Posted: March 18, 2008 By James Laube
It’s always exciting when a great winemaker outdoes himself, which is exactly what Mike Officer has done with his 2006 Carlisle Zinfandels. These wines, which Tim Fish and I tasted in one of our regular weekly blind tastings, are sensational, earning a sprint don’t run endorsement.
Posted: February 11, 2008 By James Laube
School fund-raisers ain’t what they used to be. Forget bake and garage sales. How about grilled rattlesnake with a double magnum of 2002 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to wash it down? On Friday I was invited to a wild game feast hosted by vintners Pam and Lee Martinelli.
Posted: February 3, 2008 By James Molesworth
Education comes in many forms—literature, film, etc. And often education comes in a predictable format or setting, such as the classroom, whereby you know what to expect. But for me, the best education is more than just seeing or hearing.
Posted: January 30, 2008 By James Laube
The sale of Rosenblum to Diageo is important on several fronts. Rosenblum has been one of the state’s biggest champions of Zinfandel. In any given year it can bottle up to two dozen single-vineyard wines from this grape as well as other often underdog varietals and, perhaps more significantly, it has emphasized value, which all wine drinkers prize.
Posted: January 28, 2008 By Tim Fish
Posted: January 15, 2008 By Tim Fish
Posted: December 18, 2007 By James Laube
We like turnarounds, and one of the wineries we noticed that had stepped up quality in the past go-round of reviews is Mazzocco , based in Sonoma’s intersection of Dry Creek and Alexander valleys. All four of Mazzocco’s 2005 Zinfandels hit the jackpot in our blind tastings and I say "we" and "our" because Tim Fish, my colleague and associate editor, is now covering the lion’s share of Zinfandel reviews, and he first came to notice the improvement.
Posted: July 9, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
I am perched atop a high stool at a wrought-iron table in the patio of D19, one of my favorite restaurants in Aspen, Colo., where we spend a good part of our summer. It's a warm noon, but we are protected from the sun by a wide umbrella.
Posted: June 30, 2007 By Tim Fish
Posted: June 14, 2007
What makes Zinfandel "America's Grape"? Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube sat down in his Napa office with Scott McLeod, winemaker at Rubicon Estate. Scott makes Rubicon's famous Cabernet Sauvignon as well as its Edizione Pennino Zinfandel.
Posted: June 11, 2007
Posted: April 30, 2007 By James Laube
Here’s an item to clip and save. You never hear predictions about a harvest, or a vintage, five months before a grape is picked (because anything could happen in the meantime). But thanks to winemaker Scott McLeod of Rubicon Estate in Napa Valley, we have something to ponder between now and harvest.
Posted: February 14, 2007 By James Suckling
I am in a rotten mood. Today is Valentine’s Day and I hate it. I have loathed this commercial celebration for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was because Heidi Hendrickson in the sixth grade didn’t accept my Valentine’s message.
Posted: January 30, 2007 By Tim Fish
Posted: January 26, 2007 By James Laube
Zinfandel has a lot going for it, but it also has its share of problems and missed opportunities. The wine is uniquely Californian. It grows well in many areas of the state, is capable of expressing terroir and is stylistically versatile.
Posted: January 25, 2007 By James Laube
It was sometime around 1990 when Jerry Seps approached me about how Wine Spectator might increase its coverage of Zinfandel. Seps is the owner-winemaker of Storybook Mountain in Napa Valley and a long-time champion of Zinfandel.
Posted: January 8, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Years ago I discovered, quite by accident, that red wine can taste just fine with chocolate. It was at a dinner where the dessert, one of those dense, not-very-sweet, runny chocolate cakes where the center oozes a molten river of dark brown goodness, had not yet become a cliché.
Posted: January 3, 2007 By James Suckling
I arrived at my father's house in San Diego the other evening and there was an open magnum of wine sitting on the kitchen counter, with "Zin '05" marked on the side of the Burgundy-shaped bottle. "I wanted you to try this wine and let me know what you think," he said.
Posted: December 18, 2006 By James Laube
Zinfanatics, and even those who aren't, would do well to try a pair of Zins from Haywood. The label dropped off the radar of most wine lovers as production decreased due to financial problems, but Haywood's Zinfandels have always been classy, distinctive, balanced and reasonably priced.
Posted: December 6, 2006 By James Laube
When you can say that a winery makes a lot of great wine at terrific prices, well, that’s a magical thing. This week I discovered such a winery—Four Vines, founded in 1996. In the words of one of its owners, "This is one of the largest wineries in Paso Robles you’ve never heard of.
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