Each Christmas Tom Cannavan announces his Wines of the Year and invites visitors to do the same.
Entries for 2016 are now closed.
Jonathan B, United Kingdom
Red: Noel Verset Cornas 1998
White: Albert Boxler Riesling Grand Cru Sommerberg L31E 1998
Budget Red: Denis Bachelet Bourgogne Rouge 2008.
Budget White: Chave St Joseph Blanc Circa 2014
Rosé: Life’s too short
Sparkling: Lanson Gold Label 1996
Sweet: Anything from Claude Papin
Fortified: Graham’s 1991
Dud: Waking up on 24 June
Thing: Moving closer to the beach and now being able to walk down and buy fresh fish, often while it’s still alive, that’s been caught that morning within 200 yards of the shore.
I could have chosen many from the incredible N Rhone past masters dinner. The Verset was though a step up from the rest with stunning vibrancy; almost worth the current entry fee. I’ve not been drinking much from Alsace but Boxler’s Rieslings are world class – and I didn’t know you could still buy wines for under £15 as good as Chave’s Circa. An honourable mention for Bregeon’s Muscadets which provide huge pleasure the price of a pint. The Bachelet over-delivered with its perfect weightless bite. I can’t recall a more fulfilling Bourgogne. After following the Lanson for 10yrs it was thrilling to drink at its apogee. No more razor blades.
Tom – yes indeed, ‘razor blades’ for newly bottled Lanson is – or was – about right, for one of the tightest styles of Champagne (albeit it comes round to a beautiful wine given time), but I believe the current house style is a little less assertive.
Red: 2011 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Mazoyères-Chambertin
White: 2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Les Moulins
Budget Red: Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2012
Budget White: Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2014
Rosé: Chateau Valmy Rose Prestige 2014 (why does no-one in the UK stock this???)
Sparkling: No thanks
Sweet: 2008 Vin de Constance
Fortified: Chateau Valmy
Dud: 2007 Janasse Chateauneuf-de-Pape VV
Thing: My beloved Grimsby Town eventually getting promoted back into the football league.
Some lovely wines that almost made the list: The astounding Produttori del Barbaresco Asilli Riserva 2011. 2011 Château Cantelauze Cahors: a total 10 euro bargain in France. I’ve given up on decent white Burgundy and won’t buy any unless closed by Diam. For 2017: Revisit some new world areas and follow some of the recommendations from the members of the UK Wine forum.
Tom – oh, so many of my favourites here too, though I cannot understand anyone’s reluctance on Champagne or other quality sparkling wines (I would say “you just haven’t tried the right one,” but I’m sure you’ve tried many!)
Red: JL Chave, Saint Joseph, 2008
White: Fattoria San Lorenzo, Il San Lorenzo, Marche Bianco 1998
Budget Red: La Petite Ourse, Cotes du Rhone, Pascal Chalon 2013
Budget White: Marc Kreydenweiss, Kritt, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, 2014
Sparkling: Pol Roger 2002
Dud: Trump; Brexit; ever increasing price of French wines coupled with rip-off wine lists; and Northern Rhone reds from 2014.
Thing: First, and last, baby girl
Not too much pervy truly drinking this year, but the Chave St. Joe was savage and only just starting to hint at its true class. Everything I have tasted from Fattoria San Lorenzo has been exceptionally good, but the Il San Lorenzo takes the biscuit- so funky, weird and delicious all at once. Although he didn’t make the list, everything from Daniel Jiminez Landi also seems to be exceptionally good, you’d almost give up on CNP- although Pascal Chalon’s 2013s have restored my faith in the Southern Rhone!
Tom – Well, nice to see you’ve got your priorities right: congratulations on the baby girl 🙂 Pol 2002 is a stunner and thought it will age, it’s too good to resist now…
Jeremy Wilkinson UK
Red: Oikonomoi Liatiko IGT Crete 2006
White: Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 1er cru Vaulorent 2012
Budget Red: Castell’in Villa Chianti 2012
Budget White: Bruno Sorg riesling Pfersigberg 2008
Sparkling: Majolini Franciacorta 2010
Sweet: Chateau Rieussec 1999
Dud: Developments in politics and he feeling that I no longer understand or feel part of the world of today
Thing: Finally realizing that I wasn’t enjoying my job any more and having the courage to actually do something about it and quit.
The Cretan wine was a no brainer, it wasn’t the finest this year but it was the most memorable given both the context (sun setting over the sea in western Crete) and the remarkable quality. The Sorg was direct from the domaine (otherwise it would not have qualified as budget). The Chablis was thanks to Tom’s recommendation and I’m afraid to say that we consumed all half dozen in double quick time. The half case of Chianti (a recommendation from the irrepressible Ben at Bat and Bottle) went the same way.
Tom – love the Brocard Vaulorent, and indeed Majolini as one example of top end Franciacorta. But I suspect Trump/Brexit is the most talked about ‘thing’ of any this year!
Jono Beagle, UK
Red: 2011 Vinho de Lordelo, Alves de Sousa, Douro, Portugal
White: 2011 Chardonnay, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Au Bon Climat, California, USA
Budget Red: 2015 Syrah, BK Wines, Victoria, Australia
Budget White: 2015 Branca Riserva, Esporao, Alentejo, Portugal
Rosé: 2015 Gamay Rose, Le Grappin, Burgundy, France
Sparkling: 2002 Dom Perignon, Champagne, France
Sweet: 2014 Muscat de Rivesaltes, Domaine Treloar, Roussillon, France
Fortified: 2011 Fonseca LBV, Douro, Portugal
Dud: 2007 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon, Leflaive
Thing: The ability to keep battling on
This vinious year has not been particular bold or extravagant and there were some strong contenders for wines of the year. Pontet-Canet making a number of strong impressions when tasting through 2003 to 2012 inclusive. Some excellent smaller producers, but the Alves de Sousa will be indelibly etched on my wine as the only one better than every single Pontet-Canet. The year has been tougher than I had hoped but growth occurred. The Esporao returned to remind me of how wonderful it is for the money. The Dom is starting to drink nicely if you can find it, and well Leflaive = POX. Mostly however, I’ve learnt to just keep going…
Tom – Alves de Sousa does indeed make some amazing wines, one of them made my ‘Portuguese Top 50’ when I had the honour of choosing those in 2011
Duncan McLean, Scotland
Red: Plantagenet, Cabernet Sauvignon 1990, Australia
White: Nicolas Joly, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant 2005, France
Budget Red: Cape Heights, Shiraz 2015, South Africa (Also labelled as Grand Cape)
Budget White: Domaine Muret, Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-de-Pinet 2015, France
Sweet: Château Laville, Sauternes 2009, France
Fortified: Krohn, Porto Colheita 1976, Portugal
Dud: Several major developments in national and international politics…more disaster than dud.
