Posted: January 18, 2007 By James Suckling
I have been in Napa for a couple of days now, visiting the magazine’s office, and I have a strange déjà vu sort of feeling when I walk the streets of downtown, which is a rare enough activity for car-crazed Californians who seem to drive everywhere.
Posted: January 18, 2007 By James Laube
I had hoped to taste the first Levy & McClellan Napa Valley Cabernet today, and I came very close. But when Martha McClellan arrived in my office in Napa this morning, she was missing one thing—the 2004 barrel sample I wished to try.
Posted: January 18, 2007 By David Myers
Although my next Los Angeles restaurant will be Comme Ça, a Parisian-style brasserie, I am also in the process of developing Sokyo, a Japanese restaurant. At Sokyo, the food will be prepared and served kappo style—that is, elegant small dishes prepared by cooks on one side of a counter and served to patrons on the other side, similar to a sushi counter or a high-end tapas bar.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Gotta hand it to those Aussies. Just when you think they're all falling over each other to reach a mass market by putting kangaroos, wombats, emus, geckos and other critters on their labels, they go and make you smile with something else.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By James Suckling
I tasted a couple dozen California reds yesterday with James Laube and Tim Fish in Wine Spectator 's Napa office, and I was struck by how many of the reds seemed slightly off or tainted. Most of the wines were Napa Valley Cabernets, but we also tasted Cabs from Sonoma.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By Bruce Sanderson
In today’s world where the emphasis is on instant gratification, the Alsace winery Trimbach is a throwback to another era. While most wineries are releasing wines from the 2005 vintage, Trimbach’s current releases of its top wines are from 2001.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By James Laube
I figured that I’d never taste the 1991 Williams Selyem Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir again. It was a magical wine the two times I’d had it before, in the 1990s—a taste sensation that was an early introduction of what the Sonoma Coast could offer.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By James Molesworth
I sat down with Sven Bruchfeld yesterday here in my New York office. Bruchfeld, 35, is of German descent, but he was born in Chile. He's now worked a dozen vintages there, with stints at Viña Errázuriz and MontGras.
Posted: January 17, 2007 By Maynard James Keenan
The sun had already set when we flew into Athens. As I climbed out of the taxi and looked up the street from our hotel, there it was: the Parthenon. All lit up. Actually, it seemed to glow from the inside out.
Posted: January 16, 2007 By David Myers
My beliefs on team-building are a bit radical. I believe that, in order to achieve something great, people must be able to work together as if their lives depend on it. In a less extreme sense, they must trust each other unconditionally.
Posted: January 16, 2007 By James Laube
Last Friday, Tim Mondavi was ready to show me the first Napa Cabernet Sauvignon he's worked on since leaving his family's Robert Mondavi Corp. in 2003. He poured a barrel sample of his new wine, the 2005 Continuum—a dark, rich, supple youngster that proves he hasn’t lost his touch with Cabernet.
Posted: January 15, 2007 By James Suckling
Sake: Are you as frustrated as I am with the stuff? I absolutely love sake, especially with great sashimi and sushi. I was at a supercool Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles this weekend that is completely off the radar.
Posted: January 15, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
That flavor you hate in the wine but the guy next to you loves? To you, it's a flaw. To him, it's welcome complexity. Somehow, I'm not surprised that this topic came up in comments about Pinot Noir. I had written that I found some of the wines in a recent tasting green and earthy.
Posted: January 12, 2007 By James Laube
A couple of parting thoughts about this week’s discussion of TCA taint in wineries. I don't blame any of the wineries for what happened to their cellars and then to their wines. They are primarily victims of circumstance and are not inattentive or negligent vintners.
Posted: January 12, 2007 By Steven Page
Ah, the bittersweet end of a vacation--looking forward to getting back into the swing of things at home and on the road, but also sad about having to leave the Dionysian fantasy world of escape. This year, we did a whole lot of nothing: morning jogs (well, for me, it’s about a quarter jogging and three-quarters huffing and puffing), big meals, lots of wine and lazy days reading by the pool.
Posted: January 11, 2007 By James Suckling
I bought the last two bottles of 1996 Dom Pérignon at the border of Honduras and Nicaragua. Doesn't that seem a little excessive? I got them at a bargain $120 a bottle. And 1996 is one of the best vintages ever.
Posted: January 11, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
My friend Archie invited me to join him for a tasting of California Pinot Noirs at the Vintners Club in San Francisco the other day. I gladly accepted. Little did I expect the astonishing range of opinions.
Posted: January 11, 2007 By David Myers
The story of my mentors begins with a door—specifically, the entrance into the somewhat mythical Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. I had been reading chef Trotter ’s first book, also called Charlie Trotter's, over the course of a year, obsessing nightly over every dish and, most importantly, obsessing over his philosophy of life.
Posted: January 11, 2007 By James Molesworth
So Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. got into the Hall of Fame this week. I doubt there's anyone who denies they deserve it. They were both clearly megastars during their long playing careers, and are, by all accounts, upstanding citizens as well.
Posted: January 10, 2007 By Kevin Vogt
It’s always difficult for me to say goodbye, so I usually shy away from doing so. I believe that is because I don’t like the finality of it. I much prefer taking the “Until we meet again …” route because it seems to leave me in a better frame of mind.
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