Search found 301 matches

by James Cross
August 12th, 2019, 10:24 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Alban Roussanne Estate '98...(short/boring)
Replies: 3
Views: 272

Re: TN: Alban Roussanne Estate '98...(short/boring)

I'm drinking up my 07s and 08s and they are right in a sweet spot; great golden color; hazelnuts. The 98 is over 20 years old.
by James Cross
August 7th, 2019, 9:57 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Golf in/near Las Vegas
Replies: 13
Views: 388

Re: Golf in/near Las Vegas

I should have included Paiute in my first post; three desert courses with great scenery, around 45 miles out (but an easy drive on the freeway). The Reflection Bay courses were very nice, went bankrupt, and I think one is back in business. They are also a ways out. The West Coast Wine group held a t...
by James Cross
August 5th, 2019, 9:26 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

Yes....and I'd go back frequently if my friends weren't so worried about money. On my next visit, I will splurge on wine.
by James Cross
August 5th, 2019, 9:22 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Golf in/near Las Vegas
Replies: 13
Views: 388

Re: Golf in/near Las Vegas

Probably the simplest solution is TPC Summerlin; 2 courses. I've played it. There is a PGA event there every Fall. In Henderson, Dragon Ridge is pretty big time. Out of town, you could go to Primm (40 miles south; 2 courses that are highly rated) or Mesquite (around 70 miles the other way) which has...
by James Cross
August 5th, 2019, 9:14 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

Bazaar Meats. Cash your IRA before you go. Food is impressive; they haul the meat out on stretchers. They have separate kitchens for meat, fish, and everything else. I got a tour from their somm. He's got around 1,000 separate labels and wants to take it to 1,500. All the wines are pricey but I foun...
by James Cross
August 2nd, 2019, 10:55 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Mini WB offline - 08 Larmandier VV Blanc de Blancs, 1982 Figeac, 2001 Jamet, 1990 Leoville-Barton
Replies: 5
Views: 445

Re: Mini WB offline - 08 Larmandier VV Blanc de Blancs, 1982 Figeac, 2001 Jamet, 1990 Leoville-Barton

Dave Dyroff; that's a name from the past. He used to post a lot on West Coast Wine and maybe the old Spectator boards.
by James Cross
August 2nd, 2019, 10:54 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Prince of Pinot Noir is retiring
Replies: 17
Views: 2070

Re: The Prince of Pinot Noir is retiring

Just read the final issue. I've suggested to a friend (certified wine educator and newsletter writer) that he look into continuing the site. It looks like a lot of work, although you'd get to taste some good wines.
by James Cross
July 30th, 2019, 1:33 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Restaurants in St Paul or Minneapolis
Replies: 54
Views: 3276

Re: Restaurants in St Paul or Minneapolis

All the Minnesnowta liquor laws vary by city. BYO is allowed in Minneapolis; not sure who qualifies; probably someone without a (tightly controlled) liquor license. I've been to a couple of good BYO places in South Minneapolis along 50th Street, roughly 50th/Vincent (or 48th) and 50th/Bryant. Maybe ...
by James Cross
July 24th, 2019, 9:20 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2017 Alban Viognier Central Coast - thoughts?
Replies: 13
Views: 634

Re: 2017 Alban Viognier Central Coast - thoughts?

I just finished up my 2007 and 2008 Estate Roussannes and they were fine. Deep gold color and they take on a nutty characteristic. The viogniers are likely goners.
by James Cross
July 20th, 2019, 10:50 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Alban Summer Release
Replies: 12
Views: 701

Re: Alban Summer Release

You can find Reva's around at retail for high $80s. The roussanne is worth the freight and will age.
by James Cross
July 20th, 2019, 10:47 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2017 Alban Viognier Central Coast - thoughts?
Replies: 13
Views: 634

Re: 2017 Alban Viognier Central Coast - thoughts?

To me, it is over the top. He does two viogniers and this is the lesser one. I've tasted them side by side and the Estate is a better wine, but also more expensive. In general, viogniers don't handle the oak very well and sometimes have sort of a "cardboard" finish, if that makes any sense. The Esta...
by James Cross
July 10th, 2019, 10:16 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

I'll chime in again. For non adventurous types, how about meat? Bazaar Meat in SLS (Sahara) was mentioned, but you might exceed your unlimited budget. I'd suggest Echo and Rig in Tivoli Village.....FREE CORKAGE.....use that to pay for Lyft. It's about 10 miles from the Strip. Decent steak house if t...
by James Cross
May 23rd, 2019, 9:35 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Driving beer cross country this weekend. Please help
Replies: 36
Views: 1657

Re: Driving beer cross country this weekend. Please help

High in Vegas yesterday was 67, a record low high temp....and it looks about like this for almost the next week.

