Entries for Wines of the Year 2017 are now closed.
Red: Haut Brion 1989
White: Leflaive Montrachet 2000
Budget Red: Lismore Syrah 2014
Budget White: Naude Old Vines Chenin 2013
Sweet: Yquem 2001
Dud: Numerous pre-moxed white burgundy
Thing: The price of fine Burgundy is so outrageous that I have stopped drinking it
A year which started very badly with a couple of health issues which necessitated a reduction in consumption of alcohol for a few months. Have made up for lost time though in the second half of the year, and was fortunate to drink a number of superb wines at various lunches at the excellent La Trompette, Chez Bruce and Kew Glasshouse. Thanks Tom as always for the Forum and Wine-Pages. Undoubtably the finest of its type in the wine world.
Keith, first of all, very best wishes that the health issues are now under control, and congratulations on being able to enjoy your wines again – and what wines! The ’89 Haut-Brion remains possibly my greatest ever red wine, and a nice mix of French and Cape classics to complete the line-up. Thanks too for the very kind words on wine-pages and the forum – Tom
Richard W H Bray
Red: Chateau La Gaffelière 1928
White: Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne 1974
Budget Red: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo MAb Abbazia di Propezzano 2016
Budget White: Dragon Langhe Bianco, Luigi Baudana 2015
Rosé: Cathar(tic) Wines “Sink the Pink” IGP Côtes Catalanes 2016
Sparkling: 1961 Roederer Rosé
Sweet: Consolation “Armistice” Late Harvest Syrah 2007
Fortified: Kopke 1957 Colheita
Other style/Extra choice: Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s distillery no. 4 bottlings
Dud: everything about the president of the united states
Thing: Finished the first draft of my second novel.
I was fortunate, and drank very well this year. The top red and top white came from a private cellar in Paris. Almost every bottle from it has been incredible. Served the ’28 blind, I thought it was a ’59 first growth. The ’74 had no right to be that good. Both value Italians are guilty of punching well above their weight. The rosé was the first vintage of my own label, produced at Mas Cristine. The Roederer was amazing; persistent. The Armistice at 10 years has decades, if there’s any to be found. The Kopke was perfect. Finished the first draft of my second novel and racing to meet deadlines for the final draft of my first. Bring on 2018.
Sounds like a hugely exciting 2018 and a productive 2017 Richard, and I look forward to trying your own wine – and reading our book: glad to see your slaving away at Mas Cristine each year has finally paid off 🙂 – Tom
Kevin Courtney, NZ
Red: Leoville Barton 1982, France
Sweet: D’Yquem 2001, France
Dud: the largely underwhelming array of aged white burgs I tried during the year
Thing: getting to meet so many lovely wine-pages’ forum members
I have yet to come across a forum member I haven’t found instantly likeable. The BYO dinner in Glasgow at Cail Bruich before your Festival of Wine is a very enjoyable event. I also got to attend my very first ‘Wimps’ (a regular ‘offline’ held by London member of the wine-pages forum – Tom) in Oct. which was certainly a highlight.
Kevin brought his own Riverby Estate wines to both my Glasgow and London Festivals of Wine in 2017, making the trip over from Marlborough each time: we were lucky to taste your superb wines, but I know spending time ‘offline’ with members of the forum is always a highlight for Kevin, as we managed to have a couple of dinners together – Tom
Ole Udsen, Denmark
Red: Casa Comerci Libìci IGT Calabria Rosso 2011
White: Vigneti Massa Derthona Costa del Vento 2013
Budget red: Nino Costa Dolcetto d’Alba 2016
Budget white: Michele Calò e Figli Mjère Bianco IGT Salento
Rosé: Vignaflora/Flora Saponari Tre Tomoli Susumaniello IGT Puglia 2016
Sweet: Villa Papiano Tregenda R! Romagna Albana Passito 2014
Sparkling: Sarno 1860 Spumante Fiano
Fortified: Bodegas Urium Palo Cortado
Other style/extra choice: Villa Papiano Vermouth Tregenda 2014
Thing: The enormous variety of vermentino in Italy alone at display at the 1st national vermentino competition in Monti and Olbia.
The Palo Cortado is not the one in commerce, but one from a 100-year-old pipe at the bodega – insane stuff.
Many thanks Ole. An almost Italian list, but at least Spain got a look in 🙂 I’ve enjoyed a lot of Vermentino wines over the years, in Italy and in France where it is known as ‘Rolle’, and it is capable of real Chablis-like intensity – Tom
Mike Grammer, Canada
Red: 2015 Marchand-Tawse Chambertin Clos de Beze
White: 2012 Coche-Dury Meursault
Budget Red: 2015 Westcott Family Pinot Noir Reserve
Sparkling: 2002 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
Sweet: 1988 D’Yquem – WINE OF THE YEAR
Fortified: Fernando de Castilla Antique PX
Other style/Extra choice: 1982 Chateau Canon
Thing: Meeting so many new oenos in all parts of the world…yes, even me!
