Posted: March 8, 2007 By James Molesworth
Well, I finally made it. In transit for two days, and not a hitch—that’s got to be a modern-day record for commercial air travel. After landing in Cape Town, I spent my first hour crawling through traffic on the way to my hotel.
Posted: March 8, 2007 By James Suckling
I am writing this while huddled on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong for what is expected to be “the” tasting of the year – every vintage of Château Le Pin ever produced. Owner Jacques Thienpont and his two cousins, François and Alexandre, are coming as well.
Posted: March 7, 2007 By James Laube
Ernest Gallo's death yesterday brought back lots of memories. Everyone who's been in the wine business for any length of time knows what a great contribution he made to wine, and one thought that made me smile was the first time I sat down with him and his brother for a formal interview in 1993.
Posted: March 7, 2007 By Eric Ripert
You could say that this blog entry started with a guilty conscience. Two weeks ago, my partner Maguy Le Coze and I were honored at a tribute dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami. We got up on stage to say a few words of thanks to the crowd, and I thanked my wife and family and my team at Le Bernardin for helping to make everything possible.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By Bruce Sanderson
The biggest problem at La Paulée de New York is keeping up and keeping track of all the great Burgundies circulating. I wasn’t the only one at my end of the table taking notes; however, there was some question as to my stamina.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By James Molesworth
Well, I’m off to South Africa. Marvin finally agreed to send me—probably because he got sick of me talking about it, and he just wanted me out of his hair for a few weeks! It’s been a while since a Wine Spectator editor made an official visit to the Cape—not since my colleague James Suckling was there shortly after apartheid ended in 1994.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By James Laube
When you live in an intimate winegrowing area where everyone knows everyone else, own a high-profile wine shop and a prominent restaurant with an award-winning wine list, you might think that entering the winemaking business would be risky.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
What's the best food and wine experience you have ever had on an airplane? Chances are it did not come out of a 747's galley. Airlines try hard to make the food good in first class, but the rest of the plane gets something that may be decent if seldom memorable.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By James Suckling
A wine exporter left an angry comment at the end of my previous blog about the mediocre quality of 2002 Brunello. Some of what he said was so inflammatory that it had to be edited by my office in New York.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By Maynard James Keenan
Now that I'm off for a bit, I'm able to participate in some of the fun activities here at the winery. We blind-tasted through all the '06 Syrahs--lots of chewy tannins this year. In the first flight, we tasted the free run and then in the second flight, we tasted the pressed wine.
Posted: March 5, 2007 By James Laube
Are the owners of Duckhorn Vineyards ready to cash out? Dan Duckhorn, CEO and board chairman of the Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet specialist, says that’s one option the six-person board of directors will debate within the next few weeks.
Posted: March 2, 2007 By James Laube
As I finish my Santa Barbara tasting of barrel samples, my thoughts are drifting from Grenache and Syrah to an entirely different subject. I’m thinking about the Zodiac. This is not a new wine or an inflatable boat or even an attempt to link wine to astrological forecasts or biodynamic farming.
Posted: March 2, 2007 By James Molesworth
I sat down this week with José and Rafael Guilisasti of Viñedos Emiliana in Chile. Emiliana is the organically run arm of Concha y Toro , best known for producing the $5 Walnut Crest line. The Guilisasti family owns a lot of vineyards—about 3,500 acres.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By Eric Ripert
I have a confession to make: I drink red Bordeaux with everything. I am the nightmare of the sommeliers at Le Bernardin , and many times they are embarrassed for me. OK, I am exaggerating a little bit.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Terroir means something important in wine, but ask a dozen wine aficionados and you will almost certainly get 12 different interpretations. Everyone agrees that geography counts. Where the grapes grow affects the structure and the flavor of a wine, but things get really slippery when you try to pin down just exactly what that means to the finished wine.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By James Laube
Today and tomorrow, a delegation of Santa Barbara County wines arrives at Wine Spectator ’s Napa office for what has become an annual event. I will be doing a blind tasting of some of the wines being sold as futures through Wine Cask, a Santa Barbara retailer.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Laube
This has unexpectedly become sommelier-turns-winemaker week. First, we learned master sommelier Kevin Vogt is donning a vintner’s hat , and now we have two more sommeliers unveiling a new winery and some delicious new releases.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By Maynard James Keenan
I'm finally back home for a moment, and finally over that pesky flu. For some very specific reasons, it's a flu that I will never forget. It followed me from Melbourne, Australia, all the way to Nagoya, Japan, with brief stops in Adelaide (about which I will go into great detail), Perth, Osaka, Tokyo and Kawasaki.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Suckling
I just finished what has to be one of the worst tastings I have done for the magazine in a long time— 2002 Brunello di Montalcino. It was a shocker. Most of the wines were diluted and uninteresting. Even big names did poorly.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Molesworth
Yesterday, I caught up with Alejandro Hartwig, owner and winemaker of Chile’s Santa Laura winery in the Colchagua Valley, in my New York office. Hartwig is working his way back into the market after dealing with TBA contamination at his winery, which first showed up in his 2001 vintage.
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