Thing: At risk of blowing own trumpet: my shop winning a New Zealand Winegrowers prize resulting in a three-week wine tour there in January/February. Expect a lot of Kiwi wines in next year’s listing!
A low-key wine year was redeemed by some excellent bottles in the last month. Howard Park’s 2007 Chardonnay from Western Australia would have been the star white in any other year, but the Coulee de Serrant was simply astonishing. I’ve had it in this vintage before, but this bottle, at this age, was as close to perfection as I can imagine wine being. I was sober as a judge when I opened the bottle, but drunk with joy after drinking my share. Amazing in a different way was the quality/price ratio of the Cape Heights Shiraz. Runner up in the budget red category was another Muret, their Vin de Pays d’Oc Syrah 2015. And so to NZ…
Tom – Congratulations Duncan, and I did note Kevin Judd’s visit to Orkney last year! Agree that the Cape Heights (a wine of the week for me) represents amazing value.
Chris Hambleton, UK
Red: Riecine Chianti Classico 1988, Tuscany, Italy
White: As Sortes 2011, Galicia, Spain
Budget Red: Mark Haisma Bourgogne pinot noir 2013
Budget White: Waitrose Gruner Veltliner, Austria
Rosé: Sancerre Rose Domaine Vacheron 2013
Sparkling: Drappier Cuvee Millenaire 1995
Sweet: Felsina Vin Santo 2005, Tuscany, Italy
Fortified: Ancient Moscatel madeira of unknown age
Dud: 1985 CVNE Imperial Reserva (my fault for not rinsing the decanter!)
Thing: Seeing wild dogs in South Africa
These wines are about context. Riecine enjoyed in the back garden with friends and an impromptu game of cricket, Felsina in a bar in castellina in Chianti in the middle of a thunderstorm, As Sortes at a wonderful Christmas lunch at the ever-improving la Trompette, Drappier with old friends at New Year, the madeira with the oddities crew at a brilliant lunch at Rochelle Canteen. There were so many other possibilities (I’m incredibly lucky), but four of these experiences would never have happened were it not for wine-pages. Cheers Tom!
Tom – and to you Chris – cheers indeed! I agree that context is, if not everything, then certainly a vital ingredient in almost all of my great wine experiences. Miles may have enjoyed his Cheval Blanc from a paper cup, sitting alone in a diner, in Sideways, but I’m not sure I would!
Mahmoud Ali – Canada
Red: 1977 Lungarotti ‘San Giorgio’ Vino della Tavola Rosso, Umbria, Italy
White: 2011 Devil’s Lair Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia
Budget Red: 2010 Volpaia ‘Citto’ IGT Tuscany
Budget White: 2010 Tahbilk Marsanne, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia
Sparkling: 2006 Rene Geoffroy ‘Empriente’ Brut Grand Cru, Champagne
Sweet: 1986 Frescobaldi Tenuta di Pomino Vin Santo, Pomino, Italy.
Fortified: 2004 Quinta do Roriz Single Quinta Vintage Port
Thing: Gonzales Byass Tio Pepe En Rama (2016)
À point Grenache-based wines featured this year. Little to separate a ‘98 Rockford ‘Moppa Springs’ Barossa and ‘02 Famille Ligneres ‘Cabanon de Pascal’ VdP de Hauterive (Montagne d’Alaric). Finer wines like the ‘04 Alion had the flush of youth but much of their appeal lies in their potential. White runnerups: ‘12 Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay, Okanagan Falls (very Chablis-like) and ‘09 Greywacke Chardonnay, NZ. Runnerup sparkling: ‘07 Blue Mountain Blanc de Blanc, (Disgorged ‘14). The 30 year-old Vin Santo blossomed into a rich, nutty, copper-hued, sweetish elixir – years of patience rewarded. Thing: finding my first En Rama fino – Hurrah!
Tom – Those old Tahbilk Marsanne’s are great wines – a lot like Hunter Valley Semillons in a way, being low in alcohol and not expensive, but capable of ageing for decades.
Mike Bartlett, UK
Red: Cepparello 2006, Isole e Olena, Tuscany
White: Condrieu, Invitare, 2015, Michel Chapoutier
Budget Red: St Julien declassified 2010
Budget White: Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2015, New Zealand
Rosé: Whispering Angel 2015
Sparkling: Franciacorta (from Lidl!)
Sweet: Petit Vedrines, Sauternes, 2005
Fortified: Manzanilla Pasada
Thing: AFC Wimbledon winning promotion via the Play-off final at Wembley
Cepparello is the first wine I drank that made me realise that I was going to find wine fascinating and 2006 was a great vintage (although clearly still with many years ahead of it). The Condrieu was at a Chapoutier tasting and was truly delicious. My budget red is a bit of a cheat as it’s £20, but it punches so far above its weight as to qualify…really classy stuff now (and again, plenty of potential for the future). I’ve had better sparkling wines than Lidl’s Franciacorta, but at £8.99 it knocks spots off the ubiquitous Prosecco. And my team got promoted to Division 1 via the play-offs to partially offset the depression of Brexit!
Tom – Yes, the Franciacorta was a recent Wine of the Week for me: not the most complex sparkling wine in the world, but a seriously good one at the price! I really like that 2010 St Julien too (from wine-pages’ sponsor Fromvineyardsdirect) – a class act at its price.
Andrew Stevenson, UK
Red: 1966 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, France
White: 2006 Wine & Soul Douro Guru, Portugal
Budget Red: 2000 Société Cooperative Castelmaure Corbières Grande Cuvée, France
Budget White: 2004 Kees-Kieren Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett * Auction, Germany
Rosé: 2015 Domaine de Pellehaut Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Harmonie de Gascogne Rosé, France
Sparkling: N.V. Booths own label Champagne (made by Duval-Leroy), France
Sweet: 2000 Samos Muscat Anthemis
Fortified: 2016 Tio Pepe ‘En Rama’, Spain
Dud: 1966 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Mülheimer Sonnenlay Riesling, Germany (corked!)
