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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

What a Wine's Color Means. And What It Doesn't ...

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Goodbye, Belles Soeurs

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.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Pétrus Unplugged and the Bordeaux Machine

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.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Domaine Serene Changes the Oregon Landscape

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Tuscan Wine Escape

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.

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.

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