harvest 2010

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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 7 in the Rhône, Part 2: M. Chapoutier

From Hermitage to St.-Joseph, Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie, the domaine's most recent wines may be its best ever

Posted: May 2, 2011  By James Molesworth

This continues my notes on tastings and visits during Day 7 of my current trip through the Northern Rhône. After visiting Alain Voge, Pierre-Henri Morel and Ferraton Père & Fils, I headed to M. Chapoutier to taste the most recent vintages. Here are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 7 in the Rhône, Part 1: Cornas, St.-Joseph, Hermitage and Beyond

Tasting the newest reds and whites at Alain Voge, Pierre-Henri Morel and Ferraton Père & Fils

Posted: April 29, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my seventh day in the Rhône Valley I visited Alain Voge, Pierre-Henri Morel and Ferraton Père & Fils to taste the recent wines from Cornas, St.-Joseph, Hermitage and beyond. Below are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 6 in the Rhône, Part 2: Jean-Luc Colombo and Nicolas Perrin

On my sixth day here, I headed to one of Cornas' most-established domaines and one of the region's newest small négociants

Posted: April 27, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my sixth day in the Rhône Valley I visited three wineries. Afterat visiting E. Guigal, I headed to Jean-Luc Colombo and Nicolas Perrin. Below are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 6 in the Rhône, Part 1: The Big Guy on the Block

Tasting the recent vintages of Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph, Châteauneuf and more with Marcel and Philippe Guigal

Posted: April 25, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my sixth day in the Rhône Valley I visited three wineries. I started at the Côte-Rôtie's iconic E. Guigal to taste not just the recent Côte-Rôtie Syrahs but also St.-Josephs, the Châteauneuf and more with Marcel and Philippe Guigal. Here are my notes.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Dry California Rosés

In time for summer, new reviews of crisp, flavorful pink wines

Posted: April 25, 2011  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Revisiting the 2001 Côte-Rôtie Reds

Sunday in the Rhône—what to do? A horizontal tasting of dozens of older wines passes the time

Posted: April 21, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my fifth day in the Rhône Valley I settled into my hotel room for a retrospective tasting of 30 Côte-Rôties from 2001. Here are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 4 in the Rhône: A Pair of Youngsters

Tasting the young new wines at Natacha Chave and Stéphane Ogier

Posted: April 20, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my fourth day in the Rhône Valley I visited two young wineries, one belongs to the daughter of Bernard Chave, the other to Stéphane Ogier. I tasted Natacha Chave's 2010 St.-Josephs and Ogier's 2010 Côte-Rôties and more. Here are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 3 in the Rhône—Getting the Big Picture

Visitis with Les Vins de Vienne, Yves Cuilleron and François Villard

Posted: April 18, 2011  By James Molesworth

One way to learn the quality and style of a new vintage is to taste at a domaine such as Jamet, where a single appellation is broken down to its basic parts. The other way, is to taste a range of wines covering several appellations from within the broader region—such as at Les Vins de Vienne. And then, by using both approaches together, you get both the broad picture and the fine details. Today I tasted the upcoming vintages at Les Vins de Vienne, Yves Cuilleron and François Villard. Here are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 2 in the Northern Rhône—More Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph and Condrieu

Visits with Domaine Alain Paret and Jean-Paul & Jean-Luc Jamet

Posted: April 14, 2011  By James Molesworth

Today I made a first-ever visit to one domaine, and a regular stop at a well-know domaine. I visited Domaine Alain Paret and Jean-Paul & Jean-Luc Jamet for tastes of the next vintages of Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph, Condrieu and more.

Below are my tasting notes

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Day 1 in the Northern Rhône—Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph and More

Visits with Georges Vernay, Pierre-Jean Villa, Julien Pilon, Yves Gangloff and Jean-Michel Gerin

Posted: April 14, 2011  By James Molesworth

I’ve made quite a shift in gears following two weeks in Bordeaux as I’m now in my old stomping grounds in the Rhône Valley. Tastings here are a more casual affair, done usually in the cave, with samples drawn straight from barrel, as opposed to the more formal tasting rooms and pre-prepared samples that are typical at Bordeaux châteaus. I’m getting a good deal of teasing from the local vignerons too, about my new tasting responsibilities.

“Hopefully you’ll give them good marks and they’ll raise prices 40 percent,“ joked one Rhône vigneron. “Then we can raise ours 20 percent and look like a bargain.”

Today I visited Georges Vernay, Pierre-Jean Villa, Julien Pilon, Yves Gangloff and Jean-Michel Gerin for tastes of the next vintages of Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph, Condrieu and more. Here are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Off to the Rhône Valley Again

Visiting the domaines of France's Northern Rhône Valley for a preview of the 2009 and 2010 vintages

Posted: April 13, 2011  By James Molesworth

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Northern Rhône Valley for a preview of the 2009 and 2010 vintages.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Bordeaux 2010: Overall Impressions

Rating the newest vintage from Bordeaux after tasting more than 400 barrel samples

Posted: April 8, 2011  By James Molesworth

After sifting through the 447 Bordeaux 2010 barrel samples I recently tasted, it seemed like a good idea to give some general thoughts on the vintage.

