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).
Posted: June 10, 2011 By James Laube
Good for Pontet-Canet. They're proving Cinderella stories can come true.
This has long been one of my favorite Bordeauxs. It's a fifth-growth Pauillac that can perform like a first-growth, often offering pure, rich Cabernet fruit that's deeply concentrated. It's one of those wines I look for when dining out and want to drink a great bottle of Bordeaux.
Due to the Bordeaux hierarchy, it has never commanded prices anywhere near those of the first-growths, even as critics increasingly recognize its depth of character. Looking at James Molesworth's barrel reviews of 2010, Château Pontet-Canet is right there with Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour, all with projected ratings of 96-99 points.
This week, Pontet-Canet's futures price for its 2010 came out; it's being offered to consumers at a little under $200 a bottle, the highest price its ever asked, and it's still flying out the door.
Posted: June 9, 2011 By James Molesworth
With VinExpo approaching—where the business side of the wine world meets before knocking off for summer vacation—what had been a rather sleepy en primeur campaign for the potentially tremendous 2010 vintage suddenly took on new life this week with the release of prices from a few top estates.
Both Châteaus Pontet-Canet (2010 barrel tasting score: 96-99 points) and Gruaud-Larose (93-96) released their 2010 pricing in what should spark many of their colleagues to follow suit. Château Pontet-Canet released its first tranche at 100 euros, a price owner Alfred Tesseron said he derived from the average of three tranches for his 2009, plus 8.3 percent. Château Gruaud-Larose also opened with its pricing and is now being offering at 61 euros by the trade, up from 50 euros for the 2009. The futures prices to U.S. consumers will increase as the wine moves through the distribution chain, with the exchange rate also playing a big role.
Posted: June 3, 2011
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