Posted: February 20, 2007 By James Laube
Fort Ross Vineyard has found a groove. It's a relatively new brand of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that wine lovers should pay serious attention to. Linda and Lester Schwartz, who came to California from Cape Town, South Africa, in 1976, own the 44-acre vineyard.
Posted: February 20, 2007 By James Molesworth
Last week I was on vacation in the Caribbean, hence my silent blog. (Sorry, but I need a break while on vacation, unlike my prolific colleague James Suckling). The Caribbean offers sunny weather, on most days.
Posted: February 20, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
"That's a no-brainer," said our waiter at Roaring Fork, the still-hot Scottsdale, Ariz., restaurant that specializes in chile -laced dishes that sing with Southwestern spices. I had asked him what kind of wine he thought would go with the dishes we had ordered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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