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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The High Price of "Blending" Grapes

Posted: September 7, 2006  By James Laube

You might be surprised to learn – as I was – that two of the most expensive red wine grapes in Napa Valley this year are a couple of orphans from Bordeaux. I’m talking about Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, both of which are used primarily for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and occasionally with Merlot.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Asking Questions about Piedmont in Tuscany

Posted: September 6, 2006  By James Suckling

It’s really hot here in Tuscany. It’s still in the high 70s tonight, and it was in the mid-90s today. Thank God for the air-conditioning in my office. It’s really strange. It’s humid as well. My assistant Rosanne said it reminded her of Australia in the summer, and she grew up near the seaside.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Weekend In The Hudson Valley

Posted: September 6, 2006  By James Molesworth

I spent last weekend in the Hudson Valley of New York. It was rainy most of the time, but still beautiful. Rolling farm land, some good restaurants, and more than a handful of local wineries. I took the time to stop in at two of them.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Aiming For Pinot Noir Value

Posted: September 6, 2006  By James Laube

Right idea. Wrong wine? The other day, in a regular blind tasting, I sampled a new Pinot Noir, vintage 2005. Nothing outstanding. Fresh, snappy cherry and strawberry fruit, which I rated in the good category (defined as 80-84 points on Wine Spectator 's 100-point scale).

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Home Sweet Home

Posted: September 5, 2006  By James Suckling

I'm back at home after a couple of weeks on the road. I was happy my two dogs, Archie and Annie, still remembered me. The cat, Monty, was meowing at my door at 6 a.m. for food. I guess my local restaurant wasn’t throwing him tidbits.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

An Early Look At 2006 In The Loire...

Posted: September 5, 2006  By James Molesworth

I know you're all bored of me talking about the Rhône all the time. So here's an update on the other French wine region I cover - the Loire. I thought you might be interested to read a few of the comments that I've received from vignerons over the last few days as they get ready for the 2006 harvest.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Defining A Vintage's Quality

Posted: September 5, 2006  By James Laube

In California, vintners are on the final approach to harvest, for what has been a very mixed and trying year. As my winegrower friend C.J. predicted in April , it has been an expensive year to farm, with an abundance of spring rain and a late, uneven grape set.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Making Wine When Life Gives You Lemonade

Posted: September 5, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Duncan McGillivray made a success of Two Dogs, an Australian brand of alcoholic lemonade, and a chain of brewpubs in Australia. When he sold it all to Pernod-Ricard in 1995, he finally had enough money to do what he always wanted: plant a vineyard and make wine.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Not a Wedding Crasher in Brussels

Posted: September 5, 2006  By James Suckling

Went to a Jewish wedding in Brussels over the weekend. I felt like an actor in Wedding Crashers ! From the moment the bride and groom arrived at the reception from the synagogue, it was a non-stop party.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Never Sleeping in Israel

Posted: September 1, 2006  By James Suckling

Tel Aviv never sleeps. I left a subterranean club called Breakfast at 4 this morning, and it was just getting started. When I reached outside, the streets in town were gridlocked with people and automobiles.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Dinner With A Wine Geek

Posted: August 31, 2006  By James Laube

The first time I used the expression “wine geek” to describe a persnickety wine scribe at a winery-hosted luncheon, in 1983, my colleagues laughed. The words just came out of my mouth (and fit this guy’s personality perfectly).

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Tasting in Tel Aviv

Posted: August 31, 2006  By James Suckling

Flew into Tel Aviv for a few days with some friends yesterday on a whim. Everything was quiet, except for the occasional military helicopter speeding by overhead. It is my first time to Israel, and it is a trip I have wanted to make for a very long time.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Raising The Ante On Prices

Posted: August 30, 2006  By James Laube

Prices for a few elite California wines are heating up--although given the small size of these wineries, the rise is more like an outdoor patio heating lamp than a roaring bonfire on campus before a big football game.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

New Looks for Rosemount, Lindemans

Posted: August 30, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Time was, Rosemount and Lindemans were near-iconic names. Their wines introduced a great many Americans to how good Australia can be. They offered modestly priced wines that sang a lilting tune of fresh fruit, with a smooch of sweet oak.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The Working Person's Wine...

Posted: August 30, 2006  By James Molesworth

Labor Day is approaching, which means the summer is ending (sad), but the kids are going back the school (whew!). It won't be long before the grill is covered up for winter and the vegetable garden is a pile of mulch.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Million Dollar Label

Posted: August 30, 2006  By James Suckling

I drank a bottle last night in Mykonos of what is supposed to be one of Greece’s greatest wines, the 2003 Alpha Estate Alpha One. The wine was good but slightly too jammy and disjointed to be very serious in quality.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Annoying Back Labels

Posted: August 29, 2006  By James Suckling

Sometimes I get really tired of reading wine bottle back labels. Some can be on the level of information provided on breakfast cereal boxes or soft-drink bottles. Here’s one I noticed after a friend brought a bottle of Australian Pinot Noir to dinner in Mykonos.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Different Styles, Similar Results

Posted: August 28, 2006  By James Laube

The other day, I tried the new Chasseur Pinot Noirs --which are among the most exciting 2004 Pinots I’ve tasted from California--and the blind tasting reminded me how different these wines are in style from the Sonoma winery's Chardonnays.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Looking For The Tiger Woods of Wine...

Posted: August 28, 2006  By James Molesworth

With his win this past weekend, Tiger Woods continued his amazing run - four straight. He did it in the pouring rain, too. (On a side note, I advanced out of the qualifying round in my club championship, playing in the pouring rain on Sunday as well).

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Another Outpost for Outstanding Wine

Posted: August 28, 2006  By James Suckling

I am always surprised to come across restaurants in unlikely places with excellent wines. For example, last night I took some friends to dinner at La Cucina di Danielle in Mykonos, and we drank some extraordinary wines from the restaurant’s wine list, including 2002 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape White Vieilles Vignes , 2000 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra , and 1997 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto.

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