BORDEAUX, France -- Although Bordeaux produces the world's most expensive and arguably most sought-after wines, the journey from bud break to harvest is often fraught with peril for the region's vineyards. The 2017 vintage was fairly typical, a roller coaster ride starting with an early spring, followed by a devastating frost, followed by cool...Read more
For the better part of four decades, ZD Wines, situated along the Silverado Trail in the heart of the Napa Valley, has been a beacon for California chardonnay. The rich, creamy ZD style captures, for many wine enthusiasts, the essence of California's sun-kissed chardonnay vineyards.
Almost quietly, ZD has been building toward the same sort of...Read more
BEAUNE, France -- The biennial Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne this year took a look at the recently released 2016 and 2015 vintages, with a handful of wines from the 2017 vintage thrown in for fun.
There is intense interest in the 2016 vintage in particular, because poor weather in the spring of that year brought down yields in many of the ...Read more
CHABLIS, France -- France would be the last place most wine enthusiasts would look for great value in wine. The staggering cost of many of the most familiar estates in Bordeaux casts a mighty shadow over the entire French wine business.
The problem with that narrative? It's simply not true. Here in the northernmost village of Burgundy, where ...Read more
PARIS -- Stopping in Paris for a few days on my way to the wine regions of France has become a ritual. There's usually a trip to Willi's Wine Bar on the Right Bank. Willi's has always served exceptional wine, but the cuisine was somewhat rustic. It has recently upped its game in the kitchen, for which I am grateful.
Joel Robuchon's l'Atelier,...Read more
There is little question that cabernet sauvignon is the Napa Valley's money grape. As a stand-alone grape, it produces some of the most expensive and sought-after red wines in America. And, as a blending agent, it is the backbone of most of the Napa Valley's most coveted and traditional Bordeaux-style red blends.
This is Napa's strength.
It would seem that the pleasure you might expect from a glass of wine has everything to do with the wine in the glass and nothing to do with anything else. Yet everything isn't what it seems when it comes to a glass of wine. The temperature can have a profound influence on flavor, for example. How long the bottle has been open is another ...Read more
While pricey Napa Valley wines dominated the top awards at the 2018 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition in San Diego at the end of January, other trends emerged, as they always do.
The Winemaker Challenge involves blind tastings, as all credible wine competitions do. Judges evaluate each wine without such vital information as ...Read more
We can all agree that Champagne adds a bit of sparkle to Valentine's Day. A box of chocolates will get high marks, too. So far so good, right? Until you take a bite of chocolate with a sip of Champagne. That's when the Valentine's mood is likely to sour.
Champagne and chocolate -- a traditional combination on Valentine's Day -- simply do not ...Read more
Three powerhouse Napa Valley wineries dominated the top awards over the weekend at the ninth annual Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition in San Diego. The Winemaker Challenge is one of only two U.S. wine competitions judged exclusively by professional winemakers.
V. Sattui was named winery of the year for the second consecutive ...Read more
Adam Sbragia was raised in a winemaking family in Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonoma County. His grandfather made wine. His father, Ed Sbragia, is the only winemaker to have twice produced a wine that earned the coveted Wine of the Year award from Wine Spectator. And for the past decade or so, Adam has been making wine at Sbragia Family ...Read more