Thing: The Glasgow Festival of Wine/SuperBOWL
Difficult choices this year, as in almost all categories there was a 3-way tie & I had to look at TNs and prices to make decisions. The Kees-Kieren was going to be White, till I realised I’d only paid £7.50 for it in 2005. When I drank it, I said I could believe it was a 2015 Kab. It ended up tieing with a 2015 Kab, which the Guru just nudged out.The Castelmaure tied with 2000 Quinta do Vale D. Maria but won on its full price being the same as the discounted price I paid for the QDVDM. The Gascony rosé, drunk at the Box Tree, narrowly pipped a 2015 SA Prüm Pinot Noir. The Booths champagne tied with 96 Bolly & 96 Lanson but won on value.
Tom – a timely mention of the Glasgow Festival of Wine Andrew – hope to see you there again this year! Nice choices, and ages since I’ve tasted a 1966 Bordeaux, though the ones I have tasted have always delivered.
Peter F May, England
Red: Le Vin de Francois 2007 (South Africa,Stellenbosch)
White: Kaapzicht Estate Chenin Blanc 2016 (South Africa, Stellenbosch)
Budget Red: The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015 (Italy, Abruzzi)
Budget White: Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand, Marlborough)
Rosé: No thanks
Sparkling: Francis Boulard Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Grande Montagne N.V. (France, Champagne)
Sweet: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2000 (South Africa, Constantia)
Dud: Corked – Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 1999 (South Africa, Constantia)
Thing: Foreign Travel + Presenting Pinotage Trophy at IWSC Banquet at Guildhall
I’ve listed only wines that I’ve drunk at home with a meal, not wines at tastings or wine-lovers BYO group dinners. My top wine alternatives are Ch Batailley which I’ve been drinking 40+ years and still get a kick from it, (my favourite restaurant holds bottles of it for me when its not on their list), and Ridge Zin. My favourite wine is always the next one I’m going to have. Travel is my thing, with holidays in South Africa, Lanzarote, California, Arizona, Nevada, Bordeaux, Viking River tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and (of course) Glasgow – there’s been opportunities to drink a great many (+ many great) wines. It’s been a great year!
Tom – globe-trotting indeed, though Glasgow clearly the most exotic destination on your list 🙂 I was lucky enough to attend a vertical tasting of Vin de Constance in Cape Town last year, and truly impressive they were too – the 2014 and 2012 two of my favourites.
Paul Anderson, Scotland
Red: Charmes-Chambertin 1999, Jean Raphet, Burgundy
White: Puligny Montrachet la Garenne 1er Cru 2010, Etienne Sauzet, Burgundy
Budget Red: Nomade Las Mulas 2005 Malbec Syrah (£9.99)
Budget White: Alsace Blanc 2013, Marcel Deiss (£13.88), blend of 13 different grapes
Rosé: Jean-Pierre Gaussen 2014 Bandol Rosé
Sparkling: Gaston-Chiquet BLANC DE BLANCS d’Aÿ Brut Grand Cru (magnum)
Sweet: Riesling GC Sommerberg “D” Vendanges Tardives 2011, Albert Boxler, Alsace
Fortified: Dow’s Crusted Port (Bottled 2012)
Dud: Ongoing disgruntlement with white Burgundy
Thing: Barcelona and Bandol
C-C was in peak condition for me. Puligny was lovely although a shame I had to drink it at 6 years old Deiss is amazing. I see Tom has a Gaston Chiquet as his sparkler and this is another excellent wine from them, bought from the domaine. Boxler is top notch and, along with Deiss my favourites in Alsace. The Port was Asda bargain recommended on the UK Wine Forum. I won’t go on about white Burg and pox as I have done so on forum. Barcelona trip was my first time there, with my son for his 21st. Great 5 days, went to Barca v Atletico Madrid, and had a great lunch and wines with Fintan from the forum. Bandol was my wine discovery (with a lot of guidance from Mr Pickles).
Tom – it is fantastic that the forum here on wine-pages is the source of so many wonderful memories for people. Isn’t that what great wine is all about though? The sharing and ability to bring us together?
Paul Day, UK
Red: Vieux Chateau Certan 1948
White: Trimbach Clos Ste Hune “V.V.” 1975
Budget Red: Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d’Alba 2013
Budget White: Boxler Pinot Blanc “B” 2014
Rosé: Tempier Bandol Rose 2015
Sparkling: Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1953 (magnum disgorged 2008)
Sweet: Chateau Coutet 1906
Fortified: “Bottled by CJZ” [Blandy Family] Terrantez 1862, Madeira, Portugal
Dud: Oxidised DRC Romanee Conti 1966
Thing: Multiple 50th Birthday dinners
I really didn’t need any excuse, but my 50th Birthday was a good prompt to open a number of interesting bottles with friends over a few meals – with still one more “Birthday Dinner” to organise before I am 51!
Tom – Congratulations on the big 5-0 and some stylish drinking, though a bit heartbreaking about the dud DRC! Looks like you weren’t short of great drinking though. The 1953 Champagne (digorged 55 years later!) sounds amazing. Sadly a 1945 bottle of Heidsieck I opened last year was completely shot 🙁
Duncan Watt, Hong Kong
Red: 2000 Domaine Gauby Côtes du Roussillon Villages La Muntada
White: 2011 Eulogio Pomares Albariño Crianza Oxidativa
Budget Red: 2011 Julien Sunier Fleurie
Budget White: 2013 Mullineux White
Sparkling: 2005 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
Dud: 2014 E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane
A quieter year for me in terms of consumption which conincided with increasing my dedication to my other chief hobby – cycling. Indeed, if my records are accurate, I have not drunk any rose, fortified or sweet wine all year. Surely not! Hopefully 2017 will remedy this. The absolute highlight of the year was Eulogio Pomares’ Albariño which coincided with a fantastic meal while on holiday in San Sebastian – truly a wine to live long in the memory.
Tom – it’s surprising how many wine lovers also seem to have a serious cycling habit – I guess its a very sensible ying and yang! That 2005 Taittinger Comtes is a beauty.
Will Taylor UK
Red: 1988 Sassicaia
White: 1999 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières
Budget Red: 2015 Le Grappin Fleurie Du Grappin Poncié
Budget White: 2014 Envinate Taganan
Rosé: 2015 Williams Chase Luberon
Sparkling: 1996 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
Sweet: 1989 Château Climens
Fortified: 1927 D’Oliveiras Madeira Bastardo Reserva
Dud: Prem-Oxed 2008 Coche-Dury Meursault
Thing: City Mapper (app)
Tom – very classy drinking (and yet more oxidised white Burgundy agony unfortunately).
