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Two Hands Joins Rhone Fest At Spectator Top 10 Tasting

The Top 5, left to right: Louis Barruol of Château de St.-Cosme, Lilian Barton Sartorius of Château Leoville-Barton, Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes, Doug Shafer of Shafer and Michael Twelftree of Two Hands (image from <a href="http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/49128http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/49128">Winespectator.com</a>

The Top 5, left to right: Louis Barruol of Château de St.-Cosme, Lilian Barton Sartorius of Château Leoville-Barton, Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes, Doug Shafer of Shafer and Michael Twelftree of Two Hands (image from Winespectator.com)

It was Top 10 Tasting time as Wine Spectator put on the New York Wine Experience last week, and once again Two Hands was proud to be part of this extraordinary event.

As Spectator reporter Tim Fish pointed out, the tasting turned out to be quite the celebration of grapes from the Rhône Valley – grown there, and elsewhere:

With the top four wines, the audience had a chance to compare the variety among Rhône-style wines. Clos des Papes has frequently graced the Top 10 list, and winemaker Vincent Avril returned with the intense but polished Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (98, $128, No. 4), a blend of 50 percent Grenache, 30 percent Mourvèdre and a touch of Syrah.

Another regular among Wine Spectator’s top wines is Australian producer Two Hands; winemaker Michael Twelftree said his Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella’s Garden 2010 (95, $69, No. 3) deserved special recognition that day. “After all,” he joked, “I did come the farthest to be here.”

Louis Barruol of Château de St.-Cosme made his second straight appearance in the Top 10 tasting, with his jam-packed, mouthwatering Gigondas 2010 (95, $41, No. 2). The charming, humble Barruol was called “the de facto voice of Gigondas” by Molesworth. “Overall,” Barruol said, “this is a great honor for our appellation.” He coaxed the audience to cellar Gigondas for 10 or 20 years to truly appreciate the wines. “They really deserve it.”

Senior editor James Laube introduced the No. 1 wine of 2012, Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 2008 (96, $60). Doug Shafer said the wine, a blend of 75 percent Syrah and 25 percent Petite Sirah, came from a rugged ridge-top vineyard near the Stags Leap District that the winery planted in 1995.

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