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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

March 2008

A Crash Course In Napa Valley Cabernet
Posted: Mar 31, 2008 2:45pm ET
Last night I attended what amounted to a crash course in Napa Valley Cabernet. Four wineries and the same four vintages from each were poured at dinner at La Toque, Ken Frank’s sensational restaurant in Rutherford, Calif.
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An Evening with Robert Mondavi
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 5:14pm ET
Fighters don’t go down easy here on Wappo Hill. So far this year, Robert Mondavi has won bouts with pneumonia and the shingles. The former a deathly threat to someone who’s 94 years old, and the latter is a similarly painful and threatening disease.
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A Region's Wine Stars Define Its Quality
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 1:03pm ET
Being a pioneer sounds exciting and adventuresome. Put your name in a sentence that describes you as a pioneer and you’ll probably feel pretty good about yourself. Fearless. Visionary. Leader. Creator.
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How We'll Taste Santa Barbara's Futures
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 2:22pm ET
We at Wine Spectator are constantly trying to find better ways to offer better and more timely buying advice. This includes everything from writing blogs about exciting new wines, increasing the Insider newsletter 's frequency to weekly, and searching through mass-market, supermarket brands hoping to find a gem or two or 10.
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Looking Ahead To Santa Barbara Wine Futures
Posted: Mar 20, 2008 5:08pm ET
Next week I'll blind-taste wines from Santa Barbara County that will be sold as futures via Wine Cask, the Santa Barbara retailer. This is an annual affair that’s well-organized, with scores of wines for sale, including some exotic and rare cuvées.
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California's Future Still Looks European
Posted: Mar 19, 2008 2:28pm ET
Piero Antinori stopped by my office in Napa on Monday for a brief visit. He’s been in Napa Valley more of late. He’s been here to keep a closer eye on his Atlas Peak winery, Antica Napa Valley , which produces Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah, along with some Sangiovese, which was once the dream wine that’s been scaled back.
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Flashy 2006 Zinfandels from Carlisle
Posted: Mar 18, 2008 4:23pm ET
It’s always exciting when a great winemaker outdoes himself, which is exactly what Mike Officer has done with his 2006 Carlisle Zinfandels. These wines, which Tim Fish and I tasted in one of our regular weekly blind tastings, are sensational, earning a sprint don’t run endorsement.
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A Word of Caution when Tasting with Winemakers
Posted: Mar 17, 2008 3:06pm ET
Blog commenter Chris Buddress asked if I share my thoughts, notes and scores with the winemaker in a situation similar to my visit last week with Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre , and if so, how did he respond? (He also asked about my yet-to-be-released hot list that he should keep his eyes open for.
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Buying Birth-Year Wines Is Just One Option
Posted: Mar 14, 2008 3:48pm ET
Buying birth-year wines for your children is not something I recommend. Sure, it’s a thoughtful, loving gesture that your son or daughter may well appreciate when that special occasion comes along years from now, when he or she graduates from college or marries.
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End of the Salmon Run for 2008?
Posted: Mar 13, 2008 5:44pm ET
Few salmon, and now no salmon season? Today’s item is a little off-topic, but not completely. This isn’t an angler’s blog, but salmon from the Pacific Ocean is a big part of Northern California cuisine and from the looks of it, this year is going to be at least a dud if not a disaster.
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Mixed 2006 Pinot Vintage Leads to Cuts and Blends
Posted: Mar 12, 2008 4:52pm ET
The 2006 California Pinot Noir vintage ended up being more mixed and challenging than vintners thought it would be earlier on. When they were in the midst of harvest and fermentations, there were lots of accolades that have since been tempered by the reality that 2006 isn’t as good as ’05 or ’04 or ’03.
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Breakfast of Champions Tasting Club
Posted: Mar 11, 2008 1:21pm ET
Yesterday I had one of those Monday morning, breakfast of champions wine tastings with Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre. He wanted to show me his wines and properties in Napa Valley and I suggested that for the tasting we sample a mix of his wines and others in a blind format.
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Music and Tattoos that Go with WIne
Posted: Mar 7, 2008 10:13am ET
One of my bleaders (aka blog readers) asked if there are editorial restrictions, as in limits or boundaries, about what I (or my colleagues) could write in this space. I suppose most blogs on this site should have a wine hook.
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Annie and Andy's New Wine Act
Posted: Mar 5, 2008 4:11pm ET
Husband-and-wife team Andy Erickson and Annie Favia bring some impressive credentials to their own wine company and are certainly worth following. Erickson, 40, is a U.C. Davis enology grad who has worked for Harlan and Staglin and currently makes wine for Screaming Eagle , Arietta , Dalla Valle and Jonata and consults for Dancing Hares (a new 5-acre vineyard at the foot of Howell Mountain and wine label focusing on a Cabernet-Merlot-Cab Franc blend, due soon) and Ovid , a startup with its debut 2005 vintage due this fall.
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A Taxing Day at Home and at the Office
Posted: Mar 4, 2008 12:27pm ET
I’m seldom grumpy, but today I am. One reason is today is tax day, as in my appointment with my accountant. I don’t mind paying taxes, since it’s the price we pay for living in this great country.
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Wine Is All About Quality and Price
Posted: Mar 3, 2008 4:14pm ET
I visited with a friend the other day. She’s keenly into wine, with the taste, income, curiosity, brains and lifestyle to enjoy the finest wines from all over the world. She attends all kinds of wine events, from Wine Spectator ’s Grand Tour to the ZAP tasting, and is a member of several wine clubs.
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