Posted: October 11, 2011 By Harvey Steiman
On early reports, 2010 in Oregon looked like a washout for Pinot Noir. A long series of rain showers occurred just as the grapes were ready to pick, and there was a mad scramble at the end to get the grapes into the wineries before heavier rains in late October. Bird damage was much greater than normal, further diminishing the size of the crop.
But after tasting barrel samples and recently bottled wines in 15 Willamette Valley cellars, I can confidently predict 2010 will be a special vintage. Maybe it won't achieve the blockbuster status of 2008, but the wines show a welcome freshness and vitality along with delicacy, transparency and relatively low alcohol levels. I anticipate a lot of scores in the low- to mid-90s, at least from the better producers.
Posted: October 11, 2011 By Harvey Steiman
Posted: October 7, 2011 By Harvey Steiman
"It would be really nice," said Josh Bergström of Oregon's Bergström Wines, "if we could have a normal vintage again."
When was the last time you had one of those? I asked. "Well," he responded, "maybe someday."
The most recent vintages have tested the mettle of the state's vintners. This one, 2011, has everyone waiting on tenterhooks. It looks to be one of the latest on record. Most vineyards won't start picking until Oct. 15, two to three weeks later than usual. Vintners have one eye on the sky, hoping there won't be too much rain before the grapes are picked.
Posted: September 28, 2011 By Tim Fish
Last week’s heat wave jumpstarted the harvest in California, much to the relief of growers and winemakers. Temperatures were in the mid-90s all week, one of the rare extended blasts of heat all summer.
But the sigh of relief was short-lived. A major rainstorm is predicted for early next week. Still, knowing that forecasts change quickly in California, winemakers remain optimistic.
Posted: September 26, 2011 By James Laube
Two weeks ago I noticed that it was getting dark early, earlier than I expected. When I mentioned it to friends in passing, they too felt the same way. Summer didn’t make its usual presence felt. We had a summer all right, but what made it so different was that it never got hot.
Harvest is slowly shifting into gear in California. It’s a late year all around and harvest reports indicate the crop is good yet spotty in size. A damp, wet spring extended into summer. Some vines had a very uneven set; some vineyards were so hard hit they won’t produce much fruit. Summer was cool.
Posted: September 26, 2011 By Thomas Matthews
Posted: September 14, 2011 By Tim Fish
California winemakers don't usually have time to talk this time of the year, but this week they're chatty. The 2011 harvest is more or less underway. Sort of. Let's just say that grapes have been picked, a few anyway, mostly whites and for sparkling wine.
Yep, the season is running late again this year, and while the size of the crop is generally small, winemakers aren't complaining.
Posted: September 14, 2011 By Thomas Matthews
Posted: August 17, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: July 21, 2011 By Diana Macle
Posted: July 19, 2011 By Kim Marcus
Posted: July 13, 2011 By James Molesworth
With the Stonecat Café next door to Bloomer Creek winery, it was easy to decide on my lunch spot on my second day of visits in the Finger Lakes. It remains one of the best dining spots around, with an eclectic menu (orange fennel sausage) that relies heavily on locally sourced ingredients. After lunch, I continued up Route 414, popping my head in at the new Hector Wine Company and Standing Stone, and then it was off to Red Newt Cellars to taste the 2010 reds and whites followed by dinner at Red Newt Bistro.
Posted: July 11, 2011 By James Molesworth
In most wine regions, the older generation is typically the one holding onto tradition while the younger generation employs new ideas or techniques. In the Finger Lakes, though, the older generation is just as apt to be the one pushing as the younger one—since the older generation is basically the first one to break from the old Finger Lakes model of growing large quantities of hybrids and natives, rather than cutting yields and growing vinifera. I visited two such wineries on the morning of my second day here, Damiani and Bloomer Creek.
Posted: June 30, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: June 28, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: June 27, 2011 By James Molesworth
Today was a busy day in Bordeaux, as several big-name châteaus finally released their 2010 futures prices, including Châteaus Margaux (96-99 points from my 2010 Bordeaux Barrel Tasting), Cos-d'Estournel (96-99) and L'Evangile (94-97).
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