The Westcott Family Pinot is the best Pinot I’ve ever had from Ontario, period, and the Chateau Canon, one of the greatest Bordeaux I’ve ever had.
As an obvious Burgundy lover I take your recco on the Westcott seriously Mike – though I guess I might have to wait until my next trip to Canada to find it! – Tom
Craig Dennis, UK
Red: Domaine Parent 1999 Corton Grand Cru ‘Les Renardes’
White: Chateau de Beaucastel 2012 Vielles Vignes Roussanne
Budget Red: AA Badenhorst
Budget White: Jeremy Recchione 2014 Bourgogne Aligote
Rosé: Pierre Yves Colin Morey 2015 Rosé de Pinot Noir
Sparkling: 1988 Krug Vintage
Sweet: NV Mullineux Olerasay Straw Wine
Other style/Extra choice: Clos Lentiscus Sumoll Ferèstec Mètode Traditionelle (Sparkling)
Dud: The untimely passing of too many friends
Thing: WIMPS & Wine-Pages Offlines
Yet again another really good year for wine, and sharing in the pleasure of Wine-Pages based offlines. The generosity adds but the company is always the winner. I think this is always my thing of the year purely because it consistently brings such joy and laughter. Sadly against this back drop the loss of too many friends this year in an untimely manner brings with it an inherent sadness. I hope for more of the former and much less of the latter in 2018. Finally the completion of my underground cellar is something that brings a smile to my face on a daily basis, only here can I say that without getting some very strange looks!
Craig, I can still give you a strange look if you wish! And it is wonderful that the ‘offlines’ (when members of the wine-pages discussion forum get together) brings such joy – Tom
Benedict Jenks, England
Red: Romanee St Vivant 1988 DRC
White: Chevalier Montrachet 2014 PYCM
Budget Red: Chianti Classico 2007 Fontodi
Budget White: Furore Bianco 2015 Marisa Cuomo
Rosé: Dom Perignon Rose P2 1996
Sparkling: Charles Heidseick 1981
Sweet: Yquem 1988
Fortified: Taylor 1955
Other style/Extra choice: Home made “London” vinegar which is delicious with our Tuscan Olive Oil
Dud: Dior Spring Summer 2018 at Musee Rodin
Thing: Bute St Market on Saturday mornings
I admit that it is a list of rare and special wines, but we have been fortunate this year and had some amazing wines. Our drinking has polarised even more this year and the highs just seem to be more memorable than the lows.
If they are the best, they are the best Benedict, and whilst other lists will have fewer rare/old/expensive wines, I for one take vicarious pleasure in hearing about these! Fontodi is my standby Chianti whenever I eat in restaurants and spot it on the list – just such a reliable wine in every vintage it seems – Tom
Otto Nieminen, Finland
Red: Romanée-Conti de la DRC 2004, France
White: Loimer Achtung! Muskateller 2015, Austria
Budget Red: Santini Frères / Vin Noë Beaujolais Lantignié “Les Monthieux” 2016, France
Budget White: Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde Loureiro 2015, Portugal
Rosé: Supernatural Spook Light Skin Fermented Pinot Gris 2016, New Zealand
Sparkling: Domaine Le Roc Roc’Ambulle Pét-Nat, Fronton, France
Sweet: Albert Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** Alte Reben Caldo Infernale 2010, Germany
Dud: The global rise of fascism
Thing: Digital watches (G-shocks especially)
It has been a budget year (though my choice of red doesn’t look like it – but that was a generous glass not paid by me). But it has also been a year of no duds. I’ve been careful with what I’ve been buying and I haven’t been much to tastings so everything I’ve drunk has been good. Mostly I have opened “natural” wines and I continue to love them though I disagree with the philosophy behind them. But they are fun and interesting. Just as I like fun rather than serious wine, I like fun watches and colourful digital G-shocks are just the thing for me.
