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Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

October 31, 2020

Wine Spectator rates over 15,000 wines per year, in every price range, to fit every occasion. Read about the world's great wineries and winemakers and visit restaurants with outstanding wine lists. Plus, each issue features delicious recipes and pairs them with the perfect wines.

United States
M Shanken Communications
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2 мин.
tastes of italy

One thing we’ve learned about our readers over the years is how much you love Italy. It ranks among your top travel destinations; it is the source of what is arguably your favorite cuisine; it consistently leads in wine imports to the U.S. So we pay close attention to Italy—exploring what is new and interesting, keeping tabs on the venerable and still excellent, and reporting our findings. Unfortunately, in this pandemic era, we aren’t visiting Italy as tourists, nor are we able to enjoy our local Italian restaurants so freely and fully right now. However, we can still drink the wines! Most years, we review about 3,000 Italian wines. That’s about 20% of our total annual tastings, putting the country behind only France (4,000 wines reviewed) and California (3,500). All of…

2 мин.
in memoriam

Alain Voge Rhône vintner Alain Voge died Sep. 2, at age 81. For more than 50 years, he made wine from Cornas and St.-Péray, helping preserve hillside vineyards at a time when development threatened to erase them from the map. “He was a huge talent. He found the right balance between the value of tradition and innovation,” said Lionel Fraisse, general manager of Voge’s namesake winery. “He always worked toward getting the top quality through precision and details for the best expression of the terroir.” Voge’s grandfather acquired farming land in 1905. The family worked as fruit merchants and grapegrowers, gradually buying more land. In 1965, Alain’s father died, leaving the 26-year-old in charge. Voge took a chance, transitioning from selling in bulk to bottling his own wine. Today the estate has 30…

3 мин.
mrs. crunchy, a sublime sandwich

Leave it to the French to dress up a homey comfort staple into a rich, scrumptious treat guaranteed to transform any casual meal into a memorable occasion. Born in Parisian cafés soon after the turn of the 20th century, at the waning of the Belle Époque, the croque monsieur is a toasted ham-and-Swiss sandwich taken to the max. Elegantly simple and profoundly satisfying, it delivers a richness enhanced by the inclusion of brioche bread and béchamel sauce, and features a deliciously savory, molten core punctuated by a delightfully crispy exterior. The title can be literally translated as “Mr. Crunchy.” The monsieur becomes a madame when topped by a fried egg, which, proverbially, lends the impression of a lady’s hat. Seeking an authentic source, I contacted chef Laurent Tourondel, 53, who, from humble…

3 мин.
applesauce cake with sauternes

When Ina Garten was 21, she signed up for flying lessons. It was 1969, and she and her new husband, Jeffrey, were living at the U.S. Army base in Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was training as a paratrooper with the Green Berets as she finished college. She inquired about flying lessons at a nearby airport. “They told me that there wasn’t an instructor that would teach a woman how to fly a plane,” she recalls. “Isn’t that astonishing?” But her resolve remained undimmed. “I was not about to take no for an answer,” she laughs. “They finally found somebody in the next town over who would come over and teach me how to fly.” Around this time, Garten was also learning to cook. “It was really exciting, setting up a…

9 мин.
the power of tuscany

As in many wine regions around the globe, Tuscany has witnessed extreme weather over the past two decades. Blistering heat, combined with severe storms, frost and drought, is the new normal for this famed region of central Italy. The 2017 growing season was hot, but it was the drought that left its mark, along with frost in some areas. “The 2017 vintage was quite unique,” says Antinori CEO Renzo Cotarella. “With the drought and frost, I haven’t seen any vintage like it in the past 20 years.” At Bolgheri estates Ornellaia and Masseto, director Axel Heinz describes 2017 as a winemaker’s vintage. “If you got it wrong, it’s going to show.” Based on my tastings over the past year, the best wines from the 2017 harvest are concentrated, maintaining freshness and well-integrated tannins…

8 мин.
tasting a tuscan icon

When Tignanello debuted with the 1971 vintage, it ignited a revolution in the wines of Tuscany. Piero Antinori’s decision a few vintages later to blend Cabernet Sauvignon into his indigenous Sangiovese upended traditional ideas about the wines of the Chianti region and was a primary impetus for the emergence of the super Tuscan category. With time, however, Italian wine regulations embraced and absorbed Tignanello and its rebellious cohorts of the era. Today, the wine sits comfortably within the range of contemporary Tuscan reds. From unorthodox roots, it has become a benchmark. What changed more—the wine or the region? And how has Tignanello fared against the test of time, the ultimate measure for classic red wines? In late 2019, I had the opportunity to taste a complete retrospective of Tignanello: 39 vintages from the…