Food & Wine
Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator March 31, 2018

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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15 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
with 2015, bordeaux is back

Over the past few years Bordeaux has been dealt its share of challenges. France’s premier wine region suffered difficult vintages in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It lost some of its leaders—Philippine de Rothschild of Château Mouton-Rothschild in 2014; Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux in 2016; Robert Wilmers of Château Haut-Bailly and Patrick Maroteaux of Château Branaire-Ducru in 2017. Worldwide sales slipped as consumers pushed back against excessive pricing and turned their attention to emerging regions. Yet the Bordelais have persevered, continuing to invest in their vineyards and wineries and hone their winemaking. And now, with the release of the 2015 vintage—the best year since the landmark 2010—Bordeaux is again proving that there’s good reason it has been among the world’s benchmarks for centuries. Senior editor James Molesworth, lead taster for the wines…

4 min.

Up Close and Personal James Laube’s column, “In the Fires’ Wake” (Dec. 31, 2017 - Jan. 15 2018) on the October fires’ impact on Sonoma and Napa valleys is, in a very personal way, the glimpse into the devastation that all of us watched with concern from afar. National coverage and indeed even Wine Spectator’s own detailed and helpful online coverage did not fully convey the impact on the human condition. Laube’s column, with simple word pictures, did. A gifted writer such as Laube can move the reader from surreal to real, from locale to local, and from wondering to witness. He is to be thanked for bringing journalistic closure to this frightening experience. Stephen Tober Portsmouth, N.H. Tool of the Trade For the first time in almost 20 years as a Wine Spectator reader I…

3 min.
wineries get big tax cut—for now

Buried deep inside the Republican tax bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December was a holiday gift for wineries—the largest cuts to federal excise taxes on alcohol in decades. Several senators worked to add an existing bill, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, to the overall tax plan as an amendment. Now vintners, brewers and distillers are working to understand how the law affects them. But there’s a catch: The cuts are set to vanish in 2020. Federal excise taxes have been a major source of income for federal coffers since America’s founding. The last major changes to the taxes came in the early 1990s, when President George H. W. Bush raised rates, with table wine going from $0.17 to $1.07 per…

4 min.
southern california wildfires spare winemakers

Just two months after historically destructive wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, dry conditions and high winds helped trigger similar conflagrations in the southern part of the state. Small fires burned in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, while a monster blaze, the Thomas fire, devastated nearly 300,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Most wineries, however, were spared. The fires began during the first week of December, as hurricane-force winds and bonedry conditions spread wildfires across the region. Hundreds of firefighters battled the blazes for weeks, as residents evacuated communities such as Ojai and Montecito. Vintners in Ventura, particularly around the Upper Ojai Valley, reported some minor damages to vines. On Dec. 7, Adam Tolmach of the Ojai Vineyard posted on social media, “I am very happy to…

4 min.
cristie kerr tees up wine

Cristie Kerr is one of the most accomplished athletes in women’s golf, with 20 LPGA Tour wins to her name, including two majors, plus seven Solheim Cup wins. What’s her celebratory drink of choice? Wine, of course. In partnership with Pride Mountain Vineyards in Napa, Kerr, 40, started her Curvature wine label with the 2006 vintage and still makes Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay with co-owner Suzanne Pride and winemaker Sally Johnson. All of the proceeds from the Curvature wines go to breast cancer research. More recently, Kerr started a new venture, this one with California all-star winemaker Helen Keplinger. Kerr Cellars was born with the 2013 vintage, and the label now includes Pinot Noir and both red and white Bordeaux blends. On her way to go watch the Presidents Cup last September,…

3 min.
ireland’s ashford castle

Website www.ashfordcastle.com The 13th-century Ashford Castle, located about a 45-minute drive from Galway, is a luxury accommodation steeped in Irish history and tradition. The castle and its 350 acres of grounds and gardens, which include a nine-hole golf course, were once owned by the Guinness family and have hosted royalty such as the late King George V of the United Kingdom. A restoration project completed in 2015 brought the Ashford to its full glory. In a four-night package, the Ashford teams up with another swank hotel in Dublin to celebrate 200 years of Guinness exports to the U.S., offering, among other things, Guinness gift boxes and a tour of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin with a “Connoisseur Experience” tasting. Think of it as a tasteful alternative to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, which…