I did gulp when I saw “budget year” and DRC in the same entry, but thanks for the explanation 🙂 Quinta do Ameal is a really terrific Vinho Verde – I must re-acquaint myself with it soon – Tom
Mahmoud Ali, Canada
Red: Frescobaldi, Castello di Nipozzano, Chianti Riserva, 1962
White: Deinhard, Forster Ungeheur Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 1983
Budget Red: Rabl, Zweigelt ‘Titan’, Vinum Optimum, Austria, 2011
Budget White: Rabl, Gruner Veltliner ‘Spiegel’/Riesling ‘Steinhaus’, Austria, 2013
Rosé: Benjamin Bridge, Brut Rose, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2011
Sparkling: Louis Roederer ‘Cristal’ Brut Milleseme, 2004
Sweet: Chateau Lamothe ‘Guinard’, Sauternes, 2008
Fortified: Rozes, Vintage Port, 1985
Other style/Extra choice: Monimpex, Tokaji, Szamorodni, Hungary, 1977
Thing: The second year running for inexpensive bubbly to come my way.
This was the year when I decided that it was time to attack the cellar a bit more aggressively and sacrifice some of my older wines. The four oldest selections were single bottles and date back to when I started on my vinuous journey. The character they display is what I look for in cellared wines and these wines epitomizes what well made wines can aspire to without the fanfare of scoring points & high prices, but bear in mind they were some of the classic cellaring wines of the time: Chiant riserva, German riesling, port & Tokaji. The Cristal and BB sparkling rose were young pups but very elegant. The Rabl’s were fresh, tasty & characterful.
Excellent and quite esoteric list Mahmoud, and I thoroughly approve of making sure you drink from your cellar – it’s all too easy to let wines age too long because you can’t bear to drink them! – Tom
Anthony Davies, UK
Red: RPM Gamay Noir 2015, El Dorado County, California & Meo Camuzet Chambolle Musigny 1er Le Cras 2009
White: Nicolas Reau Clos de Treilles Chenin Blanc 2015, Loire Valley & Kistler Vine Hill Chardonnay 2013, Russian River Valley
Budget Red: Comando G La Bruja de Rozas 2015, Sierra de Gredos
Budget White: Judith Beck Weissburgunder 2016, Burgenland
Rosé: Eschenhof Holzer Wagram Rosé 2015, Wagram
Sparkling: Okenagan Crush Pad Narrative 2013, British Columbia
Sweet: JJ Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2010, Mosel
Fortified: Baros Colheita 1996, O Porto
Other style/Extra choice: The amazing quality of Cru Beaujolais – the 2014, 2016 and 2016s are absolutely incredible. Chaly Thevenet Grain & Granite Regnie 2015 was the standout wine at London Beaujolais tasting and great value
Dud: Most young Bordeaux – where’s the excitement these days?
Thing: Young winemakers from Jura, Beaujolais, Austria, Spain, Australia, South Africa and California – the future is so bright!
There has never been a better time to be a wine lover – we seem to be in perfect balance of tradition and innovation right now – I get exited about every bottle of wine I open right now.
A man for whom my instruction “One wine per category” clearly means nothing! 🙂 I can see that’s your sheer enthusiasm for the world of wine shining through though Anthony, so I do forgive you 🙂 Interesting to see Austria, Germany – and indeed Canada – cropping up in quite a few lists this year.
Tim Jackson, UK
Red: Paul Jaboulet Aine, Hermitage La Chapelle 1995, France
White: Marc Colin, Montrachet Grand Cru 2006, France
Budget Red: Leeuwenkuil, Bush Vine Cinsault Swartland 2016, South Africa
Budget White: Deltetto, Roero Arneis San Michele 2016, Italy
Rosé: Tenuta della Terre Nere, Etna Rosato 2016, Italy
Sparkling: Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millenaires 1995, France
Sweet: Zind-Humbrecht, Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal SdGN Trie Speciale 2008, France
Fortified: d’Oliveiras, Moscatel Madeira 1900, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Monacesca, Mirum Marche Bianco IGT (Matelica) 1998, Italy
Dud: Errazuriz, Pinot Noir Las Pizarras Aconcagua Costa 2014, Chile
Thing: That this year should be brought to me by the letters “M” and “W”
Another good vinous year, though with more contenders for great white this time than red, like Trimbach’s Reserve Personelle Pinot Gris 2008 (I believe a great PG vintage, as it has acidity), Sadie’s Palladius (length!) and so on. La Chapelle from magnum was perfectly mature and outshone Bonnefond Cote Rotie Rochains 2009 comfortably, with only a couple of Riojas (Contino 2010 Reserva; Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2001) and some fine Nebbiolos to contend with. Dom Perignon 2002 was actually slightly better than the Blanc des M 1995, but I’ve enjoyed the 1995 very much this year. And finally the grossly overpriced Pizarras – over £70!
