The US-American wine author and wine critic
James Laube has been working for the renowned magazine Wine Spectator
since 1980. He is regarded as an absolute California specialist, who is said to have a similar influence on the style of wine as Robert M. Parker
. Critics accuse him of having a preference for alcohol-rich, full-bodied wines matured in barriques, which (allegedly) 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, which describes some 700 producers and won him the 1996 James Beard Award for the best wine book of the year. It is said that Laube has an unusually high sensibility for recognizing the wine defect cork taster
. His criticism of a in this respect faulty wine of the Chateau Montelena
made high waves. The editor Steve Heimoff of
the competing magazine Wine Enthusiast
wrote in an open letter to the newspaper "San Francisco Chronicle" that one should not unsettle consumers, who for the most part would not be able to detect such small amounts of TCA.