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Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator October 15, 2018

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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.

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United States
M Shanken Communications
15 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
a golden age for pinot noir in california

California may be best known for its Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays, but Pinot Noir is rap-idly gaining ground as one of the Golden State’s best wines. Pinot Noir first came onto the radar in California in the 1950s. Vintners such as Hanzell and Stony Hill were inspired by Burgundy, Pinot’s spiritual homeland, and in turn prompted others to pursue the variety. By the 1980s, wineries were focusing in on cool-climate regions like Russian River Valley and Carneros and honing their winemaking techniques to handle this tricky variety. Success bred popularity, and plantings began to rise, from just fewer than 10,000 acres in 1980 to nearly 45,000 acres in 2016. In 2011, the grape achieved a significant milestone: The Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009 was named Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year,…

4 min.

Aubert Accolades For well over a decade I have followed Mark Aubert, ever since he launched his name-sake wines and I had the pleasure to purchase my first bottle with the 2007 vintage. I wanted you to know the joy it brought my wife and I to read the in-depth profile of the entire Aubert team (cover, July 31) including those that have been so helpful to us over the years, such as [director of sales] Philip Gift. Now that we regularly collect nine different bottlings of Aubert wines, including complete verticals back to 2010, it’s hard to express just how much the wonderful pictures and excel-lent writing add to our enjoyment of Mark Aubert’s fine wines. Now our dream turns to one day visiting the winery and vineyards and meeting…

3 min.
duckhorn buys kosta browne

Napa’s Duckhorn Wine Company is adding Sonoma powerhouse Kosta Browne Winery to its growing Pinot Noir portfolio. Duckhorn announced in July that it will replace Kosta Browne’s current stakeholders, the investment fund J.W. Childs, as the sole owner. The deal includes Kosta Browne’s winery and tasting room in Sebastopol, 80 acres of owned vineyards and leases on 90 additional acres, and all inventory. Scott Becker, Kosta Browne’s CEO and president, and winemaker Nico Cueva will remain at the company. The sale price was not disclosed. “Kosta Browne has written a chapter of great Pinot over the past 20 years,” Alex Ryan, Duckhorn CEO and president, told Wine Spectator. “There are a lot of wineries for sale right now, and if we were looking purely for assets, that would be one thing.…

1 min.
massive spanish rosé scam has france seeing red

French winegrowers have complained for years that cheap Spanish bulk wine is being imported, bottled and sold as French. Now a French government report alleges that there’s some truth to the claim. A multiyear investigation found that as many as 10 million bottles of Spanish rosado may have been passed off in stores and restaurants as French rosé. In 2016 and 2017, France’s General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) conducted an investigation into imported wines, focusing on rosés and particularly those from Spain, after tips of fraud. The organization audited hundreds of suppliers from around the country, including producers, importers, retailers and restaurants. Now, it has released a report of rosé malpractices ranging from the misleading to the outright fraudulent. Among the allegations: Many of the offending Spanish…

1 min.
in brief

France’s AXA Millésimes Expands to Napa AXA Millesimes, the wine division of the French insurance giant, is purchasing Outpost, a winery on Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain, from Kathy and Frank Dotzler. The sale includes the brand, winery and 28 acres of vines. A source familiar with the deal says AXA is paying about $40 million. As part of the deal, winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown will stay on for at least three years. Outpost produces fewer than 3,000 cases per year, but Brown makes an additional 22,000 for various projects at the winery. —Mitch Frank and James Laube Sonoma’s Wind Gap Wines Sold Pax Mahle has sold his 50 percent share in Wind Gap Wines to his partner Terroir, the wine company founded by Charles Banks. The deal includes the winery, its inventory and a…

1 min.
auguste clape, legendary rhône vintner

French winegrower Auguste Clape, who helped put the Northern Rhone appellation of Cornas on the map, died July 13, surrounded by his family. He was 93. According to one of his U.S. importers, his health had been declining in recent months. “Like Noel Verset, Auguste Clape was one of the true greats of Cornas, making wines of complexity and aging potential that brought notoriety to the appellation,” said Clark Terry, marketing director at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. During Clape’s winemaking career, his domaine, A. Clape, helped turn Cornas into one of the world’s most revered sources for Syrah. The Clapes had been winegrowers for several generations in the Languedoc until difficult times at the start of the 20th century led the family to start over in the Rhone Valley. Born in 1925,…