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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Charles Woodson's Training Camp Hobby Becomes a Second Career

The All-Pro safety's first releases of TwentyFour by Charles Woodson Napa Cabernet earn outstanding marks

Posted: October 4, 2013  By James Laube

Charles Woodson, whose 2009 Calistoga Cabernet earned outstanding marks in last week's California Tasting Highlights, owes at least part of his fascination with wine to the Oakland Raiders. The 1997 Heisman Trophy winner was drafted in the first round in 1998 by the Raiders, who hold their training camp in the city of Napa, gateway to the valley. During a visit to Napa recently, Woodson presented all of his wines dating to the 2001 Merlot and the Cabernets from 2005 to 2009. All of the wines were exceptional.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Wine Fills America's Cup

Plus, a Master of Wine and mountains, the California condor gets a lift from the vineyard, and California's newest batch of AVAs

Posted: October 3, 2013  

News & Features  :  News

Caymus Vineyards Matriarch Lorna Belle Glos Wagner Dies at 97

With a long family history in wine, she cofounded her family's famous Napa winery

Posted: October 2, 2013  By Aaron Romano

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Technique Vs. Terroir

California and Oregon winemakers put terroir to the test with an interstate Pinot Noir exchange

Posted: October 2, 2013  By James Laube

Terroir can be an endlessly entertaining intellectual exercise. There’s little denying the role of the winemaker in creating any wine, but how does one measure that against the signature of the site? Here’s how a trio of Americans put terroir to a hands-on test.

The ground rules for the Cube Project were simple: three winemakers, three vineyards from three appellations, from three different vintages, 2010 to 2012. Each of the winemakers—Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton appellation, Andrew Brooks of Bouchaine Vineyards in Carneros and Leslie Mead Renaud of Foley Estate and Lincourt in Santa Barbara—shared 6 tons of grapes (2 tons each) from their respective vineyards, resulting in nine different wines each year. Each winemaker determined the pick date of their vineyard, all from Pommard clones, meaning each winemaker started out with grapes at the same level of ripeness, measured in sugar, or Brix.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Hot Wines to Welcome Fall

New reviews of outstanding red, white and sparkling wines from across California

Posted: September 30, 2013  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Outstanding Napa Cabernets

New reviews of California Cabernets from the excellent 2009 vintage

Posted: September 23, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Drawbacks of a Bountiful Harvest: More Grapes, More Problems

The abundant 2013 California harvest is accelerating, and vintners are starting to wonder where they're going to put all those grapes

Posted: September 20, 2013  By James Laube

Too early and too much.

These are but two thoughts on the minds of many California vintners as harvest accelerates during what has been a largely uneventful season. Heat spikes haven't been a big issue; rain isn't expected to be a concern. The immediate weather forecast for the North Coast calls for milder temperatures over the next week, which will be a plus. All of that seemingly good news means vintners may be dealing with more than they bargained for.

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

My identical bottles taste different at home than they did in wine country. What gives?

Posted: September 20, 2013  

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Bright California Sparklers

New reviews of festive bubblies from the Golden State

Posted: September 16, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

No Rest for the Weary Winemaker

Harvest 2013 is running early in California

Posted: September 11, 2013  By Tim Fish

There’s a dusty book someplace that lists the California harvests that ran earlier than 2013, but I can’t recall many in the 24 years I’ve lived here. Consider this. Hanzell Vineyards, known for great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, finished its harvest in Sonoma Valley a week before Labor Day.

That’s on the outskirts of the norm but it does show how fast things are moving. The growing season rain early all year and there’s been plenty of sun throughout summer. Warm temperatures to start the month moved things along even faster.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Impressive Napa Cabernets

New reviews of outstanding bottlings from the 2010 vintage

Posted: September 9, 2013  By James Laube

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Raises Record $2.5 Million

County and valley combine efforts and take in $1.4 million at live auction

Posted: September 3, 2013  By Tim Fish

Aug. 31, 2013 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

California Whites Alphabetical Listing

Posted: August 31, 2013  

Aug. 31, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

California’s Fresh Whites

An array of distinctive white grapes is bringing new flavors to the Golden State, with plantings on the rise

Posted: August 31, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Judge for Yourself

John Kongsgaard ages some of his Napa Chardonnays for as long as four years in oak

Posted: August 29, 2013  By James Laube

Oak is a divisive issues in wine. One way of looking at it is that if a little is good, then more is better. Not many people would actually subscribe to that theory, though.

Napa vintner John Kongsgaard has been experimenting with extended barrel aging for his Chardonnays for years, with increasingly impressive results. Not only were his two 2010s the cream of the crop in this year's roundup of California's best Chardonnays, but one wine he's been tinkering with spent four years in oak.

News & Features  :  Seasonal

A Homey Italian Feast and Kosher Wines for the High Holidays

A New York chef shares Italian-inflected family recipes. Plus, 14 recently rated kosher wines from Israel and California

Posted: August 27, 2013  By Laurie Woolever

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Outstanding Rutherford Cabernets

New reviews of top 2010 Cabernet Sauvignons from the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley

Posted: August 26, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Seasonal

Well-Dressed Dogs and California Pinot Noir for Labor Day

Sausage-dressing tips from Hot Doug's, a fresh salad and 12 recently rated reds for summer's last hurrah

Posted: August 23, 2013  By Laurie Woolever

News & Features  :  News

Napa's Clos Pegase Sold

Vintage Wine Estates, backed by Leslie Rudd, plans to boost production; art collection not included in sale

Posted: August 21, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Exciting Napa Cabernets Under $70

New reviews of outstanding 2010s at prices that won’t break the bank

Posted: August 19, 2013  By James Laube

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