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Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

50 Years in Wine and a Cellar to Prove It

Winemaker Richard Arrowood stages a remarkable retrospective of his wines through the years

Posted: February 18, 2015  By Tim Fish

WineSpectator.com members: Read senior editor Tim Fish's scores and tasting notes for a vertical of Richard Arrowood's Sonoma Cabernets from Chateau St. Jean and Arrowood going back to 1975.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Restaurant in the Cellar

Honolulu hideaway looks like the one to watch

Posted: February 13, 2015  By Harvey Steiman

Who would expect to find one of America's great restaurants hidden in the basement of a big shopping center in Honolulu? The archway entrance in the middle of the Ala Moana Shopping Center's lower parking level makes it feel like sneaking into a very fancy speakeasy. The meal I had there last week left me dazzled.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Domaine Jean Grivot Pivots Toward Elegance

Etiènne Grivot seeks elegance and purity in his Burgundy climats, which play into the character of the 2013 vintage

Posted: February 13, 2015  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is in France, visiting domaines and tasting the recent vintages of red and white Burgundies. WineSpectator.com members can read his scores and tasting notes. Today he continues with more scores and tasting notes from Domaine Jean Grivot.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Cabernet Franc's Time

The Cabernet in the shadows may be the next great varietal among American enophiles

Posted: February 12, 2015  By Ben O'Donnell

With Americans developing a taste in red Loire wines and winemakers around the world discovering the pleasures of the variety, Cabernet Franc is poised to become the next big thing among enophiles.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Sonoma’s Dining Shifts into High Gear

New restaurants in Healdsburg and Sonoma Valley are resetting the bar

Posted: February 11, 2015  By Tim Fish

The Sonoma County dining scene isn't like any place else. Chefs were doing farm to table back in the 1980s, long before it was de rigueur, and somehow over the years they've managed to keep it real. The chefs here hangout with farmers and the winemakers are connected to the land and the kitchen. Here are four new restaurants Sonoma diners are excited about.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Vertical Tasting of Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noirs

Seven vintages reveal how using stems and avoiding new oak create a distinctive style

Posted: February 11, 2015  By James Laube

WineSpectator.com members: Read James Laube's scores and tasting notes for 7 vintages of Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noirs.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Roasted: Why Not to be Self-Conscious About Your Wine-Tasting Notes

My coffee descriptors could use a jolt, but learning any beverage is a journey

Posted: February 10, 2015  By MaryAnn Worobiec

My colleague Harvey Steiman's recent blog posts about pairing wine and coffee reminded me of a story about the intersection of wine and coffee in my own life. One of our neighbors across the street invited us over for a beer. In his kitchen was the biggest, fanciest espresso maker I've ever seen. He was completely obsessed with coffee, and after chatting a while, he suggested I stop by a coffee tasting, or "cupping," at a local coffee importer and roaster that's open on the weekends.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Waste Not

Tax Season is prime time to examine your wine budget

Posted: February 9, 2015  By James Laube

I've kept track of most of my wine expenditures over the years for tax records, and I've come to see those costs in the light of the wines I didn't drink: Saving and wasting are connected. If you buy more wine than you drink and let bottles slide over the hill, that's wasted money.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Seeing Red in Provence

On a stunning mountainscape, a father and son aim higher than rosé

Posted: February 9, 2015  By Robert Camuto

Among Provence winemakers, Henning and Sylvain Hoesch are close to being heretics. The father and son have made wine for a combined 40 years at Domaine Richeaume on the west flanks of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, just east of Aix-en-Provence, but they've shunned the local rosé tradition in favor of exciting, full-bodied reds.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Coffee and Wine, Part II

Cooking with coffee—everything but the drink itself

Posted: February 6, 2015  By Harvey Steiman

Has anyone ever put together an eight-course menu in which every dish involves coffee—and mostly without using the beans themselves or the drink made from them? Frank Kramm, the chef at Daylight Mind, my cousin's ambitious coffee bar, café, restaurant and coffee school in Kona, Hawaii, creatively pureed the coffee fruit itself to flavor a butter, burned chaff from roasting the beans to smoke roast duck, and sprinkled coffee-flavored salt over slices of raw fish. We paired the dishes with Roederer Champagne Cristal, Château Margaux, Beaux Fréres Pinot Noir and a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Are Small Wineries Doomed?

