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Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator July 31, 2021

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

1 min
spectator selections

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 96 ROTEM & MOUNIR SAOUMA Chateauneuf-du-Pape Arioso 2017 $235 FRANCE A bird of a different feather, from the charms of the floral and red fruit aromas to the silky yet persistent structure that carries the kirsch, cherry preserves and violet notes along COLLECTIBLE 94 LEONETTI Reserve Walla Walla Valley 2017 $150 WASHINGTON Grace meets a dynamic structure, with black cherry, allspice and licorice flavors that take on polish and richness toward medium-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon blend. SMART BUY 90 COOPERATIVA VITIVINICOLA AROUSANA Albarino Rias Baixas Paco & Lola 2019 $21 SPAIN Energetic, with lime, floral and kumquat flavors mixed with spice, ginger and sea salt accents. Mouthwatering, with good complexity and appeal. BEST VALUE 89 DOMAINE VETRICCIE Ile de Beaute Rose 2020 $10 FRANCE Pure and bright, with a talc spine carrying the light white cherry and white peach flavors, ending with a…

3 min
maine course

Even those partisans who don’t love California Chardonnay reach for it when there’s lobster on the table. Both can be buttery, but the real match is their full-bodied character. They’re luscious and mouthfilling, By themselves, each can be almost too much, but together it’s never quite enough. Lobster doesn’t have a limited season, but for Melissa Kelly, chef-owner of Best of Award of Excellence–winner Primo in Rockland, Me., there is a time and place to enjoy it: “Lobster, in my mind, is such a seasonal summertime treat. It is available year-round, but I feel like it should be eaten on a picnic table on a dock.” The classic Maine lobster roll is designed to showcase the sweet meat, laced simply with mayo and sometimes butter. But Kelly still finds room to be…

3 min
welcoming the wines of summer

This issue is anchored by our annual tasting report on California Chardonnay, a feature that has become as much a rite of summer as pouring the delicious white wines themselves. But it’s not the same old story. In looking closely at the state’s new releases, it’s apparent there is a revolution underway. The big, buttery, oaky versions that once defined California Chardonnay are yielding ground to renditions that offer greater refinement and finesse while maintaining power and intensity. Much of this evolution is attributable to winemaking approaches borrowed from Burgundy, and the result is an explosion of quality. Kim Marcus, Napa bureau chief and lead taster for California Chardonnay, reports that he has tasted more than 400 wines in blind tastings over the past year, with nearly 200 of them earning outstanding…

7 min
east end summer

You know those couples who have an easy conviviality, who finish each others’ sentences and quote each other all the time? Add Elaine DiGiacomo and Christian Mir to that list. In telling the story of their backgrounds and their 25 years as owners of Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue, N.Y., the couple set each other up for points, filled in gaps, and laughed. It’s a testament to their hospitable natures, especially considering that 17 of those years were spent living, and raising a child, above the restaurant. That kind of arrangement could drive people apart; in this case it made the restaurant an extension of home and family. DiGiacomo grew up in Westchester County. In her 20s she found her way to the French Culinary Institute in New York, with…

8 min
charting their own course

Nearly 30 years have passed since the end of apartheid, and in that time South Africa’s wine producers have established an identity unlike anywhere else. They have fine-tuned their viticulture and winemaking practices to align with local conditions, vines and soils, and the results impress on many fronts. Consumers can enjoy high quality bottlings from different grape varieties, at generally wallet-friendly prices and in an array of styles, including reds and whites, sparklers and sweeties. Wines from South Africa are often compared to New and Old World examples, yet these analogies miss the mark. The truth is that the current crop of wines from the Cape practically eschews their global models altogether. One common observation is that South African wines dress up their appealing New World fruit in Old World fashion.…

7 min
rosé -a-go-go

When he needed a followup hit to his Snoop Cali Red, the Doggfather went pink. Last year’s best-selling new wine in the U.S., a $12 red blend from Lodi, came from the hip-hop icon’s collaboration with California’s 19 Crimes winery. Selling more than $10 million worth of cases in its first 15 weeks, its success dovetailed perfectly with 19 Crimes’ efforts to attract more 20- and 30-something men to wine. When Snoop and 19 Crimes decided on a second act this year, “This time, I was thinking pink,” Snoop says. “Bring those fresh feels from spring into summer and beyond.” The result is Snoop Cali Rosé, a blend of Zinfandel, Grenache and Pinot Noir. (Can you say, brosé?) Snoop is joining Post Malone, John Legend, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt and a wide…