The American wine author and wine critic
James Laube has been with the renowned magazine since 1980 Wine Spectator
active. He is considered an absolute California specialist, who is said to have a similar influence on the wine style as Robert M. Parker
, Critics accuse him of a preference for alcohol-rich, full-bodied wines matured in barriques, which (supposedly) proves the unusually high number of such wines in California. His California bias is also evident in his books California's Great Cabernets and California's Great Chardonnays, as well as California Wine, in which around 700 producers are described and which earned him the James Beard Award for the best wine book of the year in 1996. Laube is said to have an unusually high sensitivity for recognizing the wine defect corked
after. His criticism of a faulty wine from the Chateau Montelena
made waves. The editor Steve Heimoff
of the competing magazine Wine enthusiast
wrote in an open letter to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that one should not unsettle consumers who, for the most part, would not be able to recognize such low levels of TCA.