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Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Wondering About Whole-Cluster Fermentation

Posted: November 10, 2006  By Brian Loring

In a previous blog entry about optimal berry size, Michael Donohue made the following statements: “One of the beauties of wine is that is the sole alcoholic beverage that occurs completely 'sui generis' - NO additional hops or distillation required.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Clos des Papes for Breakfast, Truffles for Dinner

Posted: November 9, 2006  By James Molesworth

Spent the day in Châteauneuf-du-Pape again today. Unlike the chilly north, the weather down here is almost summer-like—the temperature was over 70 degrees today, and the terrace at La Mere Germaine was filled up for lunch.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A New Face in Napa Valley

Posted: November 9, 2006  By James Laube

On Monday, Kapcsandy Family Winery brought in the last of the grapes for 2006 from its State Lane Vineyard in Yountville, wrapping up its fourth harvest. Earlier this year, I reviewed the winery’s debut wine , a rather oaky 2003 Cabernet-based red.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Good Morning Bordeaux First Growths

Posted: November 9, 2006  By James Suckling

I woke up this morning to offers of more than 500 cases of first growth Bordeaux, and that was only in three e-mails. I am in Southern California visiting my parents, so I haven’t even had my morning wake up java from Starbucks yet! And I feel a bit down.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Behind A to Z's Purchase of Rex Hill

Posted: November 8, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

When Bill Hatcher left his job managing Domaine Drouhin for the Drouhin family of Burgundy in 2000, he didn't know what he was going to do next. He just didn't want to run a big winery any more. Guess what? He just took on the biggest in Oregon.

Blogs  :  Kevin Vogt: From the Floor

How to Frustrate Sommeliers or Win Them Over

Posted: November 8, 2006  By Kevin Vogt

I recently received a comment on one of my blog posts here by Paul Frank, owner of Gemstone Vineyard. Paul asked, “Kevin, if you could educate restaurant guests to avoid the one or two things that annoy sommeliers most, what might it be? Also, on the other hand, what are the things that sommeliers appreciate most from considerate and knowledgeable guests? How's that for putting you on the spot!?” Since these are such great questions, and the answers are related, I feel that they deserve their own post.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

From Condrieu to CdP

Posted: November 8, 2006  By James Molesworth

I left Condrieu and drove down south this morning to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The drive is a bit of a drag—a little less than two hours and no vineyards from Valence until you hit CdP itself. You know you’re close though when you see Mornas, the ruins of a rugged, 11th-century castle that sit atop a striking white cliff face.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Changes at Lynch-Bages

Posted: November 8, 2006  By James Suckling

I just heard word from Jean-Michel Cazes, the patriarch of the family who owns Bordeaux’s Lynch-Bages among others, that he has decided to pass the reins of his wine operation to his 32-year-old son, Jean-Charles.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Tasting Opus Alone and With Its Competitors

Posted: November 8, 2006  By James Laube

When I met with Opus One CEO David Pearson ( see my previous post ) and winemaker Michael Silacci, they had arranged for a select vertical of their wines. I had also asked Pearson, partly in jest, if we could taste the wines blind with a few ringers.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Ghost Wine, Great Condrieu and More Côte-Rôtie

Posted: November 7, 2006  By James Molesworth

All this Côte-Rôtie is hard work. So I started my last day in Ampuis with a visit to some white wine producers—Château-Grillet and André Perret. Château-Grillet is a bit of a ghost wine. A property that is its own appellation (à la Romanée-Conti or Coulée de Serrant), it sits in a perfect spot in the heart of Condrieu, with ideal exposure and fine-grained, sandy, granite soils that every vigneron in the appellation drools over.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Frustration With Fake Wine

Posted: November 7, 2006  By James Suckling

One topic of conversation during a Lafleur tasting last Sunday in Beverly Hills was fake bottles. Many of the two dozen or so wine collectors at the tasting were upset over what they perceived as an increase in the trafficking of fake, high-end bottles.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Opus One Looks Ahead

Posted: November 7, 2006  By James Laube

On opposite walls in David Pearson’s office are two imposing photos of wine legends. One is dead. One is still alive. To Pearson’s right is a black-and-white photo of Baron Philippe de Rothschild. “His eyes follow you around the room,” says Pearson, the CEO of Opus One, acting as if it’s both reassuring and intimidating.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

I Sing the Vineyard Biodynamic

Posted: November 6, 2006  By Brian Loring

Matt Kramer commented in a recent column that if you’re not sure which wine to buy, you can feel confident that you’ll be getting a good wine if the grapes were grown biodynamically. Last night I saw a wine list that noted which wines were biodynamic.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Tasting the La La Wines and Other Côte-Rôties

Posted: November 6, 2006  By James Molesworth

Sigh. Just another day in Côte-Rôtie. I started at one of my favorite domaines, R. Rostaing. And for the first time, I actually preferred the Côte Blonde cuvée to La Landonne—in the 2004 vintage).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Impressions of 2005 in Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu

Posted: November 6, 2006  By James Molesworth

The last two days I have been in Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu, with a few more days still to come. The 2005 reds are superb young wines, with big tannins and lots of ripe fruit. It’s going to be a great vintage for cellaring.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Australia Frost: What Does It Mean?

Posted: November 6, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Devastating spring frosts are expected to reduce Australia's wine production for 2007 by as much as 50 million cases. Given Australia's looming surplus of 100 million cases of wine, that might seem fortuitous.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Dream Come True

Posted: November 6, 2006  By James Suckling

Are there some wines that you have always wanted to taste in your life but never have? One for me is the legendary 1947 Château Lafleur , the small-production Pomerol made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The Moment of Truth

Posted: November 4, 2006  By James Molesworth

I guess you could call it a journey of self discovery, even though it only took less than two hours. It was the end of a long day, and I was sitting alone in the dining room. The object was to have a quick bite and finally get some rest for a change, as opposed to the five or six hours of very restless sleep a night I’ve been getting on this trip.

Blogs  :  Kevin Vogt: From the Floor

Ditching (or Dissing) the Tastevin

Posted: November 3, 2006  By Kevin Vogt

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and been approached by a sommelier wearing a chain around his neck with some keys and a device that looks like a silver ashtray dangling from it? I have, and I don’t like it.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Truffles and Crozes-Hermitage

Posted: November 3, 2006  By James Molesworth

I finally got my first real truffle fix of the trip, with a gouda soufflé topped with black truffles at Pic. That definitely moves the needle up a touch. How's the wait for truffles going on that side of the pond? Do any of you have any special plans for when they get there? The weather here was beautiful my first two days—warm and dry with little wind.

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