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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

September 2009

California Syrah Is Still a Tough Sell
Despite quality gains, consumers are slow to embrace it
Posted: Sep 29, 2009 12:04pm ET
California Syrah is better than it has ever been, on a par in terms of quality with the state’s other top reds, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. But it isn’t selling like hotcakes.
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When Quality Control Breaks Down
Good wines are often simply mispriced
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 12:40pm ET
There are many factors that go into making a great wine, but certainly the matter of quality control, specifically the decision of whether to produce and release a wine, and what its given price will be, are key.
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What the New Kosta Browne Owners Bought for $40 Million
Without vineyards and a winery, it's all about quality and the brand's star power
Posted: Sep 21, 2009 12:34pm ET
Vincraft, the new owners of Kosta Browne, bought a brand that last year sold 11,000 cases of Pinot Noir, with more than half of that wine going for $72 a bottle and the other half for $58 a bottle. Those are high price points, but the wines sold out and virtually all of it is sold direct to consumers at optimal profit margins.
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Savoring a Classic 1961 Bordeaux
Haut-Brion still showing what made it a grand wine decades ago
Posted: Sep 16, 2009 10:29am ET
James Laube tastes the 1961 Haut-Brion, a wine that had it all: The aromas were sublime, with mineral, pebble, tobacco, dried currant and a loamy, earthy herbal edge that turned to the cedar of a cigar box.
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A Year of Tasting Dangerously
Trying to Taste Every Califonia Cabernet in One Year
Posted: Sep 10, 2009 4:08pm ET
In 1988, James Laube tried to taste every California Cabernet ever made for a book project. He ended up tastings thousands of wines from hundreds of wineries, many long gone, and condensed the best into 1,200 reviews for California’s Great Cabernets.
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End of An Era Looms at Kathryn Kennedy Winery
Between owner's recent passing and development pressures, tiny Santa Cruz winery facing tough decisions
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 3:03pm ET
With owner Kathryn Kennedy’s death last month, the fate of her namesake vineyard and winery in Silicon Valley is in limbo. The 7-acre vineyard, from which she initially produced Cabernet and later Syrah, is an agricultural island amid sweeping McMansions in the tony town of Saratoga, California.
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An Off-the-Beaten-Path Napa Vineyard
The Altamura family is making excellent Cabernets in Napa's tiny Wooden Valley
Posted: Sep 2, 2009 4:12pm ET
Frank and Karen Altamura are making excellent Cabernet Sauvignons in Napa's tiny Wooden Valley, as well as Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and more.
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