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News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

1997 California Cabernets Reach a Plateau

Results are mixed, but many wines are outstanding

Posted: February 25, 2007  By James Laube

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Dal Forno Amarone, a Different Wine

Posted: February 23, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

I never thought much of Valpolicella until my first visit to Italy in 1987, when I met Giuseppe Quintarelli. His wines were a revelation. In his hands, Corvina, Rondinella and the other little-known grapes of the region made a dry red wine of real substance and depth.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Rites of Spring in Thy Cellar

Posted: February 16, 2007  By James Laube

Spring weather arrived in Northern California this week. Today the temperature will reach 70 degrees in Napa Valley, and it’s bright, clear and sunny, with no wind. While I know folks in Baltimore, Buffalo and Billings, Mont.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Why Some 1996 Cabernets Were Oxidized

Posted: February 15, 2007  By James Laube

Not all wineries store their wines in perfect cellar conditions. More wine gets moved around than you might imagine, and that can greatly impact the quality of the wine, especially as it ages. When several bottles of 1996 Cabernet from two prominent Napa Valley wineries tasted oxidized while I was working on my '96 retrospective report , I asked the owners-winemakers how the wines had been stored.

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

Retrospective: 1976 California Cabernet

Thirty years later, the wines are hit or miss

Posted: February 15, 2007  By James Laube

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reflections on the 1996 Cabernet Report

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Laube

This is a perfect time to discuss older vintages. In a recent blog , Chuck Wagner writes about a wine's moment—which can be fleeting. In my report on the 1996 Cabernets , I was disappointed by how many of the wines showed, for various reasons.

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

Retrospective: 1986 California Cabernets

At age 20, wines from a once-great vintage have faded

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Retrospective / Vertical

Retrospective: 1996 California Cabernets

The vintage's best wines can last another decade, but many bottlings lack opulence and show hard tannins

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Laube

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Frédéric Coulon

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Molesworth

Brothers Frédéric and Daniel Coulon run the Paul Coulon & Fils estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (commonly referred to as Domaine de Beaurenard). I sat down with Frédéric in my office today—tempted by the vertical of the estate’s top red wine, their cuvée Boisrenard, that he brought.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Moment We've Been Waiting For

Posted: February 5, 2007  By James Laube

“Here goes,” said Tom Malloy as he picked up a glass of 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova and took a sip. “Mmm, that’s good... That’s really good.” It took a while to find a date for all of us to uncork Wine Spectator’ s Wine of the Year for Tom, who I wrote about in November.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Weekend in the Country, Part II

Posted: January 22, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

When I started planning this weekend , I went through my cellar and made a list of mature wines I have been saving for a special occasion. Then I contacted all the participants and asked what wines they would be willing to contribute to the proceedings.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Weekend in the Country, Part I

Posted: January 21, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

To celebrate a milestone birthday (OK, it's our 60th), my wife and I invited six friends who share our love of good food and wine to rent a big house with us in Napa Valley for four days. Many of them are serious cooks.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Trimbach Way

Posted: January 17, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

In today’s world where the emphasis is on instant gratification, the Alsace winery Trimbach is a throwback to another era. While most wineries are releasing wines from the 2005 vintage, Trimbach’s current releases of its top wines are from 2001.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Fond Farewell for an Old Pinot Noir

Posted: January 17, 2007  By James Laube

I figured that I’d never taste the 1991 Williams Selyem Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir again. It was a magical wine the two times I’d had it before, in the 1990s—a taste sensation that was an early introduction of what the Sonoma Coast could offer.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Mini 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tasting

Posted: January 2, 2007  By James Molesworth

Over the weekend, I kept pulling bottles from the same area in my cellar. Before too long, a theme had arisen. The theme just happened to be '98 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The ’98 vintage was warm, and the wines were ripe and powerful when they were released.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

CdP, CdP and More CdP

Posted: December 19, 2006  By James Molesworth

It's not easy trying to keep up with my colleague, James Suckling, and his adventures. OK, I admit it—it's impossible to keep up. But I feel like I should at least try. So, I had a little Châteauneuf-du-Pape at dinner last night, accompanied by Didier Virot's cooking at Aix in New York.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Nicolás Catena

Posted: December 13, 2006  By James Molesworth

I sat down with Nicolás Catena last week to talk about the latest things happening in Argentina and at his own Bodega Catena Zapata winery. Catena, the industry leader for Argentina, is professorial in demeanor (not surprising, since he is also an economics professor).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Aurelio Montes

Posted: December 5, 2006  By James Molesworth

Yesterday, I sat down with Aurelio Montes , owner and winemaker of Chile's Viña Montes. I was tempted by the opportunity to taste a complete vertical of his top two wines— Folly , a 100 percent Syrah, and Alpha M , a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Pinot Mystery Perhaps Solved

Posted: December 1, 2006  By James Laube

In my Dec. 15 column , I wrote about my experiences with Beaulieu Vineyard's 1946 and 1947 Pinot Noirs. Those incredible wines were an early inspiration to anyone who tasted them, and they were the best vintages ever made by the late André Tchelistcheff (pronounced Chell-a-cheff ).

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Some Pinots Do Have Syrah

Posted: November 20, 2006  By James Laube

Lately, as Pinot Noir has become a hotter ticket, I’ve been asked if some vintners add a splash of Syrah to their Pinot cuvée. The answer, according to a few winemakers I’ve talked with, is yes. They say many of the lesser-priced Pinots—in the $15 and under category—do have a small amount of Syrah.

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