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Wine SpectatorWine Spectator

Wine Spectator November 30, 2016

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


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exploring argentina

In Argentina, Malbec is king, but the country is luring travelers to explore beyond the rim of a wineglass. A luxury resort in Mendoza raises up an international culinary icon, while a homegrown restaurant pays homage to the Pampas grassland in November’s warm, dry weather.Siete Fuegos, Francis Mallmann’s restaurant at the Vines Resort & SpaSIETE FUEGOS IN Mallmann has taken the idea of Argentine fire cuisine with both hands and turned it into an international calling card. The chef’s latest restaurant, Siete Fuegos, features seven trademark fires (the restaurant’s namesake) as the heart of the Experience Dinner. Twice a week, this Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant hosts a four-course meal ($150 per person, including wine) at the enormous outdoor chef’s table, with wine pairings from the…

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wine retailers challenge state laws

Illinois’ state government recently toughened its wine shipping laws.Eleven years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws preventing wineries from shipping directly to consumers, wine retailers are mounting their own challenge. Lawyers filed a complaint in a Chicago federal court on Sept. 1, arguing that an Illinois prohibition on retailer-to-consumer direct wine shipping is unconstitutional. The same firm is pursuing a similar complaint in Missouri.The Illinois suit, Lebamoff Enterprises, Inc. et al v. Rauner et al, states that Irwin Berkley, a Chicago-area resident, wants to buy “wines that are sold out in Illinois but are still available from retail stores in other states, older vintage wines and limited-production allocated wines” and have them shipped to his home from Cap n’ Cork, a chain of Indiana stores owned by fellow…

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four to watch

NINE SUNSA balancing act on Pritchard HillWai Chang was in the right place at the right time when he purchased a vineyard on Napa’s Pritchard Hill in 2010. Five years later, the asking price for a neighboring vineyard skyrocketed to nearly $1 million per acre, up more than 30 percent from what he had paid. Realizing the site’s potential, Wai decided to start a winery, turning to his three children to develop it. “The idea of creating something from scratch was what made it so exciting,” says Wai’s 34-year-old son, Jason.Nine Suns is named after a popular Chinese fable about ten suns (often represented as birds) that each took turns flying around the earth. Bored of their routine the suns flew together, scorching the land, until an archer named…

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sonoma charity auction sets record

Guests surprised honorary chairman Dan Kosta with paddles in his likeness. (GEORGE ROSE)Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, held Sept. 4 at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood, Calif., danced with color thanks to a lavish Moroccan theme and extravagant spending to match. The live auction raised a record $4.6 million, exceeding last year’s take of $4.5 million.With its “From Sonoma to Marrakesh” theme, replete with belly dancers, a camel and a Moroccanstyle market, the auction was the highlight of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The three-day celebration raised $5.7 million to benefit local charities.Wine experiences drew the largest bids, with vintners keeping the lots lively. Masks bearing honorary chairman Dan Kosta’s face were handed to the crowd (to the surprise of Kosta) as he presented one of the top lots, sponsored by…

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highly recommended

95 Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Les Chetillons Cuvee Speciale 2008 $140FRANCE This harmonious Champagne offers fine interplay between power and finesse, with ripe poached apricot, rich lemon meringue pie and spun honey flavors married to chalky minerality and focused acidity. The overall impression is elegant and fresh. A fine, creamy mousse drapes deftly over the firm frame. Drink now through 2030. 100 cases imported.—A.N.94 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 $96CALIFORNIA A powerful youngster, teaming with rich, layered dark berry, licorice, black walnut, savory herb and cedary oak flavors. Sails along on the finish, courted by chewy, extracted tannins that add to the traction and definition. Drink now through 2032. 3,800 cases made.—J.L.93 Bodegas Obalo Rioja Reserva 2010 $32SPAIN Big and bold, this red shows plum, licorice,…

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back to back

(RICHARD THOMPSON)California is in the midst of another run of strong vintages for Cabernet Sauvignon. The two current vintages to sustain the hot streak are 2012 and 2013. Both offer a high level of quality across the board, which makes them as good as it gets for Cabernet lovers, delivering plenty of enjoyment and appreciation in the coming years. They’re like fraternal twins, sharing the same fundamental qualities yet different enough from each other to provide fodder for comparison as they age.Peeking ahead, the hits continue with 2014, which looks to be an early-drinking charmer. The 2015 vintage presents more uncertainty due to the year’s challenging weather, while the 2016 harvest is getting underway as of press time, with a promising outlook.My previous report on California Cabernet (“Return to Form,”…