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Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Quite a Character

Posted: March 9, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

In many of the world’s great wine regions, the best wines show some similarity of character. I have been making wines in Napa Valley for more than 30 years now, and I believe we are reaching this point.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Do Wine Drinkers Need a Bill of Rights?

Posted: March 9, 2007  By James Laube

If airline passengers can draft a customer’s bill of rights, surely we wine drinkers can offer our thoughts about what rights or protections we think we’re entitled to when we buy a bottle of wine.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

You, Me and VCC

Posted: March 9, 2007  By James Suckling

I think that people seem to forget that the same family who make the ultra-collectible and ultra-expensive Château Le Pin also make Vieux-Château-Certan. In fact, the Thienpont family has been making VCC for a hell of a lot longer than Le Pin.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Can Espresso Machines Teach Us Something About Wine?

Posted: March 8, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Recently, Starbucks CEO Howard Schwartz wrote an internal memo that expressed regret that Starbucks had gotten so big. He wrote that the stores had lost some of their charm, in part because they don't smell like coffee any more now that the beans come in sealed packages.

Blogs  :  Larry Stone's Blog

Corks: Can't Live With 'em or Without 'em

Posted: March 8, 2007  By Larry Stone

In my last few blogs, I talked about having had some trouble with corky bottles of wine. This is a problem that all of us have experienced. I have been unfortunate to open bottles of Krug Collection 1964 , DRC La Tâche 1978 , Pichon-Lalande 1982 , and other great wines that have been corked – even Rubicon.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

In the Cape: Day 1

Posted: March 8, 2007  By James Molesworth

Well, I finally made it. In transit for two days, and not a hitch—that’s got to be a modern-day record for commercial air travel. After landing in Cape Town, I spent my first hour crawling through traffic on the way to my hotel.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Yin and the Yang of Wine

Posted: March 8, 2007  By James Suckling

I am writing this while huddled on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong for what is expected to be “the” tasting of the year – every vintage of Château Le Pin ever produced. Owner Jacques Thienpont and his two cousins, François and Alexandre, are coming as well.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Day Ernest Gallo Interviewed Me

Posted: March 7, 2007  By James Laube

Ernest Gallo's death yesterday brought back lots of memories. Everyone who's been in the wine business for any length of time knows what a great contribution he made to wine, and one thought that made me smile was the first time I sat down with him and his brother for a formal interview in 1993.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

The Family Le Coze

Posted: March 7, 2007  By Eric Ripert

You could say that this blog entry started with a guilty conscience. Two weeks ago, my partner Maguy Le Coze and I were honored at a tribute dinner at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami. We got up on stage to say a few words of thanks to the crowd, and I thanked my wife and family and my team at Le Bernardin for helping to make everything possible.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Burgundy Bacchanal

Posted: March 6, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

The biggest problem at La Paulée de New York is keeping up and keeping track of all the great Burgundies circulating. I wasn’t the only one at my end of the table taking notes; however, there was some question as to my stamina.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Heading Off on a Long Trip

Posted: March 6, 2007  By James Molesworth

Well, I’m off to South Africa. Marvin finally agreed to send me—probably because he got sick of me talking about it, and he just wanted me out of his hair for a few weeks! It’s been a while since a Wine Spectator editor made an official visit to the Cape—not since my colleague James Suckling was there shortly after apartheid ended in 1994.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Raising the Stakes in Santa Barbara

Posted: March 6, 2007  By James Laube

When you live in an intimate winegrowing area where everyone knows everyone else, own a high-profile wine shop and a prominent restaurant with an award-winning wine list, you might think that entering the winemaking business would be risky.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

High Flying Picnics

Posted: March 6, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

What's the best food and wine experience you have ever had on an airplane? Chances are it did not come out of a 747's galley. Airlines try hard to make the food good in first class, but the rest of the plane gets something that may be decent if seldom memorable.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

2002 Brunello, Choice and Wine Enjoyment

Posted: March 6, 2007  By James Suckling

A wine exporter left an angry comment at the end of  my previous blog  about the mediocre quality of 2002 Brunello. Some of what he said was so inflammatory that it had to be edited by my office in New York.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Maynard James Keenan

Back at the Winery

Posted: March 6, 2007  By Maynard James Keenan

Now that I'm off for a bit, I'm able to participate in some of the fun activities here at the winery. We blind-tasted through all the '06 Syrahs--lots of chewy tannins this year. In the first flight, we tasted the free run and then in the second flight, we tasted the pressed wine.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa's Duckhorn: Ready to Sell?

Posted: March 5, 2007  By James Laube

Are the owners of Duckhorn Vineyards ready to cash out? Dan Duckhorn, CEO and board chairman of the Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet specialist, says that’s one option the six-person board of directors will debate within the next few weeks.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

There are Many Ways to Witness Wines

Posted: March 2, 2007  By James Laube

As I finish my Santa Barbara tasting of barrel samples, my thoughts are drifting from Grenache and Syrah to an entirely different subject. I’m thinking about the Zodiac. This is not a new wine or an inflatable boat or even an attempt to link wine to astrological forecasts or biodynamic farming.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With the Guilisasti Brothers

Posted: March 2, 2007  By James Molesworth

I sat down this week with José and Rafael Guilisasti of Viñedos Emiliana  in Chile. Emiliana is the organically run arm of Concha y Toro , best known for producing the $5 Walnut Crest line. The Guilisasti family owns a lot of vineyards—about 3,500 acres.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

Wine Pairings

Posted: March 1, 2007  By Eric Ripert

I have a confession to make: I drink red Bordeaux with everything. I am the nightmare of the sommeliers at Le Bernardin , and many times they are embarrassed for me. OK, I am exaggerating a little bit.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Outside Winemakers and Washington Terroir

Posted: March 1, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Terroir means something important in wine, but ask a dozen wine aficionados and you will almost certainly get 12 different interpretations. Everyone agrees that geography counts. Where the grapes grow affects the structure and the flavor of a wine, but things get really slippery when you try to pin down just exactly what that means to the finished wine.

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