In the July 31, 2014 Issue
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.
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
Winemaking at Kongsgaard - Unique terroir, careful vineyard management and methods such as extended barrel aging combine to give Kongsgaard's Chardonnays depth, character and ageability
WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: John Kongsgaard made the single white wine that earned a spot in Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2013. Senior editor James Laube reflects on why the long-time California winemaker's bottlingsand particularly the Kongsgaard Chardonnay Napa Valley 2010are so special.
Chardonnay's Golden Summer - An ideal growing season in 2012 yields a bounty of charming California whites
South Africa’s Momentum - With exports booming, the Cape delivers a host of enticing, affordable bottlings
FREE: South Africa Alphabetical Listing - More than 330 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: South Africa's Calling CardChenin Blanc, one of the most widely planted grapes in the country, produces a wine with both lively acidity and richness. See why Chenin shines here as senior editor James Molesworth and Johan Reyneke, owner of Reyneke Wines in Stellenbosch, talk biodynamics and South Africa.
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
WineSpectator.com: Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.
Wine Spectator Launches an App for Android - WineRatings+ puts 300,000 reviews and more at the fingertips of wine lovers, while iPhone version logs 1 million downloads
Wine Spectator's Grand Tour - Wine Spectator's traveling tasting visits New York, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas
Betting on Whisky - Collectible Scotch is experiencing a surge of interest and speculation at auction
This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken
James Laube - Revisiting the French Paradox
WineSpectator.com: 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.
WineSpectator.com: For more of Matt Kramer's provocative essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)
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 WineSpectator.com, 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 WineSpectator.com 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.