Tim, fingers crossed for both the M and the W. I agree the Pizarras Pinot is over-priced at £70, but did you taste it’s white partner? For me one of South America’s best Chardonnays – Tom
David Band, UK
Red: Gianni Gagliardo Serre Barolo 2012
White: Ken Forrester Dirty Little Secret One 2015
Budget Red: Rive Droite, Rive Gauche Cotes du Rhone 2016
Budget White: Aldi Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling
Rosé: Miraval Provence Rosé 2016
Sparkling: Nyetimber Classic Cuvee
Sweet: St Stephan’s Crown Tokaji Aszu 2013
Fortified: M&S Very Rare Pedro Ximenez NV
Other style/Extra choice: Rubis Chocolate Wine
Dud: Missing out on trying a 1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon at Luvians Wine Fair
Firstly, I need to take more notes – there may well have been better wines I completely forgot about. I attended my first wine events in 2017 (Luvians and Edinburgh Festival of Wine) which were great experiences, and let me try wines outwith my usual price range! I’m a novice compared to the other submitters, but hopefully having joined the Wine Society and attending more events in 2018 will widen my wine radar. I have a Two Paddocks Pinot Noir and Klein Constantia Vin de Constance waiting in my new wine cooler that will hopefully start 2018 off well!
It was pleasure to meet you and your brother at my Edinburgh Festival of Wine – genuine enthusiasts with a world of wine before you! Some smart choices here, and picking out wines like the Aldi Riesling and M&S PX shows your tasting skills are spot on – two great value wines – Tom
Will Taylor, UK
Red: 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage
White: 2010 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon
Budget Red: 2015 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Verduno Pelaverga
Budget White: 2010 Arnaud Ente Bourgogne Blanc (only paid £15/bt)
Rosé: 2014 Domaine Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Rosé Fleur de Pinot
Sparkling: 1985 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon
Sweet: 1990 Château d’Yquem
Fortified: NV Barbeito Madeira Malvazia Over 40 Years Old “Mãe Manuela”
Other style/Extra choice: 2001 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
Dud: 1984 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet
Some great drinking this year with the highlight probably being a Chave/La Chapelle dinenr @ Pied a Terre in May with 88/89/90 & 91 of each followed by 90 Yquem. The Pelaverga was introduced to me at the alternative Piedmonte offline and I’ve been keeping an eye out for it since. The Fleur de Pinot from Pataille was a revelation when tasting it with Sylvain in Burgundy in the summer, a wine i’ll be buying every year for sure and 2001 Rayas was tasted on that same Burgundy trip and was annoyingly good given how much it is in the UK! The problem with my ‘dud’ was that the cork fell in on opening, and it was totally shot.
Yes, how wonderful it would be to be able to access – and afford – wines like Rayas, Raveneau Chablis and Quintarelli on a regular basis 🙁 But looks to me like you drank OK in 2017 Will!
Andrew Stevenson, UK
Red: Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille 1995, Italy
White: Terre Stregate Sannio Svelato 2014, Italy
Budget Red: Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Spéciale 2007, France
Budget White: Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Kabinett 1998, Germany
Rosé: Chateau Musar Rosé 2012, Lebanon
Sparkling: Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut Rosé 2013, Cornwall
Sweet: Reichsrat Von Buhl Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Beerenauslese 1994, Germany
Fortified: Leacock Verdelho Velho (NV, believed to be 1920s), Madeira
Other style/Extra choice: A “Pinot Gris Masterclass” mixed case of 2005 Alsace pinot gris, bought from the Wine Society in 2007 and removed from reserves this year has been a delight
Dud: A tie between politics & intolerance and some awful Laithwaites wines my dad had bought
Thing: Glasgow Festival of Wine/SuperBOWL – could easily have provided all my WOTYs
The Brunello could almost have been bargain of the year: bought for £30 in 2003. If I’d looked up its current price, I’d probably not have opened it! The Sannio is one of the few 3 bicchiere wines I’ve had, where I’ve stopped, paused, and thought, yes, that’s obviously 3 bicchiere. My TN in Jan 2017 said “It’s still only January, and I’m sure this is going to be in contention for a wine of the year at the end of 2017.” The Camel Valley scored the same as Krug 1990 in my notes, but won on value (£20.66) & being just so enjoyably delicious. The £4.50 Karthäuserhof was cheap when bought from the former French & Logan back in 2004, but now…
Lots to talk about in this list – a huge thanks for the high praise for the Glasgow Festival of Wine to kick off, but also the point about the current price of the Brunello, bought at a more affordable price over a decade ago. I have some wines that have almost priced themselves beyond drinkability in the years since I bought them, but I still suspect I will drink rather than ever sell. Also nice to see Sannio get a mention – after a memorable trip I had there a few years ago, discovering many fascinating wines – Tom
Red: Seña 2011
White: JJ Prum Auslese 1990
Budget Red: Cruzelles 2012
Budget White: Peter Lauer Kabinett 2012
Sweet: Doisy Daene 2007
Dud: Moulin St George’s 2005
Thing: To search for enjoyable, drinkable wines and try new styles.
