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In the Nov. 30, 2013 Issue

Spanish Olive Oil

Spain in the past has long been a mass producer of olive oil. Quantity over quality had been the mantra of its industry. As of late, it has had heads turning and tongues wagging by shifting gears and adding excellence into the mix.

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.

Cover Story

The New Spanish Gold - Half of the world's olive oil is produced in Spain, and much of that has been bottled and sold under Italian labels. But now Spain is emerging from Italy's shadow, as a handful of dedicated Spanish producers shift their focus from quantity to quality. An in-depth investigation of this new frontier
Leading Spanish Olive Oil Producers
Recommended Oils and How to Taste Them
How Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is Made


Tasting Reports

Early-Drinking Rhônes - Northern districts, led by Côte-Rôtie, excel in 2011, while quality in the Southern Rhône is mixed
FREE: Rhône Valley Alphabetical Listing - More than 1,180 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.

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEO: Northern Rhône Discovery: Learn about St.-Joseph, the region's largest appellation, and its wines with Philippe Guigal as he pours a white and a pair of reds, the Lieu-Dit and Vignes de l'Hospice.

Challenging Merlot - A cool growing season in 2010 results in modest bottlings from California
FREE: California Merlot Alphabetical Listing - 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.

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEOS: In Napa Valley, where Cabernet is king, Merlot can get short shrift. Compare and contrast these two great varietals with Swanson Vineyard's Chris Phelps, who worked with them in Bordeaux and Napa Valley. With a great vineyard and careful winemaking, Merlot is outstanding—and can mature gracefully. Jeff Smith of Hourglass shares his insights as he pours a pair of Merlots from his Blueline vineyard in Calistoga.


Carmel Valley Holiday - A menu from chef Cal Stamenov draws on the bounty of California and the refinement of French cuisine, with wines to match


Genius of Gigondas - Château de St.-Cosme's Louis Barruol brings a deft hand to his family's centuries-old estate
Fearless in Châteauneuf-du-Pape - At Domaine St.-Préfert, Isabel Ferrando has built one of the Southern Rhône's most exciting wineries



“The Dawn of Wine” Wins 2013 Video Contest

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


Dan Davis of Commander's Palace - Sommelier Dan Davis elevates the wine list at the Grand Award–winning Commander's Palace


When It Comes to Corky Wines, the Nose Knows, or Does It? - A team of researchers in Japan finds that TCA may suppress odor receptors

The Environment

Whole Foods Champions Sustainable Wines
Sugarcane Closure
From Compost to Cupcakes

Savvy Shopper

Rhône Reds, Washington Syrahs and German Riesling

Dining Out

Revamps in Aspen


A Rising Star by the Bay

WineSpectator.com: Members can reference our full archives of Owen Dugan's columns and other articles on chocolate.

Cellars / Collections

Jane and Rick Theiler - Rick and Jane Theiler's Arizona cellar celebrates their history of making and collecting wine

WineSpectator.com: Show us your cellar: Have a collection or unique display you're proud of? Upload photos to our online photo gallery, and share tips with other wine lovers. You could end up featured in the pages of Wine Spectator too!


This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken




Heritage Beef


James Laube - TCA's bag of tricks

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 - Coaxing the best from a site

WineSpectator.com: For more of Matt Kramer's provocative essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

A Perfect Match

Michael Leviton's Leg of Lamb Anchoïade With Gigondas - Chef Michael Leviton, Lumière, Newton, Mass.

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP 100 COUNTDOWN AND CONTEST On Nov. 11, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 Wines of 2013, followed by the complete Top 100 list. Guess the Wine of the Year before it's unveiled and you could win tickets to one of our 2014 Grand Tour tastings, featuring more than 200 outstanding wines (contest opens Oct. 14). 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!

NEW YORK WINE EXPERIENCE Couldn't join us for this year's great lineup of tastings and seminars? Our full coverage brings the event to you, with photographs, articles and videos.

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

  • The Dawn of Wine: Who would have thought that a feel-good, buddy flick featuring a wine-loving lizard would win Wine Spectator's 2013 video contest? We had a record number of entries, ranging from laugh-out-loud parodies to serious commentary and beautiful storytelling. Check out all nine finalists and 12 honorable mentions.

WINE SPECTATOR MOBILE Easily search our entire database of wine reviews from any smartphone or tablet; you can check scores, tasting notes, drink windows, release prices and auction prices. Add Wine Spectator–reviewed wines to your Personal Wine List, view your cellar inventory and your own tasting notes, browse our Top 100 lists back to 1988—all this is included in a WineSpectator.com membership. Plus, free for everyone: Get the latest wine-world news and consult more than 50 vintage charts for key regions and grapes around the globe.

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 with your WineSpectator.com membership—and you'll see, smell and taste wine in a whole new way.

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