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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Going Private in St.-Joseph

Jean-Pierre Monier and Philippe Perréol left their local co-ops to establish their own labels

Posted: November 18, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Jean-Pierre Monier at his cellar in St.-Joseph.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Vibrance at Delas

The 2013 Hermitage, Cornas, Condrieu and more from Delas are just starting to shine

Posted: November 17, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Delas, where the 2013 Hermitage, Cornas, Condrieu and more are just starting to shine.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Villa Built from Scratch

Pierre-Jean Villa's growing Rhône domaine has an exciting range of 2013s from Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and more

Posted: November 14, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Pierre-Jean Villa at his young domaine, and tasted an exciting range of 2013s

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

How Does Winning Wine of the Year Affect Future Vintage Prices?

Paloma Merlot won the honor in 2003, and in the subsequent decade has kept prices fair

Posted: November 14, 2014  By James Laube

There are plenty of ways to capitalize on winning Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year. Perhaps the most obvious is the opportunity for the winery or, as is more often the case, those who sell the wine, to hike the price—and the profit—in light of heightened demand. That's usually what happens.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Wine Can Be So Complicated—And That's OK

Paso Robles now has 11 new appellations. Most consumers won't care, but that doesn't make them meaningless

Posted: November 13, 2014  By Mitch Frank

OK, wine geeks: Pop quiz time. Tell me the difference between a wine made in Adelaida and one made in Estrella. What do you mean you have no idea where those places are? They're two of California's newest wine appellations.

Here's another question: Are appellations a way of defining terroir, or are they a marketing tool?

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The Côte-Rôtie Kid Waits for Maturity with 2013

Stéphane Ogier had his latest harvest ever, and his 2013 wines were rewarded for it

Posted: November 13, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Stéphane Ogier to taste the 2013 vintage.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Lights, Camera, Napa

Napa Valley Film Festival and Flavor Napa Valley bring plenty of energy to wine country in November

Posted: November 13, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

Napa doesn't really have an off-season: Wine lovers can appreciate the views, delicious wines and awesome dining options any time of year. Even so, it used to be that November was one of the sleepier times around here—the period between the rush of harvest and the twinkling of holiday lights. But two relatively new events are turning November in Napa into one of the most exciting times to visit: the Napa Valley Film Festival and Flavor Napa Valley.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Back to an Old-School Cornas Cellar

Olivier Clape keeps things traditional at his family's Cornas domaine

Posted: November 12, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Domaine A. Clape in Cornas to taste the 2013 Syrahs, and a limited-production white.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

The Perfect $25 Bottle of Wine

Go on a quest to find your sweet spot

Posted: November 12, 2014  By Tim Fish

Twenty-five bucks is my sweet spot when it comes to buying wine. I don't expect miracles at $25. At that retail price, a bottle isn't a splurge, but it still has to deliver in the quality department.

These are bottles that wine geeks routinely open during the week and casual drinkers keep for the weekend. A sweet-spot wine, for me, should show balance and persistence, varietal correctness and good complexity. A sense of place and a distinctive personality are highly valued, but not a deal breaker if absent.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Into Cornas, with Franck Balthazar

Classic quality is on the horizon for this Northern Rhône Valley estate

Posted: November 11, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Franck Balthazar to taste the 2013 and 2012 vintages.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Jacques Pépin, One More Time

The chefs' chef talks about TV, Julia Child and wine

Posted: November 11, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Jacques Pépin, the chef who taught several generations of American chefs about cooking, turns 80 next year. The celebration has only just started. I caught up with Pépin while he was in San Francisco shooting his final cooking series, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

First Stop: Condrieu

Back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting a range of wines at Domaine Georges Vernay

Posted: November 10, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Rhône Valley, tasting the newest wines at wineries in Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and more. Today he visited Domaine Georges Vernay.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Oregon’s 2012s Are Just the Controversy the State Needs

A riper vintage challenges stylistic considerations

Posted: November 10, 2014  By James Laube

A controversy over the 2012 Oregon Pinot Noirs is the best thing that could happen to this exciting region.

Oregon isn't my beat, and I don't get to try as many wines as my colleague Harvey Steiman. But I've tasted enough of the 2012 Pinot Noirs to believe this is a monumental, game-changing vintage, one that is likely to give many Pinot lovers pause to take a closer look at these exciting wines.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Low-Hype Barolo

Cavallotto may be the best wine estate you don’t know

Posted: November 10, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits one of Barolo's best-kept secrets, Tenuta Cavallotto.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

From One Marathon to the Next

Having just run the New York Marathon, I'm off to another marathon—of wine tasting—in France's Rhône Valley

Posted: November 7, 2014  By James Molesworth

Well, I successfully wrapped up my New Year's resolutions this past weekend, running the 2014 TCS NYC Marathon for the first time. And that's in addition to drinking a lot more Cornas over this past year …

And I'll be drinking—OK, tasting—more Cornas in the next few days. That's because I'm off to the Rhône again. In fact, this November marks my 10th anniversary traveling through the Rhône for Wine Spectator to taste at domaines and kick the dirt in the vineyards. Time flies.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Key Time to Assess Quality

A wine’s character starts to reveal itself after fermentation and before going into barrel

Posted: November 6, 2014  By James Laube

At this time of year, winemakers in the Northern Hemisphere are getting what some consider the most important look at their infant red wines.

The period between harvest and fermentation and then when the young reds go into barrel are two of the best times to assess the quality captured at harvest.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

A Burgundy Domaine on the Move

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle’s Mark O’Connell discusses recent vineyard acquisitions in Volnay and Pommard

Posted: November 5, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

Acquiring vineyards in Burgundy is no small feat. It can be even more difficult if you are an outsider. American businessman Mark O'Connell started Domaine Clos de la Chapelle (DCC) in 2011, with the help of Pierre Meurgey, then president of Beaune négociant Champy and attorney Philippe Remoissenet.

The three purchased the Louis Boillot estate, encompassing 3.1 acres in Volnay and Pommard. Over the past year, O'Connell and Meurgey have purchased additional vineyards and inked deals on leases to bring DCC to a total of 10 acres, all premiers or grands crus.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Origin Story: How My Love for Wine Took Off

A happenstance trip, a good story, and an affordable, delicious red

Posted: November 4, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

I'm a sucker for origin stories, in part because it's something that superheroes and wine lovers have in common. Just as Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider, most wine lovers have stories about getting bit by the wine bug. Sometimes our wine mythology is based in destiny, sometimes it's chance. There's usually a great bottle of wine at the beginning, although mine was quite modest.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Two Lands: A New Cal-Aussie Collaboration

Guess who's making wine in Australia now

Posted: November 3, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Jacob's Creek's wine reputation rests on a popular fruit-driven style rooted in Barossa Valley and South Australia. Ehren Jordan, owner-winemaker of Failla, is a prominent member of In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB), a brigade of California wineries professing to seek lighter, more elegant expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Now Jordan and Jacob's Creek are collaborating on a new brand, Two Lands, due for release in early 2015.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Stylistic Considerations: To Buy or Not

The 2012 Sonoma Pinot Noirs will require patience

Posted: October 30, 2014  By James Laube

I've been tasting more 2012 Sonoma-grown Pinot Noirs of late, and the same pattern of quality and style emerges as I've discussed previously: These are fairly tannic, tight, backward wines that are not showy, or fruity, or generous, terms often applied to California Pinots (and California wines in general).

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