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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Critics or Dictators?

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Crazy Thoughts in the Hills of Florence

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Guy Savoy Brings an Exquisite Taste of France to Las Vegas

Posted: July 6, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

The name on the door says Guy Savoy, a chef ranked among France's elite. The raw prawns on the plate, prepared and presented with jewel-like precision, couldn't be more French. Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2002 sparkles in a balloon glass.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Four-Day Weekend Put To Good Use

Posted: July 5, 2006  By James Molesworth

Thanks to the four-day weekend, I was able to pillage my cellar a little bit more than usual. And when I looked back on the carnage of empty bottles (the heavier the recycling bin, the better the weekend, I say), I saw how the weekend could be divided up into its own wine flights.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Evaluating Quality

Posted: July 5, 2006  By James Laube

Following up on last week's blog post , I participated in a panel of wine critics this past Saturday, at the Institute of Masters of Wine event in Napa, and the three of us used similar terms to describe our perception of wine quality.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

That Li'l Ol' Winemaker, Popovich

Posted: July 5, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

When your wine business takes off, you might think all the news would be good. After all, cash is rolling in, people like what you're doing, you like what you're doing. Life is good. That would seem to apply to the Hatchers and the Tannahills, partners in A to Z Wineworks in Oregon.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Ferrari or First Growth 2005?

Posted: July 5, 2006  By James Suckling

Visited the Ferrari factory in Maranello for July 4th with a couple of friends who were picking up their F430 convertibles and then driving to Le Mans for the 24-hour race – lucky guys! During a lunch at the factory, I was shocked to hear that they wouldn’t be buying any 2005 Bordeaux futures.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Piedmont Sunday

Posted: July 3, 2006  By James Suckling

Had a couple of friends over for dinner last night and sat outside in the patio drinking a couple of Barolos with a grilled pork loin and parsley salad. The wines were 1997 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito and 1996 Paolo Scavino Barolo Cannubi.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Reality Check in the Mountains

Posted: June 30, 2006  By James Suckling

I was sitting today at lunchtime in the mountains overlooking the town of Merano in Italy’s Alto Adige and eating some smoked ham and drinking a glass of crisp white wine. And I began to think about 2005 Bordeaux futures and the world of wine.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Defining Wine Quality

Posted: June 30, 2006  By James Laube

Tomorrow I’m speaking at the Institute of Masters of Wine Symposium in Napa. It’s a three-day affair that this year is exploring, among other subjects, changing consumer expectations. I’m on a panel, with Jancis Robinson and James Halliday.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

One of the Last, But Not Less

Posted: June 29, 2006  By James Suckling

Today Château Le Pin – Pomerol’s ultra-collectible, tiny-production, pure Merlot – released a few thousand bottles worth of 2005 futures on the Bordeaux market at 450 euros from its cellar, and the wine was bought up in minutes.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Good Cheap Aussie Pinot? Don't Laugh

Posted: June 28, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Conventional wisdom says that Australia does great at Shiraz and pretty well at Cabernet. But Merlot? Pinot Noir? Not on the radar. Especially, you might think, at the low end. So explain this. I am blind-tasting through a lot of low- to mid-priced reds as I prepare my next Australia red wine report, which Wine Spectator will publish in the fall.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reflections on Al Brounstein

Posted: June 28, 2006  By James Laube

As much as any California vintner of his time, Al Brounstein did it his way. He decided to make mountain-grown Cabernet and stuck to his guns. But he borrowed a page from Burgundy and kept his vineyards separate.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

$550 For A Bottle Of Wine? Well, If It's The Right Wine...

Posted: June 28, 2006  By James Molesworth

I just spent $550 on a bottle of wine. Want to take a guess what it was. ’05 Latour? Nope. Haut-Brion? Nope. Margaux, Mouton or Lafite? Zip, zilch, nada. No, there are 15,000 to 20,000 cases made of each of those wines, and they’ll be in the marketplace from now until they mature.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Time Will Tell

Posted: June 28, 2006  By James Suckling

There is apparently a limit for prices for 2005 futures in Bordeaux. Yquem closed its 2005 en primeur sales this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Europe following a less-than-enthusiastic response from the marketplace, according to sources in Bordeaux.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Toast To Al Brounstein

Posted: June 27, 2006  By James Molesworth

With the passing of Al Brounstein , we lose a pioneer of the California wine industry and a wonderful character. I remember one of my first trips to Napa in the early '90s and a visit to Diamond Creek.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A New Reality, Or Do We Drink Pepsi?

Posted: June 27, 2006  By James Suckling

“Yes, it is crazy,” I said to a source in Bordeaux when I heard that the insanity continued today there with Cheval-Blanc and Yquem offered to the trade at 400 euros a bottle. That means the wines are going to be offered to the U.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Two Hot New Labels To Look For

Posted: June 27, 2006  By James Laube

On Friday, I did what many folks think I do every day. I tasted some great new wines and then had lunch with the men behind the wines, Kevin Harvey and Jason Jardine. Harvey is the owner of two labels, Rhys (pronounced Reese) Vineyards and Alesia.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Star Blinding Prices....

Posted: June 26, 2006  By James Suckling

Call it a shooting star, or whatever. But Ausone, the tiny superstar from St.-Emilion, came out today to the Bordeaux trade for 500 euros a bottle, and, yes…believe it or not, the wine trade couldn’t get enough of it.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Stars are the Limit

Posted: June 23, 2006  By James Suckling

Today Latour and Margaux (two potential 100-pointers in my mind) put their 2005 futures on the market for 350 euros ex-chateau to the Bordeaux wine trade. They were quickly trading at 410 to 420 euros to clients around the world.

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