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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted: June 23, 2006 By James Molesworth
The American palate prefers only fruit-forward wines. It’s a statement that you hear often these days – by terroir -driven wine producers and purist wine lovers who decry what they see as a trend toward a homogenization of wine styles.
Posted: June 22, 2006 By James Suckling
I am speechless. Lafite and Mouton released their 2005 futures to the Bordeaux wine trade in the last 24 hours for 300 euros a bottle, and the global wine trade can’t get enough. In fact, I have been told that many are reordering! This means that Lafite and Mouton 2005 will be about $650 a bottle to American consumers – or more.
Posted: June 22, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
If San Francisco's chefs and restaurateurs look pale these days, blame it on the Michelin Man. Or men. The restaurant inspectors have been visiting the city's eateries recently for the Michelin Guide's first book on San Francisco, due out in October.
Posted: June 22, 2006 By James Laube
Charles Banks is a relative newcomer to wine. But the 38-year-old has deep pockets, knows his way around financial markets, appears to be a quick learner and has some refreshing insights and perspectives on the business, even as he cuts his teeth presiding over his new winery in Napa Valley, Screaming Eagle.
Posted: June 21, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down with Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle the other day. The owner of Chile’s Casa Lapostolle tempted me with a complete vertical of her Clos Apalta , a blend of Carmenère, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a small, old-vine plot in the Apalta area of Chile’s Colchagua Valley.
Posted: June 21, 2006 By James Laube
Charles Banks looks at the wine business the same way he views a pro-sports franchise. Not a surprise when you consider that his partner owns two pro franchises and he has close ties to many stars and star athletes.
Posted: June 21, 2006 By James Suckling
Had some friends over for dinner; a number were Tuscan winemakers, along with the head of Cuban cigar imports in Italy. The latter is a very keen wine drinker. In fact, he used to write about wine for a number of Italian wine publications years ago.
Posted: June 20, 2006 By James Suckling
Why won’t the first growths release their prices? The whole world is waiting. We all know it’s going to be expensive. So just get it over with…. I would guess that they are going to be between 220 and 240 euros a bottle from the châteaus to the Bordeaux wine trade, and American consumers are not going to see much change from a $500 bill.
Posted: June 20, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
As the winemaker for Penfolds , Peter Gago is responsible for some of the iconic wines of Australia, including Grange and Bin 707. Who knew he had a jones for Gewürztraminer and Sangiovese? On a recent visit to San Francisco, over lunch at Ame, he poured a few wines that are, well, out of Penfolds' mainstream.
Posted: June 20, 2006 By James Laube
Charles Banks, the new owner of Screaming Eagle , has some lofty ambitions for his recent acquisition. Here’s the flight plan for Napa’s Cabernet darling: The most important thing is to uphold the high standards set by Screaming Eagle’s founder, Jean Phillips.
Posted: June 19, 2006 By James Laube
I know why people don’t like what they consider to be overripe wines. They complain about prune and raisin notes in reds and high alcohol in whites. And I completely understand their perspective because I’m on the other side of the debate, or perhaps more precisely, somewhere in the middle.
Posted: June 16, 2006 By James Molesworth
In my Ask the Editor’s blog earlier this week, I mentioned how exciting some of the top Argentinean wines are – but how prices are also quickly rising for the best wines. I don’t begrudge a winery getting all it can for its product (assuming the quality is there), but my first responsibility is always to you the reader, the consumer – and high prices are always a bone of contention.
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