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Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Great Vintages and Growers’ Vintages

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Daniel Pi of Trapiche…

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Guys Night In

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Foggy Crystal Ball on 2006 Bordeaux

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Early Pickings at Marcassin

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Pinotage Champion Beyers Truter...

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Agony and Ecstasy in Bordeaux

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Zuni Cork Incident

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Golden Joys Of Honeyed Chardonnays

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Perfect Day in Bordeaux

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Harvest Joys And Wine Woes

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

1996 Clarets and How to Avoid Pocketbook Pain

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Life Is Good for Clarendon's Bratasiuk

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Not Yet For A New Napa Cabernet

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Does James Bond Even Drink Wine Anymore?

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Brunello, Brunello and More Brunello

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Meet the New Old Kid on the Block

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Corks on Shaky Ground

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Donald Hess...

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Darker Shade Of Red

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.

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