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james laube's wine flights archive

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James Laube
Archives

June 2008

Musically, Lodi Rocks and Rules
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 12:04pm ET
In the Wine Spectator offices, when we blind-taste, the bagged wines stimulate thoughts about all sorts of winey things, not the least of which are appellations, and what different wines say (or don’t say) about their origins.
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Stag's Leap Making the Right Decisions for the Future
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 2:30pm ET
Ted Baseler insists that returning Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ Cabernets to their top form will be easy for the simple reason that the winery’s vineyards are in great shape. When Warren Winiarski decided to sell the winery to Ste.
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Tasting Dry Creek Reds Shows the Area's Shortcomings
Posted: Jun 24, 2008 4:24pm ET
My blind tasting last week of a dozen Dry Creek Valley red wines didn’t change my view that: 1) this appellation has a shortage of great wines, and 2) it lacks a signature wine. Of the two, the former is the bigger concern.
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A Smoky Weekend In Napa Valley
Posted: Jun 23, 2008 5:12pm ET
I noticed a cloud of white puffy smoke rising to the east at about 6 p.m. on Saturday. I knew right away it was a fire. Too hot and windy for delta fog to be creeping over the hill into Napa. It wasn’t clear where the fire was, since I was in Sonoma, which is west of Napa.
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Napa's Chicken Ranch to Cult Wine Central
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 1:27pm ET
If you build it, they will come, or flock as it might be considered. "It" is, after all, what the locals in Napa Valley still refer to as the Chicken Ranch. It was once one of Lambert Farms key chicken coops, though it hasn’t been home to chickens for some time.
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New Napa Cabernets Worth Seeking
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 2:29pm ET
I have an answer to one of your pressing new-wine queries. But the other wine so many of you have been curious and patient about, well, it hasn’t passed my way yet. Ovid 2005 is every bit as good in bottle as it tasted out of barrel a year ago.
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A Quick Tour of Londer Vineyards
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 2:51pm ET
Larry Londer gave me a brief tour of his spectacular Anderson Valley vineyard on Sunday, and he paused to explain about how he got into Pinot Noir and share the view. For those of you who’ve never been to Anderson Valley, in Mendocino, well, it’s a great place to visit, with lots of new vineyards and wineries.
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A Few Thoughts About Blogging
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 5:35pm ET
A couple of housecleaning matters for today. Friday’s blog, about what would-be buyers of Chateau Montelena might consider should they look at the winery and its business prospects, is a perfect example of an imperfect blog.
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Sizing Up a Montelena Sale
Posted: Jun 13, 2008 1:55pm ET
When a winery the caliber of a Chateau Montelena is offered for sale , there are many ways to assess its value. Potential buyers would look at sales and revenue, with the latter being the far more important figure, since inexpensive brands—think Two-Buck Chuck—can run up impressive sales numbers.
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The Case and Cause of Bottle Variation
Posted: Jun 11, 2008 4:45pm ET
Today is a share day, with an item from a winemaker about bottle variation. Readers send me many notes about reviews (including how mine differ from those of others), and I think it’s important to consider that, aside from different tastes, bottles do vary in quality, and the time at which a wine is reviewed can also be a factor.
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Dry Creek Valley's Wines Should Be Better
Posted: Jun 10, 2008 1:27pm ET
Most wine regions are defined by either a grape or a style. Last week, as I rode my bike through picturesque Dry Creek Valley, my thoughts turned to what I consider this Northern Sonoma appellation’s dilemma.
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The Top 2006 Barrels at Napa Auction Are Exceptional
Posted: Jun 9, 2008 2:26pm ET
Oprah created quite a buzz when she arrived at Friday’s Auction Napa Valley barrel tasting. I asked her to do a quick interview and tasting on camera with me, but she politely declined, saying that she wanted to taste a few wines before going on camera (at least with me).
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Friday and Napa on My Mind
Posted: Jun 6, 2008 10:34am ET
The party scene shifted from Sonoma (I wrote a blog on the Wine Spectator "Bring Your Own Magnum" party in Sonoma earlier this week) to Napa on Wednesday night, and so did the mindset. While Sonoma vintners contemplate their future, vis a vis its new rising star Pinot Noir and whether that wine will ever achieve the fame of its neighbor’s superstar wine, Cabernet, there’s no shortage of confidence or lack of self esteem in Napaland.
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Your Thoughts on What Matters wIth WIne
Posted: Jun 4, 2008 1:32pm ET
Last night I hung out with a bunch of Sonoma wine folks at Wine Spectator 's " Bring Your Own Magnum " party, held at the Healdsburg Hotel, home of Dry Creek Kitchen and chef Charlie Palmer , in Healdsburg, Calif.
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Two Aces from a New Napa Winery
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 4:22pm ET
You never know where the tips will come from. Mitch Johnson, the golf pro at Napa Valley Country Club, introduced me to Shibumi Knoll winery, and I’m glad he did. “Hey, you should try this Cabernet,” Mitch insisted a couple of weeks ago.
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