Posted: August 14, 2006 By James Laube
When winemakers ask me what’s new I often reply, well, lots. New brands are popping up like mushrooms on an over-watered lawn. Then I cite this figure (which we checked in our database): In the past year--August 2005 to August 2006--we recorded 261 new brands just in California.
Posted: August 14, 2006 By James Suckling
A wine merchant friend was staying with me for a few days, and I was curious to hear that he was receiving, via his Blackberry, offers for big bottles of rare and expensive 2005 Bordeaux like Pétrus and Le Pin….
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Laube
A reporter from the New York Times called the other day to talk about ratings and reviews and the 100-point scale. (He said his story would run this Sunday.) How, he asked, does one determine the difference between a 92-point wine and a 91-point wine? Me: I liked one wine a little better than the other… Another thing he wanted to know, apparently courtesy of a comment from a producer, was how much time I spend analyzing a wine.
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Suckling
I limped into the covered market in the Tuscan coastal town of Follonica this morning to buy some fresh fish with some friends. I say limped because I pulled my hamstring last night playing tennis on a clay court.
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Molesworth
Spoke to Didier Virot last night at Aix. In addition to being a really good chef, Virot is also an avid and knowledgeable wine collector. He's unhappy with the '05 Bordeaux pricing, as it seems most other folks here in the U.
Posted: August 10, 2006 By James Laube
It looks like airline travel just got a little more complicated after British authorities in London today thwarted a sophisticated plot to blow up several airplanes. As of now, it’s unclear what will happen to security measures in the future, though many airlines today were limiting what you can carry on, or perhaps more succinctly, eliminating any liquids or gels.
Posted: August 10, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
A lot of people translate terroir to mean "soil," especially those who first encountered the term in Burgundy. There, you can find many instances of vineyards growing side by side with the same altitude, the same aspect, the same inclination to the sun.
Posted: August 9, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
To most of the world, Aspen is a luxurious mountain town with a reputation for being a snobby collection of rich people. Take it from someone who has spent parts of 13 summers here, locals don't see it that way.
Posted: August 9, 2006 By James Suckling
Last Friday night, I had two wine merchant buddies over for dinner (one was Thomas because his Korean friends left). I grilled some chicken and served a green salad – no big deal. I pulled up a couple bottles of 1997 Barolo from my cellar.
Posted: August 8, 2006 By James Laube
Is this the beginning of the end? Or just a market correction blip? One of my major concerns about the 2003 vintage of California Cabernet has been pricing. I’ve tasted more than 250 of the wines now, and I think many of them would be a lot more appealing at discounted prices.
Posted: August 7, 2006 By James Laube
Sometimes stories cross my desk that don't fall into my typical coverage, but are just too interesting to pass up. Take this one, for instance. What does it take to make a fine California wine? Grapes, water, sunshine, the skilled hand of a master vintner – and, now for the punch line – a few thousand dead fish.
Posted: August 7, 2006 By James Suckling
This past weekend, I was thinking about the greatness of the 1997 Tua Rita Redigaffi, which I blogged about last week, and how wonderful the 2004 is. Apparently, the latter is being shipped to the United States later this year and will be on the market in 2007.
Posted: August 7, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down the other day with Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Chile’s Viña Errázuriz winery, located in the Aconcagua Valley. Baettig, 36, took over the reins there in mid-2003, and the 2004 vintage is the first under his direct control.
Posted: August 4, 2006 By James Laube
A couple of weeks ago, during one of those July heat blasts, I went to a poolside potluck and opted to shuck a few dozen Kumamoto oysters as my contribution to the day’s spread. I made a couple of simple vinaigrettes, with lemon, vinegar, horseradish and the like, and decided not to grill the oysters due to the heat.
Posted: August 4, 2006 By James Molesworth
Most days it is - other than being a touring golf pro, there's not much else I'd rather do in life. But some days it isn't. Like today. The heat has finally broken in New York, and my mind is on the weekend.
Posted: August 4, 2006 By James Suckling
I had dinner last night with Stefano Frascolla, who is the son-in-law of the owners of Tua Rita , the Tuscan cult wine producer in Suvereto, on the coast south of Bolgheri. Stefano oversees the estate, which is one of the best in Tuscany, if not Italy.
Posted: August 3, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Somebody asked Vinny the other day how to open a screwcapped wine bottle when the screwcap won't loosen easily. Dr. Vinifera , the ever helpful super mouse, or whatever he is, suggested a device that functions like one of those jar-lid removers.
Posted: August 3, 2006 By James Laube
When you taste wines, seriously or for fun, do yourself a favor. Take notes. Written ones. This was an important lesson I learned early on in my career. Before I wrote about wine, when I simply drank it, one way my friends and I kept track of what we liked was to place the empty bottles on the hearth above the fireplace.
Posted: August 2, 2006 By James Laube
Without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures of being a wine critic is being able to direct readers to great wines that are also great values. One of our recent office favorites is a tiny wine company called Olabisi (Nigerian for “joy multiplied”), which is based in Napa Valley.
Posted: August 2, 2006 By James Suckling
How’s this for a friend? Hoyt Hill Jr. of Nashville commented on my blog yesterday, on drinking great wines on ice in hot weather, writing this: “I recently handled the wine service at the wake for a close friend with a large wine collection.
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