And by the way....it was a Firebird!
by James Cross
April 30th, 2019, 9:42 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Peay Chard Estate '12...(short/boring)
Replies: 4
Views: 255

Re: TN: Peay Chard Estate '12...(short/boring)

I'm kind of off the whites ( a little to austere for me) but still buy the Scallop Shelf pinot and both syrahs. Their prices are not too out of line compared to some others out on the far coast.
by James Cross
April 30th, 2019, 7:32 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Vegas Dining....Wine Related
Replies: 12
Views: 1110

Re: Vegas Dining....Wine Related

Echo and Rig. It is off the Strip in Tivoli Village (Rampart Avenue). I've taken in mags but not 3L, so I'm not sure of their policy; probably should call ahead.
by James Cross
April 18th, 2019, 10:23 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs
Replies: 21
Views: 725

Re: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs

Another shout out to Rancho Pinot Grill (SW corner of Scottsdale Rd and Lincoln). Chef is Chrysa Robertson, who has been around Phoenix (and Napa) doing farm to table for 30 years. A couple months ago the Arizona Republic (AzCentral.com) did a lengthy article on her and Rancho Pinot. You should be a...
by James Cross
April 12th, 2019, 10:04 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

I finally made it to Lamaii last week and pretty much agree with Joe's comments. The strip mall is part of a Macy's Home Store complex; it's fine, way better than the original Lotus location. Sparrow and Wolf is also in that strip mall with plenty of free parking. The server asked us about heat and ...
by James Cross
April 12th, 2019, 9:59 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs
Replies: 21
Views: 725

Re: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs

I don't think Tarbell's is BYO...but there is really no need for it. They have a very well stocked wine shop with fair prices. For example, in the pinot category, they had a half dozen wines I wanted to try. They also have Burgs, but they are pricier of course. You take the wine into the adjacent "t...
by James Cross
April 9th, 2019, 12:30 pm
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs
Replies: 21
Views: 725

Re: Phoenix/Scottsdale Recs

I was there this past weekend. HIGHLY recommend Tarbell's Tavern (they also have a restaurant next door) at 32d and Camelback. They have a wine shop with modest markups and an excellent selection. You buy the wine and take it into the bar/tavern with zero corkage charge. Menu is sort of bar/bistro w...
by James Cross
March 29th, 2019, 8:40 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN; '17 Biale Party Line North Coast Zin
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: TN; '17 Biale Party Line North Coast Zin

I'm still on the list but have never been offered this one; have not seen it at retail either. Biale is good merchandise but you have to swallow hard when you buy it. Between Biale and Martinelli there will soon be $100 zins; never thought I'd see it.
by James Cross
March 15th, 2019, 10:23 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2005 Martinelli "Jackass Vineyard" zinfandel
Replies: 26
Views: 913

Re: 2005 Martinelli "Jackass Vineyard" zinfandel

I admit it; I like Martinelli (chards and zins). I was all in about fifteen years ago, dropped off the list and came back after I visited the winery a couple years ago. I'm picking up a Martinelli shipment at FedX Office on the way home. Most of my friends hate them, but that's more for me.
by James Cross
March 12th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: WSJ wine article
Replies: 37
Views: 2438

Re: WSJ wine article

I read the whole article....twice. Good mentions of Cellar Tracker but a bit too much love for Raj Parr and all the hats he wears.
by James Cross
March 11th, 2019, 9:18 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

A few additions. Bank's new place is open. Some friends went there last night and I'm awaiting their report. A couple others worth a mention; both in Summerlin, but doable with Lyft. Andiron and Honey Salt, both run by a husband/wife team that get a lot of good PR. She has been on Food Network and C...
by James Cross
March 9th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Happy Birthday--Brian Loring
Replies: 14
Views: 710

Re: Happy Birthday--Brian Loring

Yeah....well I've followed him from before the very start, when he still had his day job. Happy B-day Brian. Futures order coming in next week.
by James Cross
March 5th, 2019, 11:28 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2018 Loring Futures
Replies: 14
Views: 848

Re: 2018 Loring Futures

I'm still pretty much all in on Loring wines, both pinots and chards. I will buy a mixed six pack of these. To paraphrase Tom Hill, I have followed Brian "from before the very start." He was a cellar rat working weekends at Cottonwood Canyon and starting to make wine while he kept his day job in sof...
by James Cross
March 2nd, 2019, 9:25 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear & Loathing in Buellton: UPDATE 2 -- Dinner with Joe Davis /Arcadian
Replies: 28
Views: 2383

Re: Fear & Loathing in Buellton: UPDATE 1 -- AMV Visit

Great Andrew Murray report. I was all in on his wines (just a step below Alban) in the late 90s. Then he made some flawed wines in the early 2000s and the winery was sold. Interesting article by Richard Jennings on that topic. I'm still not sure what happened. His dad used to accompany him to Hospic...
by James Cross
February 25th, 2019, 10:05 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Four Older Rieslings...(short/boring)
Replies: 1
Views: 184

