Posted: March 23, 2011 By James Molesworth
Another splendid day in Bordeaux, with bright skies and cool breezy weather greeted me as I made the drive into the Margaux appellation for a handful of visits.
If Christian Moueix is the dean of Pomerol, Paul Pontallier holds an equivalent position in Margaux. The soft-spoken but serious winemaker has built a sterling 30-year career at the helm of one of the region’s top estates, first growth Château Margaux. Like Moueix, Pontallier resists hyperbole, yet he was nearly giddy (by Pontallier standards) at the prospects of the 2010 vintage. I had spoken to him shortly after the harvest last year, and he has not changed his position.
Below are my scores and tasting notes for Margaux's red and white wines.
Posted: March 22, 2011 By James Molesworth
The weather in Bordeaux today was simply perfect for tasting—bright and sunny, with high air pressure and a fresh, cooling breeze. It put me in a great mood as I set off for Pomerol for my first day of visits to taste the barrel samples of 2010 Bordeaux.
As if I truly needed another reason to be excited, since I was going to visit Christian Moueix. Moueix is one of the true wise men of Bordeaux, and his portfolio is rich with the jewels of the appellations of Pomerol and St.-Emilion. Though he no longer personally controls Château Pétrus (I’ll taste that wine later), there’s no better place than Moueix’s Libourne headquarters to get an overview of how the Right Bank fared in the vintage.
Below are my scores and tasting notes for the wines I tasted, including châteaus Lafleur-Pétrus and Trotanoy.
Posted: March 21, 2011 By James Molesworth
I'm on my way to Bordeaux to taste the 2010 vintage, the first official unveiling of the vintage by the region's many producers. Just before I left, I was able to taste 20 wines from the Right Bank, a mix of Pomerol, St.-Emilion and satellite appellations. (View notes on these wines here.) Based on that first small sampling, I think I'm going to enjoy my tastings and visits over the next two weeks: 2010 looks like it will give the tremendous 2009 vintage a run for its money.
The châteaus will be showcasing barrel samples, unfinished wines still aging in their cellars. So what exactly do you look for when tasting young wines, reds in particular, at such an early stage in their evolution?
Posted: March 21, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: March 18, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: February 28, 2011 By Mitch Frank
Posted: January 25, 2011 By Oz Clarke
You can get a very strong and not always accurate view of a vintage by turning up on the wrong day. I turned up for the end of the 2010 vintage in Burgundy under sodden late-September skies; lines of rain-coated pickers were spread across the slopes looking like marauding beetles. Could the wines possibly be any good?
But then you can also get a surprisingly warped view of a vintage even if you wait for 15 months, until the tasting season starts. Usually the Burgundy specialists offer their wine for tasting in the January that falls about 15 months after harvest. In January 2010, I had a good look at the 2008 Burgundies and decided that they were in the main thin, hollow and unappealing.
What I didn’t know at the time was that most of them had still not undergone their malolactic fermentation. Retasting the wines in September 2010, I found that thinness has now transformed into elegance.
Posted: December 15, 2010 By Mitch Frank
Posted: November 19, 2010
Posted: November 18, 2010 By Alison Napjus
Posted: November 18, 2010
Posted: November 17, 2010
Posted: November 15, 2010 By Tim Fish
Posted: October 25, 2010 By Harvey Steiman
Despite cold temperatures and rain, vintners in the Oregon and Washington are optimistic that the 2010 vintage will be memorable.
Posted: October 25, 2010 By James Laube
A powerful storm drenched Northern California over the weekend, putting an exclamation point on a very strange harvest.
Winemakers worked frantically last week to harvest as many grapes as possible in anticipation of the weekend rain, and rain it did, sometimes quite heavily. More than 2 inches fell in Napa, and closer to 3 in areas such as Mendocino and Sonoma, which are closer to the ocean.
Those who beat the storm are excited about quality. For many winemakers who didn't, there is little to do but wait and hope.
Posted: October 22, 2010
Posted: October 21, 2010 By James Laube
The San Francisco Giants playoff run has been a pleasant distraction for many Northern California vintners, watching the skies, weather forecasts and waiting for their grapes to ripen. The Giants are still battling for a shot at the World Series, and vintners are rushing to bring in tons of grapes. And as with pitching, the key to quality is location with the 2010 harvest.
Posted: October 15, 2010 By Wine Spectator staff
Posted: October 11, 2010 By James Molesworth
Gray, rainy weather accompanied me all the way up from New York City, intensifying as I drove through Elmira and into Watkins Glen, at the southern edge of Seneca Lake. However, Sam Argetsinger was in his vineyard and picking Riesling, so I stopped there before making my scheduled visits to Anthony Road, Standing Stone and Red Newt Cellars during harvest 2010.
Posted: October 8, 2010 By James Laube
Late and light. Those are the two words I hear most when California winemakers describe harvest 2010, now underway. Late is due to an unseasonably cool year, especially the summer, which many now call the summer that never was. Light refers to the crop, which is small this year. I recently checked up on the progress of vintage 2010 Napa Cabernet and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and, perhaps the hardest hit of all, Zinfandel.
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