Ken Oliphant – United Kingdom
Red: 2004 Parusso Barolo Bussia
White: 2013 Prager Riesling Smaragd Klaus, Wachau
Budget Red: 2011/2012 Terre del Barolo Barolo
Budget White: 2015 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
Sweet: 2005 Kracher Chardonnay TBA no 5
Fortified: Harveys Jerez Xeres Sherry 30 Year Old Palo Cortado
Dud: 2004 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
In a year when I drank some great Barolo, it was quite a surprise that the Parusso made the strongest impression on me – though I’ve always had a soft spot for this sometimes maligned producer. The Terre del Barolo is a marvellous bargain, especially when offered at one third off – which is quite regularly. The character of the two vintages – 2011 ripe and powerful, 2012 cleaner and more elegant – comes across very well. Amongst other great Barolo memories was drinking the two 2012 releases from G Rinaldi side by side when in Piedmont – always such wonderful wines, and really quite approachable in their first flush of youth.
Tom – I’m just thinking that Barolo – so widely acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest red wine appellations – gets fewer mentions as Wine of the Year that it might. I wonder why that is?
Ronald Massard, Thailand
Red: Domaine Tollot-Beaut (France) Aloxe-Corton 1er cru Les Fournieres 1999
White: Domaine de la Sansonniere (France) Vignes Francaises en Foule, Anjou 2003
Budget Red: Finca Colome (Argentina) Estate Malbec, Salta 2010
Budget White: Georg Stieglmar (Austria) pinot blanc, Burgenland 1996
Rosé: Legras & Haas (France) Rosé des Riceys 1996
Sparkling: Domaine Plageoles (France) Mauzac Nature, Gaillac NV
Sweet: Chateau La Tour Blanche (France) Sauternes 1975
Fortified: Domaine Cazes (France) Ambre, Rivesaltes 1985
Dud: From one extreme to the other : bye bye big bold over-extracted over-oaked wines, welcome thin pale over-acidic and short “nature” wines. A fair number stands between “delightful” and “fantastic”, but some are just making crowds ecstatic while ruining their stomach.
Thing: Ballooning over Bagan in Myanmar. 16 years I hadn’t visited the site, and first time from the air.
A very dense year without classic wines, but some hits like the bubbly Mauzac Nature, an ideal pairing with strawberries. And nice surprises from old bottles in their category. Loire provided sky-high emotions in white with Mark Angeli’s ungrafted chenin and the Clos Rougeard Breze 2008. Long time I didn’t taste a Rose des Riceys : that 10-year old bottle was scintillating. Finca Colome makes a lovely light malbec in altitude.
Tom – some of my favourite estates in there, and yes indeed Colome does seem to take advantage of its extreme high altitude to make refined versions of Argentine Malbec.
Fintan Kerr – Spain
Red: Descendientes de J. Palacios Moncerbal 2011
White: Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2006
Budget Red: I Tant Garnatxa 2015
Budget White: Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc 2015
Rosé: Avanthia Rosé 2014
Sparkling: Recaredo Brut de Brut 2006
Sweet: Giovanni Allegrini Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2011
Fortified: Valdespino Oloroso Don Gonzalo VOS
Dud: Aalto 2012
Thing: Getting halfway through my Diploma studies and realising that the wine industry is, without a doubt, the place for me. There’s still so much more to learn but I’m loving every minute of it.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to try many wines this year including my first ever experiences with Grand Cru wines from Burgundy, 1st Growth Bordeaux and other iconic wines from around the world. Despite broadening the quality and price range of the wines I’m trying, I still find myself coming back to my first love; Spain. The industry is a little out of focus here at the moment, but the future is bright and I foresee a time when single-vineyard expressions are commonplace in our most famous regions. Cheers to that!
Tom – a few names with which I’m not familiar, and good to know that the slightly ‘sleeping giant’ of Spain is coming together: of course it has amazing wines, and there is already excitement about ‘new’ regions and grapes, but it seems slightly lower on the radar than France or Italy – perhaps even Portugal – in having a buzz about the wine industry.
Red: Vieux telegraphe 1984, Chateauneuf du Pape
White: Saint-Péray Terres Boissées, Domaine Voge 2012
Budget Red: McManis Family Petite Sirah 2015
Budget White: Neudorf Chardonnay 2014, Nelson, New Zealand
Sparkling: Exhibition English Sparking, Ridgeway
Sweet: 1988 Maculan Torcolato
Dud: Too many, reluctant burgundies.
Thing: Getting my back in working order in the New Year.
Always a difficult choice for wine of year. i could have chosen several CNDP which has become a go to wine, esp VT. I wouldn’t pick a red burgundy as there have been more disappointments than hits. Such an expensive place to experiment. I picked the St Peray as I’ve been working my way through a mixed case of these lovely wines. The Neudorf is always good and we visited New Zealand this year. Several NZ wines were in the running, but were just pipped by my French basis. Aurua wines and Wild Earth reserve Pinot both in central otago might have made it if I allow vineyard tastings to count.
Tom – ‘reluctant Burgundies’ is a nice description: I’m guessing wines that just didn’t deliver fully? And another English fizz making the top spot.
Red: 1942 Viña Albina Rioja Reserva
White: 1966 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja
Rosé: 2014 Alain & Julien Vignot Bourgogne Clos Saint-Jacques
Sparkling: 1993 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
Sweet: 2000 Dereszla Eszencia
Fortified: NV De Müller Dom Juncosa Solera 1939
Tom – succinct and well chosen. I love old white Rioja when it is good, and good to see an Eszencia making the grade, one of the world’s sweetest, most unusual, and rarest wines.
Benedict Jenks, England
Red: Chateau Latour 1982
White: Hermitage Blanc 1983 Gerard Chave
Budget Red: Chianti Classico 2010 Felsina Beradenga
Budget White: Wine society Albariño 2015
Rosé: Belguardo 2015 Mazzei
Sparkling: Dom Perignon P2 1998
Sweet: Yquem 1988
Fortified: Fonseca 1970
Dud: Pouring rain at Dior Fashion show at Blenheim in May
Thing: Turbot at L’Assiette Champenoise – one of the finest pieces of fish that I have ever tasted
Many fantastic wines especially champagnes shared with friends.
