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In the Dec. 15, 2013 Issue


The future of Champagne in the United States looks bright. As the No. 1 wine-consuming country in the world, America is clearly forging ahead with its exploration of the world's premier region for sparkling wine.

FREE Wine Charts:

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

Cover Story

The New Champagne - France's iconic sparkling wine is shedding its air of mystique as producers and consumers focus on the wine in the bottle. From the largest houses to the best of the new wave of small growers, there is plenty to explore
Making Bubbles - What it takes to produce fine Champagne
Deciphering the Label - Understanding non-vintage vs. vintage, style and dosage
Alphabetical Guide - Scores and prices for more than 400 wines

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: Blending Champagne with Moët & Chandon: Great Champagnes are often blends of wines from different vineyards, varieties and vintages. One iconic sparkler, the Moët & Chandon Imperial, is composed of more than 100 base wines. Alison Napjus discusses the nuances of blending with the domaine's chef de cave, Benoit Gouez.


Tasting Reports

Brilliant Sparklers - Champagne shines on with high quality in a diverse range of styles, including blanc de blancs and rosé
Argentina's High-Wire Act - Challenging weather in 2011 tasked vintners, but an Indian summer saved the vintage
FREE: Argentina Alphabetical Listing - More than 460 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: Get a primer on Argentina and how its wine regions are defined by the Andes, where vineyards at different altitudes produce different styles of Malbec and Torrontés.


Touring History - Northern France is home to great bubbly and a bucolic wine country that has upped its game


Up by His Bootstraps - Sonoma-based vintner Paul Hobbs pursues perfection on three continents
Quest for Respect - Hubert de Boüard has battled tradition to earn recognition for St.-Emilion’s Château Angélus



French Government Debates Anti-Wine Stance

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

Serving-Size Surprise
French Pesticide Study Raises Concerns
Champagne, Anyone?
Nuking Your Pinot


Best of Cameroon

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Mark Pendergrast's columns and other articles on coffee.


The New Gins

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

Things We Like

Holiday Shopping List - Gift-givers can go in several directions, from simple and functional to playful, and even lavish and personal

Cellars / Collections

Blending history at Oregon's Eyrie - Jason Lett's Cellar Certification program raises the bar for preserving library wine


This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken



Savvy Shopper

Big Reds from California, Distinctive Jura Whites, Recent Releases from Italy and Spain


James Laube - Charles Woodson's Napa reds

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. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

Matt Kramer - The Thousand-Dollar cellar

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.)

James Molesworth - Wine movie picks

WineSpectator.com: In his blogs, James Molesworth shares updates from his recent tastings and visits with winemakers, tries out different wine pairings, and more. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

A Perfect Match

Wally Joe's Soy-Braised Pork Shoulder With Riesling - Chef Wally Joe, Acre, Memphis, Tenn.

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

GUESS OUR WINE OF THE YEAR On Nov. 11, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 wines of 2013. Guess the No. 1 wine before then and you could win tickets to one of our 2014 Grand Tour tastings, featuring more than 200 top wines. Don't miss this exciting opportunity!

TWO WEEKS OF FREE ACCESS TO WINESPECTATOR.COM! Haven't yet joined WineSpectator.com? From Nov. 11 to 24, we'll be offering all visitors free access to our website's members-only features. The period kicks off with the unveiling of our Top 10 wines of 2013, followed by this year's complete Top 100 list. Keep coming back to check out more resources—our latest wine reviews, value picks, wine-friendly recipes and much more.

HOLIDAY PICKS Need new ideas to please your party guests? We're highlighting great recipes and value wines in our series of holiday entertaining features, running from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss these recent additions on California Cabernet:

  • Napa Cabernet Identity: Pine Ridge winemaker Michael Beaulac discusses how vineyard location shapes the character of Cabernet Sauvignon as he pours wines from the Napa Valley appellation and two of its subregions—Stags Leap District and Howell Mountain.
  • Passion in Paso: Although Paso Robles is best known for Rhône varieties, the region's Cabernets deserve serious attention. Tour one of Paso's top Cabernet vineyards with brothers Georges and Daniel Daou.

SHOW US YOUR CELLAR How do you store your wine? How does it fit your lifestyle and reflect your approach to collecting? We're asking for a peek inside collectors' cellars. We've picked a few highlights from our pages. Share your own photos and tips online, and you could be profiled in a future Wine Spectator feature!

WINE CLASSES Get more enjoyment out of the wines you drink with Wine Spectator School's 10 online courses—all free with your WineSpectator.com membership. Learn what to look for in a glass of wine with ABCs of Wine Tasting, develop a deeper appreciation with Understanding Wine or take a seminar on Wine and Food Pairing. Plus, the courses make great holiday gifts, and you can share the step-by-step tastings with family and friends.

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