california

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News & Features  :  News & Features

Featured Winemaker: Justin Smith of Saxum

California winegrower Justin Smith dazzled the audience with his Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2011

Posted: October 29, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec

News & Features  :  News & Features

Exploring California’s Terroir with Peter Michael

One of the state's top vintners showcases Knights Valley, Sonoma Coast and Napa wines

Posted: October 28, 2013  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Noteworthy California Reds

New reviews of Rhône-style wines from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County

Posted: October 28, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Do I Smell Mocha in this Wine?

I find the caffè mocha aromas of coffee and chocolate in today's wines much more frequently than those of yesteryear

Posted: October 23, 2013  By James Laube

"Mocha" has worked its way into my vocabulary as a wine descriptor over the past decade or so. I use it in reference to the aroma of a caffè mocha, particularly that dusting of cocoa powder on top of the foamed milk.

I first used "mocha" as a tasting descriptor in the magazine in 1998. In 2000, it appeared in 43 Cailfornia wine reviews and 150 Wine Spectator reviews from around the world; in 2005, it appeared in 134 and 246, respectively. So far this year, "mocha" has popped up in 232 reviews of California wines (out of more than 3,700 total), and it's been used in 614 reviews of nearly 20,000 wines around the world, so it's not just me: Mocha's popularity as a tasting descriptor is at an all-time high.

But where does that mocha aroma come from?

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

12 California Merlots for $20 or Less

Good quality comes at a fair price if you shop wisely

Posted: October 23, 2013  By Tim Fish

Snidely debating what wine is "in" and what wine is "out" is a favorite pastime of industry insiders. First, Merlot was in, and then it was out. In and out, in and out-you get whiplash after a while. How much of that trickles down to consumers is hard to say. I'm not sure they care.

The 2010 vintage in California certainly didn't show Merlot at its best, and it's too early to call the 2011s, which are just being released. For my annual Merlot report, I tasted more than 180 wines, and I offer my take in the Nov. 30 issue. Despite the challenges of recent vintages, there is a solid selection of California Merlots on the market that sell for $20 or less. These are wines that can compete with values from Argentina, Portugal and Washington state.

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

30 Vintages of Shafer Hillside Select: The Evolution of a Classic Napa Cabernet

Shafer Vineyards' first vintage was an accidental success; the winery really hit its stride in the early 1990s

Posted: October 22, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Bold California Zinfandels

New reviews from the challenging 2011 vintage

Posted: October 21, 2013  By Tim Fish

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

Numbers Game

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

California Pinot Noir Alphabetical Listing

Posted: October 15, 2013  

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

Making Pinot on the Edge

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Molesworth

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Six to Watch

Posted: October 15, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec, Augustus Weed, Aaron Romano, James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

California Pinot Noir Cools Off in 2011

A chilly summer and rainy harvest slow the momentum of recent vintages

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

Josh Jensen: Pinot Pioneer

Posted: October 15, 2013  By Marvin R. Shanken, Thomas Matthews

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Understanding Calera Pinots: From Vineyard to Bottle

Posted: October 15, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Vintage California Bubblies

New reviews of exceptional sparkling wines from the Golden State

Posted: October 14, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News

Qupé Winery Sold to Charles Banks' Terroir Selections

Investment group founder and owner of Mayacamas Vineyards continues his buying spree

Posted: October 10, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reminiscing on a Day Immersed in the Pinot Noir Harvest

Thirty-four years ago, I worked one day of the Carneros Pinot Noir harvest

Posted: October 8, 2013  By James Laube

Before I made wine, I picked grapes.

Yesterday I relived my first harvest as I watched a crew pick a Pinot Noir vineyard in Carneros. The first time I picked grapes was in 1979, when I joined a team harvesting Pinot Noir at Winery Lake Vineyard, not far from where I watched yesterday morning's harvest.

News & Features  :  News

Sonoma Loses Two Prominent Vintners: Robert Hunter Jr. and Dale Goode

Hunter was a banker-turned–sparkling winemaker; Goode a pioneering grower in Alexander Valley

Posted: October 7, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Outstanding Rhône-Style Reds From California

New reviews of Syrah, Grenache and blends from the 2010 vintage

Posted: October 7, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  News

Viansa Winery the Latest Buy in Vintage Wine Estates Spree

Comes on the heels of company’s August purchase of Clos Pegase

Posted: October 4, 2013  By Tim Fish

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