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In the Nov. 15, 2015 Issue

Bill Harlan

Success drives Bill Harlan. At his Harlan Estate, he helped redefine Napa Valley wine in the 1990s. The winery is a member of an elite class but Harlan, 75, is not satisfied. He's intent on establishing a wine dynasty along the lines of the great winemaking families of Europe. It's an audacious goal for one of Napa Valley's most enigmatic personalities.

FREE Wine Charts:

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

Cover Story

Harlan's Ascent - Building on his dream of establishing a "first-growth" in California, vintner Bill Harlan has consistently produced one of Napa Valley’s most coveted Cabernets since developing his vineyards in the mid-1980s. This elder statesman of America's leading wine region now looks to cement his legacy, with a new estate called Promontory
Master of Style - Consistency is a hallmark of Harlan's winemaking, evidenced in the quality of his estate releases dating back over two decades


Tasting Reports

Back on Top - California, and particularly its premier appellation of Napa Valley, delivered an immense crop of exceptional Cabernets in 2012

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO A Napa Icon— Georges de Latour Private Reserve: Beaulieu Vineyard director of winemaking Jeffrey Stambor pours the 2010 vintage as discusses the characteristics of Rutherford Cabernet and how winery founder Georges de Latour and winemaker André Tchelistcheff helped shape Napa history with this wine.

Rising Stars in California Cabernet
Alsace Abundance - Vibrant whites from Riesling and Gewürztraminer star in northeast France
FREE: Alsace Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: FREE: Alsace Alphabetical Listing - More than 275 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 Great Grapes, Alsace Style—Compare Riesling, Gewürztraminer & Pinot Gris with Zind-Humbrecht: Alsace is prized for it powerful and distinctive white wines that showcase the region's key grapes. Join senior editor Alison Napjus and winemaker Olivier Humbrecht as they taste and compare a trio of varieties.


Manhattan's Top Tables - Five recently opened restaurants match stellar food with ambitious wine lists

WineSpectator.com: Find more restaurants with great wine lists in our Restaurant Search. With more than 3,600 award winners for 2015, pick the perfect dining spot by location, award level, wine strengths, cuisine type and more.


Wine Experience Grand Tastings - The 2015 Grand Tastings


A Barolo Original - Dedicated to his region, Mauro Mascarello leads his winery into its second century


From Fossil to Fashion - The traditional wines of France's Jura have become trendsetters

WineSpectator.com: In his Letter from Europe blog, contributing editor Robert Camuto travels through France, Italy and more, sharing the fascinating stories of the winemakers, grapegrowers, chefs and other personalities who shape wine culture.

The ABCs of the Jura



Starbucks Bets Big on Wine

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

Two Loire Vintners Question Appellation Rules
Taking the Water Out of Winemaking
In Brief: Gallo Grows; Napa's Swanson Changes Hands; A Santa Barbara Pinot Deal


Wild Ginger's Cortney Lease - Cortney Lease oversees a list designed for Asian cuisine at Seattle’s Wild Ginger

WineSpectator.com: Get to know more sommeliers at award-winning restaurants—their favorite wines, food pairing tips, career paths and what makes their wine lists unique—in our Sommelier Talk series.


Artisanal Distilling - Small producers blaze new trails across the country with whiskey and more

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of columns and articles about spirits.


Travel: The Return of the Ritz; Savoir Faire in South Australia; Napa Valley Film Fest; Tasting at Restaurant Latour

WineSpectator.com: Find restaurants with great wine lists in our Restaurant Search. With more than 3,600 award winners for 2015, pick the perfect dining spot by location, award level, wine strengths, cuisine type and more.

Cellars / Collections

At Home with Restaurateur and Winemaker Doug Margerum - The winemaker-restaurateur’s Santa Barbara home exudes laid-back elegance

WineSpectator.com: FREE Collecting Newsletter: A new cellar-worthy wine pick in each biweekly e-mail, plus expert tips on collecting, auctions, storage and cellar design.


FAQ: Napa Know-How

WineSpectator.com: Want more from Dr. Vinny? Our advice expert provides saucy answers to all sorts of questions—from tough topics about the technical aspects of winemaking to the finer points of wine etiquette—three days a week on WineSpectator.com. Submit your questions at www.winespectator.com/drvinny or on Twitter via @AskDrVinny.

This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken



Savvy Shopper

French Mixed Case, Greek Picks, International Cabernet Sauvignon


James Laube

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.

Matt Kramer

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

Tim Love’s Herb-rubbed Smoked Pork Ribs with a Sonoma Zinfandel

WineSpectator.com: Find hundreds more wine-friendly recipes, by wine match, food type or ingredients, in our online Recipe Search.

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP 100 COUNTDOWN On Nov. 9, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 wines of 2014—with videos, tasting notes and more—culminating with the Wine of the Year on Nov. 13, and the complete Top 100 list on Nov. 16. Don't miss out on this exciting event!

NEW YORK WINE EXPERIENCE Can't make it to Wine Spectator's weekend of tastings and seminars this fall? Our full coverage of the event, held Oct. 22 to 24, brings the world's best winemakers and chefs to you with photos, articles and videos.

EDITORS BLOGS Join the discussion as Wine Spectator senior editors, plus our team of news and features writers, blog about hot topics in current events and wine culture, their latest wine finds, new dining discoveries, notes from their travels, conversations with notable people in the wine business and more.

GLOSSARY OF WINE TERMS Unfamiliar with a word on a label or in a tasting note? Check our glossary—with audio pronunciations.

WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Watch all our great wine tips, winemaker interviews and tastings on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. Tune in each week for a new mobilefriendly video or search our archives for your favorite topics:

  • Napa Names: John Shafer, John Kongsgaard, Peter Michael, the Mondavi family, Helen Keplinger, sports legend Tom Seaver— these are just a few of the personalities in our collection of videos exploring the great wines of this famous California region.
  • Wine Experience Stars: Giants from around the world of wine have graced our event stage over the years. Relive your favorite moments with celebrity chefs and vintners such as José Andrés, Piero Antinori, Jean-Michel Cazes, Paul Draper, Angelo Gaja, Emeril Lagasse, Danny Meyer, Marc Perrin of Beaucastel, Eric Ripert and more from our 2014 event, 2013 event and earlier.

CALIFORNIA TASTING HIGHLIGHTS Check in on Mondays to get the latest reviews on hot new-release Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and more.

CALIFORNIA CABERNET IN-DEPTH Take Wine Spectator School's online seminar and discover the differences made by price levels and growing regions. Learn from top winemakers, and explore the important appellations for California Cabernet. This and nine other fun, informative courses are included in your WineSpectator.com membership, only $49 per year.

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