Top California Cabernet 2015 wines: Full vintage report
Top buys from the 2015 vintage...
Top buys from the 2015 vintage...
Highly drinkable yet in many cases ageworthy...
Brilliant and driven; impatient and arrogant. Jackson was all of these
Is there any grape Californian vintners don't try?
'To deny Robert Parker a plac in the Vintners Hall of Fame is a felony'
Where there’s fire, there’s smoke.
One would think that 40-plus years of successful, modern wine production would give us Yanks enough confidence to halt our reliance on the use of château, domaine, clos, côte, beau and belle on their labels, and rely on English.
It has been said that when it comes to wine, Americans talk dry and drink sweet. They’ve been led to believe that ‘serious’ wines have very little, if any, residual sugar, and that only amateurs consume off-dry and sweet wines. So we claim to drink dry, yet behind closed doors, sip off-dry Rieslings and Muscats, porty Zinfandels, and even some high-end California Cabernet Sauvignons that have enough residual sugar to satisfy a sweet tooth, yet are marketed as dry.
Not long after 12 people were convicted of fraud for selling millions of gallons of French ‘Pinot Noir’ to E&J Gallo for its Red Bicyclette brand (the wine was actually Merlot and Syrah), the Californian company announced it would focus its European export efforts on five core brands: Barefoot Cellars, Carlo Rossi, Gallo Family Vineyards, Redwood Creek and Turning Leaf. Some US readers responded to decanter.com’s Red Bicyclette reports with claims that Gallo was being singled out unfairly as a victim of fraud (‘Letters’, May 2010). I won’t touch that argument, yet when the distribution direction is reversed, with Gallo sending Californian wines to Europe, I have no trouble in saying that I’m disappointed.
Napa may get all the plaudits, but for true Cabernet lovers, Sonoma and Lake County increasingly have as much to offer, says Linda Murphy
California has a new programme in which wineries and grape growers can earn sustainable certification if they meet requirements set out in the official plan. It’s all good, yet it comes with asterisks.
Napa Valley winemakers have more on their minds than the quality of the 2009 vintage, and how to sell expensive wines in challenging times. Wineries, businesses, residents and visitors have a lot riding on a pending February 2010 decision by the Napa County Board of Supervisors, on whether to loosen the Winery Definition Ordinance (WDO), enacted in 1990 to protect agricultural lands and prevent uncontrolled growth of non-agricultural tourism in the county. The WDO specifies that wineries started after 1990 cannot, among other things, use their properties for weddings, concerts or corporate retreats; allow picnicking; pour samples for visitors without appointments; and operate restaurants.
Marginal sites are now producing world-class Pinot Noir...
The US appellation system, a mish-mash of countless AVAs, has come under fire for violating its own rules. LINDA MURPHY questions its value
What’s that pong? LINDA MURPHY examines the much-maligned,misunderstood but, in some quarters, appreciated, world of Brettanomyces.
Top US winemaker Paul Hobbs made his name by divorcing himself from one of the world's most powerful wine companies and ignoring the advice of his winemaking professors. He tells Linda Murphy why
Linda Murphy salutes the founding father of Californian wine
In Napa Valley, where formality tends to be reserved for gala auctions and visiting dignitaries, Robert G Mondavi was and probably always will be referred to as ‘Mister'.
The end of the family line
Quality: the simplest way to publicise a wine
The sale of Robert Mondavi Winery to Constellation climaxed a series of family feuds among members of California’s great wine dynasty. Three years on, it’s reconciliations all round, writes Linda Murphy
The Pacific Northwest is enticing big-name Europeans to a region where they’re free to create their dream wines, writes Linda Murphy
Sorry limeys, but we’re not all so simplistic
The Californication of Champagne
What’s not to like about California Chardonnay?
Stags Leap: a perfect fit for Cabernet
The proof that terroir does exist in California
Walla Walla in Washington state is billed by some as the Napa of the North. LINDA MURPHY looks at its rise in popularity, and profiles seven of the leading players