Posted: September 29, 2006 By James Suckling
I am leaving in 30 minutes for Pinar del Rio, the tobacco region of Cuba, to visit the world’s greatest tobacco grower, Alejandro Robania. The 84-year-old is to tobacco what Robert Mondavi is to California wine.
Posted: September 29, 2006 By James Laube
My Mother used to keep a sign in her office that read: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” I had every good reason to lose my mind the other night as I dined with the dashing, fun-loving, cork-popping, magnum-obsessed and forever dangerous and unpredictable wine maven James Suckling.
Posted: September 28, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Michelin releases its Red Guide to the restaurants of San Francisco and environs next week. Having just published my take on the state of S.F. dining in the current issue of Wine Spectator (Oct 15, 2006), I have more than a casual interest in seeing what the Michelin inspectors come up with.
Posted: September 28, 2006 By James Laube
I made it to Florence in pretty good shape. Not so for my luggage. It decided to stay at Heathrow, in London, while I carried on with my laptop and tote bag. My luggage took the path less traveled, which left me clothes-less in Florence, which wasn’t so bad for the first 24 hours.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Every time I visit fun-loving Rollin Soles at Argyle winery in Oregon, he has some interesting tastings set up for me. This time, he has a vast assortment of freshly pressed juices, barrel samples from the 2005 vintage, and a previous vintages bottled under cork and screwcap for a blind comparison.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By James Suckling
The dusty streets of Havana are a long way from the vineyards and cellars of Bordeaux, but I was thinking this morning over a café con leche about the Merlots I tasted from barrel last week while in France.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By James Molesworth
I stopped in at the Wines of Argentina trade show here in NYC yesterday. There were around 70 wineries pouring their wares, and a good crowd showed up (press and trade only). A solid buzz filled the room, and it was good to see.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
I tasted some older wines while in Oregon last week, visiting winemakers in Willamette Valley. What strikes me, looking over my notes, is how consistently good they all were. Of course, what vintner would show a bad wine to a visiting journalist? The greatest number of bottles showed up at dinner with David Millman, general manager of Domaine Drouhin, and Tony Rynders, winemaker at Domaine Serene.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Molesworth
We were cleaning up from lunch on Sunday when I asked my wife, Nancy, what she had thought of the red. It was a social lunch with guests, so Nancy hadn't seen the bottle--only tasted the wine. "It was really good," she said.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Suckling
My buddy and colleague James Laube came to my house for dinner last night with some of his friends. They are in Tuscany for a couple of weeks to chase the Tuscan sun. Unfortunately, it was raining this morning as I poured myself into my car to drive to the Rome airport for a trip to North America.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
For years, the Oregon winery Beaux Frères used the Belles Soeurs label for all its non-estate wines, but no more. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all of the non-estate wines will carry the Beaux Frères label with a subhead: "The Willamette Valley.
Posted: September 22, 2006 By James Suckling
I never thought I would be dancing shirtless at Château Pétrus. Mykonos or St. Tropez, yes..but Pétrus? I went to the harvesters’ party last night at the famous Pomerol estate, and the 50 pickers, along with the owners, were rocking.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Domaine Serene shattered a big price barrier when it released an ultra-premium Oregon PInot Noir, Monogram 2002, at $200 a bottle earlier this year. Next up is a white wine from Pinot Noir, made to sell for $60.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Laube
I’m headed off to Tuscany and points beyond for a fortnight. I could make up something about needing a vacation, or change of scenery, or new blogging material. But the truth is I’m going to catch up with my old friend and colleague, James Suckling, and help him drain of some of the oversize bottles of Barolo and Brunello that are clogging his cellar.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Suckling
I just finished tasting the 2005 Mouton-Rothschild at the château, and I am impressed. The wine is much better than when I tasted it in late March. It has serious concentration of fruit and super well-integrated tannins.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down the other day with Daniel Pi, head winemaker for Argentina's large Trapiche winery, which has historically lagged behind in quality. Since Pi joined the winery in 2002, however, things have turned around somewhat.
Posted: September 20, 2006 By James Laube
I’m headed off to Italy in a few days, so last night I drank Bordeaux. My son and I were having dinner – a guys' grill night, with rib eyes and some random, token greens. He hasn’t shown much interest in wine, despite the fact that it’s always been around.
Posted: September 20, 2006 By James Suckling
I had a winemaker in Bordeaux ask me today if I felt that the expensive prices for 2005 were my fault? I laughed. But I was slightly annoyed too. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” I told him. I tasted the wines.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By James Laube
Harvest is always full of surprises. No one year is quite like the next. The action in Napa and Sonoma is building momentum. Winemakers who haven’t set foot in a church in years now talk about their daily prayers.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down with South African vintner Beyers Truter last week, to talk a bit about Pinotage. I haven’t been kind to the Pinotage grape – at one time South Africa’s most important red varietal. I find the wines dominated by rustic, stemmy notes and an aggressive tannin structure.
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