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January/February 2010
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Market Monitor

By: Stephen Tanzer

Recent and impending developments affecting the retail wine market:
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2008 and 2007 Rhone Valley Wines

By: Josh Raynolds

The growing season of 2007 offered nearly perfect conditions in the southern Rhone and produced classically balanced wines with considerable charm in the north. In his extensive annual coverage of the Rhone Valley, Josh Raynolds attempts to distinguish between the wines that offer great early to midterm appeal and those with the structure for a longer evolution in bottle. He also provides an early look at the challenging 2008 vintage, which may well turn out better than expected for the most conscientious growers in the south who let healthy fruit hang until it ripened properly.
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The Best New Wines from Argentina

By: Stephen Tanzer

Argentine malbec remains a hot category in the market so it's hardly surprising that a flood of new arrivals has made careful selection much more critical. In my fall tastings of nearly a thousand wines, I came across a lot of mediocre juice. But at the top levels, Argentina's best red wines display increasing nobility and complexity, and my current round-up of new releases also features a generous selection of stunning values in the $20-and-under range.
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Germany 2008: Crisp, Pure and Refreshing

By: Joel B. Payne

Following a roller coaster of a growing season in 2008, Germany's most talented growers made pure, refreshing rieslings with moderate alcohol levels and lively acidity, reports our correspondent Joel Payne. The finest wines of the vintage, says Payne, match or even surpass the best of 2007, but quality was uneven and it was essential to wait for ripeness and eliminate subpar fruit. Payne's in-depth report highlights the most successful wines from this challenging vintage.
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