET
Tasting wine for a living -- or at least part of it -- sounds like a ton of fun. But it’s also a lot of work. For all those glorious days when the wines sing and dance, there are often long stretches of dull, dreary, soulless wines.
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A Pinot Noir Find
Posted: May 11, 2006 11:27am ET
Occasionally you hear complaints about there being too many single-vineyard wines. Lately Pinot Noir has been one of those wines under fire for this supposed excess. I have a hard time comprehending this problem , unless people are grumbling about too many overpriced single-vineyard Pinots, or single-vineyard Pinots that are good but not great.
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Cooking With Marcassin
Posted: May 10, 2006 12:00pm ET
If you cook much, you know how important it is to use good wine (and it’s crucial not to use bad or spoiled wine). No one would expect you to pour Montrachet into your soup, but I came close a few weeks ago.
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A Marcassin Experience
Posted: May 4, 2006 8:58pm ET
John Wetlaufer invited me to a tasting of all the Marcassin estate wines in June. That was last June. Then nearly a year passed before we sat down to the wines. In March, out came the corks from 17 bottles, and this could only be described as one incredible tasting.
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