Tom – that Dom Perignon ‘P2’ (Second Plenitude, a wine the Dom Perignon cellarmaster reckons to be in the second great phase of its evolution) is an amazing wine I must say.
Robbie Ward, UK
Red: Rousseau Ruchottes Chambertin 1998
White: Tondonia Reserva 1996
Budget Red: Giovanni Canonica Barbera 2013
Budget White: Luke Lambert Crudo Chardonnay
Rosé: Riecine Rose for Jasper
Sparkling: Natalie Falmet Le Val Cornet
Fortified: Oliveiras Verdelho Madeira 1912
Dud: Jim Barry Armagh 1992 – not corked, just dense dead fruit
Thing: Oddities lunches organised on the UK Wine Forum, for the people, the food and the opportunity to drink wines I would never have the opportunity to drink otherwise.
Tom – certainly a nice eclectic list this. Again old Tondonia white Rioja hitting the spot, and though not a cheap wine, one of the world’s great white wines that’s well worth the moderate price.
Otto Nieminen, Finland
Red: Chateau Musar 1979, Lebanon
White: Chateau Musar Blanc 1992, Lebanon
Budget Red: Domaine de la Garrelière (François Plouzeau), Le Rouge des Cornus Touraine Cabernet Franc 2014, France
Budget White: Spiegelberg István Juhfark 2012, Hungary
Rosé: Bunan Mas de la Rouvière Bandol 2014, France
Sweet: Albert Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** Alte Rebe “Caldo Infernale” 2010, Germany
Dud: Marcel Deiss Alsace Blanc 2015, France
Not a terribly surprising list: I still love Musar, Cabernet Franc and weird, little known autochthonous grapes like Juhfark. Deiss gets the dud since such a blend doesn’t bring out the terroir, rather it masks it. And it was also too big to enjoy. A bit esoteric “thing” this year but amblypygis are just the most fascinating little arachnids – both in how they’ve evolved to be like that and from the breeding/husbandry point of view.
Tom – being a bit of a spider-phobic I am not sure I should really allow your ‘Thing’ choice! But I am off to google them and find out why they are so fascinating A fine list, and nice to see Musar doing so well overall – as it always does.
Derek Salmon, Australia
Red: Rockford basket press 2007
White: Parker Coonawarra estate Chardonnay 2013
Budget Red: Teusner joshua 2014
Budget White: Pewsey vale Riesling 2015
Sparkling: Balneaves sparkling Cabernet
Sweet: D’yquem 1993
Fortified: Torbreck highland fling 2007
Thing: Living and working in Barossa valley
visiting the Coonawarra and the beauty of the wine produced being totally opposite to Barossa – more refined and elegant in Shiraz grapes and some stunning Chardonnay. Also this year paring food to wines from barossa and old world side by side proved to be a challenge, but a fun one.
Tom – what a great opportunity for any wine lover to live and work in one of the world’s great wine regions, and have such a chance to compare and contrast the wines in such detail.
Gavin Davies – UK
Red: Broc Cellars, Nero d’Avola 2013, California
White: Chateau Musar Blanc 1991
Budget Red: Musar – Hochar 2012
Budget White: The Dot – Pinot Blanc 2014, Austria
Rosé: Bollinger Rose NV
Sparkling: Lanson, Noble Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 1998
Sweet: Doisy Vedrines Sauternes 2007
Fortified: Henriques 15 year old Bual
Dud: Two badly corked bottles on NYE
Thing: Coravin – This has genuinely revolutionised how I drink wine at home. Trading quantity for quality which can only be a good thing.
A trip to Chateau Musar was the wine highlight of 2016, and a new found passion for all things Madeira. The plan for 2017 is drink less but taste much more.
Tom – not a bad resolution that. I loved the Broc Cellars wines that I tasted via Roberson wines last year – every one excellent. And this also brings back memories of my only trip to Lebanon and the Musar cellars – amazing.
Mark Carington United Kingdom
Red: Cecile Tremblay Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2012
White: Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots 2013
Budget Red: Julien Sunier Fleurie 2014
Budget White: Jacob’s Creek/Orlando Riesling Steingarten 2011
Rosé: Château La Martinette Côtes de Provence Rollier de La Martinette 2015
Sparkling: NV Bérêche et Fils Champagne Brut Réserve
Sweet: Château Coutet Cuvée Madame 1981
Fortified: Sandemans 1935
Dud: Ferngrove Cabernet Sauvignon Frankland River 2012
Thing: A month in Burgundy
My selection reflects not just the wines but the occasion/company they were shared with. There were ‘better’ bottles this year but wine drinking is the sum of its part. WotY the Coutet – the second time we have drunk it – & this time a pristine bottle. Would love to track down another bottle.
The C-D was drunk at La Miotte in Ladoix (a UK Wine Forum tip-off). Effectively the bargain of the year! At a fiver the Ferngrove was a rip-off: dreadful, confected muck. The remainder are destined for cooking. Took a month out of work & loitered in Burgundy. Topped off with a few nights in Piesport. There’s nothing like a wine vacation.
Tom – the vacation sounds marvellous, and I thoroughly approve of the idea of a ‘gap month’ in the middle of your working life – at least. A fine, classic list.
Richard Zambuni, UK
Red: Guy de Barjac Cornas 1985
White: Chateau du Rozay Condrieu 1979
Budget Red: Polencic Pinot Nero Collio 2012
Budget White: Gravonia Lopez de Heredia Rioja crianza blanco 2005
Sparkling: Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires vintage champagne 1995
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 2001
Fortified: Taylors Vintage Port 1992
Dud: Franck Cornelissen Magma Nerello Mascalese Sicilia 2002
Thing: Plitvice National Park in Croatia
There were as usual lots of great wines drunk this year, especially towards the end of the year, and these selections have a degree of arbitrariness about them I have to admit. Of the top reds, Noel Verset’s 1998 Cornas could have featured here as it did last year, as could have a de Vallouit Cote-Rotie 1969, but I think the de Barjac shades them, just. The Condrieu is chosen because of its unlikely longevity and because a wine from a modest grower can be magical in its dotage. Gravonia remains a beacon of reasonable priced drinking among the madness of price inflation one sees in e.g. burgundy – the 2005 is a cracker and drinkable now.
Tom – a lovely list and good to see Condrieu in there: a white wine appellation of the Rhone Valley that rarely gets the top spot in the WotY lists.