Re: TN: Four Older Rieslings...(short/boring)

Tom: Arcadia Wines in Scottsdale, a name from my past. When I moved to Phoenix is 1982, this was recommended as one of the 2-3 best shops in town. It had a west exposure with lots of glass and a struggling AC system. As they used to say: "local storage."
by James Cross
February 21st, 2019, 11:27 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: David McMillan (Joe Beef) on how excess nearly killed him
Replies: 15
Views: 1149

Re: David McMillan (Joe Beef) on how excess nearly killed him

I've heard somms describe themselves as "functioning alcoholics." They are around booze all the time. The crazy hours don't help.
by James Cross
February 12th, 2019, 9:47 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Alban Release
Replies: 28
Views: 1414

Re: Alban Release

Here in Las Vegas, the Estate goes for around $49, the Central Coast for maybe $29, but I've seen it on sale for $25. I'm not sure the Estate is worth twice the C Coast, but it definitely is a better wine....it is the full Dolly Parton style if you like that.
by James Cross
February 12th, 2019, 9:44 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Matthiasson Ribolla '14/Alban Reva Syrah '01..(short/boring)
Replies: 5
Views: 203

Re: TN: Matthiasson Ribolla '14/Alban Reva Syrah '01..(short/boring)

Tom: "Glacial" is a good descriptor, about the same pace as Congress moves to solve important problems. I've been finishing my 1998-2000 syrahs and nothing is happening. I just might start drinking them on the young side; could be a more enjoyable option.
by James Cross
February 11th, 2019, 9:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Alban Release
Replies: 28
Views: 1414

Re: Alban Release

Yes, there are two different versions. I believe "Central Coast" may be purchased grapes and the oak treatment is different. Failla used to get estate viognier grapes from Alban, but that deal is finished. For a step up, go with the estate roussanne; much better wine, handles the oak much better and...
by James Cross
February 7th, 2019, 8:08 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Vegas for an almost rookie
Replies: 58
Views: 2432

Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

Bank's new place is Lamaii and he has a Facebook page with photos. Check out the magnums! He's only been open for around ten days and has gotten some good reviews. He describes it as "modern Thai." It is in Chinatown on Spring Mountain Road, pretty close to the old places. Also....on the hotels, Bel...
by James Cross
January 17th, 2019, 10:01 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: New Lotus of Siam location --- what's the deal?
Replies: 8
Views: 771

Re: New Lotus of Siam location --- what's the deal?

Actually this is in the Southwest part of the city, very close to IKEA if that helps. It is maybe 5 miles west of the Strip. The project is a big real estate deal with a retail and restaurant component. The old Lotus still has not reopened. It has been down for over a year.
by James Cross
January 2nd, 2019, 8:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Birthday Wines - 95 DP Oeno, 83 Prum Aus, 70 Produttori, 68 BV SpBurg, 68 Boal, 90 MonteBello and plenty of others
Replies: 14
Views: 969

Re: Birthday Wines - 95 DP Oeno, 83 Prum Aus, 70 Produttori, 68 BV SpBurg, 68 Boal, 90 MonteBello and plenty of others

Monterey Peninsula Winery products were around in the 80s at places like the old Liquor Barns. I believe the winery was owned by a group of dentists. They made some truly oddball wines like late harvest chardonnays....and the cabs were veggie.
by James Cross
December 28th, 2018, 9:16 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN Andrew Murray Watch Hill Vineyard Syrah 2016
Replies: 5
Views: 194

Re: TN Andrew Murray Watch Hill Vineyard Syrah 2016

I was a fan in the early 2000s. Believe it or not, at the early Hospice du Rhones (1998-2000 or so), Andrew's table was just as mobbed as Alban's. Then he produced some wines that were pretty flawed and moved out of his winery. Now he's in the old Curtis facility on ? (name escapes me) Canyon Rd. Th...
by James Cross
December 26th, 2018, 7:31 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: NV G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Cordon Rouge Brut (France, Champagne)
Replies: 5
Views: 167

Re: TN: NV G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Cordon Rouge Brut (France, Champagne)

Trader Joe's sells this in Las Vegas. Buyer beware.
by James Cross
December 26th, 2018, 7:30 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2005 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard
Replies: 15
Views: 637

Re: TN: 2005 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard

Larry: John's roussanne is superb. I try to hold them for about ten years. My favorite along with Stolpman.
by James Cross
December 24th, 2018, 7:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2005 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard
Replies: 15
Views: 637

Re: TN: 2005 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard

Alban "customer service" is an oxymoron. I guess they've cleaned it up, but it was horrible ten years ago. Doesn't do me any good, I got the boot for complaining. I still buy the wines when I see them at retail.
by James Cross
December 7th, 2018, 10:57 am
Forum: Offline Planner
Topic: Las Vegas tasting group, inaugural meet up, December 11th, 7PM
Replies: 2
Views: 396

