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In the April 30, 2012 Issue


This corner of Northwest Italy is home to the sublime and ageworthy reds of Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as distinctive whites. We give you the latest buying advice for the exciting 2007 and 2006 vintages and profiles of leading vintners.

FREE Wine Charts:

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

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

Cover Story

Focus on Barbaresco - A small region that almost fell by the wayside is filled with prime vineyards that make elegant Nebbiolos
Vintner Portraits - Six who help set the pace
Ascending Quality, Regionwide - Our annual tasting report finds back-to-back successes for Barbaresco and Barolo, underscoring a string of fine vintages
FREE: Piedmont Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 590 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.

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: The wines of Barolo are often blended from numerous vineyards. More recently, the focus has been on individual vineyards. Learn more about these intense wines as Bruce Sanderson is joined by Pietro Ratti of Renato Ratti winery.


Tasting Reports

West Coast Values - The best wines for $25 or less from California, Oregon and Washington

WineSpectator.com: Always on the hunt for a bargain? Browse our frequently updated lists of Top Values, high-scoring wines at great prices; Easy Finds, inexpensive, quality wines made in large quantities; and Wineries for Value, producers that have made the most values in their region.

Germany’s Lively Rieslings - Winemakers made the most of a difficult 2010 vintage
FREE: Germany Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 490 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.


Hidden Corsica - France’s island realm is home to a distinctive culture and cuisine that help support a thriving wine scene


The Wizard of Pixar - John Lasseter changed the world of animation with films such as Toy Story. In his spare time, he’s a serious winemaker in Sonoma Valley


Finding the Sweet Spot - Some vintners are seeking lower alcohol levels in their wines, pushing back against history and nature
Dialing Back the Alcohol - How wineries achieve lower levels
Alcohol on the Label - What does it really tell you?
How Vintage Affects Alcohol Level - It's all in the weather
Ripeness 101 - Knowing when grapes are ripe depends on science, experience and a little luck

WineSpectator.com: Name two key indicators of ripeness in a wine. Stumped? Take Sensory Evaluation at WineSpectator.com/school and get the most out of each sip. All online courses are free to site members.

Egypt at the Crossroads - A winemaking revival along the banks of the Nile faces revolutionary challenges


A Memoir, an Exposé and a Diversion



Has Bordeaux’s Bubble Burst?
Italian Wine Legend Giuseppe Quintarelli Dies

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


Sommelier Levi Dalton Talks Orange Wines - New York sommelier Levi Dalton talks sushi, tasting menus and orange wine


Assessing Breast Cancer Risks - New study finds that compounds in red wine might make it a better choice than white
Scientist Who Studied Wine Accused of Faking Data

The Environment

The Meaning of Organic - Differing definitions cause friction

Savvy Shopper

Beautiful Barolo, Worldly Riesling and Zinfandel


American Doyenne Daphne Zepos

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Sam Gugino's columns and other articles on cheese.


Guatemalan Star

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

Wine Auctions

Top 10 Charity Events of 2011 - Naples Festival helps push yearly total up 16 percent

WineSpectator.com: Research before you buy or sell at auction. Website members can check the latest auction highlights and track prices for more than 10,000 collectible wines in our Auction Price Database.


This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken




James Laube - Thomas Brown’s magic touch

WineSpectator.com: In his recent blogs, James Laube asks if wine can be a legitimate financial investment (or if it's just money poured down the drain) and takes a look at Kendall-Jackson president Rick Tigner's performance on Undercover Boss. Join the conversation with other members.

Matt Kramer - The "special occasion" trap

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

Jason Franey’s Chicken Breast and Carrots With a Corsican Red - Chef Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

FINAL FOUR TASTE-OFF Need some new ideas for what to drink while watching the tournament? Wineries near each of the 2012 NCAA Final Four contenders take on our annual championship challenge.

PASSOVER PICKS Try out a new holiday recipe, plus discover the latest stars among kosher wines recently rated by our editors.

SPRING ENTERTAINING Fresh wines and seasonal recipes—from holiday splurges to fast-but-sophisticated weeknight meals—start the season off right.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don’t miss these recent additions about Oregon Pinot Noir:

  • He Said, She Said at Boedecker: Husband-and-wife team Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas agree that Pinot is the perfect grape. But when it comes to style, they go their separate ways. Join the fun as the couple talks winemaking—and relationships.
  • The Dundee Hills: For Pinot Noir grapes, this appellation is pretty close to heaven on earth. Argyle winemaker and Willamette Valley pioneer Rollin Soles explains the terroir and other insider details of winegrowing.

SENIOR EDITORS’ BLOGS Read about their latest discoveries in our tasting rooms. Check out exclusive wine notes and interviews from their travels. Get their take on hot topics in wine. Join the conversation with James Laube, James Molesworth, Bruce Sanderson and Harvey Steiman.

MY LIBRARY Save and organize your favorite WineSpectator.com articles, blogs, recipes and wineries and restaurants to visit. Plus, track your favorite wine rating searches (e.g., "Sonoma Pinot at 90 to 100 points") so that you can easily check to see when newly reviewed wines meet your criteria.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.