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In the Jan. 31 - Feb. 29, 2016 Issue

Editor's Picks

"Together, our senior tasters have more experience than the staff of any other wine publication on earth. They review thousands of wines each year in blind tastings. But in this issue, I challenged them to go one step further."—Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher

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

Cover Story

2016 Editors' Picks - A new year of wine discovery awaits. Wine Spectator's senior tasters have picked their personal favorites reviewed in the past year and organized their selections of whites, reds and bubblies across a range of prices. From Southern Rhône blends to Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand, this global tour promises to expand your palate and open your mind to new styles, places and producers

WineSpectator.com: Get our latest editors' picks and thousands of other new reviews on the go with the WineRatings+ app, which offers access to Wine Spectator's 332,000 expert ratings, as well as curated lists and top values. The newly revamped version for iOS includes enhanced search options and alerts when new ratings are added, making it easier than ever to find the right wines for you. Find WineRatings+ at the App Store or Google Play.

WineSpectator.com: Keep on top of exciting editors' picks throughout the year with Wine Spectator's free email newsletters. Sips & Tips features a great value wine each week, while the twice-monthly Collecting highlights cellar-worthy wines that can benefit from aging.

James Laube - California

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO Cabernet Passion with Daou: Although Paso Robles is best known for Rhône varieties, this California region's Cabernets deserve serious attention. Tour one of Paso's top Cabernet vineyards with brothers Georges and Daniel Daou.

Harvey Steiman - Australia, Oregon, Washington

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Grows Up: Chehalem founder Harry Peterson-Nedry, who has grown grapes in this Oregon region since 1980, fills you in on what to expect from Willamette Pinots in terms of flavor, structure and aging.

Thomas Matthews - Spain
Kim Marcus - South America, Europe
Bruce Sanderson - France, Italy
James Molesworth - France, South Africa

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO Rust en Vrede's Jean Engelbrecht: An eloquent ambassador for the wines of South Africa, the vintner presents a snapshot of the country's past, present and future, along with an outstanding example of one Rust en Vrede's outstanding red blends.

MaryAnn Worobiec - California, New Zealand
Alison Napjus - Sparkling wines, Italy
Tim Fish - California


Tasting Reports

Winning Big in Willamette Valley - Oregon's leading winegrowing region produced Pinot Noirs of elegance and depth in 2013

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO Wine Star Ken Wright: "To understand Oregon is to understand geology," says the pioneering winemaker, who produces a dozen single-vineyard Pinot Noirs under his own label. Wright explains how his Pinots are shaped by Oregon's distinctive soils.

FREE: Oregon Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: FREE: Oregon Alphabetical Listing - More than 640 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.

Food & Drink

New Directions - With the experiment-driven Compass Box, John Glaser is reinvigorating the blended whisky category

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


Year in Review: 2015 - The numbers behind the nearly 18,000 wines rated in the year just past

WineSpectator.com: Members can browse complete tasting notes for all wines reviewed in 2015 via our online Wine Ratings Search. To narrow down the list, select "Advanced Search Options" and choose additional criteria, such as price, score, region or variety.

Pull-Out Vintage Card - Scores for more than 40 regions and varietals



Decoding the American Palate

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


NFL Star Hines Ward - Former Steelers star Hines Ward opens a wine bar outside Pittsburgh
Emeril Lagasse's Carnivale du Vin Breaks Records


Study Suggests Wine is Part of a Healthy Diet
After the Wine Is Drained, Health Benefits Remain


Valentine's Day Assortment

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Owen Dugan’s columns and other articles about chocolate.


An Original Grand Award Winner Branches Out; Worlds Collide in Mexico City; The Height of Luxe Paris

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.


Oregon’s Beaux Frères - By seeking balanced wines, Mike Etzel has found success in both cool and warm vintages


2015 Article Index
FAQ: Cognac

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

Oregon Winners, Spanish Specialties, Global Grapes


James Laube - Stepping forward, looking back

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 - Ambitious dissatisfaction

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

Apple Napoleons With Late-Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP STORIES OF 2015 What were the hottest topics of the past year? We rounded up the most popular articles, blogs, tasting reports, videos and Unfiltered items for 2015. Find out what you missed, or revisit your favorites of the past 12 months, in our News & Features section.

2015 HARVEST REPORTS With the newest wines now aging in winery cellars, Wine Spectator editors provide an early look at expected vintage quality in key European and North American regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa, Sonoma and more.

VALENTINE'S DAY We've got everything you need for an inspired night of romance: A recipe to impress from one of the country's top chefs, standout sparkling and sweet wines, the best chocolates, restaurants with award-winning wine lists and more.

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 mobile-friendly video. Don't miss these recent additions:

  • Premier Cru vs. Grand Cru Champagne: What do these terms mean on a Champagne label? Learn the difference—in time for your Valentine's Day celebrations—with Duval- Leroy chef de cave Sandrine Logette-Jardin and senior editor Alison Napjus.
  • Washington's Champoux Vineyard: What makes a great vineyard? Andrew Will Winery owner Chris Camarda illustrates the influence of site and blending with two elegant Bordeaux-style reds from this famous vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
  • The Wine Stars: Top vintners from around the world shared their stories—and their wines—at the 2015 New York Wine Experience. Hear from Château Lafite Rothschild's charming Baron Eric de Rothschild, Napa cult Cabernet maker Bill Harlan, the Italian father-daughter team of Angelo and Gaia Gaja, and more.

RATINGS ALERTS Start the new year off right by getting early updates on the smartest buys and hottest collectibles from our editors' latest tastings.

  • Insider: Weekly reviews of highly rated wines before they sell out.
  • Advance: Sneak peeks at top picks from upcoming issues of the magazine.
  • Ratings Flash: This e-mail alert will let you know when we've added new reviews to our Wine Ratings Search from your favorite wine regions. Sign up and enter your preferred regions—we'll do the rest!

VALUE WINES Did you resolve to save more money this year? You can still drink great wines without spending a lot. Check our site regularly for updated quick lists of Top Values, Easy Finds and Wineries for Values.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 365,000+ ratings.