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.
Posted: September 14, 2006 By James Laube
I’ve received a couple of queries from readers about a new high-end 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet, from a well-regarded vineyard and a superstar winemaking team. But so far, I’m not impressed by the wine and not too sure you should be either.
Posted: September 14, 2006 By James Molesworth
It’s sad to see the new James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, drawing such fire. My wife says, “He’s not even handsome. How could they do that?” Ouch. I’m ambivalent on that particular subject.
Posted: September 14, 2006 By James Suckling
I had dinner last night at Osteria Le Logge Restaurant in Siena with Roberto Guerrini and two other friends. Roberto runs his family’s winery, Eredi Fuligni in Montalcino, and it’s one of the best in the region.
Posted: September 13, 2006 By James Laube
Ran into an old friend yesterday at my favorite wine bar (aka Wine Spectator 's Napa tasting room). I immediately recognized the face. But then I noticed he had a new outfit, and he’d put on a little weight.
Posted: September 13, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
I've been around long enough to know a leading question when I see one, but this one took me aback it was so breathtaking. It was on an e-mail survey purporting to ask about consumer attitudes about cork vs.
Posted: September 13, 2006 By James Molesworth
All wineries require hard work – good ones even more so. The work is often all-consuming, and the returns can be minimal. Some pay off handsomely though, as has Bodega Colomé, an Argentinean winery owned by Donald Hess, the Swiss multimillionaire who founded, but has since retired from, the Hess Collection winery in Napa Valley.
Posted: September 12, 2006 By James Laube
Time was, red wines from California's Edna Valley--south of San Luis Obispo--were typically light in color, seemingly more anemic than healthy. I still remember my first impressions of early 1980s Pinot Noir from Edna Valley Vineyard – pale red garnet in color, with decent flavors, but nothing to get excited about.
Posted: September 12, 2006 By James Molesworth
Last night, my merry band of BYOB-loving wine geeks got together for our pseudo-monthly wine night, this time at Nice Matin. When we planned it, we realized it fell on Sept. 11, and we had a collective pause before agreeing to proceed, despite the anniversary.
Posted: September 11, 2006 By James Suckling
I am sitting at Zafferano, the best Italian restaurant in London, with Gildas d’Ollone, general manager of Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande. We just finished tasting 14 vintages of Pichon-Lalande during a Farr Vintners' tasting.
Posted: September 11, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down last week with Marcelo Papa, one of Concha y Toro’s winemakers. He is responsible for the Casillero del Diablo and Marqués de Casa Concha lines, two sources of consistently very good to outstanding values.
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