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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

January 2010

Winemakers with Style
It's long been rumored that some winemakers style their wines to curry critics' favor, but the best never do
Posted: Jan 29, 2010 9:00am ET

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube says that he's heard rumors of winemakers adjusting their winemaking styles to garner critical praise from wine reviewers, but he says the best winemakers trust their gut and make wines they themselves can be proud.

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Vichon and the 'Food Wine' Craze
The winery, on a property purchased this week by Harlan, advocated acidity over riper flavors
Posted: Jan 27, 2010 3:00pm ET

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube recalls the "food wine" trend set into motion by Vichon winery in Napa, which occupied an Oakvill property purchased this week by Harlan.

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What Old Wines Tell Us, and What They Don’t
As styles change, are verticals helpful or not?
Posted: Jan 26, 2010 3:00pm ET

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube sits down with California Rhône-style wine guru John Alban and talks about what can be learned from tasting older wines (as well as how they shouldn't be used to judge future wines as winemaking styles evolve).

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California's 2007 Is the Vintage to Buy
2008 and 2009 will be spottier in quality
Posted: Jan 15, 2010 4:00pm ET

Wine Spectator Senior Editor James Laube says the 2007 wines are the best ever from appellations up and down California, so this is the perfect time to stock up on a great vintage. Few vintners want a repeat of 2008 or 2009.

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Hold the Spätburgunder, Pour the Dornfelder
An exotic German red grape finds roots in California
Posted: Jan 13, 2010 3:05pm ET
My first and only close encounter with Dornfelder came in a blind tasting last week. It's a grape developed in Germany and it offers a distinctive, exotic aroma and wine-drinking experience. In California, Ampelos makes a wine from it.
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Bridging Thoughts on Wine Styles
There's a point where progress eclipses nostalgia
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 9:15am ET

There's too much hand-wringing by those who decry what they perceive as wines that are over-ripe and alcoholic. Wine is best assessed in its whole, which gives us a wide birth for determining what constitutes balance, complexity and appeal in each wine.

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Quintessa Should Profit from The Prisoner
The Napa winery should benefit from a pleasure-driven winemaker
Posted: Jan 6, 2010 2:00pm ET

The sale of The Prisoner and Saldo to the Huneeus family may mean there’s hope for Napa's Quintessa, which has yet to make a memorable wine. Dave Phinney, who created those two brands, knows how to make fun, pleasurable wines.

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Cork Taint Is Sadly Still With Us
7 percent of wines tasted in our Napa office were corked
Posted: Jan 4, 2010 2:22pm ET

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube reports that TCA taint is still with us, heading into 2010, and cork producers’ claims that the problem has been solved and TCA taint is gone are highly debatable.

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