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Posted: May 22, 2007 By James Laube
The owners of Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley and the Tangent brand are hedging their bet on alternative white grapes, which is a good thing. This week the Niven family announced they had carved out 55 acres of Paragon to plant Albariño.
Posted: May 22, 2007 By James Suckling
On the way back from Cannes , I stopped in Piedmont to blind taste about 60 2004 Barbarescos. The results will be published on-line soon, and later in the magazine. It’s an outstanding vintage, producing wines with the richness and ripeness of 2000 and the freshness, structure and acidity of the 2001.
Posted: May 22, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
It's only coming up on its second anniversary, but Chicago's Alinea has become the foodies' darling. I have been reading about it and salivating since the hype began. I admired a couple of chef Grant Achatz 's stunning dishes at this year's Masters of Food and Wine , so Alinea was at the top of my list when I had a couple of days in Chicago this past weekend.
Posted: May 21, 2007 By James Laube
Earlier this year I wrote about a hot new wine , with a super winemaker pedigree and a supersonic price. Last week, I got to try the 2004 Levy McClellan Cabernet, and its sister vintage, the 2005, with the makers.
Posted: May 21, 2007 By Rajat Parr
In my posts here on WineSpectator.com, I plan to discuss the mystery of winemaking, relive the greatest wine experiences I have ever had, profile some amazing people in wine, discuss recent wine trends, speak about food-and-wine pairings and dissect new wine regions.
Posted: May 21, 2007 By Bruce Sanderson
Tinkering with tradition is like trying to turn an ocean liner around. It takes a long time. However, Moët & Chandon ’s new chef de cave has different ideas. The Champagne house was founded in 1743.
Posted: May 21, 2007 By James Molesworth
I'm just back from a short vacation: My buddies and I head down to Myrtle Beach every year at this time for a weekend of intensive and extensive golfing. We play five rounds in two and a half days, after which the stock price of Advil tends to spike due to a massive increase in sales.
Posted: May 21, 2007 By James Suckling
I spent the weekend in Cannes for the film festival with some friends from Hong Kong, including Peter Lam, director of Media Asia, which is one of the largest film companies in the Far East. He’s a big time wine collector as well.
Posted: May 18, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
You don't expect a winery's basic red to taste like you want to drink it with dinner after 25 years in the bottle. That sort of longevity is supposed to be for high-priced reserve wines. But the Peter Lehmann Shiraz 1980, made as an everyday red from Barossa Valley grapes, still shows a core of cherry flavor.
Posted: May 18, 2007 By James Laube
My friend Richard, who’s new to wine but catching up fast, asked me about how long you can keep an open bottle, which is an important consideration if you’ve spent a lot of money on a wine and don’t drink it all in one sitting.
Posted: May 18, 2007 By James Suckling
Sometimes, old ideas should be left for the history books. At least that’s my idea with the few producers in France who are blending Bordeaux with the Rhône. Why bother? Historically, Bordeaux reds were “Hermitagé,” in the late 1800s and early 1900s, to help buttress the body and richness of wines.
Posted: May 17, 2007 By James Laube
Tuesday's blog about 2005 California Pinots generated quite a response. Thanks to all of you for sharing your opinions. I'd like to reiterate one point that I made and clarify a second one. Every vintage has its pros and cons.
Posted: May 16, 2007 By Kim Marcus
My next stop is in the neighboring village of Unterloiben, at the Alzinger winery. Greeting me is another member of the younger generation, Leo Alzinger (and another junior). His grandparents founded the winery in 1925 and sent most of their fruit to local cooperatives until 1985, when they began bottling on their own.
Posted: May 15, 2007 By James Laube
I’ve tasted dozens of 2005 California Pinot Noirs in the past couple of weeks, and the weak seams of this vintage have become more evident. While I’ve found many exciting 2005s to recommend , it’s apparent that not everyone had as much success as the top producers.
Posted: May 15, 2007 By Kim Marcus
The next morning I am picked up by a young student named Matthias Maschebauer, who will take me to the wineries on my itinerary in the Wachau. He’s a helpful guide because in many instances the wineries have only small signs pointing to their entrances and more than one winery in a small village may carry the same family name.
Posted: May 15, 2007 By James Molesworth
I met today with John Duval and Felipe Tosso, a pair of winemakers from different regions who are now working together. Duval, 56, is an Aussie, and he was the longtime winemaker at Penfolds (from 1974 to 2002) before starting his own small eponymous label.
Posted: May 14, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Today, subdivisions surround Elderton 's 70-acre vineyard on the outskirts of Nuriootpa. The Ashmead family, which owns the land in the heart of Barossa Valley and the brand, steadfastly refuses to give in and sell, despite plenty of attractive offers.
Posted: May 14, 2007 By James Laube
Tomorrow I'll begin tasting barrel samples of California Cabernet Sauvignon from 2006. The two-day tasting will be fun but grueling, with lots of intense, inky young wines. When it’s over, I'll go home with purple-stained teeth and a craving for an ice-cold beer.
Posted: May 14, 2007 By James Suckling
Okay. I am late. Forgive me. Tomorrow is today. And I can tell you about drinking the 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche. In fact, I also was lucky enough to have drunk it with three other DRC’s at the dinner at Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux last Wednesday with supercollectors/friends from Hong Kong, including 1996 DRC Richebourg versus 1995 DRC Richebourg and 1991 DRC La Tâche versus 1990 DRC La Tâche.
Posted: May 12, 2007 By Kim Marcus
On my way out of the Burgenland, I stop by the winery and vineyards of Umathum, one of Austria’s best all-around red wine producers. Josef “Pepe” Umathum is articulate and friendly. Like many other producers, he is going biodynamic, which is rooted deeply in Austria given that Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamics, was an Austrian.
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