I was so fortunate to have a vertical of Seña, with the winemaker, in the vineyard, when I last visited Chile, and I am convinced it is one of the New World great wines. And as for your ‘thing’ – hear hear – Tom.
Mike Bartlett, UK
Red: Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 2003
White: Malagousia PGI Epanomani, Domaine Gerovassiliou, Macedonia 2015
Budget Red: Chateau Calet, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux 2009
Budget White: Albariño Martín Códax 2016 Rías Baixas
Rosé: Whispering Angel 2016
Sparkling: Les Pionniers Champagne (Co-Op) NV
Sweet: Chateau Riussec Sauternes 1999
Fortified: Palo Cortado, Vides Lusteau, Jerez, Spain
Other style/Extra choice: Chateau Palmer, Margaux 2005
Dud: The Ashes – hopes dashed all too quickly!
Thing: Lions tour to New Zealand – plenty of life in the old dog yet…
Was a bit worried about the CdP from the heatwave year but we had it from magnum at Christmas and it was majestic. Chateau Calet is cheap but very cheerful and shows that 2009 was a great vintage across the board. Maybe silly to pick the Co-Op’s own brand fizz but it ticks all the boxes for me! The Riussec was a wonderful treat, as was the Palmer, which was absolutely singing, although clearly with a long life ahead of it. Happy new year Tom, and here’s to some fine wines in 2018!
And happy new year to you too Mike. I like the choice of the Pionneers – as I am sure you know, made by the team at the bang on form Piper-Heidsieck, and I hear the vintage version is well worth trying too – Tom
David Pope, UK
Red: J –L Chave Hermitage rouge 1995
White: J Lopez-Herredia Tondonia gran reserva blanco Rioja 1987
Budget Red: ‘La Vista’ 2016, Domaine Ribiera
Budget White: St Mont 2015, Marks and Spencer
Sparkling: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1998
Sweet: J J Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling auslese gold kapsul 1995
Fortified: Graham’s 1970 port
Other style/Extra choice: English sparklers continue to impress.
Dud: Being 60!
Thing: Being 60!
Most of these choices were drunk at my 60th birthday offline in February. I’d saved them for the occasion and most lived up to expectations. The budget red was a gift from a shop in Paris. It’s 100% Cinsault, which is unusual. IIRC it’s from Herault and costs around 15 euros. It was utterly delicious and really hit the spot. The St Mont was an own-label wine from M & S, costing just £9. It was strongly recommended by a wine-pages forumite. It’s a blend of Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Petit Courbu and Arrufiac. I’d not heard of the last grape variety. A great bargain! I have resolved to explore south and south-west France more in 2018.
Congratulations on the big 6-0 David. Indeed the Southwest of France is a happy hunting ground, and St Mont (almost all wines made by the excellent co-op) is super-reliable. I wonder if that budget red is from the biodynamic estate that I know as Ferrer-Ribière, which I visited in 2005 and which very much impressed with its wines made from ancient vineyards? – Tom
Maureen Kerr, UK
Red: Verset Cornas 1990
White: Chateau Grillet 1993
Budget Red: Domaine De Grandmaison 2015 (discovered by Ian)
Sparkling: Roederer Cristal 1990
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 1988
Fortified: Tesseron Cognac N.53 X.O. Perfection (served by Alfred Tesseron)
Other style/Extra choice: I rediscovered old CNDP and liked it! Vin di Felibre 2005 (thanks to Alex R)
Dud: The USA Don!
Thing: Adobe Lightroom for photography
I thoroughly enjoyed pulling out of Seckfords my ’08 Cote Rotie Terres Sombres Yves Cuilleron and ’04 Dujac, both drinking superbly right now. A fun year for photography and a lovely trip to Andalucia with my Nikon! Another memorable year on the wine tour front with trips to Burgundy, Piedmont and Bordeaux. Chateau Lafite opened its doors to us and served a delightful ’07 in its subterranean concert room. To top it all, we held several memorable dinner parties with some great wines: Lynch-Bages ’82, Corton Charlemagne Louis Latour ’70 and two rather sublime DRCs – La Tache ’96 and Richebourg ’04. I’d say a rather pleasant year indeed!
