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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best of 2012

As the year comes to a close, it’s only natural to reflect on the superlative wines that have passed through these lips in 2012…a daunting task considering all of the bottles from our cellar that have been opened, the many special wines that we’ve been gifted (or were served in friends’ homes), a Society of Wine Educators annual conference and several meetings of the American Wine Society, as well as our more than three months of travel to wine regions outside of the U.S.  Here is a best-of-the-best, my Top 10 List, listed in no particular order (but like wines have been clumped together).  Prices vary from $20 to >$1000…all prices are per bottle cost.

·   Best Australian:  Peter Lehman 2009  VSV 1885 Shiraz.  This one was so compelling (and not available in the U.S.) that four of us on the Wine-Knows trip had several cases sent back home.  $60 plus shipping.

·   Best New Zealand:  Te Whau Vineyard The Point.  During our reconnaissance trip in April for the March 2014 tour, the earth moved so much when we drank this Bordeaux blend that my husband and I ordered a case (it’s not available in the US).  $80…including shipping

·   Best Champagne:   Piper Heidsieck Millesime 1999:   I’ve had some off-the- charts vintage champagnes but this one is très spécial.   Thank you Maureen & Howard for this exquisite gift.  $300-350

·   Best American Bubbly :  DMZ 2005. Made by Mumm’s in Napa, this super-star is aged for at least 6 years. DMZ is one of the finest American sparklers I’ve had and worth every penny.  Thank you Lynne & John for serving this superb aperitif of which I knew nothing about.  $55

  • Best Red Bordeaux:   This is somewhat like choosing your favorite child.  The tasting was a comparative one with Chateau Haut Brion paired with Mission Haut Brion.  The location was Chateau Mission Haut Brion. The Wine-Knows group split right down the middle on preference, but I personally preferred Haut Brion. $1000+

  • Best 2nd label Bordeaux:   Hands down this goes to a Chateau Latour’s 'Les Forts de Latour' 2001.   Thank you, Conni, for buying this on the Wine-Knows trip to Chateau Latour in 2008…and saving it for your recent birthday dinner!  $230

  • Best White Bordeaux:  Those of you who don’t know white Bordeaux, should rush out and buy a case of Chateau Lagrange’s Le Fiefs de Lagrange 2010.  I typically prefer reds, but this one will knock your socks off., especially considering its price.  $20

  • Best Barolo:   Paulo Scavino Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata Riserva 2007.  I’ve been a huge fan of this producer for years, however, in the recent Wine-Knows truffle tour to Piedmont this one was ethereal.  $95

·   Best Bargain Barbaresco  Produttori del Barbaresco 2002.  This was not a great vintage in Piedmont, however, this producer managed to pull off a real coup.  Known for making a consistently well-crafted Barbaresco, the winery’s 2002 was of shocking quality considering its price.  $40

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