American Syrah
Tasted: 116 I Reviewed: 49
Australian Shiraz
Tasted: 123 I Reviewed: 53
Zinfandel
Tasted: 116 I Reviewed: 38
American New Releases
Tasted: 370 I Reviewed: 114
Imported New Releases
Tasted: 648 I Reviewed: 199
Total
Tasted: 1373 I Reviewed: 453


This fall marks the release of great zinfandels from California and great syrahs from around the world. We start close to home, with a selection of west coast syrahs, including the best from 2001 (p. 64). It was a nearly perfect growing season in California's central coast, home to our top picks. Australian shiraz (p. 68) follows with a litany of legendary names from South Australia and Victoria. Then zinfandel (p. 72), with classics from Dry Creek and Napa's higher elevation vineyards. Among the new releases, take a breather with some fresh 2002 whites from Anderson Valley and Yakima (p. 75), then dive back into the reds. We found some deep and flavorful 2000 cabernets sauvignon and franc (p. 77), our top selections coming from Napa Valley and Washington's Columbia Valley. And we found some exceptional syrahs from the Rhône's 2000 vintage (p. 90). For a more affordable and fascinating alternative, check out the Portuguese estate wines (p. 92), including some top vineyard selections that show off the country's distinctive varieties at their best. And when you're finished exploring, come home to Burgundy (p. 86). From the fresh whites of the Mâcon to richer grands crus of the Côte d'Or, you'll find some extraordinary chardonnays and pinot noirs among our recommendations. For complete stats on this issue's tasting section, see our table of contents (p. 6). And for an overview of how we taste, always blind, in our offices, with outside panelists to recommend the wines and inside critics to provide the ratings and reviews, go to wineandspiritsmagazine.com and click on "About Us".