Posted: August 20, 2014 By James Laube
In the past few weeks, much of my attention has been directed toward reviewing Napa Valley Cabernets from the 2011 vintage. 2011 was tough across the board in California. But interspersed with the Napa 2011s were a sprinkling of 2012s and the hint of better days ahead. Not only were many of the 2012s richer and riper, better made and better balanced, I came across some rather staggering figures, evidence of Cabernet's importance to Napa wineries' bottom lines and California's image as a whole.
Posted: August 20, 2014 By Tim Fish
Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish gets an update on California's 2014 harvest, now well under way.
Posted: August 18, 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 Château Pétrus in Pomerol to taste and review the 2013 Pétrus.
Posted: August 13, 2014 By Tim Fish
The 2011 and 2010 California Merlots, for the most part, are hard and herbal, plus they lacked depth and Merlot's telltale appealing texture. Nature just didn't play fair those years.
However, I'm beginning to taste 2012s as I prepare the annual Merlot report, and there's good news. The 2012s are downright fun to drink, and what they lack in depth, they balance with luscious fruit and silky body. That makes it a great year for value hounds.
Posted: August 12, 2014 By James Laube
Some of the best wines I've had are those that have been open a day, and sometimes longer. On a good tasting day I'll take a few bottles home with me or leave a few on my desk to see how the wines taste the following day. On most occasions the wines taste about the same; certainly exposure to air isn't a big factor in the first 24 hours, and none expire (although some do present defects, such as brett, volatile acidity or TCA taint).
Posted: August 12, 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 Château Clinet in Pomerol.
Posted: August 11, 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 Château Figeac in St.-Emilion.
Posted: August 11, 2014 By Robert Camuto
Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits the Mt. Etna vineyards of Giuseppe Russo to see how the former classical pianist makes his melodic Sicilian red wines.
Posted: August 8, 2014 By Bruce Sanderson
Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson sits down to a dinner celebrating Italian rosés at Lincoln Ristorante hosted by wine director Aaron von Rock.
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!)
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