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In the July 31, 2014 Issue

John Kongsgaard

Vintner John Kongsgaard has realized his dream. He is the local boy made good, whose career in the Napa winemaking world has spanned the region's explosive rise in the latter half of the 20th century. He has built his success one careful step at a time, first in his pursuit of great Chardonnay and now with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Watch our video preview of the issue.

FREE Wine Charts:

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

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

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

Cover Story

Napa's Fortunate Son - Napa natives John Kongsgaard and his wife, Maggy, are building a winemaking legacy at Stonecrest vineyard, a low-yielding site that supplies the family's prized Chardonnay, The Judge. Committed to Burgundian techniques in the cellar and sustainable family business practices, Kongsgaard proves that when it comes to wine, bigger isn’t always better


    Tasting Reports

    Sangiovese Steps Forward - 2009 Brunellos di Montalcino show a lighter side of Piedmont's leading wine, for near-term enjoyment


    Island Time - Topper's at the Wauwinet tempts the palate with light summer recipes from Nantucket


    Best of the Boot - Wine Spectator's OperaWine tasting brings together 100 leading Italian producers on the eve of Vinitaly






    Betting on Whisky - Collectible Scotch is experiencing a surge of interest and speculation at auction



    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken


    Savvy Shopper


    James Laube - Revisiting the French Paradox In his blogs, James Laube shares updates from his recent tastings and visits with winemakers, and discusses hot-button issues in the wine industry. Join the conversation with other members.

    A Perfect Match

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

JULY FOURTH ENTERTAINING Nothing is more festive than bubbly, so set off some party fireworks with our editors' picks for affordable sparkling wines. Sparklers have a natural affinity for fried foods, so we also share a tasty fried chicken recipe perfect for parties or picnics.

2014 VIDEO CONTEST Creative with a video camera? Submit your shorts to Wine Spectator's eighth annual Video Contest and you could win great prizes. Our editors will select the finalists and post them on, where viewers can vote for the winning video. The deadline to enter is Sept. 1. Check out the rules and previous years' finalists online.

NEW ON Wine Spectator VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss these recent additions:

  • The Wines of Montalcino: Tucked among the hills of Tuscany, the vineyards of Montalcino yield both Rosso and Brunello. Compare and contrast these two wines as Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, owner of Col d'Orcia, joins senior editor Bruce Sanderson.
  • 50 and Still Hearty: Many of us remember our parents' jug of Gallo Hearty Burgundy in the kitchen cupboard. Take a trip down memory lane as Stephanie Gallo, Ernest's granddaughter, talks about the wine on its 50th anniversary.

TUSCANY IN-DEPTH Take this online, three-class Wine Spectator School seminar to understand both the classic-style and the new wave wines of top Tuscan producers in hot regions such as Chianti Classico, Montalcino and Bolgheri. All 10 Wine Spectator School courses are included free with membership and make great gifts for the budding wine lovers in your life.

PERSONAL WINE LIST AND PERSONAL RATINGS Use our Personal Wine List tools to track your wine collection, monitor the value of your cellar and record tasting notes. Plus, you can personally rate the wines you've tasted, so it's easy to remember your favorites. All rated wines are automatically copied to a convenient My Wine Ratings list for future reference.


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