Right now, châteaus are still showing the wines to the press and trade, then they'll basically huddle up and determine pricing. Based on conversations with many château owners, Demand from the Asian market is not slowing down for the 2010s—with the exception of Japan, which is "not buying anything right now" according to one négociant I spoke with, for obvious reasons. Plus, as the U.S. economy slowly picks up steam, if would only seem to reason that demand for the top châteaus will increase here as well. So, with quality high and quantities slightly reduced in '10, I'd expect pricing to rival the levels of the '09s.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Few More Dining Options in Bordeaux

My recommendations for good dining spots when traveling through Bordeaux

Posted: April 6, 2011  By James Molesworth

I'm back in the office this week, after spending two weeks visiting châteaus and blind-tasting a few hundred samples of the new 2010 vintage in Bordeaux. You can access all the tasting notes here; there will be an additional batch of notes posted today as well.

While my schedule was tight and I had little free time, I do actually prefer to dine alone. When I find something interesting, I pass it along here, so consider this an addition to my previous blog post on a few good dining spots when you're traveling through Bordeaux.

News & Features  :  Barrel Tasting

2010 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux

Tasting notes and scores for the potentially classic wines

Posted: March 31, 2011  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Barrel Tasting

2010 Red Bordeaux by Appellation

Scores and full tasting notes for all barrel samples reviewed, grouped by location

Posted: March 31, 2011  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Barrel Tasting

Alphabetical List of 2010 Red Bordeaux

A comprehensive list of all barrel samples reviewed, with scores

Posted: March 31, 2011  By James Molesworth

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Tasting at Pétrus and Cheval-Blanc

Notes on the 2010 wines from two big names on the Right Bank, plus the great Sauternes estate of Yquem

Posted: March 30, 2011  By James Molesworth

On my last day of visits in Bordeaux, I decided to go back where I started—Pomerol and St.-Emilion. Since I would be beginning my blind tastings of the 2010 barrel samples with wines from those appellations, I thought it would make a smooth transition, so I stopped at Châteaus Pétrus and Cheval-Blanc. Below are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Tasting at Haut-Brion

Notes on the 2010 reds and whites from the first-growth and its sister in Pessac-Léognan

Posted: March 29, 2011  By James Molesworth

The expressway that circles the city of Bordeaux has become a major artery for commuters and long-haul truckers, and traffic on the rocade is always bad. So I avoided it for the short drive from my hotel to Pessac, the Bordeaux suburb that now engulfs the historic château and vineyards of first-growth Haut-Brion.

Jean-Philippe Delmas, the technical director at the sister châteaus of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion, which are just opposite each other, has a big vintage on his hands. Of all the first-growths, these wines were easily the most backward examples of the 2010 vintage yet. Delmas was dealing with too much of a good thing, which he admits made for a tough time deciding on the blend.

Below are my notes on the 2010 Haut-Brion red and white, as well as those of La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion, Le Clarence de Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Tasting at Château Latour

Notes on the 2010 wines from a first-growth aiming to make every parcel worthy of the grand vin

Posted: March 28, 2011  By James Molesworth

Last December, I visited Château Latour, one of the three first-growths in Pauillac, and spoke with its intensely focused president, Frédéric Engerer. On this visit, he picked up where he left off—all Latour, all the time, despite the recent acquisition (pending final paperwork) of Château-Grillet in the Rhône.

Engerer wanted to talk about selection. It seems that every top château in Bordeaux is being more stringent in their selection of the lots for their grand vin. But Engerer insists that the process begins in the vineyards. Simply selecting quality levels of wine after the fact is limited.

After touring a few vineyard parcels, on bike no less, I tasted the 2010 Latour, Les Forts de Latour and the third-wine Pauillac. Below are my notes.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Tasting at Château Mouton-Rothschild

Notes on the 2010 wines from the first-growth and its siblings, d’Armailhac and Clerc-Milon

Posted: March 25, 2011  By James Molesworth

Château Mouton-Rothschild in Pauillac is the only Bordeaux classified growth ever to have been promoted; in 1973, it rose from second-growth to first-growth. Proud yet unyielding, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner at the time, proclaimed the château’s motto: “I, Mouton, do not change.”

But since taking over the winemaking here in 2004, Philippe Dhalluin has made changes—and the wines here are embarking on a new era of purity and elegance, while still retaining their classic, ironclad power.

Below are my scores and tasting notes for the wines I tasted with Dhalluin at Mouton, including châteaus d’Armailhac and Clerc-Milon.

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