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Posted: August 7, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Posted: July 6, 2012 By Kim Marcus
Posted: July 2, 2012 By James Molesworth
Cornas and Côte-Rôtie: same grape, same region, but two totally different wines. Cornas is all about controlled rusticity, with olive, bramble and chalk notes that need to be massaged into a core of fruit. Few producers manage to do it well, but at its best, it's arguably the Northern Rhône's most distinctive wine.
In Côte-Rôtie, it's about controlling amplitude of fruit to find balance. Letting the sanguine and mineral notes edge out from a ripe blackberry and plum core, as well as a sometimes-exuberant new oak élevage employed by a few vignerons, is key.
Put the two together, and Cornas and Côte-Rôtie are the yin and yang of Northern Rhône Syrah. Today I visited A. Clape and Stéphane Ogier.
Posted: July 2, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
Posted: June 29, 2012 By James Molesworth
On my fifth day in France's Rhône Valley, I visited Château de St.-Cosme in Gigondas, then headed north to Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Here are my tasting notes on the 2010 Northern Rhônes at both domaines, and much more.
Posted: June 27, 2012 By James Molesworth
On my fourth day in France's Rhône Valley, I made one last stop in Châteauneuf-du-Pape at the new La Consonniere domaine, then headed up into the hills to Séguret, where I checked out the family-run operation at Domaine de Mourchon. Here are my tasting notes on the 2010 Châteauneufs at both domaines, and much more.
Posted: June 25, 2012 By James Molesworth
On my third day in France's Rhône Valley, I visited a few benchmarks of the south, starting with Château de Beaucastel. After that I visited Isabel Ferrando at Domaine St.-Préfert, followed by a trip to Château Cabrières. Here are my tasting notes on the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes and more.
Posted: June 22, 2012 By James Molesworth
On my second day back in France's Rhône Valley, I visited three domaines to check out the 2010 vintage (and a few 2011s), beginning with Domaine Jean Royer. I then checked out Ogier, followed by Domaine de Cristia. Here are my tasting notes.
Posted: June 21, 2012
Posted: June 20, 2012
Posted: June 19, 2012 By James Molesworth
My flight was on time. My train was on time. And I even figured out the rental car in short order, getting that frustrating "eco" function off to avoid the maddening engine stop at red lights, as well as figuring out where the parking brake was.
After a quick lunch at La Mère Germain, I visited with Jean-Charles Cazes at Sénéchaux and Daniel and Frédéric Coulon at Beaurenard, where the 2010s are superb.
Here are my tasting notes.
Posted: June 19, 2012
Posted: June 11, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
After a week in Willamette Valley tasting Oregon’s 2010 and 2011 Pinot Noirs, I am impressed. If delicacy is what you crave, these vintages provided the framework for it. If you love rich wines and think delicate Pinot Noirs can’t have ripe flavors, these vintages might persuade you otherwise.
My enthusiasm comes with a couple of caveats, however. One is the weather, which posed serious challenges in both vintages. Unlike 2008, when making exceptional wine was pretty much a no-brainer, negotiating the cool, rainy conditions of 2010 and 2011 required skills that only those who had experienced them before could muster. As a result, you can’t just pluck a bottle off the shelf. A significant percentage of producers missed. Some missed by a wide margin.
Posted: June 4, 2012 By James Laube
Posted: May 18, 2012 By James Laube
The more I taste the 2009 Napa Cabernets and 2010 California Pinot Noirs, the more I like them.
Posted: May 11, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: May 3, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
Posted: April 6, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: April 5, 2012 By James Laube
Think what you may and drink what you like, but California Chardonnay is alive and well. At the top end of quality, the wine is not only surviving, but thriving.
Posted: April 4, 2012 By Tim Fish
Back in the mid 1990s, there were three kings of California Zinfandel, the Three Rs we called them: Ravenswood, Ridge and Rosenblum. The snotty young punk in Zintown was Turley. Fast-forward almost 20 years and things have sure changed. The Three Rs continue to make fine Zinfandels—Ridge most frequently—but only Turley is on top of its game."
That's my takeaway after tasting through the winery's most-recent releases. I've been drinking Turley since the first vintage, 1993, and, taken as a group, these are some of the best Zinfandels that Turley has made. The group included 2009s from the winery's top single vineyards as well as early-release 2010 from its value-oriented blends.
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