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In the March 31, 2016 Issue

Grant Achatz

"We have our own voice and identity [at Alinea]. Our creative philosophy is 'Do the impossible.' Whether it's a food concept, plating, service ... Floating food, like the green apple balloon, is a really great example."—Grant Achatz

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

2013 Bordeaux: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all 2013 Bordeaux wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

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

Cover Story

The Inimitable Grant Achatz - Rising from short order cook in his grandmother's diner to become one of America's most innovative chefs, Chicago's Grant Achatz is a wizard of culinary reinvention
Nick Kokonas - Achatz's partner at Alinea Group traded a lucrative career in finance for the creative pursuits of a restaurateur, and never looked back
Achatz and Wine - The chef's engagement with wine runs deep, and by his own account has contributed much to his success in the kitchen


Tasting Reports

Blending Success
- Rhône-style red and white wines are on the rise in the Golden State, spanning a diverse range of grapes, styles and prices
FREE: California Rhône Alphabetical Listing - FREE: California Rhône Alphabetical Listing - More than 495 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.
Reds - Syrah and Grenache are joined by other Rhône grapes and even a few Bordeaux varieties as California puts its unique stamp on this emerging category
Whites - Wines from Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and more are attracting consumers looking for a change of pace

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO California Rhône Beauties: What do California winemakers Helen Keplinger, Jordan Fiorentini, Annie Favia and Anne-Marie Failla have in common? It's their magic touch with Rhône grapes.

Bordeaux’s Close Call - A small crop and impressive sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac salvage the 2013 vintage, the region’s weakest since 1997
Free: 2013 Bordeaux Alphabetical Listing - FREE: 2013 Bordeaux Alphabetical Listing - More than 475 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: During his most recent visit to Bordeaux, James Molesworth got a preview of the 2015 vintage at châteaus Palmer, Pichon Lalande and Smith-Haut-Lafitte, among others. While there, he also checked out the upgrades at under-the-radar Pédesclaux in Pauillac that helped the Pauillac estate excel during the weak 2013 vintage. Learn more in his blogs.

Keeping Cool - New York's Finger Lakes region delivered distinctive Rieslings in 2014 despite diving temperatures in a growing season that tested vintners
FREE: New York Finger Lakes Alphabetical Listing - FREE: New York Finger Lakes Alphabetical Listing - More than 200 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.



Wine Delivery Apps Court Customers

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


Bankrupt Premier Cru Wineshop Leaves Creditors $70 Million in the Lurch
Harry Mariani: Pioneering Importer and Champion of Italian Wine Dies at 78
In Brief: Gallo Aquires Napa Winery; Wine Spectator Senior Editor Adds New Beat


Lambrusco's Alicia Lini - Winemaker Alicia Lini evangelizes for a new wave of artisanal Lambrusco


The Relationship Between Wine and Exercise
Fungus Behind Sauternes Provides Clues on Grape ripening

Savvy Shopper

West Coast Winners, South American Picks and Opulent Dessert Wines from Bordeaux


Vermont's Consider Bardwell Farm

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of David Gibbons' columns and other articles about cheese.


A Chef Brings Bordeaux-style Blending to Coffee

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


Cooking Classes With Italian Masters in Florence

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

Washington Winemaker Chris Upchurch Makes His Home by Building a Barn - DeLille's founding winemaker built a barn on his Washington vineyard property


FAQ: Syrah

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




James Laube - The rise and fall and rise of Mount Eden

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 - What are wine credentials worth?

WineSpectator.com: For more of Matt Kramer's provocative essays and lively online discussions, visit www.winespectator.com/kramer. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

Kim Marcus - The art of tawny Port

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

100 VALUES Drink great wine on a budget with our guide. We focused on high quality at super prices to select our 100 Values: wines at 88-plus points that cost $20 or less. Find Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, bubblies and much more, including wines at 90-plus points for as little as $10. See all 100 scores and tasting notes.

WINE & HEALTH TIPS In "Five Tips for Better Health," Wine Spectator shares what you need to know about moderate drinking and calories, brain and heart health, better sleep and, of course, exercise. Keep on top of the latest research through our regular Health News reports, ask questions in Wine & Health Q&A and sign up for Wine & Healthy Living, our free twice-monthly e-mail newsletter.

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:

  • Tasting Léoville Las Cases: James Molesworth called this second-growth "the wine that embodies what is great about Bordeaux. It is regal, it is structured, it is dense." Learn how terroir is reflected in the 2011 claret, Wine Spectator's No. 10 wine of 2014, which estate manager Pierre Graffeuille poured for 1,000 attendees at the Wine Experience.
  • Explore Oregon's Top Whites: What characteristics can you expect to find in Pinot Gris and Chardonnay from Oregon? Join Luisa Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards, one of the first wineries in the Willamette Valley, as she tastes with Wine Spectator's Gloria Maroti Frazee.

MASTERING BORDEAUX Delve into the complexities of Bordeaux with Wine Spectator School's online course. Learn about the important classifications, the collectible wines and the bargains. Taste the differences between wines from key areas and go behind the scenes at top châteaus. All 10 courses are included with WineSpectator.com membership.

COLLECTING GUIDANCE Planning on expanding or streamlining your wine collection this year? Make smart decisions using our Auction Price Database, updated quarterly with the latest data from commercial auctions. Find out what your wine is worth before you sell, and track the recent performance of wines you want to buy. Keep on top of the latest auction news and market trends, sign up for our free twice-monthly Collecting e-mail newsletter to get great wine picks for the cellar and much more.

INTRODUCING OUR REVAMPED WINERATINGS+ APP! Trying to decide among several wines, in a store or at a restaurant? Want to check vintage quality in Bordeaux or Tuscany? Interested in the latest wine news? All this and more is available with Wine Spectator's flagship WineRatings+ app, redesigned and updated for iOS9. Along with the rich free content, a new 30-day free trial allows you to explore the app's premium features, including our 330,000+ expert wine reviews, editors' picks and top values. Learn more about the new features—including an easier-to-use search that automatically suggests matches as you type and convenient access to the newest ratings—or download or update WineRatings+ at the App Store now.

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