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January/February 2013
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2011 Red Burgundies

By: Stephen Tanzer

An upside-down growing season that would have been a disaster a generation ago produced perfumed, consistently charming wines that will be relished by long-time Burgundy lovers and neophytes alike.  This very good to excellent vintage offers enticing, soil-driven red fruit, floral and mineral flavors; pliant texture; and ripe, smooth tannins.  While the overwhelming majority of wines will offer considerable early appeal, they also have the concentration and balance for mid-term aging.
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Germany 2011

By: Joel B. Payne

The 2011 harvest was one of the earliest in Germany's long wine history, even earlier than 2003 and 1976.  Our German correspondent Joel B. Payne reports that although some wines are a bit higher in alcohol and lower in acidity than his riesling ideal, the vintage has also produced an unusually large selection of appealing wines and a rare degree of consistency for this northerly growing area.  As the wines are less austere than usual, they will be seductive in their youth.
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2011 and 2010 Southern Rhone Wines

By: Josh Raynolds

Late-ripening varieties and growers who waited to harvest fared best in the southern Rhone Valley in 2011.  The best of these graceful, fruit-forward wines display very good intensity without excess weight and have enough acidity to remain vibrant.  In his annual coverage of the region, Josh Raynolds also provides in-the-bottle notes on Chateauneuf du Papes and Gigondas from the 2010 vintage, which is shaping up as one of the greatest years of the past half-century and a must for any serious cellar.
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