Posted: August 27, 2008 By Bruce Sanderson
Patrick d’Aulan of Château Dereszla in Hungary’s Tokaj region was in the United States on vacation and stopped by our office to show me the latest releases of the estate’s two Eszencias. Both are from the superb 2000 vintage, a year d’Aulan calls “one of the best vintages of the last century,” and along with 1993, the best contemporary vintage since the fall of the Communist-controlled production there.
Posted: August 4, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
When it comes to sweet wines, Australia might be best known for what used to be known as liqueur Muscat and and Tokay. Those are fortified wines, now simply known by their correct varietal names, Muscat and Muscadelle.
Posted: July 18, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
Usually, when I buy a case or half-case of wine, I drink a bottle or two from the stash in the first year to get a handle on the wine, then open the rest when I expect they have reached maturity. Somehow I managed to keep my hands off the half-case of Cayuse Syrah En Cerise 2000 I had bought when it came out, so I had all six bottles to pour for guests last week when my wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with 30 friends and family.
Posted: May 19, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
I have had enough aged Riesling in Australia to appreciate that the wines benefit tremendously from time in the bottle. At a few months to a couple of years old, they are all lime and floral and sometimes mineral flavors on a crisp, dry frame.
Posted: May 2, 2008 By Bruce Sanderson
The main event of my trip to Germany was Saturday, April 26th: A tasting of Riesling from every decade of the 20th century, including 1900 and 1999. Many of the classic German vintages from the century were represented: 1900, 1911, 1921, 1937, 1959, 1964 (Saar & Ruwer), 1971, 1975, 1976 and 1990.
Posted: April 28, 2008 By Bruce Sanderson
I’m in Germany, the Rheingau, to be exact. I’m supposedly on vacation, but the real reason I'm here is an invitation to a wonderful tasting of older Rheingau wines from every decade of the 20th century.
Posted: April 25, 2008 By Bruce Sanderson
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to taste every vintage of Nicolas Feuillatte's Cuvée Palmes d'Or. There were eight in all ranging from the recently released 1998 to the debut 1985. Presenting the vintages was Jean-Pierre Vincent, the only chef de cave at Feuillatte since the brand's creation by Nicolas Feuillatte in 1976.
Posted: April 9, 2008 By James Laube
I woke up this morning to an empty, sediment-stained bottle of 1957 La Tâche on the kitchen table, bottle number 00010 of 18,848 bottles. That means it came from the first case of that fabled wine, of which some 1,570 12-packs were produced.
Posted: March 11, 2008 By James Laube
Yesterday I had one of those Monday morning, breakfast of champions wine tastings with Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre. He wanted to show me his wines and properties in Napa Valley and I suggested that for the tasting we sample a mix of his wines and others in a blind format.
Posted: February 15, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
The outstanding Oakland restaurant Oliveto has started offering a special collection of older Italian wines, even serving some by the glass. The prices, eminently fair for wines from the mid-1990s and before, make it possible to drink 12-, 15-, even 25-year-old Barolos, Barbarescos and Brunellos sometimes for less than current vintages.
Posted: February 11, 2008 By Harvey Steiman
Every year I donate my presence, and wines from my cellar, to a dinner in San Francisco offered at the Central Coast Wine Auction. Wine collector Archie McLaren and I host the top bidder and friends at a restaurant of my choice.
Posted: February 3, 2008 By James Molesworth
Education comes in many forms—literature, film, etc. And often education comes in a predictable format or setting, such as the classroom, whereby you know what to expect. But for me, the best education is more than just seeing or hearing.
Posted: January 31, 2008 By James Laube
Wine Spectator 's senior editors blind tasted a series of old California reds this week, and the tasting, about which James Suckling has also written , demonstrated how well most of these wines aged. Our editors agreed on a few stars.
Posted: January 15, 2008 By James Laube
Bill Harlan extended an invitation to meet over lunch after the holidays. "No agenda," he said, "let's just catch up." Luckily for me I had a topic in mind and Harlan was more than game. Yesterday’s visit at Julia’s Kitchen in Napa provided the perfect opportunity to talk about the 1997 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet.
Posted: January 14, 2008 By James Molesworth
Wines are like friends. I particularly like wines that are like those friends you bump into after you haven’t seen them for a while. Sometimes they’ve lost weight and look great. Others show the wear and tear of life and you remember why you lost touch with them in the first place.
Posted: January 14, 2008 By James Laube
Midway through Saturday’s tasting of homemade wines , one of my friends summed up what had transpired: “What Mother Nature giveth, Father Time taketh away.” We uncorked more than 20 wines in the span of three hours and there were some wonderful surprises, a few duds, a few corked bottles, yet overall enough evidence to suggest that even amateurs can make pretty good wine, as the homies stood up to some of the big guns.
Posted: January 8, 2008 By James Laube
Posted: January 7, 2008 By James Laube
Posted: December 5, 2007
Posted: December 4, 2007 By James Laube
Today we return ever so briefly to the 1977 Joseph Phelps Insignia, for its evolution as a wine and wine style marked a radical departure for what would have otherwise been known as Napa Valley Cabernet.
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