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In the July 31, 2012 Issue

California Chardonnay

Chardonnay thrives in a variety of soil types and climates in California, providing a wide range of expressions and styles. The wines drink well early and can also reward cellaring, developing rich flavors and nuances.

FREE Wine Charts:

Australia: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Australian wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

California Chardonnay: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all California Chardonnays reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Portugal: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Portuguese wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Cover Story

California’s Best Chardonnays - America’s favorite white wine powers ahead, led by a diverse mix of winemakers who are exploring terroir, especially in cool climate realms, and creating pathbreaking wines. Whether for casual drinking or fancier dining, California Chardonnay has few peers
30 Top Producers - Sonoma and Napa dominate the list, with a pair from the Santa Cruz Mountains

Features

Tasting Reports

Keeping It Cool - California Chardonnays from 2010 are lean and crisp, and good bets to cellar
FREE: California Chardonnay Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 470 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: What does it mean for a wine to be "unfiltered" and how does it affect the character? Newton winemaker Chris Millard explains in this comparative tasting of two Napa Chardonnays.

Australian Exploration - Unexpected grapes and blends challenge the dominance of Shiraz
FREE: Australia Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 560 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

Australian Wineries to Put on Your Radar

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: Barossa's New Groove—Many Australian reds have the reputation of being over-ripe, over-oaked and overly alcoholic. Learn why Barossa is suited to making more balanced wines with Chateau Tanunda’s John Geber, a leading advocate for a more restrained style.

Douro Evolution - Vintners in Portugal’s top wine region are testing new styles
FREE: Portugal Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 270 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: Looking for a refreshing white? Look no farther than northern Portugal’s Vinho Verde. Learn about these crisp whites with Aveleda’s Francisco Guedes.

Entertaining

A Summer Feast from the Heart of Texas - All-American wine matches for grilled halibut and pork, with all the trimmings

Events

Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour - Wine Spectator’s 11th annual tasting event showcases more than 200 wines

Grapevine

World

Jim Nantz’s Calling - Sportscaster Jim Nantz and partners debut a line of wines
Beard Foundation Inducts Marvin R. Shanken Into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America
Mosel Bridge on Hold

WineSpectator.com: Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.

People

Kenny G Riffs on Bordeaux - Jazz musician Kenny G thinks Bordeaux is pitch-perfect
High Museum Auction Celebrates 20 Years

Science

Wine Tasters: Born or Made? - A controversial new study suggests wine expertise is genetic

Savvy Shopper

Racy Reds and Summertime Whites

Spirits

Gin & Tonic Revival

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Jack Bettridge’s columns and other articles on spirits.

Things We Like

Scottsdale Hot Spot
Sipping Vinegars
Gold-Standard Jamón

Retrospective

Yattarna Chardonnay - A tasting of 16 vintages shows the evolution of Australia’s collectible cool-climate Chardonnay

Cellars / Collections

An Arizona Excavation - Collector Bruce Misamore turned an abandoned water tank into a wine cellar

WineSpectator.com: Research before you buy or sell at auction. Website members can check the latest auction highlights and track prices for more than 10,000 collectible wines in our Auction Price Database.

Departments

This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken

Letters

Letters

Columns

James Laube - Wine’s fleeting moments

WineSpectator.com: In his recent blogs, James Laube says not to worry about a grape shortage in California and reminds you that, while you can revisit a wine as it ages, you can't go back to the last moment you tasted it. Join the conversation with other members.

Matt Kramer - Fahrenheit 55

WineSpectator.com: Don't miss Matt Kramer's web-exclusive essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

A Perfect Match

Perry Hoffman’s Shrimp and Melon Salad with Sparkling Wine - Chef Perry Hoffman, Étoile at Domaine Chandon, Yountville, Calif.

The Buying Guide


The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

NEW FOR THE IPAD: 2012 GUIDE TO NAPA VALLEY

Wine Spectator has expanded its iPad app with four dozen additional winery, restaurant and hotel recommendations and more than 100 new wine reviews to help wine lovers plan the perfect trip to Napa Valley and learn more about its wines. Wine Spectator’s Guide to Napa Valley shares our editors’ picks for the best places to visit, plus rich articles, beautiful photographs, maps, recipes and reviews of 440 high-scoring Napa wines. Wine Spectator’s 2012 Guide to Napa Valley can be purchased from the App Store or by visiting apps.winespectator.com.

2010 BURGUNDY PREVIEW Get an early look at how the vintage rates for reds and whites, plus tasting notes and preliminary scores on 29 top wines from senior editor Bruce Sanderson’s cellar tastings in the region.

SUMMER VALUES Discover Top Value whites, rosés and reds at $20 or less. Shop for your summer entertaining with our handy lists of the latest well-rated wines at bargain prices. Don’t have time to hunt down a wine? Check out Easy Finds for wines made in large quantities, making them more likely to be available in your local store.


2012 VIDEO CONTEST Creative with a video camera? Submit your shorts to Wine Spectator’s sixth annual video contest and you could win great prizes. Our editors will select the finalists, and we’ll post them on WineSpectator.com where viewers can vote for the winning video. Entry deadline is Aug. 31. Check out the rules and previous years’ finalists.

FOURTH OF JULY Coming soon: What better way to celebrate the birth of the United States than by watching the fireworks with a bottle of wine—whether it’s all-American or something that’s been popular since colonial times—we share our picks for summer wines and recipes for outdoor parties.

MOST POPULAR STORIES Haven’t had time to visit our website for a few days? Find out what you shouldn’t miss, with our Most E-mailed and Most Commented lists. On each article page, you’ll find a box highlighting the top items of the past week.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don’t miss these recent additions about the wines of New Zealand:

  • Central Otago Pinot Noir: Why is this South Island region great for growing Pinot and what are the wines’ defining characteristics? (And what does quantum theory have to do with making wine?) Nigel Greening of Felton Road answers.
  • Chardonnay, New Zealand Style: Learn about the local take on this popular variety from the country’s leading Chardonnay producer, Michael Brajkovich of Kumeu River.


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