Posted: March 26, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: March 26, 2012
Posted: March 23, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: March 1, 2012 By Suzanne Mustacich
Posted: February 13, 2012 By Thomas Matthews
Posted: January 30, 2012 By James Molesworth
The annual Naples Winter Wine Festival has all the trappings of an A-list event. Based at the Ritz-Carlton Tiburón Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, the list of participating vintners includes the likes of Ann Colgin of California's Colgin Cellars, Prince Robert of Luxembourg of Bordeaux châteaus Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion and Peter Sisseck of Spain's Dominio de Pingus. The event's well-heeled attendees enjoy generous pours while eating food prepared by a list of chefs that includes Wolfgang Puck, Dean Fearing, Kelly Liken, Bill Telepan and more. The festival ends with a day-long live auction attended by approximately 600 people.
Posted: January 18, 2012 By Suzanne Mustacich
Posted: January 6, 2012 By James Molesworth
Following my recent two-week stay in Bordeaux last December to taste the region's 2009 releases in bottle, here are some notes on restaurants I visited. You can also refer to my notes on restaurants from previous visits to Bordeaux in Dec. 2010 and March 2011.
While my survey is far from complete, my favorite spot—by a mile—remains La Table de Montesquieu in La Brède, 30 minutes' drive south of Bordeaux proper (without traffic). If you're in Bordeaux, make the effort to eat here. These other four are worth a stop as well.
Posted: January 6, 2012 By James Molesworth
Unfiltered gazes into the future and sees love blossom for a Sonoma sweetheart on The Bachelor, a holy wine from Tim Tebow, Napa Cabernets on the loose in China, plus, the Occupy movement takes to the vineyards
Posted: January 5, 2012
Posted: December 29, 2011 By Thomas Matthews
Posted: December 27, 2011 By James Molesworth
We all have the dream—to maybe one day buy a little rundown winery in some out-of-the-way wine area and spend our time fixing up the place. Maybe a few acres of Grenache in the Languedoc for example, where costs and expectations would be relatively low and you could probably make your way without much trouble.
But how about a Bordeaux fixer-upper? One in St.-Emilion, located right next door to the famed Château Cheval-Blanc? Now that's jumping into the deep end. But it's exactly what Olivier Decelle and his wife, Anne, have done.
Posted: December 19, 2011 By James Molesworth
Who'd have thought the most interesting white wine I'd tasted all year would come from Bordeaux?
It would have been no surprise if some new white from the Rhône or the Loire, or a Riesling from Germany or the Finger Lakes, lit my fire this past year. Even something off the radar from the Jura would have been more predictably surprising than a white Bordeaux.
Yet there I was earlier this month, working in Bordeaux, blind tasting through 600 wines, focusing on the recently bottled 2009 reds. I started with a small flight of white, a mix of 2009s and '10s, when suddenly something electric hit my palate.
Posted: December 15, 2011 By James Molesworth
Château Phélan-Ségur missed out on the 1855 classification (it was instead designated Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels in the 2003 cru bourgeois classification, though that classification was nullified by legal challenges filed by disgruntled châteaus in 2007). Today, the estate releases its wine at a more modest price point vis-à-vis other Bordeaux, typically around $40 in the U.S. market, while maintaining a distinctively subtle, minerally style for its wine.
That style was on full display when I visited the estate while in Bordeaux recently, meeting with general director Véronique Dausse who gave me the opportunity to taste a complete vertical of the 2000 through 2010 vintages, as well as the 1995, 1990 and 1989.
Posted: December 15, 2011 By Ben O'Donnell
Posted: December 13, 2011 By James Molesworth
A youthful-looking 62, Denis Dubourdieu has a swoosh of dark, wavy hair that shows just a few hints of gray. With his reading glasses hanging around his neck, he has a well-cultivated professorial look, fitting for a man who could easily be called the professor of Bordeaux. Since the 1970s, Dubourdieu has taught at the University of Bordeaux, and during his career, his influential research on white wine vinification and aging helped revolutionize how white Bordeaux is made today. Dubourdieu is also a vigneron in his own right, heading up Denis Dubourdieu Domaines, a family company based at his home property of Château Reynon in the Côtes de Bordeaux town of Beguey and headlined by his flagship estate of Château Doisy-Daëne in Barsac.
Posted: December 8, 2011
Posted: December 7, 2011 By James Molesworth
The 8 hectares of manicured gardens are beautiful and the old manor house has a hint of regal air to it. But Château Le Thil does not drip with the Bordeaux-styled pomp and circumstance that comes from many moneyed estates in the Médoc. Instead, the cellar facility is just a simple building that could have been plucked out of the Rhône countryside, and the history here is much shorter.
This is one of the new kids on the block, and the block has some big neighbors. Château Le Thil's 18 hectares of vines are set right in the middle of a triangle formed by Châteaus Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Carbonnieux and Bouscaut, three prominent names in Pessac-Léognan. De Laitre took the plunge in 1990, deciding to plant some vines without any background in wine and no immediate family wine history to call upon.
Posted: December 5, 2011 By James Molesworth
Game on. The 2009 Bordeaux tasting game, that is. After arriving just in time for lunch (how's that for planning ahead?) I got right down to it, tasting through some dry whites. From there, I worked through the morass of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs and turned up some interesting and tasty values, including the 2009 Bad Boy (Mauvais Garçon) bottling from Château Valandraud's Jean-Luc Thunevin.
While the tasting is large—I'll probably get through over 500 wines while here—I do take a break here and there to stop in at some châteaus. Last week I caught up with Hélène Garcin-Lévêque and her husband, winemaker Patrice Lévêque, to taste the 2011s from Pessac's Châteaus Haut-Bergey and Branon.
Posted: November 30, 2011 By James Molesworth
I'm heading across the pond again to finish my tastings of the 2009 Bordeaux that are now in bottle. My colleagues, executive editor Thomas Matthews and senior tasting coordinator Alison Napjus, are joining me, as they did last year when I tasted the 2008s.
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