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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


    Tasting Reports

    Keeping It Cool - California Chardonnays from 2010 are lean and crisp, and good bets to cellar

    Douro Evolution - Vintners in Portugal’s top wine region are testing new styles







    Savvy Shopper


    Things We Like


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

    Cellars / Collections


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken



    A Perfect Match

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.


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

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 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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