My goodness but you had a good year of drinking! Makes me and my Lidl Barolo seem rather sad 🙂 – Tom
Gavin Davies, Scotland
Red: Leoville Barton 2001
White: Musar Blanc 1998
Budget Red: Garmendia 2008, Castilla Y Leon
Budget White: Domaine Wachau, Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Ried Pichlpoint 2016
Sparkling: Duval Leroy Blanc de Blancs 2005
Sweet: Allegrini Recioto Della Valpolicella 2011
Fortified: Fernando de Castilla Antique Fino
Other style/Extra choice: Chateau Musar 1985
Thing: Bothying and rediscovering the Highlands
It’s been an incredibly Musar intensive year hence the additional 1985 (birth year) entry and 1998 white which were both singing as part of a 10 vintage vertical. Duval Leroy 2005 – Whilst there have been many far more glamorous fizz’s tasted in 2017 this has astounded me on several occasions to the point I’d rather be drinking it right now over most prestige Cuvées.
Quite a few wines in there that I know well and have very much enjoyed too, and it reminds me that I had a dinner with Domane Wachau in the autumn that I have still to write up for wine-pages! P.S. for those wondering, to ‘Bothy’ the verb to stay in a simple stone shelter on an overnight hike in the Scottish Highlands 🙂 – Tom
Red: 1961 Chambertin Jaboulet Vercherre
White: 1985 Chevalier Demoiselles Louis Latour
Budget Red: 2004 Chateau Lanessan
Budget White: 2015 Gruener Veltliner Loumer
Rosé: Miraval 2015
Sparkling: 1988 Dom Perignon Magnum
Sweet: 1959 Deutelsbacher Kruegle Edelbeerenauslese Remstalkellerei
Fortified: 1960 Taylors Vintage Port
Other style/Extra choice: 2007 Lemberger Dautel
Dud: As for years now the pmox of White Burgundies and the denial from the producers
Thing: Neal Martin leaving the Wine Advocate.
Thanks Tom and a happy New Year.
And happy new year to you Rainer. A lovely tour through classical European terroirs this, and nice to see an 1985 white Burgundy showing so well. I see that Lemberger is a synonym for Blaufränkisch (had to look that up). I had so many really impressive Blaufränkisch wines on a trip to Austria a couple of years ago – Tom
Red: Quintarelli, Rosso del Bepi 2005 (Veneto)
White: Dom. Gabriel et Paul Jouard, Chassagne Montrachet Les Vides Bourses 2014 (Burgundy)
Budget Red: GB Burlotto, Dolcetto 2016 (Piedmont)
Budget White: Pieropan Soave Calvarino 2015 (Veneto)
Sparkling: Ch. Beaux Hauts, En Tirage 1992 (Russian River Valley)
Sweet: GD Vajra, Moscato d’Asti 2016
Other style/Extra choice: 1976 Averys red Burgundy (various)
Dud: A succession of terrible wines at a natural wine tasting.
Quintarelli Wine was a revelation moment – dried grape wines from Veneto can be ethereal and lifted, not brutal! The Jouard Chassagne is so perfectly poised. The Beaux Hautes (Bozo!) sparkler from RRV was a wine of enormous bottle variation but with a fascinating story attached. Not much money and full of interest. The Averys 1976 wines came from the auction of John Averys personal cellar and all came with fantasy names like “Marechal de Bonaparte” so there was sleuthing to do to unpick what might have been put in the bottles. Emphasis on the “might!” But feels like drinking a bit of history. And tasty!
The very few Quintarelli wines I’ve tasted have been absolutely brilliant, though even their ‘basic’ Valpolicella is £70 a bottle or so, so certainly super-premium. Funnily enough I picked up some really old Avery’s Burgundies a few years ago, from the 50s and 70s, and each has been really pleasurable – Tom
David Harvey, UK, Europe
Red: La Porta di Vertine, Chianti Classico Riserva 2010, Tuscany (It)
White: Niepoort Quinta do Baixo, VV Branco 2013, Bairrada (Pt)
Budget Red: All good un-barriqued cru Beaujolais (Fr) – a most subtly sensual red genre
Budget White: Famille Tardieu, St.Peray 2016, North Rhone (Fr)
Rosé: Renardet-Fache, Cerdon de Bugey, Methode Ancestrale, Ain (Fr)
Sweet: William Brogioni, Vin Santo 2004 (12yr) Nettare degli Dei, Tuscany (It)
Fortified: Niepoort, Bioma Vintage Port 2015, Douro (Pt)
Other style/Extra choice: Bucaco (aka Bussaco) Palace Hotel, Branco 1958 (Pt) – at their centenary
Dud: Mousiness in some purist natural wine; the somewhat misnamed Almaviva’s 20th anniversary
Thing: 1st pilgrimage to the Douro & Bairrada; Jimmy Wales speaking at Creative Mornings, LDN
Always a wonderful opportunity to stop and reflect on a year in wine. Thanks, Tom. Today am listening to Brahms 1st piano concerto (Barenboim playing), which I don’t hear nearly enough, just as there are wines that one doesn’t come across enough, or that can no longer be bought for normal money, unlike the music. My choices I have had multiple vintages/bottles of, which brings one so much closer to the wine. So no singles here, period, which writes off magic like Lafon Perrieres 91 & Tondonia GR blanco 91, L.Remy Le Chambertin 06, L.Pato’s Vina Pan 96. And there was plenty of Soldera, Rinaldi, Brovia, Disznoko, but these wines are known. HNY!
