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March/April 2014
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2012 and 2011 Northern Rhone Wines

By: Josh Raynolds

Josh Raynolds reports that 2012 has made classic, charming, fruit-driven wines, perhaps not quite as structured or masculine as the 2010s, but with the harmoniousness to support early both accessibility and graceful evolution in bottle.  Meanwhile, the 2011s tend to be incisive, terroir-driven wines with an emphasis on red fruits.  There has never been so much demand for such a small quantity of northern Rhone wines, so fans of this region will need to snap up their favorites quickly.
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Best New Releases from Argentina

By: Stephen Tanzer

Recent vintages in Argentina have largely avoided the extreme heat that can result in roasted, heavy-handed wines.  Favorable climatic conditions, in conjunction with the tendency of producers to make purer, less heavily oaked and extracted wines nowadays, has resulted in a growing number of terrific red wines at the high end.  And Argentina continues to offer a host of great values in the $18-and-under range.
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2011 Red Burgundies

By: Stephen Tanzer

This vintage risks being lost between the structured, ageworthy 2010s and the very rich and promising 2012s, but the finest 2011s are classic midweight red Burgundies with lovely freshness and perfume and clearly defined site character.  Sufficient ripeness was critical, though, so you'll need to stick to the most successful wines from this cool year.
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The Wines of Southern Italy

By: Ian D'Agata

Our Italian specialist Ian D'Agata, a student of Italy's literally hundreds of indigenous varieties, has outdone himself in his latest survey of new releases from the top producers of southern Italy.  This vast region, reports D'Agata, is fast becoming a vinous paradise, as more and more producers are capitalizing on native grapes to make truly distinctive wines--not to mention a huge number of outstanding values.
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