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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

As the Wine World Turns

Posted: August 14, 2006  By James Laube

When winemakers ask me what’s new I often reply, well, lots. New brands are popping up like mushrooms on an over-watered lawn. Then I cite this figure (which we checked in our database): In the past year--August 2005 to August 2006--we recorded 261 new brands just in California.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Back to Bordeaux 2005

Posted: August 14, 2006  By James Suckling

A wine merchant friend was staying with me for a few days, and I was curious to hear that he was receiving, via his Blackberry, offers for big bottles of rare and expensive 2005 Bordeaux like Pétrus and Le Pin….

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

More Than 15 Seconds Of Fame

Posted: August 11, 2006  By James Laube

A reporter from the New York Times called the other day to talk about ratings and reviews and the 100-point scale. (He said his story would run this Sunday.) How, he asked, does one determine the difference between a 92-point wine and a 91-point wine? Me: I liked one wine a little better than the other… Another thing he wanted to know, apparently courtesy of a comment from a producer, was how much time I spend analyzing a wine.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Good Life, Good Wine…in Tuscany

Posted: August 11, 2006  By James Suckling

I limped into the covered market in the Tuscan coastal town of Follonica this morning to buy some fresh fish with some friends. I say limped because I pulled my hamstring last night playing tennis on a clay court.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Looking at Bordeaux Prices - From the Personal and Business Side

Posted: August 11, 2006  By James Molesworth

Spoke to Didier Virot last night at Aix. In addition to being a really good chef, Virot is also an avid and knowledgeable wine collector. He's unhappy with the '05 Bordeaux pricing, as it seems most other folks here in the U.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Traveling With Wine Just Got Harder

Posted: August 10, 2006  By James Laube

It looks like airline travel just got a little more complicated after British authorities in London today thwarted a sophisticated plot to blow up several airplanes. As of now, it’s unclear what will happen to security measures in the future, though many airlines today were limiting what you can carry on, or perhaps more succinctly, eliminating any liquids or gels.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Difference Is the Soil

Posted: August 10, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

A lot of people translate terroir to mean "soil," especially those who first encountered the term in Burgundy. There, you can find many instances of vineyards growing side by side with the same altitude, the same aspect, the same inclination to the sun.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Spanish Treasure in Locals' Aspen

Posted: August 9, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

To most of the world, Aspen is a luxurious mountain town with a reputation for being a snobby collection of rich people. Take it from someone who has spent parts of 13 summers here, locals don't see it that way.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Living Thing ...

Posted: August 9, 2006  By James Suckling

Last Friday night, I had two wine merchant buddies over for dinner (one was Thomas because his Korean friends left). I grilled some chicken and served a green salad – no big deal. I pulled up a couple bottles of 1997 Barolo from my cellar.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Are Prices Set For A Correction?

Posted: August 8, 2006  By James Laube

Is this the beginning of the end? Or just a market correction blip? One of my major concerns about the 2003 vintage of California Cabernet has been pricing. I’ve tasted more than 250 of the wines now, and I think many of them would be a lot more appealing at discounted prices.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Fishy Wine Angle

Posted: August 7, 2006  By James Laube

Sometimes stories cross my desk that don't fall into my typical coverage, but are just too interesting to pass up. Take this one, for instance. What does it take to make a fine California wine? Grapes, water, sunshine, the skilled hand of a master vintner – and, now for the punch line – a few thousand dead fish.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Forgotten Vertical of Redigaffi

Posted: August 7, 2006  By James Suckling

This past weekend, I was thinking about the greatness of the 1997 Tua Rita Redigaffi, which I blogged about last week, and how wonderful the 2004 is. Apparently, the latter is being shipped to the United States later this year and will be on the market in 2007.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Francisco Baettig...

Posted: August 7, 2006  By James Molesworth

I sat down the other day with Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Chile’s Viña Errázuriz winery, located in the Aconcagua Valley. Baettig, 36, took over the reins there in mid-2003, and the 2004 vintage is the first under his direct control.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Putting Flinty Sauvignons To Work

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Laube

A couple of weeks ago, during one of those July heat blasts, I went to a poolside potluck and opted to shuck a few dozen Kumamoto oysters as my contribution to the day’s spread. I made a couple of simple vinaigrettes, with lemon, vinegar, horseradish and the like, and decided not to grill the oysters due to the heat.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

You Think It's Fun Being A Wine Critic?

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Molesworth

Most days it is - other than being a touring golf pro, there's not much else I'd rather do in life. But some days it isn't. Like today. The heat has finally broken in New York, and my mind is on the weekend.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Tuscany's Marvelous Merlot

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Suckling

I had dinner last night with Stefano Frascolla, who is the son-in-law of the owners of Tua Rita , the Tuscan cult wine producer in Suvereto, on the coast south of Bolgheri. Stefano oversees the estate, which is one of the best in Tuscany, if not Italy.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Those Pesky Screwcaps

Posted: August 3, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Somebody asked Vinny the other day how to open a screwcapped wine bottle when the screwcap won't loosen easily. Dr. Vinifera , the ever helpful super mouse, or whatever he is, suggested a device that functions like one of those jar-lid removers.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Get It Write From The Start

Posted: August 3, 2006  By James Laube

When you taste wines, seriously or for fun, do yourself a favor. Take notes. Written ones. This was an important lesson I learned early on in my career. Before I wrote about wine, when I simply drank it, one way my friends and I kept track of what we liked was to place the empty bottles on the hearth above the fireplace.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Finding Double Pleasure out of Napa

Posted: August 2, 2006  By James Laube

Without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures of being a wine critic is being able to direct readers to great wines that are also great values. One of our recent office favorites is a tiny wine company called Olabisi (Nigerian for “joy multiplied”), which is based in Napa Valley.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Friend Indeed

Posted: August 2, 2006  By James Suckling

How’s this for a friend? Hoyt Hill Jr. of Nashville commented on my blog yesterday, on drinking great wines on ice in hot weather, writing this: “I recently handled the wine service at the wake for a close friend with a large wine collection.

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