Craig Thomson, New Zealand
Red: Puriri Hills, Pope, 2013, Clevedon, NZ
White: Church Road, Tom Chardonnay, 2013, Hawkes Bay, NZ
Budget Red: Craggy Range, Gimblett Gravels Syrah, 2014, Hawkes Bay, NZ
Budget White: Fromm, Riesling Spatlese, 2014, Marlborough, NZ
Sparkling: Krug, NV, Reims, France
Sweet: Framingham, F Series Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, 2014, Marlborough, NZ
Dud: Araujo Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Napa, USA
Decisions quite clear cut this year for me, however a few others to briefly mention. The soft elegant and graceful 1983 Ch Palmer had to be the most prestigious wine I drank this year (shared the bottle with my wife and no one else) but still the 2013 Puriri Hills Pope was the one that really got the blood racing. This winery just moves from strength to strength. Also a mention to the sensational 2014 Stonyridge Larose, a wine of stature that will sit among the top tier of this NZ classic. The Framingham TBA is the best NZ sweet wine I have ever tried and happily will compete with European examples at multiples the price. Spellbinding
Tom – Framingham makes amazing Riesling – dry and sweet – so great to see it here. And nice that the Palmer ’83 gets an honourable mention – an old favourite of mine.
Ben Fawcett, Edinburgh, UK
Red: Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf du Pape 1994
White: DuMOL ‘chloe’ Chardonnay 2012
Budget Red: Viticoltori Conciliis Aglianicone Montefortino Tempa 2014
Budget White: J J Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2009
Rosé: Domaine Ray-Jane Bandol Rose 2014
Sparkling: Henri Billiot Grand Cru 2005
Sweet: Chateau Climens 1979
Fortified: Niepoort Secundum 1999
Thing: My Barolo MGA book, Alessandro Masnaghetti is a dude and being interviewed by Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland about Brexit.
The Bonneau was astounding. Difficult years great winemakers shine. Andy Smith’s winemaking is sublime, his Chloe Chardonnay from RRV’s Kent Ritchie vineyard is a wonderfully powerful and deep white, true class. A more complete and beautifully constructed sub £20 white wine I struggle to recall than J J Prum’s Sonnenuhr Kabinett. The Tempa from Bruno Conciliis is astounding value. Billiot’s all Ambonnay 2005 Champagne I had in January and again for Christmas dinner – beautiful Champagne.
Tom – a couple of these I don’t know, but of those I do, some great choices. And good to see a fellow Scot – Andy Smith, winemaker at DuMOL – making the grade!
David Ludlow, United Kingdom
Red: Chateau Figeac 2009, France
White: William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bourgros Bougerots 2005, France
Budget Red: Rustenberg John X Merrimen 2010, S Africa
Budget White: Sportoletti Villa Fidelia Bianco 2007, Italy
Rosé: Whispering Angel Rose 2014, France
Sparkling: Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee 2011, England
Sweet: Chateau Rieussec 1998, France
Fortified: Taylors Vintage Port 1963
Thing: Being Driven in a Jaguar C Type in Tuscany
What a year! Fantastic experiences as part of my goal of an event each month including doing the Tazio Nuvolari in the C type and the Ch Figeac super tasting at the Decanter Fine Wine event. I have been fortunate to taste many fine wines which do not make this list especially Italian and S African whites. The 2009 Figeac was a revelation showing what a wonderful year it was for Bordeaux. The surprise was how good the 2012 was! Increasingly my sparkling choices are English with Hattingley an excellent new edition. Here is to another superb year in 2017.
Tom – I’m sure there will be more English sparkling wines to come in this year’s nominations: a wine category that has truly come of age with a dozen truly world class producers, and dozens more making excellent wines.
Cameron Clark, The Netherlands
Red: Aerope Grenache 2005, Two Hands
White: 1966 Clos de Petit Mont Vouvray, Allas Pere
Budget Red: La Ripassa de Montagne 2014, Benjamen Darnault
Budget White: Cuvee 4 Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2010, La Pepiere
Sparkling: Moores Creek Brut Reserve 2013, Tyrrells
Sweet: 1911 Vouvray, Marc Bredif
Fortified: Amontillado Nr 49, La Bota
Dud: 2001 d’Yquem
Thing: Mosto f my wine purchases this year were from the Loire.
50 this year meant that I drank a lot of big names and the 2 absolute stars were the La Bota 49 and the 1911 Bredif. The Vouvray in particular was a revelation – min 7 and leaking, this was double decanted and still sweet, fresh and alive 4 hours later. The nose on the La Bota was beyond my descriptive powers. There was nothing wrong with neither the 2001 d’Yquem nor the 2006 Ramonet Montrachet that I opened for my birthday, but they could not match the expectations: the Monty was enormous but too young and New World like. The Yquem was just better 10 years ago. New Year’s eve was spent in Sydney harbour when we drank the Tyrrells. A perfect night.
Tom – as always this annual exercise throws up some fascinating contrast: five entries above, the 2001 d’Yquem is someone else’s sweet wine of the year, here it’s Cameron’s ‘dud’. I have to say, being at Sydney Harbour Bridge for the New Year celebrations must be spectacular.
Red: Sesti Brunello di Montalcino “Phenomena” 2001, Tuscany, Italy
White: Domaine Economou “Oikonomoy Thrapsathiri-Vilana” 2009, Crete, Greece
Budget Red: Mount Horrocks Nero d’Avola 2013, Clare Valley, Australia
Budget White: Tenuta di Fessina Etna Bianco “A’Puddara” 2013, Sicily, Italy
Rosé: Meinklang Graupert Pinot Gris Rose 2014, Burgenland, Austria
Sparkling: Orsolani Caluso Spumante 1968 Cuvee Tradizionale NV, Piedmont, Italy
Sweet: Selvapiana Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 2007, Tuscany, Italy
Fortified: Taylors Vintage Port 1985, Douro, Portugal
Dud: Frank Cornelissen “Magma 2T” 2002, Sicily, Italy
Thing: Tuscan Raiders on Tour trip to Tuscany
More of a mixed bag in terms of drinking this year which is no bad thing. I drank the Sesti “Phenomena” on two occasions this year (both from Magnum) and it is a classy wine indeed and well worthy of my best Red. I came across the Crete White at a “Skin Contact” tasting earlier this year and was just blown away by the aromatic profile and depth of flavor of the wine; never knew Greece was making such complex wines. The Tuscan Raiders (small group of Tuscan mad forumites) did a trip to Tuscany back in May and boy was it a fun trip with lots of great food, wine, producers and of course the Giro d’Italia time trial stage through Chianti Classico.
