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In the Nov. 30, 2012 Issue

Rhône Valley

For Michel Chapoutier, the most important thing in a wine is its sense of place, its expression of terroir. His home, ancestral, personal and professional, is one of the truly great terroirs of France: the hill of Hermitage.

FREE Wine Charts:

Rhône Valley: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Rhône Valley 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.

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

Cover Story

King of the Hill - The irrepressible Michel Chapoutier powers ahead in the Northern Rhône Valley, crafting some of the region’s best reds and whites. From his base on the hill of Hermitage, the spiritual home of Syrah, he oversees a growing collection of wineries and projects throughout France and abroad

    International Portfolio - A burgeoning lineup of wines and styles, from Alsace to Australia Visit the hill of Hermitage with Michel Chapoutier and James Molesworth. Michel describes what makes the site so special and the key characteristics in the wines. Plus, watch our archival videos with Michel: Hermitage tastings, food pairings for young and mature Rhône wines and his Roussillon venture.


    Tasting Reports

    Rhône Masterpiece - The 2010 vintage delivers scores of stellar wines. From Côte-Rôtie in the north to Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the south, it is a rare double-bill of classic quality

    Italian Sparklers - From Proseccos and Moscatos d’Asti to metodo classico wines, Italy makes bubblies for every taste


    Best of Miami Beach - South Florida's playground balances cosmopolitan cuisine with casual dining


    A Virginia Christmas - A dinner rooted in history, paired with wines of the Old Dominion Find hundreds more recipes, by category or matching wine type, in our Recipe Search.





    Novelist T.C. Boyle - Author T.C. Boyle finds inspiration in the wines produced near his Santa Barbara home

    The Environment


    Cellars / Collections


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken


    Savvy Shopper


    James Laube - The threat of brett In his blogs, James Laube shares updates from his recent tastings and visits with winemakers, and discusses hot-button issues in the wine industry. Join the conversation with other members.

    A Perfect Match

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP 100 COUNTDOWN: FREE SITE ACCESS On Nov. 12, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 wines of 2012, followed by the complete Top 100 list. As a bonus, for two weeks we'll offer all visitors free trial access to our website's members-only features. Don't miss out on this exciting event!

FREE E-MAIL NEWSLETTERS Keep up on the latest in wine with our four e-letters—Sips & Tips, Wine & Healthy Living, Collecting & Auctions and Video Theater. Sign up now, for any or all of them, to receive great wine picks, recipes, expert advice, news updates, informative videos and more.

NEW WORLD WINE EXPERIENCE: Couldn't join us for this year's great lineup of tastings in L.A.? Our complete coverage brings the event to you, with photos, articles and videos.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss these recent additions on Italy:

  • A Taste of Barolo: The appellation is seeing an evolution in winemaking philosophy. Barolo producer Pietro Ratti introduces you to Marcenasco, an example of the more accessible style.
  • Tuscan Sangiovese: Few winemakers know Tuscany as well as Piero Antinori. Learn the distinct styles of Sangiovese with Antinori and senior editor Bruce Sanderson.
  • Exploring Amarone: Concentrated and ageworthy, Amarone is one of the world's great wines. Vintner Pierangelo Tommasi explains the key grapes and regional and single-vineyard wines.

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 help you find good investments and values:


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