And happy new year to you David. A bold move to include only wines where you have tasted multiple bottles. That would have changed my list completely, but I do have a caveat that I only include wines drunk, not just tasted, wherever possible. Yes, Portugal is still a source of some fantastic wines made from indigenous varieties. Still a treasure trove. And finally: moussiness. I’ve come across a couple of natural wines, one a lowish alcohol gamay in Australia, that just reeked disgustingly of ‘mousiness’ to me and were totally undrinkable, yet some other people tasting got that the wine was ‘funky’ but didn’t mind it. I guess it must be one of those aromas for which we each have our own threshold of acceptability? – Tom
Matt O’Connor, UK
Red: Jaboulet La Chapelle 1990
White: Vernay Coteau de Vernon 2010
Budget Red: Vajra Freisa Kye 2006
Budget White: Cantina Terlano Vorberg Riserva 2012
Rosé: Savart Champagne Bulle de Rose NV
Sparkling: Cristal 1990
Sweet: Yquem 1989
Fortified: Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas
Other style/Extra choice: Rayas 1995
Dud: Aged Bollinger generally
Thing: Exciting grower champagne
I would like to explore grower Champagnes more than I do, as I guess my drinking is 70/30 in favour of established marques, but it is one of those incredibly detailed areas that I think needs lots of study and research, and I might find time one day whilst still trying to cover the world of wine! – Tom
Richard Ward, UK
Red: Chateau Haut Brion 1999
White: Penfold Yattarna Chardonnay 2005
Budget Red: Chateau Pitray 2011, Castillon
Budget White: Paul Mas “La Forge” Marsanne 2014
Rosé: Chateau de Galoupet Rosé 2016, Cotes de Provence
Sparkling: Dom Perignon 1998
Sweet: Chateau Climens 2001
Fortified: Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927
Dud: 2 corked bottles of Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Thing: Being promoted to Head of Science
Congratulations on the promotion Richard. Lovely list, a couple of which I have in my cellar, so nice to see they are on form. A lot of the Paul Mas white varietal wines – Viognier and Marsanne – have really impressed me this year too – Tom
Ronald Massard, Thailand
Red: Rippon (New Zealand), mature vines pinot noir, Central Otago 2012
White: Domaine Ramonet (France), Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru Les Caillerets 1999
Budget Red: Domaine Saint-Sylvestre (France), Terrasses du Larzac 2013
Budget White: Domaine de la Pinte (France) melon a queue rouge, Arbois-Pupillin 2014
Rosé: Chateau d’Aqueria (France), Tavel 2014
Sparkling: Cloudy Bay (New Zealand), Pelorus, Marlborough NV
Sweet: Istvan Kiss (Hungary), 6 puttonyos, Tokaji Aszu 1972
Fortified: Clos Culombu (France), Dolce Rossu, Vin de France NV
Other style/Extra choice: Peregrine (New Zealand), pinot noir, Central Otago 2015
Dud: Billecart-Salmon (France), Champagne 2004
Thing: Bhutan!!! The real Shangri La, a secluded kingdom in the Himalayas with stunning landscapes, amazing architecture and friendly population. Difficult to reach, with a shortage of seats on the few planes to land up there.
Nice winter (July) trip to NZ, to be stunned by the progress in releasing elegant pinot noirs. It goes now beyond Rippon or Felton Road: the average kiwi pinot noir is now tense and got rid of the heavy strawberry jam taste it used to present. I don’t know how the Ramonets could achieve such a miracle in 1999 (who said the 1990s white Burgs were oxidized ?), but this bottle was even more complex and refined than the previous one. But the real monster of the year was the mind-boggling 1972 Tokaji … it kept coming back in waves … until the end of the evening …
Great list again Ronald. I agree totally on Kiwi Pinot: I once wrote Marlborough off (whilst loving Martiborough and most of Central Otago), but just as you describe, even the less expensive wines from there have changed for the better and make some terrific drinking – Tom
Red: 1989 Palmer (run close by 2001 Montrose)
White: 1976 Murrieta Rioja
Budget Red: Pruno 2015 (first wine shared with my son over suckling lamb in Spain)
Budget White: Ossian, Quintaluna 2015
Sparkling: Piper 2002 Rare
Sweet: 1988 Climens
Fortified: Equipo Navazos 75 (or basically any EN sherry I’ve tasted)
Thing: Drinking and dining with friends.
