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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Screaming Eagle Part 3: Banks' Views on Napa and Beyond

Posted: June 22, 2006  By James Laube

Charles Banks is a relative newcomer to wine. But the 38-year-old has deep pockets, knows his way around financial markets, appears to be a quick learner and has some refreshing insights and perspectives on the business, even as he cuts his teeth presiding over his new winery in Napa Valley, Screaming Eagle.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit-Down With Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle

Posted: June 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

I sat down with Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle the other day. The owner of Chile’s Casa Lapostolle tempted me with a complete vertical of her Clos Apalta , a blend of Carmenère, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a small, old-vine plot in the Apalta area of Chile’s Colchagua Valley.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Screaming Eagle Part 2: The New Team

Posted: June 21, 2006  By James Laube

Charles Banks looks at the wine business the same way he views a pro-sports franchise. Not a surprise when you consider that his partner owns two pro franchises and he has close ties to many stars and star athletes.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Latour for Dummies

Posted: June 21, 2006  By James Suckling

Had some friends over for dinner; a number were Tuscan winemakers, along with the head of Cuban cigar imports in Italy. The latter is a very keen wine drinker. In fact, he used to write about wine for a number of Italian wine publications years ago.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Silence is Golden?

Posted: June 20, 2006  By James Suckling

Why won’t the first growths release their prices? The whole world is waiting. We all know it’s going to be expensive. So just get it over with…. I would guess that they are going to be between 220 and 240 euros a bottle from the châteaus to the Bordeaux wine trade, and American consumers are not going to see much change from a $500 bill.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Penfolds' Sidelines

Posted: June 20, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

As the winemaker for Penfolds , Peter Gago is responsible for some of the iconic wines of Australia, including Grange and Bin 707. Who knew he had a jones for Gewürztraminer and Sangiovese? On a recent visit to San Francisco, over lunch at Ame, he poured a few wines that are, well, out of Penfolds' mainstream.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Screaming Eagle's New Flight Plans

Posted: June 20, 2006  By James Laube

Charles Banks, the new owner of Screaming Eagle , has some lofty ambitions for his recent acquisition. Here’s the flight plan for Napa’s Cabernet darling: The most important thing is to uphold the high standards set by Screaming Eagle’s founder, Jean Phillips.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Big Wines Can Be Balanced

Posted: June 19, 2006  By James Laube

I know why people don’t like what they consider to be overripe wines. They complain about prune and raisin notes in reds and high alcohol in whites. And I completely understand their perspective because I’m on the other side of the debate, or perhaps more precisely, somewhere in the middle.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Great Wine Can Come at a Price—But How High Is Too High?

Posted: June 16, 2006  By James Molesworth

In my Ask the Editor’s blog earlier this week, I mentioned how exciting some of the top Argentinean wines are – but how prices are also quickly rising for the best wines. I don’t begrudge a winery getting all it can for its product (assuming the quality is there), but my first responsibility is always to you the reader, the consumer – and high prices are always a bone of contention.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Celebrity Wines Seldom Are Stars

Posted: June 16, 2006  By James Laube

Celebrity wines have been around for as long as I can remember. We used to showcase an Always Elvis bottle in our San Francisco office in the 1980s. Not sure what kind of wine it was, but it came in a narrow, green Riesling-shaped bottle with the King on the label.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Little Ice Goes a Long Way

Posted: June 16, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Some years ago I shocked a room full of Pinot Noir nuts by plunking an ice cube in my glass of red Burgundy. It was one of the first International Pinot Noir Celebrations in Oregon, and Willamette Valley was experiencing one of its inevitable, if not too common, heat waves.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

A Final Visit in Chablis

Posted: June 16, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

Day 11, June 13: I left Nuits-St.-Georges early Tuesday morning for Chablis. There, I visited Wm. Fèvre. A domaine with one of the largest holdings in grands crus Chablis, it was purchased by Joseph Henriot in 1998.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Big Guns Not Heard

Posted: June 16, 2006  By James Suckling

All was quiet on the Western Front. (At least at 5 pm today in mainland Europe.) No more big names were released on the market from Bordeaux. Everyone is still waiting for the rest of the first growths – Latour, Margaux, Lafite and Mouton – to come out with their prices.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Don't Overlook the 88-Point Wines

Posted: June 15, 2006  By James Laube

Readers often ask where they can find the best values. Beyond the obvious starting point, price, one area I suggest is to look for wines in the 88-point range. These are wines that we consider very good, or excellent, but shy of outstanding.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

What Wine, What Price?

Posted: June 15, 2006  By James Suckling

Most people agree that two reasons exist to buy Bordeaux futures. The first reason is to save money. Basically, the future should cost less than when the wine is finally sold in bottle. The second reason is to secure early the specific wine that you want, which can be important for limited-production or super-popular wines.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

New Digs for Two Houses

Posted: June 15, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

I’m back in New York now and a few days behind in my postings, but that’s what traveling does to one’s schedule. I arrived in Paris Tuesday and planned to meet some friends in the center of the city; however, the RER train from Charles de Gaulle to the city wasn’t running.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Modern vs. Traditional—In Barossa?

Posted: June 15, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Barossa Shiraz. Does it mean "goo monster" to you? That's the caricature of Australia's signature red wine, or at least the wine type that many wine aficionados think of first when someone says "Aussie red.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Who's Playing at What with Haut-Brion 2005?

Posted: June 14, 2006  By James Suckling

I wrote yesterday that wine merchants were sending in their bids to negociants in Bordeaux for the second release of Haut-Brion. But they are wasting their time, or playing games with you, me and everybody else interested in Bordeaux.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Holding the Bag of 2005 Bordeaux

Posted: June 14, 2006  By James Suckling

One of the big problems with 2005 futures could be the following as pointed out in a comment in my blog by Karl Mark of Geneva, Illinois: "I seem to think that the US retailers will be the ones who take a hit on the 2005 Bordeaux.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Are Super-Sized Bottles Necessary?

Posted: June 13, 2006  By James Laube

Received a note from a reader recently, indicating that one of my favorite Pinot Noir producers was downsizing -- going to smaller bottles. What a relief. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to take a weight-lifting class just to hoist a bottle and pour.

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