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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Got Tasting Group?

Posted: April 27, 2006  By James Molesworth

My tasting group worked its way through a bunch of wines the other night. Two German Rieslings got everyone ready – crackling, live-wire wines from the tremendous ’01 vintage: • 2001 Selbach-Oster Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Zeltinger Sonnenuhr • 2001 Joh.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

My Lunch with Hugh Johnson

Posted: April 26, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Hugh Johnson, the venerable English wine writer, came to town to flog his new book, a memoir. UC Press had sent me Hugh Johnson: A Life Uncorked a few weeks earlier, and it was sitting on my desk at the office when I got an e-mail at home from a local publicist asking if I wanted to meet Johnson for lunch the next day.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

My First Experience with 2005 Germans

Posted: April 26, 2006  By James Suckling

Just tasted a tiny selection of some 2005 Mosels and...WOW. I am in Zurich for a couple of days, and my friend Beat Caduff, of Caduff's Wine Loft, served us some killer Rieslings. He says that 2005 is the best vintage he has ever tasted in the 15 years he has been traveling to Germany to taste young wines from vat and cask.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Still Waiting...

Posted: April 26, 2006  By James Molesworth

White varieties, along with early ripening reds such as Merlot, are all mostly picked. But Chilean vintners are in a holding pattern right now with their harvest running late for Cabernet Sauvignon (the country's lead varietal), most of which is still hanging on the vine.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Timeless Zinfandel

Posted: April 25, 2006  By James Laube

Mayacamas Vineyards released its 1970 Napa Valley Zinfandel this month for $100 a bottle, and no, that’s not a typo on the vintage date. “Even more amazing,” says owner Bob Travers, “this is not a re-release, for we have never sold this wine before.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

One Bad Apple...

Posted: April 25, 2006  By James Molesworth

My friends went to dinner the other night and ordered the ’99 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the sommelier. The sommelier then presented a bottle of ’00 without noting the difference in vintage.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

More Half Bottles!

Posted: April 25, 2006  By James Suckling

From all of your comments , half bottles are a good thing. AND I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. What you should consider is buying en primeur, or futures, of Bordeaux, Port and anything else on offer. This usually enables you to order what bottle size you want, from mega sizes such as imperials to half bottles.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Tastings and Test Drives

Posted: April 24, 2006  By James Laube

Two items have risen to the top of today’s to-do list. No. 1 is work-related -- wrapping up our annual Chardonnay report. It is by far the easier of the two assignments. Each year, I taste roughly 400 new Chardonnays.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A16 Chef Leaves

Posted: April 24, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Christophe Hille has left his position as chef of A16, one of the hottest Italian restaurants in San Francisco. I featured him in my recent Wine Spectator survey on Italian cuisine in the United States.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

How Big IS That Wine List?

Posted: April 24, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

I get a chuckle out of restaurants that play games with the design of their menus and wine lists. They surround certain items with frames, or print them in bigger type, the typographical equivalent to waving their arms and hollering, "Pick me!" I always wonder if they're doing it to guide us to the best stuff or the most profitable.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Items From Down Under

Posted: April 24, 2006  By James Molesworth

A few items from my beats… • At Matetic , which has been impressive in its first few years, another young winemaker is taking over. Paula Cardenas, 33, will be replacing Rodrigo Soto when the harvest finishes up.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Half Bottle Magic

Posted: April 23, 2006  By James Suckling

Just me and my children last night for dinner. I decide to throw a “bisteccca” on the grill and toss a simple green salad. And I wasn’t about to drink water with it! So I went down to my cellar and tried to find a half bottle.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

La Barberia Moderna

Posted: April 22, 2006  By James Suckling

Went to the barber this morning in our nearby village of San Giustino Valdarno with my son Jack. (He didn’t like his haircut. Too short!). It was about 10 am in the morning, sunny and warm already. I think that the wet weather is finally ending and spring is definitely here.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Bush Tours Napa Valley

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Laube

President Bush is arriving in Napa Valley today, and this appears to be the first visit to the area by a sitting president. (Our research didn’t turn up any other solid leads.) The president is scheduled for a sleepover at Meadowood, the resort near St.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Patrick Valette Branches Out In Chile

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

Patrick Valette has recently been hired to consult with Chile’s Viña Santa Rita. Valette, whose family once owned Château Pavie in St.-Emilion, now lives in Chile and is consulting for a number of wineries, including Viña Quebrada de Macul, TerraMater, Viñedos J.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Northstar Branches Out Beyond Merlot

Posted: April 21, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Northstar , which started out as a Merlot-only winery, is expanding into other varietals, and those new wines just might overshadow the Merlot. I stopped by the winery on a recent visit to Washington to taste and chat with Jed Steele, the California-based winemaker who has consulted on Northstar since its inception in 1994.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Mission Statement

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

There are many winemakers who run their domaines and work their vineyards personally, handcrafting their wines. They are driven by one tenet – to produce the highest quality wine they can. Typically these winemakers do not have the spare time needed to work the marketplace.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Words on 2005 Bordeaux

Posted: April 20, 2006  By James Suckling

Spoke to Christian Moueix on the telephone this afternoon. His family is the powerhouse in Right Bank Bordeaux wines, controlling such great names as Pétrus, Lafleur Petrus, Trotanoy and Magdelaine--among others.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Cutworms and Botrytis

Posted: April 20, 2006  By James Laube

“It’s gonna be a great year for cutworms and botrytis,” my friend C.J., a Rutherford-based vineyard manager said, tongue in cheek. And that was last week, before it rained again over the weekend.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Has Washington's Syrah King Found Côte-Rôtie in Walla Walla?

Posted: April 20, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

The beat-up red SUV bounces and sways as winegrower Christophe Baron pilots it over a creaky bridge and into the mud left by recent rains. I take inventory of the dashboard: an old pair of sunglasses, a ballpoint pen, a round can of Altoids, a strip of flannel cloth.

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