Rough Ride for California Rhônes

In 2011, cool weather ruled, yet wines surpass expectations
From the Mar 31, 2014, issue

There are plenty of ways to spin 2011 for producers of Rhône-style reds in California. "Disaster averted" is one. "Making do" is another. But for consumers, the best advice is "pick and choose carefully." More so than in other recent vintages, location mattered and quality varies. Though 2011 was the most problematic year in a decade for many producers, there are more bright spots than expected. Some vintners fared much better than others and have reason to be enthusiastic about the outcome of the vintage, even if the journey was perilous. Wine Spectator's James Laube explains.

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