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Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Robuchon in London

Posted: February 20, 2007  By James Suckling

I ran into super chef  Joël Robuchon at breakfast last Saturday in London at the St. Martins Lane Hotel. I was there with my two children, getting geared up for a matinee of The Sound of Music. Robuchon had been fine-tuning his latest L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which is sort of high class zen-sushi-bar-looking place featuring all of his signature three-star dishes, and more, as well as a good selection of wines by the glass.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

What Bordeaux Does So Well

Posted: February 16, 2007  By James Suckling

Haaaaaa. Steak, frites and Bordeaux. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a simple steak, French fries and a green salad with a good bottle of Bordeaux. And I am not talking about first-growth or second-growth or trophy reds from France’s premier wine region.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Jasper Hill Shiraz, Past and Future

Posted: February 16, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Ron and Elva Laughton, owners of Jasper Hill Vineyard in Australia, make good wines, and I like to drink them. They do what wine ought to do, which is to reflect the place where they grow. But tasting them blind in my office, or at the table with the Laughtons, I've never been able to get really revved up about them.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Cult Cabernet Winemaker Shakeup

Posted: February 16, 2007  By James Laube

Two of Napa Valley’s cult Cabernet producers rotated winemakers this week. Mark Aubert, who had been consulting winemaker at Colgin since 1999 , is leaving and will now be overseeing the winemaking at Bryant Family Vineyard , according to owner Don Bryant.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Rites of Spring in Thy Cellar

Posted: February 16, 2007  By James Laube

Spring weather arrived in Northern California this week. Today the temperature will reach 70 degrees in Napa Valley, and it’s bright, clear and sunny, with no wind. While I know folks in Baltimore, Buffalo and Billings, Mont.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Posted: February 16, 2007  By Eric Ripert

I always tell my cooks that if you start cooking with mediocre (or worse) ingredients, even if you are a genius of a cook, you will have a mediocre dish in the end.  We strive to find the best ingredients from all over the world.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Why Some 1996 Cabernets Were Oxidized

Posted: February 15, 2007  By James Laube

Not all wineries store their wines in perfect cellar conditions. More wine gets moved around than you might imagine, and that can greatly impact the quality of the wine, especially as it ages. When several bottles of 1996 Cabernet from two prominent Napa Valley wineries tasted oxidized while I was working on my '96 retrospective report , I asked the owners-winemakers how the wines had been stored.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

French Sunshine in the Bottle and on the Plate in NYC

Posted: February 15, 2007  By James Suckling

I have a soft spot for Bandol, France’s coastal wine region. I had a bottle of Bandol red the other night at the excellent New York restaurant Mas, and I really was sad to see it end. It brought me back to last summer on the Cote d’Azur with some friends enjoying the sunshine, sea air, and beautiful sights – day and night.

Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Taking a Stand Against Vineyard Designations

Posted: February 14, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

I am often asked why we use the more general Napa Valley appellation on our two Caymus Cabernets, instead of a more specific subregion such as Rutherford or even a single-vineyard designation. My thoughts on this subject might be considered controversial.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

When Chef and Sommelier Both Leave

Posted: February 14, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Something is up when, in the same week, the chef and wine director of a destination restaurant both pull out of the business they helped found. In the past few days, both Debbie Zachareas, who created an exciting wine list with more than 200 offerings by the glass, and Arnold Eric Wong, the chef who invented my favorite mussel dish, announced that they were leaving San Francisco's Bacar , citing differences with the new owners.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reflections on the 1996 Cabernet Report

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Laube

This is a perfect time to discuss older vintages. In a recent blog , Chuck Wagner writes about a wine's moment—which can be fleeting. In my report on the 1996 Cabernets , I was disappointed by how many of the wines showed, for various reasons.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Ugh! Valentine’s Day

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Suckling

I am in a rotten mood. Today is Valentine’s Day and I hate it. I have loathed this commercial celebration for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was because Heidi Hendrickson in the sixth grade didn’t accept my Valentine’s message.

Blogs  :  Larry Stone's Blog

James Laube Faces the Napa Valley Vintners

Posted: February 13, 2007  By Larry Stone

Last week the Napa Valley Vintners association had a general meeting where we discussed the state of Napa Valley wines. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that after our business meeting, we would be hearing from Wine Spectator 's James Laube.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Wine Bar Nights in LA and NYC

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Suckling

I am seeing wine bars in major cities, and what I am seeing, I like. In the past few days, I have been to two cool wine bars, one in Los Angeles and one in New York City, that are hip, fun and satisfying.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Heavyweight Food-and-Wine Dinner

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Laube

On Saturday night, I was invited to a dinner party here in Napa. All I was asked to bring was some wine. We'd be grilling meat, I was told, so I took a couple of huge, rich, massive, inky dark, ultraripe Cabernets in hefty supersized, barbell-weight bottles.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

To De(stem) or Not to De(stem)

Posted: February 13, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Sometimes I’ll be cruising along in a blind tasting of red Burgundies and a wine will throw me a curve ball. Aromatically, it is fresh and distinctive, with floral and spice notes (sandalwood comes to mind most often) along with the fruit.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tip of the Iceberg

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

When you decide how expensive a restaurant is, do you look at the final bill, which includes tax and tip, or at the price of an entrée? Or maybe the prices on the wine list? If you said the final bill, you are in the minority.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Back Label That Fills in the Facts

Posted: February 12, 2007  By James Laube

Last night for dinner, I opened a bottle of 2003 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard (92 points, $45). As I poured a glass, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. Calera used to make one of the ripest styles of Pinot Noir in California, so much so that I once described them as ultraripe bordering on jammy.

Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Reminiscing Over a Wine's Moment

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

I've heard for years about a wine's "moment." It's different than a wine's peak (which is very subjective). It's also different than a wine "opening up" over a period of time due to decanting or exposure to air in the glass.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

My Path to Becoming a Chef

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Eric Ripert

Hello, my name is Eric Ripert, and I am the chef and owner of Le Bernardin restaurant in New York. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to write my own Wine Spectator guest blog, and look forward to sharing ideas with you throughout the next month.

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