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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Golden State Oldies

Napa's Cabernets of yesteryear are experiencing a revival

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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Rumble in the Vineyards

Napa experienced a minor 3.2-magnitude earthquake this morning

Posted: August 5, 2014  By James Laube

Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube awoke to a 3.2-magnitude earthquake in Napa this morning.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Napa Cabernet, Every Which Way

A visit to Hall shows just how brightly Cabernet can shimmer with site-specific nuance across Napa's varied terroirs

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.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Refreshing California Sauvignon Blancs

New reviews of juicy whites for summer sipping

Posted: August 4, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Online Wine Auctioneer Arrested on Embezzlement Charges

WineGavel founder faces 12 counts of theft concerning more than $500,000 in wine

Posted: July 31, 2014  By Robert Taylor

July 31, 2014 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Winery to Watch: Pont Neuf

Posted: July 31, 2014  By Augustus Weed

July 31, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Patience and Low Yields Key to Quality at Kongsgaard

Posted: July 31, 2014  By James Laube

July 31, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Napa's Fortunate Son

How John Kongsgaard forged his own path to world-class Chardonnay

Posted: July 31, 2014  By James Laube

July 31, 2014 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

California Chardonnay's Big Easy

In a growing season lauded for a lack of drama, 2012 rolls out a large crop of vibrant, fruit-filled wines

Posted: July 31, 2014  By James Laube

July 31, 2014 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

California Chardonnay Alphabetical Listing

Posted: July 31, 2014  

News & Features  :  News

Sam Sebastiani Returns to His Wine Roots

After retiring from Viansa a decade ago, the Sonoma vintner launches a label paying tribute to his heritage

Posted: July 29, 2014  By Aaron Romano

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

9 Winning Napa Merlots

New reviews of reds from the 2011 and 2012 vintages

Posted: July 28, 2014  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News

Napa’s Quixote Winery Sold to Chinese-Owned Firm For Approximately $29 Million

Sale of Stags Leap property the latest in a series of recent Asian acquisitions

Posted: July 22, 2014  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Bold Napa Cabernets

New reviews of 2011 Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley

Posted: July 21, 2014  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  News

California Growers: What Damaged Our Vines?

Aerial spraying of pesticides may have drifted onto Lodi vines; extent of loss is yet to be determined

Posted: July 18, 2014  By Lynn Alley

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Is It OK to Be a Wine Tourist?

A visit to California "destination" wineries proves it's possible show both good wines and good times

Posted: July 15, 2014  By Ben O'Donnell

"We don't allow the buses here" is a proud refrain at Long Island wineries these days. Not so long ago, Long Island wine travel was considered rowdy and unserious, just as Napa is tarred in some circles as overpriced and impersonal—both regions magnets for the much-scorned wine tourist. And yet: What fun those folks always seem to be having.

So when I visited California wine country in June, I decided to stop at a few places that unabashedly cater to "tourists." One was Sonoma's Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which boasts a swimming pool, bocce lanes, a restaurant and a movie memorabilia collection. It's not just about the wine, but is that the same as not caring about the wine?

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

An Early Look at 2011 Napa Cabernets

A mixed vintage is off the pace, but stars can be found

Posted: July 15, 2014  By James Laube

To best appreciate how far viticultural and winemaking practices have come in the past decade, one need look no further than the 2011 Napa Valley Cabernets.

By most accounts this was the most damning vintage in perhaps 15 years. An altogether cool, damp year ended with heavy storms, and by some estimates as much as 50 percent of the grapes were of little or no use. I've talked with vintners who made about one-fourth of what they might have in a better year. Severe thinning led to a quarter-ton or less per acre. Thinning proved a winning strategy if only to salvage what might otherwise have been a dismal year. But based on nearly 200 reviews, the quality of the 2011 Napa Cabernets ranges from fair to, on a few occasions, outstanding.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

9 Outstanding Napa Cabernets

New reviews of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2011 vintage in the Napa Valley of California

Posted: July 14, 2014  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  News

A Casino in Napa Wine Country?

The Mishewal Wappo people want the government to recognize their tribe; vintners worry that will lead to a casino

Posted: July 10, 2014  By Aaron Romano

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Stunning California Sauvignon Blancs

New reviews of juicy, aromatic and refreshing whites for summer

Posted: July 7, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

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