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Posted: November 17, 2011 By Alison Napjus
Posted: November 17, 2011
Posted: November 17, 2011 By James Molesworth
Today was a day not to lose faith in the GPS. Sometimes it took me on some squirrelly back roads, cutting through a vineyard on a narrow dirt path, even when there's a main road running parallel just a few hundred yards away.
But to find Domaine Gramenon, located up in the hills in the small hamlet of Montbrison, I knew I would need to keep the faith and stay on target. My GPS has taken me on the scenic route before, but it's always gotten me there.
Of course, I blew past the domaine once before turning around and seeing it as I backtracked. I should've known after all this time, that I was looking for a modest house with blink-and-you'll-miss-it signage. Set amidst vines that have already dropped their leaves when most others are still hanging on to theirs, and with browning weeds just as high running amok in the vine rows, Domaine Gramenon doesn't look like much at first glance. But the wines made here are distinctive, sometimes nebulous or awkward, but never anything less than provoking for their display of unadulterated minerality, smoky, garrigue-infused fruit and long, earth- and ash-laced finishes.
Posted: November 16, 2011
Posted: November 16, 2011 By MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: November 14, 2011
Posted: November 11, 2011 By James Molesworth
After five days of tasting 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes at some of the Southern Rhônes top domaines, I ventured to Costières de Nîmes for something new. I visited Michel Gassier at Château de Nages and tasted through a selection of Philippe Cambie's Halos de Jupiter line. Here are my notes.
Posted: November 9, 2011 By James Molesworth
Upon my arrival in France's Rhône Valley last week, I immediately had to cope with my newest rental car, then visited Domaine Tour St.-Michel to taste the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes. On my second day I visited Domaine de Boursan, Domaine Charvin and Jean-Paul Daumen at Domaine de la Vielle Julienne. Then it was off to Clos des Papes, Domaine Giraud, Clos St.-Jean and Château de la Font du Loup. Yesterday I visited Château Mont-Redon for the first time, then Beaucastel and Famille Perrin, Domaine de la Janasse and Christophe Sabon and, finally, Vieux Télégraphe and Daniel Brunier. Today, Domaine des Bosquets, St.-Cosme and Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux.
Posted: November 7, 2011 By James Molesworth
Upon my arrival in France's Rhône Valley lastweek, I immediately had to cope with my newest rental car, then visited Domaine Tour St.-Michel to taste the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes. On my second day I visited Domaine de Boursan, Domaine Charvin and Jean-Paul Daumen at Domaine de la Vielle Julienne. Then it was off to Clos des Papes, Domaine Giraud, Clos St.-Jean and Château de la Font du Loup. Today I visited Château Mont-Redon for the first time, then Beaucastel and Famille Perrin, Domaine de la Janasses and Christophe Sabon and, finally, Vieux Télégraphe and Daniel Brunier.
Posted: November 4, 2011 By James Molesworth
Upon my arrival in France's Rhône Valley this week, I immediately had to cope with my newest rental car, then visited Domaine Tour St.-Michel to taste the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes. On my second day I visited Domaine de Boursan, Domaine Charvin and Jean-Paul Daumen at Domaine de la Vielle Julienne. Today I tasted at Clos des Papes, Domaine Giraud, Clos St.-Jean and Château de la Font du Loup. Here are my tasting notes.
Posted: November 1, 2011 By James Molesworth
Time to roll up the sleeves and get busy. I was able to partially shake the jet lag, thanks to the adrenaline of a busy day's schedule in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, starting with a quirky rental car and a visit to Tour St.-Michel. Today's program included stops at three vignerons with staunchly traditional winemaking methods in their own right, who each rely on different areas of the appellation and different key varieties to craft their unique styles.
Today I tasted the the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes at Domaine Bois de Boursan, Domaine Charvin and Domaine de la Vielle Julienne.
Posted: November 1, 2011 By James Molesworth
After several years of regular trips to the Rhône, French rental cars never cease to surprise me. This trip's car has continued the tradition. Once I figured it out, I took in a quick lunch and headed to Domain Tour St.-Michel to taste the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes.
Posted: October 31, 2011 By James Molesworth
Finally, a breather from the office. It's time to make my annual run through the Southern Rhône Valley. I'll be in the Rhône the next two weeks, focusing on the southern portion of this large and diverse region. As usual, I'll visit more than a dozen estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the south's main appellation, plus much more.
Posted: October 28, 2011 By James Laube
We're in the middle of another crazy, late California harvest. Good but spotty are other themes that run through most of what you hear about California's harvest 2011. And on the horizon, the smaller crops in recent years could spell price increases. In areas where grapes are still hanging, harvest is winding down quickly and should be finished by next week, ahead of predictions of rain and cooler weather.
Posted: October 27, 2011 By James Laube
Harvest 2011 is ending up more labor than labor of love in most parts of California.
"What a crazy year," Helen Keplinger of Keplinger and Bryant Family Vineyard, both based in Napa Valley, wrote in an e-mail yesterday. "Indeed it has been very stressful and those rains were less than ideal, but not all has been lost and there will be good wines made this vintage."
Posted: October 17, 2011 By Harvey Steiman
On my third and final full day in Oregon, as I barrel-tasted more and more 2010 wines of delicacy and grace that also had ripe flavors, one thought kept recurring. This is a vintage that will either polarize Pinot Noir drinkers, or perhaps bring all wings of the party together.
The divisive issue is alcohol. Some Pinot drinkers, let's call them the traditional Burgundy wing, insist that anything over 14 percent alcohol in a Pinot Noir is a sin. Others sneer at low-alcohol Pinot as insipid and flavorless.
If the wines released over the coming months are as good across the board as the ones I have tasted in top-tier cellars, we could have détente in the Pinot world.
Here are my notes on tastings of the 2010s at Argyle, Bergström, Chehalem, Domaine Serene and Ken Wright.
Posted: October 15, 2011 By Suzanne Mustacich
Posted: October 13, 2011 By Harvey Steiman
Day two of my sweep through Oregon sampling the 2010 vintage started with a visit with David O'Reilly at Owen Roe; at Evening Land, whence have come some of Oregon's best Chardonnays since its first vintage in 2007, I tasted barrel samples that won't be bottled until after the current harvest; the skies had darkened and it was raining hard when I arrived at my last stop of the day, St. Innocent, next to Zena Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills.
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