Is anyone else getting a little fed up? I can’t understand why most of the big-name Bordeaux châteaus have not released their prices for 2005 futures, or en primeur. It seems that the proverbial iron is getting cold as the Bordelais try to figure out what prices they should sell their new wines for.
I haven’t really seen all that many great red wines from Sicily. Sure I have given plenty of 90- and 91-point scores to wines from the island in recent years, but I am still waiting to score some wines in the mid to high 90s – real classic quality.
CATANIA, ITALY: I had a fantastic dinner last night in a restaurant that felt like it was at the end of the earth. It was literally out in the middle of nowhere in Sicily, about two hours south of Catania in a town called Ragusa Ibla, a beautiful ancient city with an almost Spanish colonial feel to it.
You asked for it, you got it! When our editor and publisher, Marvin R. Shanken, solicited member feedback on the blogs, the most frequent request was for interaction with us, the editors. We do encourage comments and questions every day on our blog posts, and we try to respond to them as often as we can during the workweek.
I was sitting in my office this morning tasting 2003 Tuscan reds, and my West Highland Terrier, Archie, started barking outside the door into the backyard. He looked terrified. In fact, he jumped through his dog door like he had seen a ghost.
KUFSTEIN, AUSTRIA: The Riedel family celebrated its 250th anniversary of glassmaking last night at its factory here , joined by close to 700 other people from 30 different countries. It was a night of celebration and speeches, not to mention good food and wine.
PORTOFINO: Spent the weekend here watching the Zegna Regatta, a sailboat race for mostly Swan, Wally and Transpac boats. The race, sponsored by the fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, is now in its 25th year and has become one of the cool spring events in Europe, with plenty of weekend parties in this small northern Italian village on the Ligurian coast.
FLORENCE -- Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, the Tuscan wine giant, announced yesterday that it has spun off some of its top wine estates into a new company, Tenute di Toscana, and then sold a small part of it to foreign investors, including Russian vodka producer SPI Group (whose brands include Stolichnaya) and former Napa Valley vintner Michael Mondavi, who now runs an import company.
ROME – Arrived in Fumicino Airport this morning at about 8:30 a.m., following an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles via New York. After trying to start my car (I left the lights on over a week ago when I left!), I finally worked it out and left down the highway for home.
LOS ANGELES -- I had dinner in a hipster-sushi-bar-style (i.e. Joel Robuchon L’Atelier in Paris and in Vegas), European-Japanese-fusion restaurant in West L.A., and I was blown away. Maybe I was influenced by the incredible bottle of 1999 Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard, but this was a no-BS-no-flash place that is off the radar screen -- especially for a large number of people in La La who only care about the buzz of a place and not the food on the plate.
LAS VEGAS: Got into a cool debate with my fellow editors during a meeting in Sin City today about the phrase “international style.” I have always thought that this phrase was rather negative. It meant a wine with dark color, fruit forward, lots of perfumes, high in alcohol, big juicy tannins and a long fruity finish.
I read this comment today from Brett Allen about a couple that drank a bottle of 1982 Petrus with Wendy’s burgers: "Hey gang - here's one for you! This past Saturday, a guest called and asked if he could have a table to 'just drink very good wine.
LOS ANGELES – I had dinner last night at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Chinoise on Main for a vertical tasting of Trimbach Clos Ste.-Hune and Cuvée Frederic Emile. As good as the wines were, the most impressive part of the tasting was a short conversation I had with Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages.
LOS ANGELES – This is a city where many restaurants do not seem to mind if you bring your own bottle to dinner or lunch as long as it’s something serious. I have been to dozens of places with friends who pack serious bottles in leather cases to take to restaurants in La La.
NEW YORK -- Had dinner last night at Gramercy Tavern – one of my favorite restaurants in New York -- with another senior editor of the magazine, Dana Nigro, and we drank a bottle of 1999 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Marin County.
NEW YORK -- I had a glass of the 2000 Clos Du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on my American Airlines flight from Rome to New York, and it brought back fond memories. The wine in my glass was good quality with currant bush, mushroom and chocolate aromas.
ROME -- I am boarding a plane from Rome to New York for the Wine Spectator Grand Tour tonight, and I just read James Hannan’s remark about Bordeaux. I am scratching my head a bit. I have the same idea about how Bordeaux represents relatively good value, even many of the top wines, and it doesn’t seem that many people understand this.
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