Posted: September 26, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
I tasted some older wines while in Oregon last week, visiting winemakers in Willamette Valley. What strikes me, looking over my notes, is how consistently good they all were. Of course, what vintner would show a bad wine to a visiting journalist? The greatest number of bottles showed up at dinner with David Millman, general manager of Domaine Drouhin, and Tony Rynders, winemaker at Domaine Serene.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Molesworth
We were cleaning up from lunch on Sunday when I asked my wife, Nancy, what she had thought of the red. It was a social lunch with guests, so Nancy hadn't seen the bottle--only tasted the wine. "It was really good," she said.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Suckling
My buddy and colleague James Laube came to my house for dinner last night with some of his friends. They are in Tuscany for a couple of weeks to chase the Tuscan sun. Unfortunately, it was raining this morning as I poured myself into my car to drive to the Rome airport for a trip to North America.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
For years, the Oregon winery Beaux Frères used the Belles Soeurs label for all its non-estate wines, but no more. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all of the non-estate wines will carry the Beaux Frères label with a subhead: "The Willamette Valley.
Posted: September 22, 2006 By James Suckling
I never thought I would be dancing shirtless at Château Pétrus. Mykonos or St. Tropez, yes..but Pétrus? I went to the harvesters’ party last night at the famous Pomerol estate, and the 50 pickers, along with the owners, were rocking.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Domaine Serene shattered a big price barrier when it released an ultra-premium Oregon PInot Noir, Monogram 2002, at $200 a bottle earlier this year. Next up is a white wine from Pinot Noir, made to sell for $60.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Laube
I’m headed off to Tuscany and points beyond for a fortnight. I could make up something about needing a vacation, or change of scenery, or new blogging material. But the truth is I’m going to catch up with my old friend and colleague, James Suckling, and help him drain of some of the oversize bottles of Barolo and Brunello that are clogging his cellar.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Suckling
I just finished tasting the 2005 Mouton-Rothschild at the château, and I am impressed. The wine is much better than when I tasted it in late March. It has serious concentration of fruit and super well-integrated tannins.
Posted: September 21, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down the other day with Daniel Pi, head winemaker for Argentina's large Trapiche winery, which has historically lagged behind in quality. Since Pi joined the winery in 2002, however, things have turned around somewhat.
Posted: September 20, 2006 By James Laube
I’m headed off to Italy in a few days, so last night I drank Bordeaux. My son and I were having dinner – a guys' grill night, with rib eyes and some random, token greens. He hasn’t shown much interest in wine, despite the fact that it’s always been around.
Posted: September 20, 2006 By James Suckling
I had a winemaker in Bordeaux ask me today if I felt that the expensive prices for 2005 were my fault? I laughed. But I was slightly annoyed too. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” I told him. I tasted the wines.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By James Laube
Harvest is always full of surprises. No one year is quite like the next. The action in Napa and Sonoma is building momentum. Winemakers who haven’t set foot in a church in years now talk about their daily prayers.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down with South African vintner Beyers Truter last week, to talk a bit about Pinotage. I haven’t been kind to the Pinotage grape – at one time South Africa’s most important red varietal. I find the wines dominated by rustic, stemmy notes and an aggressive tannin structure.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By James Suckling
The weather is not looking good for the harvest in Bordeaux. It’s been raining on and off since I arrived here on Saturday, and it just started raining again as I sit here and write this blog this morning and begin to blind taste a range of 1996 and 1995 Bordeaux.
Posted: September 19, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
If you're tired of hearing about cork problems, skip this post, but this story is too good not to relate, even though I have been on a bit of an anti-cork soapbox lately. At Zuni Cafe, one of San Francisco's most congenial restaurants, I am having lunch with Australian winemaker Natasha Mooney, a partner in Barossa Valley's Fox Gordon winery.
Posted: September 18, 2006 By James Laube
With age comes beauty. At least you hope so when it comes to cellaring wines. I drank a couple of terrific Talbott Chardonnays over the weekend, a 2002 Diamond T Estate ($65) and 2003 Cuvée Cynthia ($60), both from Monterey County.
Posted: September 17, 2006 By James Suckling
I sat this morning in my hotel in Bordeaux, Les Sources de Caudalie, and tasted a range of 1996 and 1995 reds. It was a perfect day for tasting. I was in a good mood. The weather was sunny and bright after three days of cold and very wet weather.
Posted: September 15, 2006 By James Laube
I connected with a couple of famous, long-time Napa Valley winemakers recently, and their tales are worth passing along, though I’m withholding their identities because our discussions were casual and not part of an interview.
Posted: September 15, 2006 By James Suckling
Went to a friend's house for dinner last night in Arezzo, and in addition to inviting a beautiful leggy brunette from Atlanta for the evening, he also pulled out two pretty 1996s for dinner – La Mission and Latour.
Posted: September 15, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Clarendon Hills makes some of the most expensive wine in Australia. Owner Roman Bratasiuk only makes single-vineyard Syrah (he won't call it Shiraz), Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Astralis, his signature Syrah, goes for $325.
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