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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

May 2007

Straight From the Barrel
Posted: May 31, 2007 12:26pm ET
The first time I recall drinking wine from a barrel, as opposed to tasting a barrel sample and spitting it out, was on a trip to Spain’s Ribera del Duero district to interview Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera.
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Keeping a Dream Alive
Posted: May 30, 2007 2:35pm ET
Michael Bonaccorsi’s untimely death in 2004 seemingly ended a most promising career. The 43-year-old master sommelier-turned-winemaker had just begun to realize his potential with a string of excellent vintages when a heart attack claimed his life.
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A Napa Castle to Visit
Posted: May 29, 2007 4:12pm ET
If you’re heading to Auction Napa Valley next week, or you're planning on visiting the area this summer, it would be well worth your while to visit Daryl Sattui's new $30 million, 121,000-square-foot Castello di Amorosa.
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Another Reason Bordeaux Is Unique
Posted: May 24, 2007 1:16pm ET
The subject of Bordeaux has crept into many conversations lately, and it seems to me that one thing that makes Bordeaux unique is that when the wines are young, and sold as futures, you can buy as much as you want.
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Winemaker Lance Baer Dies at Age 38
Posted: May 22, 2007 6:00pm ET
Lance Baer, the owner-winemaker of Baer Winery in Woodinville, Wash., died early today due to complications from liver failure. Baer, 38, had been in Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland for the last two-and-a-half weeks, undergoing treatment for his liver ailment.
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Raising the Stakes on Albariño
Posted: May 22, 2007 4:16pm ET
The owners of Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley and the Tangent brand are hedging their bet on alternative white grapes, which is a good thing. This week the Niven family announced they had carved out 55 acres of Paragon to plant Albariño.
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First Taste of Levy McClellan 2004
Posted: May 21, 2007 5:05pm ET
Earlier this year I wrote about a hot new wine , with a super winemaker pedigree and a supersonic price. Last week, I got to try the 2004 Levy McClellan Cabernet, and its sister vintage, the 2005, with the makers.
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Can't Finish a Bottle? Freeze it
Posted: May 18, 2007 2:36pm ET
My friend Richard, who’s new to wine but catching up fast, asked me about how long you can keep an open bottle, which is an important consideration if you’ve spent a lot of money on a wine and don’t drink it all in one sitting.
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2005 California Pinot Noir Revisited
Posted: May 17, 2007 10:50am ET
Tuesday's blog about 2005 California Pinots generated quite a response. Thanks to all of you for sharing your opinions. I'd like to reiterate one point that I made and clarify a second one. Every vintage has its pros and cons.
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Green Spots in 2005 Pinots
Posted: May 15, 2007 1:30pm ET
I’ve tasted dozens of 2005 California Pinot Noirs in the past couple of weeks, and the weak seams of this vintage have become more evident. While I’ve found many exciting 2005s to recommend , it’s apparent that not everyone had as much success as the top producers.
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Roll Out the Barrel Samples
Posted: May 14, 2007 12:17pm ET
Tomorrow I'll begin tasting barrel samples of California Cabernet Sauvignon from 2006. The two-day tasting will be fun but grueling, with lots of intense, inky young wines. When it’s over, I'll go home with purple-stained teeth and a craving for an ice-cold beer.
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Mother Knows Best
Posted: May 11, 2007 12:47pm ET
My friend's thumbs were working feverishly, punching in a text message on her blackberry as the waiter poured the sparkling wine. We joked about how technology followed us everywhere, yet my friend admitted that she couldn’t type well, and one of the men at dinner confessed he couldn’t type at all.
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The Stage Is Set for 2007
Posted: May 10, 2007 12:07pm ET
I'm back in Napa Valley after a great road trip and fantastic tasting in Chicago on Tuesday. When I opened my e-mail this morning, I was greeted by a note from Scott McLeod, winemaker for Rubicon Estate and Edizione Pennino—and our fearless forecaster.
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The Toughest 90 in America?
Posted: May 9, 2007 12:01pm ET
Late Monday night in Chicago—after dinner at Japonais , which was excellent (especially the sushi entrées)—I checked into my room and flipped on the TV. I pushed a few buttons and ended up watching Extreme Bull Riding, on ESPN (I think), for a few minutes.
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Sweet Home Chicago
Posted: May 8, 2007 12:27pm ET
Today I’m in Chicago for tonight’s Grand Tour tasting. It’s at the Hyatt Regency and the weather is beautiful, headed into the 80s, they say, with clear blue skies and no wind. Should be perfect for an evening of wine tasting—a clear, fast track.
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Two Hot Wine Country Restaurants
Posted: May 3, 2007 11:05am ET
Those traveling to Napa this summer should make a point of dining at La Toque, while Sonoma visitors should try Cyrus. Cyrus (www.cyrusrestaurant.com) is an upscale restaurant near Healdsburg Plaza. I had my first meal there last week, and chef Douglas Keane's culinary wizardry exceeded my expectations.
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