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In the Nov. 30, 2011 Issue

France's Rhône Valley

The 2009 vintage delivers high quality across the board, led by the Northern Rhône. With half of the nearly 1,100 wines tasted scoring 90 points or higher, there are plenty of delicious wines, from fruity Côtes du Rhônes to powerful Côte-Rôties.

FREE Wine Charts:

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

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

Cover Story

Rhône Valley Bonanza - In the north, the 2009 vintage delivers classic quality, while the south continues its run of success

Peak Performance - The Northern Rhône produces its finest vintage in a decade, with racy reds and full-bodied whites

Côte-Rôtie Up Close - Profiles of the leading vintners who have turned this small appellation into the mother lode for Syrah

Back on Track - After struggling in 2008, the Southern Rhône delivers the goods in 2009, led by Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas BONUS VIDEO: Explore the Rhône in more depth, with video tastings, interviews with top producers, explorations of key appellations and a pairing of Rhône reds and ribs.

Soil Hunters - The Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel digs deep to make memorable reds


    Tasting Reports

    California Merlot - Challenging growing conditions tested the mettle of winemakers in 2008





    Vintners Crack the QR Code - Wineries add ‘smart’ tags to bottles, but will digital marketing sell more wine? Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.



    Padma Lakshmi - The Top Chef host talks global cuisine, wine and hosting tips

    Savvy Shopper




    2001 Côte-Rôtie - At 10 years old, the 2001 Côte-Rôtie vintage performs well members can read more about 2001 Côte-Rôtie in James Molesworth’s blog.

    Cellars / Collections

    Michael Mina - The star chef completed an outdoor sanctuary for entertaining guests


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken



    A Perfect Match

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP 100 COUNTDOWN: FREE SITE ACCESS On Nov. 14, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 wines of 2011, followed by the complete Top 100 list. As a bonus, for two weeks we'll be offering all visitors free trial access to our website's members-only features. Don't miss out on this exciting event!

FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTERS Our e-letters have been redesigned:

    Sips & Tips: A great new value wine in every weekly edition, plus recipes and tips on wine, dining and travel.

    Wine & Healthy Living: Learn how wine can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, with biweekly reports on research, plus recipes and other tips.

    Collecting & Auctions: A new collectible wine pick in each biweekly edition, plus expert tips on collecting and auction news.

    Video Theater: Biweekly alerts for every new video, plus favorites from our library.

NEW YORK WINE EXPERIENCE Couldn't join us for this year's great lineup of tastings and seminars? Our full coverage of the event will bring the world's best winemakers and chefs to you with photos, articles and videos.

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

  • Value and Terroir in Roussillon: You know Michel Chapoutier for his brilliant Rhône wines, but he also makes delicious values in Roussillon. Learn what makes this region special in this interview.

BECOME A BETTER TASTER Experts consistently recognize, identify and describe wines. How do they do it? How can you improve your own tasting ability? Take our Sensory Evaluation course—included free with your membership—and you'll see, smell and taste wine in a whole new way.

COLLECTING & AUCTIONS Build your cellar through smart bidding. Our online tools can help you find good investments and values in today's market:


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