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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Appellation Madness in California

Posted: March 26, 2007  By James Laube

Do California vintners have their own case of March Madness? In Santa Barbara, vintners in the Happy Canyon area are finalizing a petition to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in support of dividing the region into subappellations.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Of Steaks and Barrels

Posted: March 26, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

I wonder if the same purists who decry wines that show too much oak feel the same way about their steaks. That came to mind as I interviewed Tom Colicchio, the chef and owner of Craftsteak in New York and Las Vegas, whose cooking methods for beef have generated some flack.

Blogs  :  Jean-Guillaume Prats

On Arrogance

Posted: March 26, 2007  By Jean-Guillaume Prats

"Arrogance is exactly why people are fed up with the Bordelais such as yourself." This is the comment made by Peter in one of my Wine Spectator blogs. Perhaps. As a Frenchman, I am very happy to debate this.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Dinner Party Chatter in Bordeaux

Posted: March 26, 2007  By James Suckling

"You can't make a great wine every year, or at least as great as 2005," I said last night to a number of château owners during a cool dinner party at the house of wine merchant Pierre Lawton and his wife, Sophie, in Bordeaux.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

No Substitute for Experience When Judging Wines

Posted: March 23, 2007  By James Laube

Being comfortable grading or rating wines takes time and experience. It took me years of tasting before I felt fully confident about assessing wines and describing them, and even now, I come across wines that are hard to size up.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

On the Road Again to Bordeaux

Posted: March 23, 2007  By James Suckling

I am writing this from the passenger seat of my sports car with tasting coordinator Jo Cooke at the wheel as we drive toward Bordeaux through the Cote d’Azur. No ticket yet! It takes about 11 hours from Tuscany to Bordeaux.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When to Drink a Wine Can Be a Dilemma

Posted: March 22, 2007  By James Laube

One of our readers, Roger, just posted a good question in response to a recent blog. “When do you think is the earliest point to open a 2001 [Cabernet]?” I think 2001s should drink well from now until they’re 15 or 20 years old, maybe longer, assuming they’re properly stored.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

2005 Should Have Some Cabernet Values

Posted: March 21, 2007  By James Laube

Napa Cabernet drinkers should be focusing on top-rated wines from recent vintages, especially the 2003s and 2004s that are making their way to the market right now. Though '03 wasn't a great year, some great wines were made.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 14—From the Top to the Bottom, Tourist Style

Posted: March 21, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s a national holiday here today: Human Rights Day. It’s cooler than it’s been so far on my trip, and summer seems to be finally winding down here. To celebrate the holiday, I allowed myself to be a tourist for a day.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Cooking With Wine, Soaking Chickens

Posted: March 21, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

The august New York Times splashed a big story over its food pages this week, the big news being that you shouldn't use a great wine in cooking. What a surprise. The writer, Julia Moskin, seems to have deliberately set out to misunderstand the oft-repeated advice to "use a wine you would drink.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Tale of Two Nenins

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Suckling

It’s probably going to snow tonight in Tuscany. I am really cold. The central heating system is not what it should be in my house! It made me think about how warm and comfortable it was in Hong Kong last week.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 13—A Vinous Family Tree

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Molesworth

Walker Bay is about a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, past the well-known wine lands of Stellenbosch, and up over the Hottentot mountains (where a vista point along the road affords a dramatic view of False Bay).

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

Some Parting Thoughts

Posted: March 20, 2007  By Eric Ripert

The hospitality industry has seduced a lot of young people, and even some career-changers, who come from very interesting and diverse backgrounds. The media has helped to bring a lot of awareness to our industry.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Quality Is Usually About Selection

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Laube

Why does it seem, as a couple of readers have asked, that there are fewer bad vintages of late? And not just in California, but also in places like Germany, Oregon and Burgundy? Warmer weather, for starters.

Blogs  :  Jean-Guillaume Prats

The Origins of En Primeur

Posted: March 19, 2007  By Jean-Guillaume Prats

What is the en primeur system and what is its purpose? Many of you might find it hard to understand this 50-year-old system of selling wines in Bordeaux. After the second World War, most of the châteaus were very poorly run and very much underfinanced, and they struggled to pay their bills.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Thoughts on Vintages, Ripeness and Alcohol

Posted: March 19, 2007  By James Laube

In response to my blogs about vintages and vintage ratings last week, a few of you posted related questions. One dealt with my Cabernet vintage ratings and, in a roundabout way, whether excessive ripeness and alcohol levels were a factor.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 12—More Than a Handful

Posted: March 19, 2007  By James Molesworth

Usually when I travel to a region for the first time, I meet with two, maybe three winemakers a day. Today I broke the rules and went for a lucky seven. My first stop was at De Toren , where winemaker Albie Koch has been turning out a consistently polished, outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend called Fusion V.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 11—From Big to Small

Posted: March 18, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s Sunday, but no rest for me. First stop this morning was Meerlust , the historic estate that has been owned for over 250 years by the Myburgh family. It’s a gorgeous property, set off the main road as you head into Stellenbosch, with 400 hectares, 120 of which are under vine.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 10—Mr. Precision

Posted: March 17, 2007  By James Molesworth

As I left my hotel this morning, I was greeted by some early-morning rain and high winds on the way to Stellenbosch—the first bad weather of the entire trip. It wasn’t all bad though: A huge double rainbow spread over the Cape Town as we drove out.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 9—A Family Affair

Posted: March 16, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today, I sandwiched visits to two small producers around one big producer—all family-owned. It’s always fun to mix appointments like this and see how different personalities find their own individual space in the wine industry.

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