Posted: August 21, 2006 By James Laube
George Taber stopped by my office in Napa on Friday. The Block Island, R.I., author is researching a new book, Battle For The Bottle , which is about wine closures. Specifically it’s about cork--its past, present and future (?)--and its challengers: synthetics, twist offs, glass tops, crown caps and whatever alternatives might emerge in coming years.
Posted: August 21, 2006 By James Suckling
You have to wonder how much prestige cuvée Champagne is consumed in dark, loud and smoky clubs around the world. I was in Les Cave du Roi last weekend in St. Tropez, and I saw buckets full of 1999 Roederer Cristal being consumed like bottles of Evian at a beach clubs during the day.
Posted: August 21, 2006 By James Molesworth
Every six months, I do an inventory on my cellar, if for nothing else than to catch all those bottles that I forgot I actually drank, ahem. It’s been eye-opening for me to see how my cellar has changed over the last two years.
Posted: August 18, 2006 By James Suckling
Something a little lighter than contemplating prices for 2005 Bordeaux futures: I just had dinner with the fox, and we were drinking a bottle of 2002 Petrolo Galatrona , the pure Merlot bombshell from Tuscany.
Posted: August 18, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Len Evans died on Aug. 17 at the age of 75. The Australian commentator, winemaker, wine judge, raconteur and consummate host left a big footprint in the wine world. Read my obituary of him here. When I first met Len Evans, he was spitting.
Posted: August 17, 2006 By James Suckling
I received e-mails from a few close friends who are Bordeaux wine traders, and they were very skeptical of my blog about Blackberry messages full of offers of top-class 2005 Bordeaux, such as Pétrus and Le Pin.
Posted: August 17, 2006 By James Laube
When good friends come to town, there’s usually lots of wine and, as goes wine, always surprises. Earlier this week, on a school night, I hooked up with two old friends -- Andy Katz and Greg Gorman -- both of whom are extraordinary photographers and wine lovers.
Posted: August 15, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
We were dining at Montagna at the Little Nell, the A-list restaurant in the A-list hotel in Aspen, Colo. If you want to see celebrities and rich people, this is the place. It has a Wine Spectator Grand Award for its cellar and a new chef, Ryan Hardy, who came to the Nell from another enclave of the rich, Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Posted: August 15, 2006 By James Laube
I need help. I’m working on a story about California Pinot Noir, and I’m looking for a few wines that are no longer for sale to fill in a few gaps in my research. The wineries are Kistler, Littorai and Rochioli, for the Reserve Pinots, and the vintages are 2001 to 2003 or 2004.
Posted: August 15, 2006 By James Molesworth
I was in Massachusetts celebrating my sister’s wedding this past weekend. After the ceremony in the Harvard Memorial Church, we all headed up to Gloucester for the reception. During the party, I was (inevitably) asked about the wines being served – a crisp, tangy Fratelli Prà Soave Classico 2005 and a bright, refreshing Château d'Oupia Minervois Rosé 2005.
Posted: August 14, 2006 By James Laube
When winemakers ask me what’s new I often reply, well, lots. New brands are popping up like mushrooms on an over-watered lawn. Then I cite this figure (which we checked in our database): In the past year--August 2005 to August 2006--we recorded 261 new brands just in California.
Posted: August 14, 2006 By James Suckling
A wine merchant friend was staying with me for a few days, and I was curious to hear that he was receiving, via his Blackberry, offers for big bottles of rare and expensive 2005 Bordeaux like Pétrus and Le Pin….
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Laube
A reporter from the New York Times called the other day to talk about ratings and reviews and the 100-point scale. (He said his story would run this Sunday.) How, he asked, does one determine the difference between a 92-point wine and a 91-point wine? Me: I liked one wine a little better than the other… Another thing he wanted to know, apparently courtesy of a comment from a producer, was how much time I spend analyzing a wine.
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Suckling
I limped into the covered market in the Tuscan coastal town of Follonica this morning to buy some fresh fish with some friends. I say limped because I pulled my hamstring last night playing tennis on a clay court.
Posted: August 11, 2006 By James Molesworth
Spoke to Didier Virot last night at Aix. In addition to being a really good chef, Virot is also an avid and knowledgeable wine collector. He's unhappy with the '05 Bordeaux pricing, as it seems most other folks here in the U.
Posted: August 10, 2006 By James Laube
It looks like airline travel just got a little more complicated after British authorities in London today thwarted a sophisticated plot to blow up several airplanes. As of now, it’s unclear what will happen to security measures in the future, though many airlines today were limiting what you can carry on, or perhaps more succinctly, eliminating any liquids or gels.
Posted: August 10, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
A lot of people translate terroir to mean "soil," especially those who first encountered the term in Burgundy. There, you can find many instances of vineyards growing side by side with the same altitude, the same aspect, the same inclination to the sun.
Posted: August 9, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
To most of the world, Aspen is a luxurious mountain town with a reputation for being a snobby collection of rich people. Take it from someone who has spent parts of 13 summers here, locals don't see it that way.
Posted: August 9, 2006 By James Suckling
Last Friday night, I had two wine merchant buddies over for dinner (one was Thomas because his Korean friends left). I grilled some chicken and served a green salad – no big deal. I pulled up a couple bottles of 1997 Barolo from my cellar.
Posted: August 8, 2006 By James Laube
Is this the beginning of the end? Or just a market correction blip? One of my major concerns about the 2003 vintage of California Cabernet has been pricing. I’ve tasted more than 250 of the wines now, and I think many of them would be a lot more appealing at discounted prices.
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