Tom – and again: Cornelissen’s ‘natural’ wines split the panel, with the 2002 Magma being someone else’s ‘dud’! I was very impressed by some Italian varieties being grown in Australia on my recent visit, including a Nero d’Avola, so obviously potential there.
Rainer Guntermann Germany
Red: 1978 Chateau Petrus
White: 1992 Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive
Budget Red: 2010 Chateau Peyreau St. Emilion
Budget White: 2012 Bourgogne Blanc Boillot
Rosé: Miraval 2015
Sparkling: 1999 Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart Salmon
Sweet: 1967 Wachenheimer Gerümpel Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Bürklin Wolff
Fortified: 1966 Fonseca Vintage Port
Dud: The Brexit
Thing: Seeing the Norwegian Fjords on board Queen Mary 2
Happy New Year and thanks Tom.
Tom – and happy new year to you. Some extremely smart wines in this list. I’ve never tasted a mature Petrus, so one for the wish list.
Red: 1999 Domaine de L’Arlot Romanée St. Vivant
White: 1997 Nikolaihof Riesling Vinothek
Budget Red: 2013 Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo
Budget White: 2014 A. et P. de Villaine Rully Les Saints-Jacques
Rosé: 2014 Domaine Pascal Cotat (Pascal & Francis) Sancerre Chavignol Rosé
Sparkling: NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 158eme Base 2002
Sweet: 2005 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
Fortified: 1975 Blandy’s Madeira Terrantez
Dud: Burgundy Pricing
Thing: Becoming Daddy (almost twice)
It has been an intense year the Twins came in February and we are now waiting for Anna in April 2017. I passed the WSET Diploma and some MW friends are pushing me to apply. Most wines are linked to special occasions:
– the Red is the last bottle drunk at my old house
– the Sparkling at a private visit chez Krug as I won the Moet & Chandon Scholarship at Diploma
– the White at my wedding anniversary dinner
– the Sweet at the Trier Wine Auctions
– the Madeira over several dinners this summer with my best friends
– 2014 was a special year in the Loire and Burgundy
I am not sure they were the best but certainly the most meaningful.
Tom – congratulations on the twins and on the Diploma scholarship Filippo. And nice to see a lovely old Madeira made from the Terrantez grape: rarely seen, but the few old ones I’ve been lucky enough to taste have been stunning.
Edward Bolland UK
Red: Chateau Margaux, Margaux, 1996, France
White: Corton Charlemagne, Bouchard Pere et Fils 2002, France
Budget Red: Matter Corregia, Roero, Piedmont 2011, Italy
Budget White: Pernand-Vergelesses, Remi Rollin 2010, France
Rosé: Chateau Musar Rosé 2006, Lebanon
Sparkling: Bollinger RD Champagne, 1997, France
Sweet: Chateau Yquem, Sauternes 1988, France
Fortified: Taylor’s Port, 1977 Portugal
Dud: Brexit and the loss of so many musicians who defined my childhood.
Thing: Making the GB team for the European Duathlon Championships in Spain this coming April.
I’ve been lucky to drink some lovely wines this year. Some categories were filled by default as they were the only examples that I tried during the year, fortified and rosé, but they were very good wines nonetheless. My list was very much French and I am resolved to include a much greater variety of wines in my drinking for 2017.
Tom – yes, my list was more or less all European, and last year was more or less all French, which certainly does suggest that the classics are still far from being knocked off of their respective thrones.
Red: Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte, 2001, Tuscany, Italy.
White: Marcel Deiss, Mambourg, 2010, Alsace, France.
Budget Red: Saint Jean du Barroux, La Source, 2014, Ventoux, France.
Budget White: Fritz Haag, Riesling QbA, 2014, Mosel, Germany.
Sparkling: Pol Roger, Winston Churchill, 1996, Champagne, France.
Sweet: Inniskillin, Riesling Icewine, 2005, Niagra, Canada.
Fortified: Equipo Navazos, Pedro Ximenez 36, La Bota No, Sherry, Spain.
Dud: Euro 2016.
Thing: My Nespresso machine.
Tom – I had that 1996 Winston Churchill just before Christmas and it was fabulous, and as in previous years the wines of Equipo Navazos are showing strongly in the WotY lists – deservedly.
Barry Smith, United Kingdom
Red: Chateau Musar 1997
White: Greywacke Wild Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Budget Red: Weinert Carrascal Mendoza 2010
Budget White: Feteasca Regala Chateau Vartely 2014
Rosé: Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir Rose 2014
Sparkling: Charles Heidsieck Brut NV
Sweet: Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2009
Fortified: Brotons Fondillons Solera 1964
Dud: Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Hunter Valley Semillon 2009
Tom – Lovely choices – that same vintage of Kevin Judd’s Greywacke made my reserve list, and the Charles Heidsieck is truly a king among ‘standard’ NV Champagnes.
Keith Prothero, UK and South Africa
Red: Château Haut Brion 1989 Bordeaux France
White: Alheit Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2015 Walker Bay South Africa
Budget Red: Darnaud Les Trois Chenes 2010 NRhone France
Budget White: Adoro Naude Old Vines Chenin 2013 Stellenbosch South Africa
Rosé: No thanks
Sparkling: No thanks
Sweet: Château Yquem 2001 Sauternes France
Fortified: Axe Hill Cape Vintage 2011 Calitzdorp South Africa
Dud: So many Lafon Charmes 2005 pre moxed !!!!
Thing: Being diagnosed with prostate cancer
Another wonderful vinous year in which I have been fortunate to share many great bottles of wine with our regular luncheon group both in London and Cape Town . The best red was a toss up between Verset Cornas 1998 and Haut Brion 1989 . Both sensational wines with many years of improvement still. Buy both if you get the chance There are so many truly great white wines made in South Africa now and Chris Alheit is right up there with people like David Sadie, Eben Sadie and Richard Kershaw . The Alheit Maksok is a sensational Chenin from a single low yielding vineyard. Listed my prostate cancer to remind all men to check PSA regularly.
Tom – and a timely reminder on the PSA test Keith, as I’m in the prime age range for testing. I hope it all goes well. The Haut-Brion 1989 remains possibly my best wine experience ever on the one opportunity I had to share a bottle in a French restaurant several years ago.
