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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When to Drink a Wine Can Be a Dilemma

Posted: March 22, 2007  By James Laube

One of our readers, Roger, just posted a good question in response to a recent blog. “When do you think is the earliest point to open a 2001 [Cabernet]?” I think 2001s should drink well from now until they’re 15 or 20 years old, maybe longer, assuming they’re properly stored.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

2005 Should Have Some Cabernet Values

Posted: March 21, 2007  By James Laube

Napa Cabernet drinkers should be focusing on top-rated wines from recent vintages, especially the 2003s and 2004s that are making their way to the market right now. Though '03 wasn't a great year, some great wines were made.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 14—From the Top to the Bottom, Tourist Style

Posted: March 21, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s a national holiday here today: Human Rights Day. It’s cooler than it’s been so far on my trip, and summer seems to be finally winding down here. To celebrate the holiday, I allowed myself to be a tourist for a day.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Cooking With Wine, Soaking Chickens

Posted: March 21, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

The august New York Times splashed a big story over its food pages this week, the big news being that you shouldn't use a great wine in cooking. What a surprise. The writer, Julia Moskin, seems to have deliberately set out to misunderstand the oft-repeated advice to "use a wine you would drink.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Tale of Two Nenins

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Suckling

It’s probably going to snow tonight in Tuscany. I am really cold. The central heating system is not what it should be in my house! It made me think about how warm and comfortable it was in Hong Kong last week.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 13—A Vinous Family Tree

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Molesworth

Walker Bay is about a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, past the well-known wine lands of Stellenbosch, and up over the Hottentot mountains (where a vista point along the road affords a dramatic view of False Bay).

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

Some Parting Thoughts

Posted: March 20, 2007  By Eric Ripert

The hospitality industry has seduced a lot of young people, and even some career-changers, who come from very interesting and diverse backgrounds. The media has helped to bring a lot of awareness to our industry.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Quality Is Usually About Selection

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Laube

Why does it seem, as a couple of readers have asked, that there are fewer bad vintages of late? And not just in California, but also in places like Germany, Oregon and Burgundy? Warmer weather, for starters.

Blogs  :  Jean-Guillaume Prats

The Origins of En Primeur

Posted: March 19, 2007  By Jean-Guillaume Prats

What is the en primeur system and what is its purpose? Many of you might find it hard to understand this 50-year-old system of selling wines in Bordeaux. After the second World War, most of the châteaus were very poorly run and very much underfinanced, and they struggled to pay their bills.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Thoughts on Vintages, Ripeness and Alcohol

Posted: March 19, 2007  By James Laube

In response to my blogs about vintages and vintage ratings last week, a few of you posted related questions. One dealt with my Cabernet vintage ratings and, in a roundabout way, whether excessive ripeness and alcohol levels were a factor.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 12—More Than a Handful

Posted: March 19, 2007  By James Molesworth

Usually when I travel to a region for the first time, I meet with two, maybe three winemakers a day. Today I broke the rules and went for a lucky seven. My first stop was at De Toren , where winemaker Albie Koch has been turning out a consistently polished, outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend called Fusion V.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 11—From Big to Small

Posted: March 18, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s Sunday, but no rest for me. First stop this morning was Meerlust , the historic estate that has been owned for over 250 years by the Myburgh family. It’s a gorgeous property, set off the main road as you head into Stellenbosch, with 400 hectares, 120 of which are under vine.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 10—Mr. Precision

Posted: March 17, 2007  By James Molesworth

As I left my hotel this morning, I was greeted by some early-morning rain and high winds on the way to Stellenbosch—the first bad weather of the entire trip. It wasn’t all bad though: A huge double rainbow spread over the Cape Town as we drove out.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 9—A Family Affair

Posted: March 16, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today, I sandwiched visits to two small producers around one big producer—all family-owned. It’s always fun to mix appointments like this and see how different personalities find their own individual space in the wine industry.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

It Can Be a Very Small Wine World

Posted: March 16, 2007  By James Laube

This week took on a personality of its own, as weeks sometimes do. There’s no way I could have predicted some of the coincidences, which triggered several flashbacks, some good memories, and the sense that this is a very small world indeed.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Wine and Steak

Posted: March 16, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Picking a wine to go with steak ought to be the simplest of tasks. After all, it's plain red meat. What could go wrong? In truth, not much can get in the way. But various red wines can turn in different directions, depending on how the steak is done and how it's seasoned or dressed.

Blogs  :  Jean-Guillaume Prats

Preparing for the Onslaught

Posted: March 16, 2007  By Jean-Guillaume Prats

We are now seriously getting ready for the intense two weeks of tasting in Bordeaux. All around Bordeaux vineyards, tasters are rushing from one estate to the other and hoping not being caught by the French gendarmerie ! There are two ways the Bordeaux châteaus present their wines for the en primeur tastings.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Is It Time to Get Over 2005 Bordeaux Prices?

Posted: March 15, 2007  By James Suckling

This comment, left by Karl Mark on my most recent blog post , made me think this morning over my coffee: "Advances in winemaking technique, vineyard management and several other aspects have allowed winemakers to make good wine in even bad weather.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 8—Into the Hills (Next Time I'll Bring a Seat Cushion)

Posted: March 15, 2007  By James Molesworth

My day typically starts out with a lively conversation with my driver, Havelin—politics, South African history, local etiquette, languages—you name it, we talk about it. I just roll out of bed, grab an apple on the way out the door, and off we go.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Romance of Pinot Noir

Posted: March 15, 2007  By James Laube

Vintner Jamie Kutch, 33, started out with nothing. No grapes, no winery, no experience and no real idea whether his dream to make wine would work out. But it has. At age 31, he opted to quit his job as a New York investment banker and stock trader and change careers.

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