Re: Las Vegas tasting group, inaugural meet up, December 11th, 7PM

Greg: I tried to send you a PM, but somehow it doesn't work. Try to send me one and I will reply. JC
by James Cross
November 27th, 2018, 8:58 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

Darin: Andrew pretty much nails it on Sparrow and I'd also recommend it. I usually take one red and pay the $25 corkage and buy a glass or bottle of white off the list; they have a few things that are ok, like Spanish albarinos. Either Burg or Bordeaux would work with the food; you can check the men...
by James Cross
November 21st, 2018, 9:48 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Las Vegas Restaurants
Replies: 114
Views: 8507

Re: Las Vegas Restaurants

A new place that has garnered a lot of attention is Sparrow and Wolf. It is a couple miles west of the Strip on Spring Mtn. next to Macy's home store. They do a lot of innovative meat dishes, so much so that they were picketed by PETA. Wine selection is poor; $25 corkage is the way to go. Easy Uber/...
by James Cross
November 6th, 2018, 8:40 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Ever stored a wine shipment and been surprised
Replies: 20
Views: 1281

Re: Ever stored a wine shipment and been surprised

Two comments on the noted jerks above. Was with a friend in a Minnesnowta wine shop. He pointed out incorrectly marked (too low) bottles to the manager. For his reward, the manager refused to take his check on a purchase. Here's a positive one from Loring Wine Co. I ordered some single vineyard SLH ...
by James Cross
October 23rd, 2018, 7:53 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best North American sparklers?
Replies: 100
Views: 3867

Re: Best North American sparklers?

Iron Horse used to bottle a version called the "Wedding Cuvee." I took it to weddings. Not sure if they followed up with a "Divorce Cuvee." No chatter about some of the new sparklers that have hit the market in the last couple of years. Some of you might have received Diana Lee's (Adam's wife) email...
by James Cross
October 17th, 2018, 1:16 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: (Yet Another) Napa Trip Recap
Replies: 11
Views: 1260

Re: (Yet Another) Napa Trip Recap

Totally agree on Dom Carneros; I either make it my first stop or the last stop on the way back to Sacto airport. Last time it was a slow day in the tasting room and the server kept bringing out new things to try....so many that I finally had to cut him off lest I not be able to drive back to the air...
by James Cross
October 15th, 2018, 11:57 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Las Vegas (moderately priced) food & wine recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 1514

Re: Las Vegas (moderately priced) food & wine recommendations?

I dined at Mon Ami last Wed and it is a go to place when friends come into town. Food is pretty good, moderate prices, heavily tilted to steak and fish. They have 1-2 specials every day and some are quite good. Wine list is almost 100% French and reasonable. No trophies, but solid food wines such as...
by James Cross
October 15th, 2018, 11:07 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Barrie Larvin Update ??
Replies: 2
Views: 310

Re: Barrie Larvin Update ??

Tom: Had not heard the Florida story; maybe he's fully retired there. Naples is a retirement hub. In the salad days at the Rio he had all sorts of outlandish wines, like 6L bottles of dessert wines, just what you need for every day drinking. It was all for show. He used to do tastings on Sat morning...
by James Cross
October 12th, 2018, 9:25 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa: The excessibe baller’s guide
Replies: 10
Views: 1744

Re: Napa: The excessibe baller’s guide

Last sentence: "and pray the stock market doesn't crash." How timely. I guess they ran out of Benjamins before they got to Darioush. They have some outlandish private experiences as well. I remember when they were tasting out of a trailer.
by James Cross
October 2nd, 2018, 10:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Impressions from a Ridge Dinner...
Replies: 11
Views: 1084

Re: TN: Impressions from a Ridge Dinner...

Tom: Thanks for the chard info. I've been trying to decide on buying the 2016 MB. It probably just needs some time. Apparently the "Home Ranch" chard from Sonoma has gone away...and the Estate is what used to be called "S Cruz Mountain"? I've had a couple of the MB cabs you tried; 96 and 02; luckily...
by James Cross
October 1st, 2018, 12:35 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: How The Other Half Lives....
Replies: 27
Views: 2144

Re: How The Other Half Lives....

Yes...the Dominion. Impressive place but far from downtown. My friends have had three houses there.
by James Cross
October 1st, 2018, 10:45 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Delmore PinotNoir SRH '17...(short/boring)
Replies: 2
Views: 156

Re: TN: Delmore PinotNoir SRH '17...(short/boring)

Tom: What is a "natural" marketing guy? One who does it naturally? Just kidding. Tablas has also been doing some pinot on their own with fruit from Templeton; can't recall the nomenclature, but I was not impressed enough to buy it at the winery. I think Robert Haas owned the vineyard in Templeton.

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