Posted: July 21, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down with Bruce Jack the other day, to get caught up on things in South Africa. Jack, 36, is the owner and winemaker at Flagstone winery, and he’s what I consider a typical South African vintner: quality oriented, producing a moderate volume (about 70,000 cases a year) and focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc (the Cape’s best grapes, along with Chenin Blanc).
Posted: July 19, 2006 By James Laube
Hardly a week passes without us learning about a new celebrity wine connection or convert. I don’t suppose it much matters what one’s calling in life has to do with a fondness for wine. It is fascinating to see how wine works its way into both the mainstream and niches of our society.
Posted: July 19, 2006 By James Molesworth
I just got excited over a flight of Côtes du Rhône, not exactly the wines I normally get fired up over. Sure, there are plenty of good ones, and even the occasional outstanding one. They’re great with bistro fare or when you want to knock something back without paying big bucks or having to think too much about it.
Posted: July 19, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
It's always nice to hear from readers who discover a terrific wine because I recommended it. Recently, a blog reader exclaimed over Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella's Garden 2004, a $50 wine that I had rated 95 points.
Posted: July 19, 2006 By James Suckling
A couple of days ago Marco Pallanti was named the new president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium (Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), which boasts that it represents 96 percent of the bottled wine of the region.
Posted: July 18, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Earlier this month, the Yamhill County Commission approved an application for a hilltop hotel in the Dundee Hills next door to Domaine Drouhin. It would be Willamette Valley's first luxury hotel, something the wine region has long needed.
Posted: July 18, 2006 By James Suckling
The other night I was at a friend’s summer rental house located near my home at Il Borro near Arezzo. We were having dinner by the pool, and some local carabinieri walked down the driveway. I was a bit worried at first.
Posted: July 18, 2006 By James Laube
Ran into Chris Steltzner at the gym on Monday morning, and she described one weapon for the searing heat of the past few days in California, no matter, it seemed, where you were. The owner of Steltzner Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley told me about sitting out at her pool on Sunday evening, with a tumbler of ice filled with maybe a half bottle of Steltzner Sauvignon Blanc.
Posted: July 17, 2006 By James Molesworth
The only thing hotter than New York City right now (where it is a steamy 95+ degrees) might be the '03 Hermitage from Jean-Louis Chave. With production at one-third of normal levels, the wine has quickly reached stratospheric prices.
Posted: July 17, 2006 By James Laube
Continuing the discussion on the role of wine critics, I'd like to point out that there’s a reason why no supernova numbers-only wine guru has taken hold of the ratings game. And it’s simple. It’s because people really do read the reviews and those descriptions matter to them.
Posted: July 16, 2006 By James Suckling
Gave my “O”s another go last night with a dinner “al fresco” with my ex-wife and children. She commented how I had some “lovely new water glasses…” These glasses sort of grow on you. I served a slightly chilled bottle of 2003 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone Vigna Vecchia with a frittata and green salad.
Posted: July 14, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
It has been several years since Willamette Valley vintners finally agreed on a set of six sub-appellations that would give the region's Pinot Noir producers a framework not too unlike that of Burgundy.
Posted: July 14, 2006 By James Suckling
Just had my first experience with the Riedel “O” glass. It was the Sauvignon Blanc model. I had a barbeque tonight at my house in Tuscany with my children, Jack, 11, and Isabel, 8. We had grilled sausages and a tomato and cucumber salad – no big deal on a hot and steamy Tuscan night.
Posted: July 12, 2006 By James Suckling
It seemed almost too good to be true. A few weeks ago I came across a magnum of Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 1989 for 435 euros on the wine list of a mega-buck restaurant, Tantris, in Munich.
Posted: July 11, 2006 By James Molesworth
Let’s set the record straight – at least, my record – on this whole ‘wineries making wines in a style to please critics’ argument that’s raging right now in my colleague James Laube's blog.
Posted: July 10, 2006 By James Suckling
I've just learned that the owner of Bordeaux first growth Château Latour, fashion magnate François Pinault, signed an agreement last week to buy close to 16 acres of prime Burgundy vineyards, planted to Pinot Noir and all near the town of Vosne-Romanée.
Posted: July 9, 2006 By James Suckling
Football (soccer) is life in Italy. I am sitting in Castilgone della Pescia on the coast of Tuscany with some friends, and I can hear the horns of cars and the screams of people. Everyone is so happy here! Italy is the champion of the world tonight.
Posted: July 7, 2006 By James Molesworth
I usually prefer simple food with great wines, like a grilled steak with a big Bordeaux or Rhône – or the opposite, complex foods with simpler wines, such as seafood with exotic spices and sauces with a clean, crisp white.
Posted: July 7, 2006 By James Laube
I’m taking a few days off, but I leave you with a couple of thoughts – questions, actually. One is the claim by some that winemakers deliberately make wines to suit certain critics’ palates, and in turn to win accolades, or more specifically, points.
Posted: July 7, 2006 By James Suckling
I went to visit winemaker Bibi Graetz of Testamatta yesterday in the hills above Florence near the town of Fiesole. Bibi, 38, is a cool winemaker and is producing some exciting reds from classic Tuscan varietals such as Sangiovese, Colorino and Canaiolo.
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