california

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

Cabernet Stars

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

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Parallel Universe

At Jonata, in Santa Barbara's Santa Ynez Valley, uncommon terroir calls for an uncommon approach

Posted: November 15, 2013  By Evan Dawson

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

At Age 10, 2003 Cabernets Show Year’s Difficulties

Twenty wines shine in a recent tasting, but the vintage comes up short overall

Posted: November 15, 2013  By James Laube

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

The New & The Noteworthy

Six producers taking Cabernet in new directions

Posted: November 15, 2013  By Aaron Romano, Harvey Steiman, Augustus Weed

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Ripe for Cabernet

In Paso Robles, a boomlet for California's top red bears watching

Posted: November 15, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Cool Victory for Cabernet

The 2010 wines from California are dense, balanced, and ideal for the cellar

Posted: November 15, 2013  By James Laube

News & Features  :  News

Bill Foley Buys Sizable Share of Napa Valley Hotel Calistoga Ranch

Foley Family Wines owner partners with Auberge Resorts to provide luxury accommodations and a tasting room showcasing his wines

Posted: November 14, 2013  By Mitch Frank

News & Features  :  News

West Coast Wineries Are Up for Sale—Quietly

A wave of recent deals show investors see opportunities in wine, while owners see an exit strategy

Posted: November 12, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Bold California Reds

New reviews of Syrah and Grenache from the Central Coast

Posted: November 11, 2013  By James Laube

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Hearty Reds for the Fleeting Sunlight

Put away those frivolous wines of summer and drink something fit for autumn

Posted: November 6, 2013  By Tim Fish

Fall arrived in Sonoma County on Monday, or at least it finally felt like it, finally. It was something in the air, that hard to define mix of fleeting sunlight, long shadows and leaves in the breeze. Autumn comes late in Northern California and lingers only until the first serious storm blows in from the Pacific.

I'm in the mood for different wines when the weather changes. The flavors are generally richer, deeper and more multifaceted, so I look for a wine that's similar. A zesty red Rhône blend is often perfect, likewise Syrah and Zinfandel, plus red blends from Italy and Spain. Here are a few affordable picks for the fall.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

11 Enticing California Values

New reviews of accessible whites, reds and rosés, each priced at $25 or less

Posted: November 4, 2013  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  News & Features

It’s a Wrap: The Grand Award Banquet

Blending tradition with a youthful verve, the New York Wine Experience ends with a bang

Posted: October 30, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Let the Consumers Decide if Natural Wines Are Popular

An interview with Kermit Lynch asserts that ripe wines are off the menu, but sales don't bear that out

Posted: October 30, 2013  By James Laube

Last week, while in New York for the Wine Spectator Wine Experience, many people brought up Kermit Lynch's interview in the New York Times, in which he discusses high-alcohol wines, the 100-point rating system, terroir and natural wines, among other hot-button wine topics. I have a few thoughts of my own to offer …

Lynch isn't much a fan of California wine, yet it appears that he disqualifies himself from passing judgment on the mere basis that he hasn't and doesn't follow California's wines as closely as many. His import business is based in St. Helena, in Napa Valley, run by a Napa vintner, Bruce Neyers, and I suspect Lynch pays far greater attention to California wine than he allows. He is, after all, a businessman who competes against California.

News & Features  :  News & Features

Featured Winemaker: Ridge Vineyards' Paul Draper

A winemaker with a minimalist philosophy before "natural wines" were a trend

Posted: October 29, 2013  By MaryAnn Worobiec

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

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