February 2008
Features at Wine & Spirits

Departments
Editor's Note

Happenings

Fined & Filtered

News in Brief

Spirits by
   David Wondrich

Sake: America's First
  Generation of Sake
  Specialists

Peter Liem:
  Beaujolais Terroir

End Note: How big
  is your wine's carbon
  footprint?

Tastings
Year's Best Syrah
  tasted 371, top wines 54,   value picks 10

Year's Best Australian    Shiraz
  tasted 158, top wines 31,   value picks 8

Year's Best Rhône
  tasted 123, top wines 21,   value picks 15

American New Releases
  tasted 329, top wines 54,   value picks 18

International New    Releases
  tasted 956, top wines 286,   value picks 109


Against the Wind
Syrah may be the most spectacular phenomenon in Chile's modern wine history. In ten years, since 1996, the variety's plantings grew from zero to 8,300 acres, an explosion driven by Australian shiraz's success in the international markets.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Super Carmenère
Recently, after a decade of struggling with the unforgiving nature of carmenère, Chilean winemakers have begun to get it right. There are a growing number of topflight reds that feature this variety, a signature of Chilean viticulture.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Australia's City of Wine
I would say that, of course, being a Melbourne resident. But don't just take my word for it: By any objective measure, this city is simply the place to be if you love wine.
      Thanks to relatively relaxed local liquor-licensing laws, Melbourne possesses more great bars than any other Australian city; the city's restaurants are home to a disproportionate number of Australia's award-winning wine lists; you'll find most of the country's top independent wine retailers and importers here; and the city is fringed by some of Australia's finest cooler-climate wine regions.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Destination: Patagonia
Bariloche is a small city in the mountains of Río Negro, in northwestern Patagonia. In the vast reaches of southern Argentina-where you can cruise to Antarctica, walk on glaciers, stroll along steppes, mountain climb or ski-Bariloche is the ideal starting point, especially when it comes to
wine and food.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

High-Country Syrah
Bradley Brown, the proprietor of Big Basin Vineyards, received this advice from his wife, Samantha Shakti-Brown, as the couple demonstrated a partner pose from Anusara Yoga. Samantha teaches this "system of alignment principles and non-dual philosophy" in a studio above the winery, but at the moment the two didn't have the benefit of a level surface-they were trying to balance atop Rattlesnake Rock, a fractured mudstone boulder for which Big Basin's estate vineyard is named.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

53 Vintages of Grange
The Adelaide Oval is South Australia's cricket ground, where we'd taken the lift to the top tier and walked a long hall to the main box. It was a rainy Friday morning in spring, the stadium was empty and the scoreboard was lit with the dedicated activity of the day, Penfolds' Rewards of Patience tasting.
      This event takes place once every five years or so, when the firm's lead winemakers, both current and ex-officio, gather with a few members of the press for a weeklong tasting. It includes most every vintage of most every major Penfolds wine, from Koonunga Hill on up the scale. Along with Penfolds recorking clinics, this project is intended to keep both the winemakers and the critics focused on how Penfolds wines age.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.