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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

September 2007

Expensive Trial Balloons
Posted: Sep 28, 2007 3:36pm ET
Last week I tasted a flight of California Tempranillos, and pursuant to our discussion about value wines and the lack thereof from California, what struck me about this tasting was the prices. For the most part, Tempranillo is a new grape in California, and therefore, most of these are new wines.
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A Flashy New Pinot Noir from De Loach
Posted: Sep 27, 2007 12:15pm ET
When a winery turns itself around, and gets back into a groove with its new wines, it’s one of those happy win-win situations. The 2006 De Loach Russian River Pinot Noir ($20, 17,000 cases) reflects this winery’s renewed focus on higher quality wines.
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Harvest 2007 Shifts Gears in California
Posted: Sep 26, 2007 12:47pm ET
In nearly 30 years of observing harvests in California and elsewhere, I’ve come to count on two things to be true. The first is that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine; the second is that no two vintages are alike.
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Remembering Phil Frank's Saga of Chateau Daffite
Posted: Sep 25, 2007 1:01pm ET
Phil Frank, the witty, enterprising cartoonist best known for his Farley and Elderberries comic strips, died Sept. 13 from a brain tumor. He was only 64. Aside from being a huge fan of his works, I knew Phil.
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A Winery That's a Throwback to Old Napa
Posted: Sep 24, 2007 1:16pm ET
I seldom tour wineries these days, work being what it is, but on Sunday I rode my bike from Rutherford to Calistoga with a friend and we stopped and tasted at Dutch Henry winery. I’ve driven by this tiny winery on Silverado Trail hundreds of times in my car, but never pulled over to visit.
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When It Comes to Values, California Is Lagging
Posted: Sep 20, 2007 12:19pm ET
September is California Wine Appreciation month, which is the Golden State’s annual self-promotion, courtesy of the wine industry. And since most of the wine consumed in this country comes from California, it’s worth noting a couple of things.
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100-Point Rating: Curse or Blessing?
Posted: Sep 19, 2007 12:31pm ET
Recently I got into one of those circular-cum-rhetorical exercises with friends about whether it's a curse or a blessing for a winemaker to earn a 100-point rating on his or her first wine. Maybe there’s an easy answer and maybe there isn’t.
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This Grenache Needs Time to Breathe
Posted: Sep 13, 2007 12:44pm ET
I had one of those 24-hour wines yesterday in my regular blind tasting, and again it was an Alban Grenache, this time the 2005 edition from the winery’s Edna Valley estate. I’ve written about my experiences with Alban Grenache in the past.
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Are Wine Clubs Worth It?
Posted: Sep 11, 2007 12:18pm ET
One of those frequently asked questions is whether wine clubs are worth joining. Wine clubs come in many different shapes and sizes, so it’s impossible to generalize. Many are sponsored by a winery, where wines—sometimes exclusive offerings—are sold directly to members, usually at some sort of discount.
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Desperate Housewines: More Home Winemakers Turn Pro
Posted: Sep 10, 2007 12:36pm ET
I returned to Napa after a week's hiatus from Winedom this weekend, happy to find harvest in full swing and the roads populated by those weekend warriors who make wine purely for the fun of it. I’m talking about the hordes of home winemakers, those hearty souls who pick their grapes in tidy boxes and pile them in the backs of pickup trucks and occasionally a station wagon.
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