Comments (maximum 650 characters):
I’m only filling this out to say thanks to Tom for creating the most enjoyable space in the entire world wide web. There is not a more civilised and educated space in the virtual sphere. Thank you.
The wine choices are entirely random. I find it impossible to choose between the really excellent wines I drink thanks to the generosity of friends. I don’t deserve their generosity. I’m someone who will happily quaff basic wines in good company so it’s all quite random. I value friendship and good company over beverages so feel free to ignore these choices. Friendship trumps wine anyday.
What a very nice thought Ray, and thank you for your appreciation of wine-pages – as we enter our 23rd year of continuous publication, that means a lot to me! – Tom
Red: Chateau Langoa Barton, Saint-Julien 2010, Bordeaux, France
White: Philippe Charlopin, Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice 2013, Burgundy, France
Budget Red: Ch Cote Montpezat, Cuvee Compostelle 2010, Cotes de Castillon, France
Budget White: Skouras, Salto Moscofilero Wild Yeast 2014, Peloponnese, Greece
Rosé: Domaine de la Colombette, Notorious Pink 2016, Languedoc, France
Sparkling: Chateau Frank, Brut 2008, Finger Lakes, New York, USA
Sweet: Alvear, Montilla-Moriles Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2013, Andalucia, Spain
Fortified: Barbeito & Rare Wine Co, Library Company NV, Madeira, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Champagne De Margerie, Bouzy Rouge Grand Cru NV, France
Dud: Gabriel Meffre, Laurus 2012, Hermitage, France
Thing: Global Warming can be Delicious, Black Current 2016, Bear Creek Winery, Alaska, USA
Comments (maximum 650 characters): So many great wines this year. Even my dud scored only a B-.
OK, you got me: I have not tasted an Alaskan wine (so far at least). Nice to see a still wine from Champagne as your extra choice – Tom
Paul Anderson, Scotland
Red: Bandol 1989 La Laidiere, France
White: Pinot Gris GC Sommerberg 1997, Albert Boxler, Alsace, France
Budget Red: Viña Arana Reserva 2006, La Rioja Alta, Spain
Budget White: Viré-Clessé Elevé en Futs Chêne 2014 Domaine Michel, Burgundy, France
Rosé: Cassis Rosé 2016, Provence, France
Sparkling: Gaston-Chiquet Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ GC NV Champagne, France
Sweet: Riesling GC Sommerberg “D” 2011 Vendanges Tardives, Boxler, Alsace, France
Fortified: Graham’s 1977 Vintage Port, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Comte de Senneval NV Champagne, France
Dud: Auberge Le Relais, Reuilly-Sauvigny, Marne Valley, Champagne
Thing: Celtic’s treble winning season and 69 game domestic run without defeat.
Comments (maximum 650 characters): The Bandol was proof that this wine needs at least 25 years ageing. I’m sure Boxler has made my annual list before, but twice this year? My favourite Alsace (if not white wine) producer. I think I must be one of the few who prefers Arana over Ardanza from LRA. Michel has definitely made my list many times and deserves a place again. The only White Burgundy producer I can trust to not make their wine to oxidise after 5 years. The Graham’s exceeded all expectations. It had lain in my cellar for over 25 years and it was amazingly fresh, balanced and not spirity. An absolute stunning bottle. Senneval was a great Lidl reco bargain at £7.99.
A fine, thought-provoking list Paul, with issues of white Burgundy consistency and preferring ‘lesser’ cuvees to their grander cousins. And nice to see the Senneval Champagne make the grade: it was my Wine of the Week when reduced to £7.99, and at that price worth consideration as ‘bargain of the year’ – Tom
Barry Dean, UK
White: Krug 1995
Budget White: 2001 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese **
Rosé: Champagne André Clouet Rosé No. 3
Sparkling: Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 1996
Sweet: Gosset Petite Douceur Rosé
Other style/Extra choice: Dom Pérignon 1982
Dud: Most demi-secs.
Thing: Multicoloured wifi-controlled smart lighting.
Comments (maximum 650 characters): The year I finally luxuriated in champagne, my true love. I tried 118, including the vintages ’82, ’88-90 inclusive, ’95, ’96, and ’99-12 inclusive, several of which were firsts for me.
A man after my own heart! Champagne is certainly my desert island wine, though I have enjoyed terrific bottles from England, Franciacorta and even Argentina this year too – