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The Bordeaux Conundrum

Tasting hundreds of young Bordeaux wines from barrel is an annual exercise of self-inflicted pain for many of the world's wine journalists and prominent members of the global wine trade. The purpose of the En Primeur tastings, which are organized by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, is to get some sense of each vintage prior to the sale ...Read more

Canary in the Coal Mine

Michel Rolland is perhaps the world's most famous winemaker. From his home base in Bordeaux, the winemaking guru's influence reaches across the globe, from France to Argentina to California.

His style of wine is robust and full-bodied, much like the man himself. Rolland has strong opinions on everything wine-related and is never at a loss for...Read more

The Rise of a Bordeaux Juggernaut

BORDEAUX, France -- When Daniel and Florence Cathiard first laid eyes on Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte more than a quarter century ago, it was love at first sight, despite the chateau's run-down condition and spotty reputation.

The couple met while they were on the French Olympic ski team in the 1960s. They took on other endeavors, and years ...Read more

10 Wines That Impressed Critics

The annual Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition brings together many of the nation's most prominent wine journalists once a year to evaluate recently released wines. The judges are celebrated wine authorities, such as Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan, authors of the "Wine for Dummies" series, and Leslie Sbrocco, author...Read more

Platinum Perspectives

The unveiling of the winners at a major wine competition is the moment of truth for most professional wine judges, a time when perception meets reality.

The competing wines are tasted blind to eliminate the possibility of personal bias either for or against any winery in pursuit of a gold medal, or better. There are always surprises, although...Read more

Exploring Single-Vineyard Pinots

A week in wine country, whether in the U.S. or abroad, always leaves me with a notebook full of tiny facts and observations. These can be useful to a wine country visitor, although they may not have enough oomph to become a full-blown column.

I recently spent a week visiting wineries in Napa, California, and Sonoma, California. As usual, I ...Read more

A Family Affair

ST. HELENA, Calif. -- Chances are you've never heard of Young Inglewood Vineyards, a small property in St. Helena that has been the site of a coveted Napa Valley vineyard since the 1800s.

The Young family -- Jacky, Jim, Scott and Mary -- built the winery from the ground up after purchasing the property more than a decade ago. There's nothing ...Read more

Unconventional Wisdom

As the chill of winter recedes in the coming weeks and the first signs of spring begin to appear, there are three things every wine enthusiast ought to know.

No. 1, it's not too early to snap up the first releases of dry rose wines that hit the market. Most rose spends little or no time aging in oak casks, so the 2015 vintage will be widely ...Read more

New Kid on the Block

SONOMA, Calif. -- Chances are you've never seen nor tasted a wine from La Chertosa, one of the new kids on the block. Its first release was 2009, and the wines are sold, for the most part, in restaurants and small wine shops in and around the village of Sonoma and a few fine wine shops and restaurants scattered throughout California. It also ...Read more

Three Picks for Valentine's Day

There are three things you need to know this Valentine's Day: Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour Brut Rose, Smith Woodhouse 20-Year-Old Tawny Port and The Dalmore 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

If you remember just those three things as you shop for that special someone, you are sure to make someone's day come February 14.

First,...Read more


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