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May/June 2013
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Annual Coverage of California's North Coast

By: Stephen Tanzer

It was a challenge to ripen the fruit in the consistently cool growing season of 2011, and necessary to eliminate grapes affected by rot and harvest-time rains, but the best producers managed to make taut, lively, lower-octane wines that will be especially appreciated by Europhiles.  Our most extensive report to date on the North Coast also includes notes on the finished 2010s, a consistently excellent set of wines that combine clear terroir character, aromatic complexity and intensity, and the structure and balance for aging.
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Bordeaux 2012: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By: Ian D'Agata

Ian D'Agata reports that an extreme growing season featuring a wet spring, a chilly July, a very hot and dry August, and a rainy harvest made it next to impossible to produce great red wines in 2012.  But many estates made balanced, fruit-driven wines that will offer plenty of early appeal, with merlot in general--and Pomerol in particular--doing especially well, and Pessac-Leognan also providing numerous highlights.
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The Best New Wines from South Africa

By: Stephen Tanzer

The selection of South African wines available in the U.S. market is spottier than it was two years ago and neither 2011 nor 2010 was an outstanding vintage, but the remarkably diverse Cape region continues to offer superb values.  My current coverage is rich in under-$20 bottles, and adventurous wine lovers willing to spend a little more can enjoy highly distinctive wines that don't cost an arm and a leg.
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