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Our Critics' Picks for June 2017
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Critic's Pick

Frog’s Leap
2014 Napa Valley Zinfandel


Where to Buy
John Williams is on a roll, following his exceptional 2013 Zinfandel with an equally delicious 2014. He dry-farms his 40-year-old vines, harvesting them at the same time as his petite sirah so he can co-ferment the fruit. That brings the tannins together in a refreshing, gentle structure that lifts the fruit flavors, presenting them as perfectly ripe forest berries. The tannins feel plush, even as they carry a note of black-peppercorn spice and manzanita. This is a beautiful Napa Valley red that happens to speak with an accent of zin. Frog's Leap, Rutherford, CAJoshua Greene

White Wine of the Month

Casa Marín
2011 Lo Abarca San Antonio Cipreses Vyd. Sauvignon Blanc


Where to Buy
One of Chile's greatest whites in 2011, this captures the character of a very cold vintage in San Antonio. It comes off a granitic hillside directly influenced by the sea, just 2.5 miles away. That proximity is reflected in the clarity of this wine's flavors—deeply mineral, brightly citric and lightly herbal. It's also there in the acidity, which cuts across the palate with a steely edge. While it's excellent to drink with oysters now, this wine will continue to reveal more complexity over the next five years or more. T. Edwards Wines, NYPatricio Tapia

White Discovery

Terre Brûlée
2014 Swartland Tania & Vincent Carême Chenin Blanc


Where to Buy
Before Vincent Carême founded a winery in Vouvray, where he grew up, he worked several harvests in his wife's homeland, the Western Cape of South Africa. More than a decade later, the couple established this label using 10 acres of chenin blanc grown in the decomposed granite soils of Swartland. Carême makes the wine the same way he does in the Loire, whole-bunch pressed and fermented without added yeast. This is his second vintage, a robust take on chenin, very dry and complex, with the tannins of the grape lees bringing on scents of wildflowers, beeswax and apple skin. The deep tone of the fruit makes this a white for roast veal. Cape Classics, NYJoshua Greene

Red Wine of the Month

Tinto Negro
2014 Mendoza Finca La Escuela La Grava Malbec


Where to Buy
This is a blend of fruit from all four soil types at Finca La Escuela. It captures the freshness of the high-altitude site with floral notes and scents of ripe cherries and herbs, its sweet fruit contrasting the firm acidity of grapes refreshed by cold Andean breezes. The tannins feel polished, in harmony with the generous fruit. Ready to pour with boeuf bourguignon. Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, ALPatricio Tapia

Red Discovery

Goyo García Viadero
2009 Ribera del Duero Viñas de Anguix


Where to Buy
Like an exhibitionist, this Ribera shows off its freshness for anyone who cares to see. Floral in its scent, vibrantly refreshing in its red fruit flavor and taut texture, this is, above all, easy to drink. But the word "easy" in this context does not mean "simple." The layers of flavors and aromas last in a juicy red, with more vivacity than most any Ribera del Duero wine you're likely to come across: The wine feels electric and agile. Anguix grows on clay and limestone soils at 2,300 feet in elevation, the lowest site for García Viadero's three single-vineyard wines. He believes this vineyard produces the "most Ribera" wine of his reds, the ripest and most concentrated. His others are even further off the charts. Jose Pastor Selections/Vinos and Gourmet, Richmond, CAPatricio Tapia

Dessert Wine of the Month

Tokaji Classic
1999 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos


Where to Buy
Phyllis and Andras Bruhacs started buying vineyard parcels in 1993, eventually assembling almost 20 acres as well as an old winery in Mád. They focus on Aszú wines, blended from furmint, hárslevelu and muscat. This wine, from one of the most highly regarded vintages of the last three decades, was fermented twice: once for two and a half months, and again, after the addition of pressed aszú berries, for three years, before bottling in October 2004. Today, the deep caramel hue and smoky campfire scents attest to its age, but the wine still feels vivacious: Its notes of blood orange and candied citrus cut the sweetness and keep the wine lively and fresh. Floral and herbal notes add to the impression of finesse and delicacy, and suggest this wine has a long life ahead. David Bowler Wines, NYTara Q. Thomas

Upcoming Wine Events from The W&S Calendar

June 15-17/Washington
Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine

June 12/New York
Annual Chefs' Tribute
Rockefeller Center, NYC
Benefit: Citymeals-on-Wheels

June 17-18/California
LA Wine Fest

June 18-21/France
VinExpo Bordeaux

June 2017 Issue Available Now

Eat | Drink Napa
From taco trucks to white-tablecloth restaurants, Julia Weinberg covers the best dining in the city of Napa.

Cinsault: Pinot Noir of the South?
On both sides of the Atlantic, vintners are reconsidering cinsault, embracing it for its ability to tolerate heat and drought. In Chile, Patricio Tapia finds great summer reds from Itata's old vines (p. 32), while in France's Languedoc, Tara Q. Thomas discovers a host of vintners relying on the once maligned grape to add levity to their sunny reds.

Value Brands of the Year
From A to Z to Zuccardi, here are our 44 top names for wines at everyday prices.