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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Heavyweight Food-and-Wine Dinner

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Laube

On Saturday night, I was invited to a dinner party here in Napa. All I was asked to bring was some wine. We'd be grilling meat, I was told, so I took a couple of huge, rich, massive, inky dark, ultraripe Cabernets in hefty supersized, barbell-weight bottles.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

To De(stem) or Not to De(stem)

Posted: February 13, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Sometimes I’ll be cruising along in a blind tasting of red Burgundies and a wine will throw me a curve ball. Aromatically, it is fresh and distinctive, with floral and spice notes (sandalwood comes to mind most often) along with the fruit.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tip of the Iceberg

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

When you decide how expensive a restaurant is, do you look at the final bill, which includes tax and tip, or at the price of an entrée? Or maybe the prices on the wine list? If you said the final bill, you are in the minority.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Back Label That Fills in the Facts

Posted: February 12, 2007  By James Laube

Last night for dinner, I opened a bottle of 2003 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard (92 points, $45). As I poured a glass, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. Calera used to make one of the ripest styles of Pinot Noir in California, so much so that I once described them as ultraripe bordering on jammy.

Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Reminiscing Over a Wine's Moment

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

I've heard for years about a wine's "moment." It's different than a wine's peak (which is very subjective). It's also different than a wine "opening up" over a period of time due to decanting or exposure to air in the glass.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

My Path to Becoming a Chef

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Eric Ripert

Hello, my name is Eric Ripert, and I am the chef and owner of Le Bernardin restaurant in New York. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to write my own Wine Spectator guest blog, and look forward to sharing ideas with you throughout the next month.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Available Critters

Posted: February 9, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Some months ago I made note of all the creatures I had encountered on Australian wine labels. I had been trawling through some low-priced wines, looking for good values, and had found in one tasting alone a blue-tongued lizard, penguins, cockatoos, pumas, sheep and yabbies.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Singing at Sona

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Suckling

What a foggy morning in Los Angeles today, not so much from the weather but from a slightly exaggerated evening last night. I had dinner at Sona  (which is recent guest blogger David Myers ' restaurant) with L.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Wine Times: They Are a Changing

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Laube

I wondered if my kids (now young adults) would ever embrace wine. Unlike me, they grew up in a wine culture, in Napa Valley, where wine is everywhere and everywhere we’ve traveled. While I hoped they would grow to appreciate the world’s most amazing beverage, I also harbored anxiety about what might happen if they liked it too much.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Dealing With a Problem That Nobody Wants

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Molesworth

With the news today regarding Viña Errázuriz , a new front has been opened in the war on cellar contamination. South American wineries join California and France in having to deal with a problem that nobody wants.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Exploring Gevrey-Chambertin at Dugat-Py

Posted: February 9, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Bernard Dugat is an artist whose medium is wine. Passionate, articulate and down to earth, he doesn’t rely on a lot of technique. Rather, his key to expressing the best from each terroir is old vines, moderate yields and long fermentations with whole clusters.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Frédéric Coulon

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Molesworth

Brothers Frédéric and Daniel Coulon run the Paul Coulon & Fils estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (commonly referred to as Domaine de Beaurenard). I sat down with Frédéric in my office today—tempted by the vertical of the estate’s top red wine, their cuvée Boisrenard, that he brought.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Brunello’s Golden Age?

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Suckling

Two 100-pointers for Brunello di Montalcino. The region is on a roll, both in Italy and abroad. As you know, my home is in Italy, so I spend a fair amount of time in Tuscany, and it never ceases to amaze me when I ride my bike or drive my sports car to Montalcino and gaze at the mountain of the medieval city.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Vinolocity Revealed

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Laube

Wine certainly has its own language. Some of the oddest prose can be found on the back of wine labels. Often the verbiage is mundane, canned copy that is useless and a waste of space and opportunity. Occasionally, though, it's useful and insightful and contributes to your knowledge of what's in the bottle.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Maynard James Keenan

Chance Encounter in Sydney

Posted: February 8, 2007  By Maynard James Keenan

I love it when those little chance moments occur. It makes you feel like you're paying attention to the right nuances. Not that I believe in any sort of master plan or that there's a right or wrong path.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Art of Élevage

Posted: February 8, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

In Burgundy, the period between the end of the alcoholic fermentation and bottling is called élevage , literally “raising,” as in raising children. Those engaged in buying grapes, must or wine and maturing and bottling it in their cellars are known as a négociant-éleveur.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Honesty, Sine Qua Non

Posted: February 7, 2007  By James Suckling

Is Manfred Krankl a genius? No. Is he super cool, and does he make excellent wines? Yes. Is he an artist and winemaker? Yes. Yes. I had lunch a couple of days ago in Los Angeles with Manfred, who makes Sine Qua Non wines, and I was inspired not only by his wine that we drank – 2003 Sine Qua Non Li’l E – but his philosophy of life and winemaking.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Travelin' Man

Posted: February 7, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Corey Ryan worked as a winemaker at Henschke for six years before he and viticulturalist Simon Cowham, who had been managing vineyards for Yalumba , started up their own winery. It's called Sons of Eden , and since its first vintage (2000) it has quickly emerged from the pack.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

If a Wine Is Flawed, Let the Winery Know

Posted: February 7, 2007  By James Laube

I can sympathsize with William Beitz’s frustration. He opened a 2001 Hundred Acre Napa Valley Cabernet during Sunday’s Super Bowl game—a wine he had been patiently storing in his Eurocave since buying it—only to be sorely disappointed.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Scary Restaurant II

Posted: February 6, 2007  By James Suckling

Empty restaurants sort of scare me. Last night I went with a friend to a new Italian restaurant in Los Angeles and it was empty, except for one other table. It made me uneasy. Strange thoughts went through my mind.

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