Tim York, France
Red: 1999 Chateau Musar
White: 2008 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Bournais
Budget Red: 2014 Château La Reyne Cahors
Budget White: 2014 Herdade da Comporta Vinho Regional Península de Setúbal
Rosé: 2014 Orenga de Gaffory Patrimonio Rosé
Sparkling: 2002 Bollinger Grande Année
Sweet: 1997 Château Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon-Beaulieu Les Rouannières
Fortified: 1996 Marc Parcé Rivesaltes Élevé 18 ans en barriques
Dud: 2014 Azienda Vinicola Venea du Paolucci Nicolino Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Burbero
Thing: Les Jardins du Pays d’Auge
CellarTracker is invaluable for this sort of exercise. I discover that my most frequently high scoring wine type in 2016 was Cornas. There was also a quite large number of very decent wines costing less than €6 including the two mentioned here.
Tom – some of those white wines from the coastal vineyards of Setubal in Portugal can be terrific, also from nearby Colares, though not too easy to find in the UK.
Richard Ward, UK
Red: Chateau Talbot 2004 St Julien
White: Le Soula Blanc 2012 Cotes de Catalanes
Budget Red: Ceci Otello Nerodi NV Lambrusco
Budget White: Planalto Reserva 2013 Douro
Rosé: Ruinart Rosé NV Champagne
Sparkling: Perrier Jouet La Belle Epoque 1999 Champagne
Sweet: Chateau D’Yquem 1999 Sauternes
Fortified: Ramos Pinto 30 Year Old Tawny Port
Dud: Laurent Perrier Rosé NV Champagne
Thing: Buying a new house – my “forever” home
Tom – congratulations on the new home Richard. Another nice list with a few of my favourite producers included. I also have a single bottle of that Belle Epoque 1999 in my cellar so looks like it’s time to find an excuse to open it…
Steven Pritchard, UK
Red: Poderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Bussia 2010, Barolo DOCG, Italy
Budget Red: Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda 2013, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy
Rosé: Deutz Rose 2012, Champagne, France
Sparkling: Perrier-Jouet Brut NV (en magnum), Champagne, France
Fortified: Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1970, Portugal
Dud: Missing December social gatherings
Thing: The food scene in Herefordshire
Deutz Rose’ 2012 is another exceptional release (as good as the 2008) from this house, lovely and fragrant, with tingling acidity structuring the succulent fruit. Sparkler? So many contenders for, but in the end I went for this magnum of PJ NV (2009 based). I opened this expecting the usual coffee drenched creamy toast, but instead got a melange of tropical fruit that was to die for. A ridiculous bargain a couple of years back. Italian reds are my go to region for reds, despite some stiff competition from Californian Pinot. I make a tradition of being ill early in December, this year was no different! 🙂
Tom – Hope you’re feeling 100% better Steve. And interesting that Richard just above picked Perrier-Jouet’s deluxe Belle Epoque 1999 and you chose the ‘basic’ NV (though from magnum!).
Anders Lind, Sweden
Red: Ornellaia 1995
White: Sorgasme, La Sorga
Budget Red: Elio Altare Langhe Nebbiolo 2015
Budget White: Macon-Solutré 2014, J A Ferret
Sparkling: Damien Hugot Blanc de Blancs 2006
Sweet: Climens 1998
Fortified: Obispo Gascon, Barbadillo, Palo Cortado
Dud: The loss of all those great artists: also Leonard Cohen, Prince, George Michael, and our local heroes Olle Ljungström & Freddie Wadling
Thing: Staying with wife and teenage daughters in a penthouse in East Village NYC in June
We had a stag party for a friend in Beziers in May, by coincidence[!] we ran into a wine festival and met A. Tortul, who makes the elegant Sorgasme vin nature, from mainly Vermentino grapes. The Macon-Solutré was my first meeting with the wonderful 2014; great entry level white burgundies all the way from Maconnais to Chablis.
Tom – yes, those white Burgundies from 2014 have impressed me and – fingers crossed – there will be no more problems with ‘premox’ – premature oxidation – that has blighted these wines recently and which has led to some former white Burgundy lovers abandoning the category altogether.
Ian Amstad, UK
Red: Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2009
White: Ramonet Bienvenues Batard Montrachet 2008
Budget Red: Burlotto Barolo 2012
Budget White: The Wine Society Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay 2014
Rosé: Billecart Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon 1997
Sparkling: Billecart Salmon Cuvée Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 1976
Dud: Big Brexit Lies
Thing: Twizzler (half Yorkshire, half Maltese terrier)
A tumultuous year in a turbulent world, but we carried on drinking majestically regardless – http://comteflaneur.blogspot.co.uk – often at wine-pages’ forum off lines, notably including 1982 Bordeaux, d’Yquem, Rhone past masters and ‘wimps’. Let’s keep the flame burning in 2017…
Tom – That Wine Society Chardonnay is made by the superb Kumeu River, whose name on a label is more or less a guarantee of an outstanding Chardonnay. Great that the virtual community on wine-pages’ forum continues to spawn so many outstanding real-life events.
Red: Sassicaia 1988
White: De Montille Puligny Caillerets 1998
Budget Red: Domaine du Tunnel Cornas 2004
Budget White: Luigi Baudana Langhe Bianco ‘Dragon’ 2015
Sparkling: Dom Perignon 1985
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 1971
Fortified: Leacock’s Sercial 1928
Dud: Many bottles of white 05-07 Henri Boillot.
Thing: Visit to Valpolicella was eye-opening.
Despite being fortunate enough to go to a 1982 First Growths dinner, Sassicaia 1988 shone as the wine of the year – a spectacular bottle shared with a good friend. The De Montille 1998 put into perspective the tragedy of white burgundy – so binary. Yquem 71 was for me a big step up against esteemed company including 76, 88, 89 and 90 on that occasion. Lots of good champagne this year but DP85 shone for its delicate beauty. Graham 70 was a glorious port but the Leacock’s Sercial 1928 had amazing complexity. Two wine discoveries have been: Littorai’s Pinots; and Amarone not being what I thought it was (rather a much more exciting proposition).
Tom – yes, it’s interesting that more intensive tasting of Amarone in the region has changed your opinion of the wine – or what the wine was capable of being. I confess I too have a slight tendency to think they are all pretty much the same, so maybe I need to explore more too.
See Tom’s Wines of the Year