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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When One Cork Fails Twice

Posted: August 16, 2007  By James Laube

Yesterday, amid a nightmarish run of bad corks in a flight of 1997 Napa Valley Cabernets we were tasting in the office, we coined what, for us, is a new phrase to describe an odd malady—a wine that’s "double-corked.

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Retrospective

A watershed vintage for France's Southern Rhône Valley, nine years later

Posted: July 30, 2007  By James Molesworth

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Day at Dominus

Posted: July 11, 2007  By James Laube

Yesterday I caught up with Christian Moueix of Dominus , in the now-chic Napa Valley hamlet of Yountville. It's always fascinating spending time with Moueix. He brings a unique perspective to Napa Valley wine—his roots are in Bordeaux’s Right Bank communes.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

When Is the Right Time?

Posted: July 11, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

I opened two bottles of Burgundy during the past week. One was sublime, the other was disappointing. The disappointment came from a Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 2001 from Domaine Barthod-Noëllat. It was simply too young and in a dumb phase.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Change in the Wines I Celebrate With

Posted: July 10, 2007  By James Molesworth

Two meals in the last week made me realize how the wines I celebrate with have changed dramatically in just the last few years. One dinner was to celebrate my wife’s birthday, the other meal was to celebrate a successful day on the golf course.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Three Dog Night in Sonoma

Posted: July 9, 2007  By James Laube

Midway through what amounted to a cellar cleansing, my friend Ms. V sighed, “God, do I have a lot of swill in here or what?” Ms. V is a hip wine drinker, with a first-class collection and plenty of gems, stored under prefect cellar conditions in her home in Sonoma.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

A Krug Comparison

Posted: June 29, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

I recently received an e-mail from Tom Stephenson, general manager of Crush Wine & Spirits in New York. The store was holding an informal tasting for select clients and press that would include the Krug Grande Cuvée as well as the Krug Brut 1996 and Brut 1995.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Having An Old Friend For Dinner

Posted: June 20, 2007  By James Laube

The other night I had dinner with an old friend and we indulged in an old friend for dinner—the 1983 Guigal La Mouline … The wine brought back lots of fond memories. I’ve been drinking it since the 1980s and enjoyed it perhaps a dozen times since then.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

To Decant, or Not to Decant

Posted: June 18, 2007  By James Molesworth

I always have a tough time deciding when to decant a wine. There are no hard and fast rules. Decanting big, young, tannic reds makes sense on the surface, but I actually prefer to watch a young wine develop in the glass rather than miss out on it while it sits in a decanter.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Two-Dozen '98s for Breakfast...

Posted: June 3, 2007  By James Molesworth

The mistral made an appearance today, with a strong wind that constantly rustled the cypress trees, lavender bushes and other foliage in the garden here at Auberge de Cassagne. It quickly dried the rain that fell overnight and freshened the air that had been slightly humid.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Few Gems to Celebrate Grandpa's 'No Work Day'...

Posted: May 30, 2007  By James Molesworth

Last week my father retired. Forty years as a professor at Queens College was enough—I don’t blame him. For his first week in official retirement, my dad (along with my mom) went up to our weekend house in the Hudson Valley for some quiet R&R.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Care for Some Pepper on That?

Posted: May 29, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Dark clouds hang over Barossa Valley, which has seen no significant rain for months. The grapes are safely in the winery, and this mid-April afternoon holds the promise of a downpour to give the vines a much-needed drink.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Command Performance at Elderton

Posted: May 14, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Today, subdivisions surround Elderton 's 70-acre vineyard on the outskirts of Nuriootpa. The Ashmead family, which owns the land in the heart of Barossa Valley and the brand, steadfastly refuses to give in and sell, despite plenty of attractive offers.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Price of Loyalty

Posted: May 11, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

I had dinner earlier this week with Katharina Prüm of Joh. Jos. Prüm and Wilhelm Steifensand, one of Prüm’s U.S. importers and president of Valckenberg. The question arose about how to best market German Riesling.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Primetime Wine Cellar, Without Primetime Prices

Posted: May 11, 2007  By James Molesworth

As we judge the restaurants that enter our wine program each year, we look for the best new entrants that can potentially compete for our top honor, the Grand Award. These establishments are typically newer, and they've burst onto the scene with deep pockets and big wine cellars.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Two Hot Wine Country Restaurants

Posted: May 3, 2007  By James Laube

Those traveling to Napa this summer should make a point of dining at La Toque, while Sonoma visitors should try Cyrus. Cyrus ( is an upscale restaurant near Healdsburg Plaza. I had my first meal there last week, and chef Douglas Keane's culinary wizardry exceeded my expectations.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The Last Bottle of a Great Wine

Posted: April 23, 2007  By James Molesworth

It was Saturday, and Nancy and I had spent the day cleaning out the vegetable garden from under a pile of dead leaves. We even took advantage of the early summer-like weather to sow a few rows of beets, beans and lettuce.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When to Drink a Wine Can Be a Dilemma

Posted: March 22, 2007  By James Laube

One of our readers, Roger, just posted a good question in response to a recent blog. “When do you think is the earliest point to open a 2001 [Cabernet]?” I think 2001s should drink well from now until they’re 15 or 20 years old, maybe longer, assuming they’re properly stored.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

It Can Be a Very Small Wine World

Posted: March 16, 2007  By James Laube

This week took on a personality of its own, as weeks sometimes do. There’s no way I could have predicted some of the coincidences, which triggered several flashbacks, some good memories, and the sense that this is a very small world indeed.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Wine and Steak

Posted: March 16, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Picking a wine to go with steak ought to be the simplest of tasks. After all, it's plain red meat. What could go wrong? In truth, not much can get in the way. But various red wines can turn in different directions, depending on how the steak is done and how it's seasoned or dressed.

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