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In the Dec. 15, 2010 Issue


Often outshouted by versions from California and Europe, the Rieslings, Chardonnays, Cabernets, Merlots and Syrahs of Washington can deliver pure fruit flavors and distinctive character at prices that don’t break the bank (psst, pass it on).

FREE Wine Charts:

Washington: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Washington wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Argentina: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Argentina wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Cover Story

Undiscovered Country - With diverse terroirs, a warm growing season and boundless water for thirsty vines, the wineries of Washington are quietly making some of the most distinctive wines in the world

    Pathbreakers - The inside scoop on five of Washington’s most exciting wineries and the vintners who drive them

    Rich Vein for Values - Our annual analysis of recent releases finds the Evergreen state powering ahead with well-priced reds and whites


    Tasting Reports

    Argentina Misses a Beat - The mixed-bag 2008 vintage is a blemish amid surging exports and a run of high quality harvests


    Home for the Holidays - Whether for the kitchen, the bar or the dining room, choices abound for the wine lover on your list


    An American Tale - Wall Street tycoon Clarence Dillon bought first-growth Château Haut-Brion for a song in the midst of the Great Depression. Today it stands as one of France’s greatest estates

    Bordeaux U.S.A. - Twenty châteaus whose wine is French but whose roots are American



    Sonoma, By Any Other Name - New state laws require wine made in Sonoma appellations to have "Sonoma County" on the label Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.





    Super Grapes - Genetic engineering offers the hope that many grapevine maladies can be overcome, but critics fear the potential risks

    Savvy Shopper



    New-Wave Whiskeys - Small-batch distillers spread whiskey territory far beyond Kentucky

    Wine Auctions


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken



    A Perfect Match

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

Each year, Wine Spectator editors select the 100 most exciting wines they've tasted. Starting in mid-November, we unveil the picks online at (The complete package will be available exclusively in our Dec. 31, 2010 - Jan. 15, 2011 issue.)

Top 10 Countdown:On Monday, Nov. 15, will begin revealing the Top 10 wines, culminating with the Wine of the Year on Friday, Nov. 19. Each unveiling will be accompanied by a video explaining why the wine was selected. After the countdown, we'll provide a printable list of the entire Top 100, complete with wine name, rank, score and price.

Free Site Access: As a bonus during the Top 100 period, we'll be offering all visitors free trial access! Be sure to check out all our website's members-only features-including tasting notes for all the Top 100 wines-from Nov. 15 to 28. Don't miss out!

HOLIDAY GIFTS AND ENTERTAINING Get great ideas for the wine lovers among your friends and family. Plus, we'll help you impress your party guests with crowd-pleasing wines and delicious recipes.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss this recent addition:

  • Spain—Tradition and Innovation: Learn about the traditional Ribera del Duero region and its wine styles from innovative vintner José Manuel Ortega Fournier of O. Fournier.

THE GIFT OF WINE EDUCATION Give a gift of membership this holiday season and your loved ones can take any or all of our Wine Spectator School online courses-from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany and more. Browse the course catalog.

TRAVEL ADVICE Going away for the holidays? Find out which North American wineries, wine-country hotels and wine-friendly restaurants our editors recommend, plus learn what fellow readers think of them. Share your own ratings and reviews when you return.


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