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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Aftermath of the Napa Quake

Napans are still picking up the pieces after last month's earthquake, and harvest 2014 is in full swing

Posted: September 3, 2014  By James Laube

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube says Napa is still picking up the pieces after last month's earthquake, but harvest is also in full swing.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Taking a Bite—and a Sip—Out of Sonoma

Annual Taste of Sonoma was a moveable feast of food and wine

Posted: September 3, 2014  By Tim Fish

Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish attends the Taste of Sonoma wine and food festival.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Animal Blood Wine! Dogs and Cats Living Together! Mass Hysteria!

A fabricated tale about Two-Buck Chuck proves that some people can't take wine seriously

Posted: August 27, 2014  By Mitch Frank

Wine Spectator associate editor Mitch Frank reacts to internet hyperbole and the recent hoax that Two-Buck Chuck wine is made with animal blood.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

The Day the Earth Didn’t Stand Still

Napa's 6.1-magnitude earthquake rattles nerves and buildings, but the wine industry is rallying

Posted: August 25, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

I'm from Cleveland, so when I moved to California in 1996, a lot of my friends warned me about "The Big One." I assured them that I'd rather go years of maybe having an earthquake to knowing that I'd have to endure year after year of dreadful winters.

On Sunday morning, The Pretty Big One hit. It woke us up at 3:20 a.m. I live about 15 miles from the epicenter. It's an uneasy feeling, the ground rumbling underneath you, hearing things fall and break in your house, long seconds of wondering when it will be over. Thankfully, I'm fine, along with everyone I know.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Provence’s Bubble Question

Ready for southern France’s new wave of Champagne-style rosé?

Posted: August 25, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Summer rosé season is nearly over, Champagne time is coming, and more Provence winemakers are thinking about bubbles and pink. To sum up the trend: Why not make traditional Provence rosé sparkle à la Champagne?

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Looking back at Two Hands' Ares

After a dozen vintages, this Australian Shiraz has the goods


Posted: August 22, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

I recently had a chance to blind-taste all 12 finished and bottled vintages of Two Hands Ares, one of Australia's top Shiraz, with owner Michael Twelftree at Aspen's Casa Tua restaurant, with the help of sommelier Jill Zimorski.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Like a Good Neighbor, Gazin Is There

In Pomerol's ritziest area, Château Gazin is the value play

Posted: August 21, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Gazin in Pomerol.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa Cabernet by the (Case) Numbers

The 2012 vintage affirms that Cabernet is king in California

Posted: August 20, 2014  By James Laube

In the past few weeks, much of my attention has been directed toward reviewing Napa Valley Cabernets from the 2011 vintage. 2011 was tough across the board in California. But interspersed with the Napa 2011s were a sprinkling of 2012s and the hint of better days ahead. Not only were many of the 2012s richer and riper, better made and better balanced, I came across some rather staggering figures, evidence of Cabernet's importance to Napa wineries' bottom lines and California's image as a whole.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

A Breather in California’s High-Speed Harvest

Cooler temperatures in most of the state are allowing flavors to mature

Posted: August 20, 2014  By Tim Fish

Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish gets an update on California's 2014 harvest, now well under way.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

At Pétrus, the Kid Gets the Picture

Winemaker Olivier Berrouet hits the mark in 2013

Posted: August 18, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Pétrus in Pomerol to taste and review the 2013 Pétrus.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Bargains Abound with 2012 California Merlots

After tough vintages in 2010 and 2011, value lovers can rejoice

Posted: August 13, 2014  By Tim Fish

The 2011 and 2010 California Merlots, for the most part, are hard and herbal, plus they lacked depth and Merlot's telltale appealing texture. Nature just didn't play fair those years.

However, I'm beginning to taste 2012s as I prepare the annual Merlot report, and there's good news. The 2012s are downright fun to drink, and what they lack in depth, they balance with luscious fruit and silky body. That makes it a great year for value hounds.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

24 Hours Later: The Second-Day Wine Experience

Many wines have more to show the day after they're opened

Posted: August 12, 2014  By James Laube

Some of the best wines I've had are those that have been open a day, and sometimes longer. On a good tasting day I'll take a few bottles home with me or leave a few on my desk to see how the wines taste the following day. On most occasions the wines taste about the same; certainly exposure to air isn't a big factor in the first 24 hours, and none expire (although some do present defects, such as brett, volatile acidity or TCA taint).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Taking the Long View

At Château Clinet, Ronan Laborde cobbles together prime real estate

Posted: August 12, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Clinet in Pomerol.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Fresh Air Blows at Château Figeac

Frédéric Faye brings needed focus and direction to this historic estate

Posted: August 11, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Château Figeac in St.-Emilion.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Etna Rhapsody

Giuseppe Russo’s journey from classical music to melodic Sicilian reds

Posted: August 11, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits the Mt. Etna vineyards of Giuseppe Russo to see how the former classical pianist makes his melodic Sicilian red wines.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Rosé Phenomenon

A dinner celebrating rosés from across Italy illustrates the category's great leaps

Posted: August 8, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson sits down to a dinner celebrating Italian rosés at Lincoln Ristorante hosted by wine director Aaron von Rock.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Only Dead Men Can Write Obituaries

Do you have to have made wine to write about it?

Posted: August 8, 2014  By James Laube

When discussing older vintages, we all have limitations, especially when it comes to experience. Where and when your wine experiences begin are vital markers, since initial impressions are often lasting ones.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Blue-Blood Continuity Breeds Success

Grand-Puy-Lacoste serves as an actual home to some of France's Borie family

Posted: August 8, 2014  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Grand-Puy-Lacoste in Pauillac.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Golden State Oldies

Napa's Cabernets of yesteryear are experiencing a revival

Posted: August 7, 2014  By James Laube

There's a spirit of revival in California with older wines, with some vintners, many of them young, taking a keen interest in wines of yesteryear.

It's a healthy sign. "What's past is prologue" has merit in just about every aspect of life. Much of this new attention in California is directed toward Napa Valley Cabernets from the 1970s, and to a lesser extent the 1960s, because of the wines' reputations for longevity.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Two Offbeat Wines Please a Crowd

Using insider knowledge to find a wine list's sweet spot

Posted: August 6, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

The wine list was in my hands, often the case when a bunch of us go out to dine. Comes with the work title. Champagne would have been easy to start with, but I was looking for something closer to $50 (not $100) that might be fun and delicious, and not an obvious choice. Two offbeat selections—a white from Oregon and a Nebbiolo from Italy—fit the bill.

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