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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Stage Is Set for 2007

Posted: May 10, 2007  By James Laube

I'm back in Napa Valley after a great road trip and fantastic tasting in Chicago on Tuesday. When I opened my e-mail this morning, I was greeted by a note from Scott McLeod, winemaker for Rubicon Estate and Edizione Pennino—and our fearless forecaster.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Wrapping up the Grand Tour in Chicago

Posted: May 10, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

I was excited to be in Chicago, at Wine Spectator 's Grand Tour. I had the opportunity to taste some of the great wines I missed in Atlantic City, the first leg of our three-city event. (Las Vegas was our second stop.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Is the Tide Turning for Cabernet Franc?

Posted: May 9, 2007  By James Molesworth

Cabernet Franc is one of those grapes that gets no respect--even from people who know it's the grape in Cheval-Blanc. Have your wine buddies over and tell them you’ve got some Château Cheval-Blanc in the house, and they won’t prevent you from pouring it.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Toughest 90 in America?

Posted: May 9, 2007  By James Laube

Late Monday night in Chicago—after dinner at Japonais , which was excellent (especially the sushi entrées)—I checked into my room and flipped on the TV. I pushed a few buttons and ended up watching Extreme Bull Riding, on ESPN (I think), for a few minutes.

Blogs  :  Kim Marcus' Prunings

On to Rust, and a Taste of Furmint

Posted: May 9, 2007  By Kim Marcus

Heading south, I stop first to taste and to tour the Hillinger winery near the small village of Jois. The winery is impressive for its modernistic approach; it appears almost like a cube, two stories set into a small hillside with huge picture windows on the upper floor affording magnificent views of the surrounding vineyards.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Sweet Home Chicago

Posted: May 8, 2007  By James Laube

Today I’m in Chicago for tonight’s Grand Tour tasting. It’s at the Hyatt Regency and the weather is beautiful, headed into the 80s, they say, with clear blue skies and no wind. Should be perfect for an evening of wine tasting—a clear, fast track.

Blogs  :  Kim Marcus' Prunings

Arriving in Austria. First Day: Carnuntum

Posted: May 8, 2007  By Kim Marcus

My first trip to Austria’s wine regions begins in one of its most unknown corners. And I’m accompanied by a cosmopolitan trio. Not Austrian, but a pair of Portuguese winemakers and Dirk Niepoort of the Port- (and now table wine) making family in the Douro.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Australia at the Crossroads

Posted: May 7, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

When I was in Australia last month, everyone in the wine industry was talking about three things: the current drought, forecasts for global climate change and the strength of the Aussie dollar. How it will all play out remains to be seen.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

First Class, First Growth Dinner

Posted: May 7, 2007  By James Suckling

Grand Tours are great events. There are so many excellent wines to taste and many of the owners and winemakers are there to taste with and talk to. But a lot of the action also takes place before and after the main event.

Blogs  :  Kim Marcus' Prunings

Austrian Adventure

Posted: May 4, 2007  By Kim Marcus

Hello. I'm Wine Spectator managing editor Kim Marcus. This is my first blog, and it should be a fascinating excursion given that it will record the observations of my first trip to the wine regions of Austria.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Steak and Blockbuster Tintos

Posted: May 4, 2007  By James Suckling

Tuscans need steak; that’s all there is to it. Florentine vintner Lamberto Frescobaldi was in Los Angeles at the same time I was before heading off for Las Vegas for the Grand Tour , so I told him we should pick up a rib eye with the bone at one of my favorites in La La, Carlito’s Gardel, the Argentinean restaurant on Melrose.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Highlights From a Visit Down Under

Posted: May 3, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Now that I'm back from Australia, I've compiled the following small but quirky list of highs and lows: Most Pleasant Surprise: Would you believe a serious Australian Merlot? Clarendon Hills Brookman Vineyard 2005, a supple, perfumy, languid mouthful of dark chocolate–infused currant and plum flavors hints at black tea on the very long and amazingly generous finish.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Another Sit Down with Santiago Achával

Posted: May 3, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s always fun sitting down with Santiago Achával, of Achával-Ferrer  in Mendoza, Argentina's largest wine-growing region. He’s enthusiastic about his wines, and he should be: His single vineyard Malbec bottlings are among Argentina’s best wines.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Two Hot Wine Country Restaurants

Posted: May 3, 2007  By James Laube

Those traveling to Napa this summer should make a point of dining at La Toque, while Sonoma visitors should try Cyrus. Cyrus ( is an upscale restaurant near Healdsburg Plaza. I had my first meal there last week, and chef Douglas Keane's culinary wizardry exceeded my expectations.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Maynard James Keenan

Growing Pains, Part 2: Punt or Run

Posted: May 3, 2007  By Maynard James Keenan

I believe we have a plan. I'll get into that in a moment. Chances are this whole situation with the frost-killed vines is partially our fault. So first, a little back-story might help you at this point.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Highlights from the Grand Tour

Posted: May 3, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator ’s Grand Tour kicked off this past weekend in Atlantic City, the first of three venues. I drove from New York with my colleagues James Suckling and Dana Nigro, anticipating an evening of tasting some great wines.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Embarrassing Moments: Which One?

Posted: May 3, 2007  By James Suckling

I was drinking some strong coffee this morning and checking out our Forums when this posting in Wine Conversations interested me: Most Embarrassing Wine Moment.   Where do I begin? You probably think that I never have them, being a wine expert of varying degrees.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Friendly Cabernet Challenge

Posted: April 30, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

"Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to show me a great Aussie Cabernet to drink with these steaks," I say to my dining partner, Jeremy Oliver, one of Australia's leading wine writers. We are at The Point in Melbourne, where he has been consulting with the owners to improve their wine list.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Touring the Grand Tour

Posted: April 30, 2007  By James Suckling

A cute, petite blonde was staring at me at the Grand Tour in Atlantic City. She obviously wanted to say something to me but felt embarrassed, so I walked over and said hello. “Hi,” I said to her. “You having fun tonight?” “How do you figure out what to taste here?” she asked with a pretty smile.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Why 2007 Should Be Phenomenal in Napa Valley

Posted: April 30, 2007  By James Laube

Here’s an item to clip and save. You never hear predictions about a harvest, or a vintage, five months before a grape is picked (because anything could happen in the meantime). But thanks to winemaker Scott McLeod of Rubicon Estate in Napa Valley, we have something to ponder between now and harvest.

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