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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
Chapoutier’s Best - Reviews of 15 classic-rated wines in recent release
International Portfolio - A burgeoning lineup of wines and styles, from Alsace to Australia

WineSpectator.com: 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.

Features

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
FREE: Rhône Valley Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 1,200 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

Château-Grillet - Under new ownership, the Condrieu estate looks to the future
Italian Sparklers - From Proseccos and Moscatos d’Asti to metodo classico wines, Italy makes bubblies for every taste
FREE: Italian Sparkling Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 230 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

California Merlot Makes Its Case - A near-perfect growing season in 2009 and improvements in vineyards and cellars spark a quality upsurge
FREE: California Merlot Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 180 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

Dining

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

Menu

A Virginia Christmas - A dinner rooted in history, paired with wines of the Old Dominion

WineSpectator.com: Find hundreds more recipes, by category or matching wine type, in our Recipe Search.

Wine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Driving Force - Consultant Philippe Cambie drives himself tirelessly to improve wine quality in the Southern Rhône and beyond

Grapevine

Business

Alleged Wine Fraudster Rudy Kurniawan to Challenge Evidence
St.-Emilion Issues a New Classification

WineSpectator.com: Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.

People

Novelist T.C. Boyle - Author T.C. Boyle finds inspiration in the wines produced near his Santa Barbara home
Long Island Bounty - Harvest East End tasting a success

The Environment

Redefining Natural Wine - Francesco Bellini believes technology can create an additive-free wine

Coffee

Doi Chaang from Thailand

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Mark Pendergrast's columns and other articles on coffee.

Cellars / Collections

At Home with Mauro Maccioni - The son of  famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni shares his family’s Italian summer home

Departments

This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken

Letters

Letters

Savvy Shopper

Washington Reds, Refreshing Rieslings and Spanish Sherries

Columns

James Laube - The threat of brett

WineSpectator.com: 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.

Matt Kramer - Holiday pitfalls

WineSpectator.com: Don't miss Matt Kramer's web-exclusive essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

A Perfect Match

David Bouley’s Porcini Flan With a Cru Beaujolais - Chef David Bouley, Bouley, New York

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 WineSpectator.com 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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