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Posted: August 8, 2014 By James Laube
When discussing older vintages, we all have limitations, especially when it comes to experience. Where and when your wine experiences begin are vital markers, since initial impressions are often lasting ones.
Posted: August 8, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards. Today he visited Grand-Puy-Lacoste in Pauillac.
Posted: August 7, 2014 By James Laube
There's a spirit of revival in California with older wines, with some vintners, many of them young, taking a keen interest in wines of yesteryear.
It's a healthy sign. "What's past is prologue" has merit in just about every aspect of life. Much of this new attention in California is directed toward Napa Valley Cabernets from the 1970s, and to a lesser extent the 1960s, because of the wines' reputations for longevity.
Posted: August 6, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
The wine list was in my hands, often the case when a bunch of us go out to dine. Comes with the work title. Champagne would have been easy to start with, but I was looking for something closer to $50 (not $100) that might be fun and delicious, and not an obvious choice. Two offbeat selections—a white from Oregon and a Nebbiolo from Italy—fit the bill.
Posted: August 6, 2014 By Tim Fish
California wine is all but impossible to get in Cuba, and even harder to get than a good Cuban cigar here in California. That's why it was such a milestone when a delegation of Cuban sommeliers toured Napa and Sonoma counties last month to get a rare taste of Golden State wine. It was their first wine-buying trip since the United States government opened the Cuban market to American wine just last year.
Posted: August 5, 2014 By James Laube
Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube awoke to a 3.2-magnitude earthquake in Napa this morning.
Posted: August 5, 2014 By Ben O'Donnell
Last month, I tasted five 2010 Cabernets at Hall winery, each from a different Napa appellation: St. Helena (Bergfeld, single-vineyard), Stags Leap District (single-vineyard), Diamond Mountain (two growers), Howell Mountain (two growers) and the Exzellenz Sacrashe Vineyard Rutherford. Some of these cuvées are new, but Hall now counts Cabernets from six different subappellations of Napa (all 95 to 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon) and one from Sonoma. Together, they form a map of the valley as traced along the Cabernet in its veins.
Posted: August 4, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, taking a walk around the famed l'Enclos vineyard of Léoville Las Cases, with its diverse terroir.
Posted: July 30, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
Like many of us, my friend, let's call him Fred to protect the guilty, has acquired many more bottles of good wine for his cellar than he and his wife can possibly drink in their lifetimes. But for every bottle he gives away, he seems to get one in return. Which led to a potentially very awkward situation one night ...
Posted: July 29, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in Bordeaux, this time to kick the dirt in the vineyards, starting at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes.
Posted: July 29, 2014 By Dana Nigro
Wine Spectator senior editor Dana Nigro answers the question, How do you know if a wine is still good to drink? (Open it!)
Posted: July 25, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
Tasmania, already a favorite among Australian wine drinkers for its crisp Chardonnays, juicy Pinot Noirs and bright sparkling wines, has made little impact in the U.S. Most of the wineries are small, so there isn't much volume to go around, and until recently the often-tart styles have not been able to find a welcome.
Most Americans have no clue where Tassie is. Says George Galey of American Estate Wines, which has had wines from the island in its import portfolio for 20 years, "I actually used to carry a world map around with me and asked people to point out Tasmania. Restaurateurs and retailers usually pointed to Madagascar." Only off by about 5,800 miles. That's changing.
Posted: July 23, 2014 By James Laube
The decision about what wine to make is often as basic as what you like to drink and what you can sell. Winemakers figure if they make a wine they can't sell, they can drink it themselves. Up to a point.
Carl Doumani always liked Petite Syrah (his spelling), a drop in Napa Valley's bigger sea of Cabernet. When he bought the original Stags' Leap Winery property in 1971, it came with blocks of old-vine Petite that suited Doumani just fine. And true to his contrarian nature, he hung his white hat on Chenin Blanc, another old-time favorite that was losing steam. Selling those two wines amounted to paddling upstream as Cabernet and Chardonnay become the marquee wines of Napa, and favorites of American wine drinkers.
Posted: July 23, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France. Today he visited Clos Ste.-Magdeleine in Cassis. Here are his notes on the white wine with a red name.
Posted: July 22, 2014 By Ben O'Donnell
New York Restaurant Week is upon us in the city, a time when restaurants that are well north of my supper budget open their doors a little wider with prix-fixe specials. I always look for spots that offer wine specials as well, and in past years have found that New York wines are often given this platform to shine.
When I interviewed Long Island winemakers for my June 15 issue feature on the region, they felt confident that their wines could equal the best. But what did our high-end restaurant wine directors think?
Posted: July 22, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France. Today he visited Domaine Tempier in Bandol. Here are his notes on the reds.
Posted: July 21, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
One key moment stands out when I was researching my Wine Spectator Aug. 31 issue profile of Eric Ripert, chef and partner of New York's fabled fish restaurant, Le Bernardin. It was the creative meeting.
Ripert and his top-ranking chefs meet daily in a small conference room, away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, to perfect their ideas for new dishes. The menu is constantly in flux. Anyone in the kitchen can present an idea, then work out the details until the results get the approval of Ripert and his lieutenants. They bring trays full of the latest iteration of the dish, along with some options they are considering, all in an effort to keep things fresh and lively.
Posted: July 21, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France. Today he visited Domaine Tempier in Bandol. Here are his notes.
Posted: July 21, 2014 By Robert Camuto
Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits the Abbaye de Lérins, a Cistercian monastery on the tiny, idyllic island of Saint Honorat, about two miles and a 15-minute ferry ride off the yacht-jammed Cannes coast where winemaker Frère Marie turns out high-end reds and whites.
Posted: July 18, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France. Today he visited Domaine de la Tour du Bon in Bandol to taste the recent vintages of rosé, red and white wine. Here are his notes.
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