What the sale of Siduri says about the state of California wine

Posted: February 5, 2015  By Mitch Frank

Last week, Adam and Dianna Lee signed a deal selling Siduri, which produces 20,000 cases of California Pinot Noir a year, and Novy, a 5,000-case brand, to Jackson Family Wines—which owns more than two dozen wineries. Neither side will talk price, but based on other recent deals, we're talking tens of millions of dollars.

Some days, it feels like there are no small wineries left in California. Of course that's not true, but I'm often editing news of a larger wine company swallowing a smaller one.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Tasting Excellence at Domaine Leroy, Part II

Exorbitantly expensive and extremely rare, the grands crus are benchmarks for Burgundy

Posted: February 4, 2015  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is in France, visiting domaines and tasting the recent vintages of red and white Burgundies. WineSpectator.com members can read his scores and tasting notes. Today he continues with more scores and tasting notes from Domaine Leroy.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Praying for Rain in California

With a storm in the forecast, can wine country catch up from the driest January on record?

Posted: February 4, 2015  By Tim Fish

Wait a minute. What's that clear, soggy stuff falling from the sky?

Winemakers and grapegrowers might ask that question on Thursday when the first major rainstorm since Christmas is expected to hit Northern California.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Coffee and Wine, Part I

Finding parallels with different brews and wines

Posted: February 2, 2015  By Harvey Steiman

My cousin, coffee guru Shawn Steiman, agreed to try three different wines with three distinct kinds of coffee with me, to compare how both beverages might reflect where they were grown and how they were made. I chose a fresh white wine, a lighter style of red and a full-bodied red, and Shawn used three different coffees in three styles: drip, full-immersion and espresso.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Hit-and-Miss Vertical Tasting of Groth Cabernet Reserve

The best of 19 vintages of Napa Cabernet show the inconsistencies of weaker years

Posted: January 29, 2015  By James Laube

WineSpectator.com members: Read James Laube's scores and tasting notes for 19 vintages of Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Where the Great Whites Roam

A swim with South Africa's most notorious apex predator

Posted: January 28, 2015  By James Laube

Along with the mystical allure of safaris, shark-cage diving ranks high on any thrill-seeker's list. It's been on mine for many years, and while on vacation in South Africa, I finally got my chance.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

A House of Zinfandel Reborn

Brothers Jake and Scot Bilbro revitalize Sonoma’s Limerick Lane

Posted: January 28, 2015  By Tim Fish

When Jake and Scot Bilbro took over Limerick Lane winery and vineyard in 2011, it seemed an ideal match. The estate has a rich history of producing outstanding Zinfandel, and the brothers Bilbro grew up in the Sonoma County wine business with their dad, Chris Bilbro, at Marietta Cellars.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Washington Winery with California Connections

Helen Keplinger takes on a new role as consultant at Force Majeure

Posted: January 27, 2015  By Harvey Steiman

The Washington winery that snagged the winemaker from Bryant Family, a California cult favorite, has added to the intrigue by bringing Helen Keplinger into the fold, too. Keplinger was Bryant's winemaker for two years before going off on her own in 2012 to focus on Grenache.

Now she's signed on to consult with the innovative Force Majeure, where her former assistant at Bryant, Todd Alexander, was named winemaker last year. Alexander worked at PlumpJack and followed Keplinger as Bryant's ace in the cellar, a position Philippe Melka, Helen Turley and Mark Aubert held previously. Starry names, all.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Tasting Excellence at Domaine Leroy: Part I

An overview of several vintages of some of Burgundy’s benchmark wines

Posted: January 27, 2015  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is in France, visiting domaines and tasting the recent vintages of red and white Burgundies. WineSpectator.com members can read his scores and tasting notes. Today he visited Domaine Leroy.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

The Vinarchiste of Bergerac

Why would a formidable Frenchman shift from reds to whites?

Posted: January 26, 2015  By Robert Camuto

Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto talks to Luc de Conti about his unorthodox decision to pull up his red-wine grapevines in southwest France and replace them with Sauvignon Blanc and other white varieties.

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