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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa Cabernet by the (Case) Numbers

The 2012 vintage affirms that Cabernet is king in California

Posted: August 20, 2014  By James Laube

In the past few weeks, much of my attention has been directed toward reviewing Napa Valley Cabernets from the 2011 vintage. 2011 was tough across the board in California. But interspersed with the Napa 2011s were a sprinkling of 2012s and the hint of better days ahead. Not only were many of the 2012s richer and riper, better made and better balanced, I came across some rather staggering figures, evidence of Cabernet's importance to Napa wineries' bottom lines and California's image as a whole.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

A Breather in California’s High-Speed Harvest

Cooler temperatures in most of the state are allowing flavors to mature

Posted: August 20, 2014  By Tim Fish

Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish gets an update on California's 2014 harvest, now well under way.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

At Pétrus, the Kid Gets the Picture

Winemaker Olivier Berrouet hits the mark in 2013

Posted: August 18, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Pétrus in Pomerol to taste and review the 2013 Pétrus.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Bargains Abound with 2012 California Merlots

After tough vintages in 2010 and 2011, value lovers can rejoice

Posted: August 13, 2014  By Tim Fish

The 2011 and 2010 California Merlots, for the most part, are hard and herbal, plus they lacked depth and Merlot's telltale appealing texture. Nature just didn't play fair those years.

However, I'm beginning to taste 2012s as I prepare the annual Merlot report, and there's good news. The 2012s are downright fun to drink, and what they lack in depth, they balance with luscious fruit and silky body. That makes it a great year for value hounds.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

24 Hours Later: The Second-Day Wine Experience

Many wines have more to show the day after they're opened

Posted: August 12, 2014  By James Laube

Some of the best wines I've had are those that have been open a day, and sometimes longer. On a good tasting day I'll take a few bottles home with me or leave a few on my desk to see how the wines taste the following day. On most occasions the wines taste about the same; certainly exposure to air isn't a big factor in the first 24 hours, and none expire (although some do present defects, such as brett, volatile acidity or TCA taint).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Taking the Long View

At Château Clinet, Ronan Laborde cobbles together prime real estate

Posted: August 12, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Clinet in Pomerol.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Fresh Air Blows at Château Figeac

Frédéric Faye brings needed focus and direction to this historic estate

Posted: August 11, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Figeac in St.-Emilion.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Etna Rhapsody

Giuseppe Russo’s journey from classical music to melodic Sicilian reds

Posted: August 11, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits the Mt. Etna vineyards of Giuseppe Russo to see how the former classical pianist makes his melodic Sicilian red wines.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Rosé Phenomenon

A dinner celebrating rosés from across Italy illustrates the category's great leaps

Posted: August 8, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson sits down to a dinner celebrating Italian rosés at Lincoln Ristorante hosted by wine director Aaron von Rock.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Only Dead Men Can Write Obituaries

Do you have to have made wine to write about it?

Posted: August 8, 2014  By James Laube

When discussing older vintages, we all have limitations, especially when it comes to experience. Where and when your wine experiences begin are vital markers, since initial impressions are often lasting ones.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Blue-Blood Continuity Breeds Success

Grand-Puy-Lacoste serves as an actual home to some of France's Borie family

Posted: August 8, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Grand-Puy-Lacoste in Pauillac.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Golden State Oldies

Napa's Cabernets of yesteryear are experiencing a revival

Posted: August 7, 2014  By James Laube

There's a spirit of revival in California with older wines, with some vintners, many of them young, taking a keen interest in wines of yesteryear.

It's a healthy sign. "What's past is prologue" has merit in just about every aspect of life. Much of this new attention in California is directed toward Napa Valley Cabernets from the 1970s, and to a lesser extent the 1960s, because of the wines' reputations for longevity.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Two Offbeat Wines Please a Crowd

Using insider knowledge to find a wine list's sweet spot

Posted: August 6, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

The wine list was in my hands, often the case when a bunch of us go out to dine. Comes with the work title. Champagne would have been easy to start with, but I was looking for something closer to $50 (not $100) that might be fun and delicious, and not an obvious choice. Two offbeat selections—a white from Oregon and a Nebbiolo from Italy—fit the bill.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Getting a Taste of California’s Forbidden Fruit

Rare delegation of Cuban sommeliers explores Napa and Sonoma counties

Posted: August 6, 2014  By Tim Fish

California wine is all but impossible to get in Cuba, and even harder to get than a good Cuban cigar here in California. That's why it was such a milestone when a delegation of Cuban sommeliers toured Napa and Sonoma counties last month to get a rare taste of Golden State wine. It was their first wine-buying trip since the United States government opened the Cuban market to American wine just last year.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Rumble in the Vineyards

Napa experienced a minor 3.2-magnitude earthquake this morning

Posted: August 5, 2014  By James Laube

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube awoke to a 3.2-magnitude earthquake in Napa this morning.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Napa Cabernet, Every Which Way

A visit to Hall shows just how brightly Cabernet can shimmer with site-specific nuance across Napa's varied terroirs

Posted: August 5, 2014  By Ben O'Donnell

Last month, I tasted five 2010 Cabernets at Hall winery, each from a different Napa appellation: St. Helena (Bergfeld, single-vineyard), Stags Leap District (single-vineyard), Diamond Mountain (two growers), Howell Mountain (two growers) and the Exzellenz Sacrashe Vineyard Rutherford. Some of these cuvées are new, but Hall now counts Cabernets from six different subappellations of Napa (all 95 to 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon) and one from Sonoma. Together, they form a map of the valley as traced along the Cabernet in its veins.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Dozen Terroirs in One

In the famed l'Enclos of Bordeaux's Léoville-Las-Cases, a patchwork of soils is the secret

Posted: August 4, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, taking a walk around the famed l'Enclos vineyard of Léoville Las Cases, with its diverse terroir.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Downside to Sharing Your Cellar

How to save the day when you choose the wrong bottle

Posted: July 30, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Like many of us, my friend, let's call him Fred to protect the guilty, has acquired many more bottles of good wine for his cellar than he and his wife can possibly drink in their lifetimes. But for every bottle he gives away, he seems to get one in return. Which led to a potentially very awkward situation one night ...

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Here I Go Again. Again.

Back to Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes

Posted: July 29, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards, starting at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

When Is a Wine No Longer Good to Drink?

Not until you've opened the bottle and decided for yourself

Posted: July 29, 2014  By Dana Nigro

Wine Spectator senior editor Dana Nigro answers the question, How do you know if a wine is still good to drink? (Open it!)

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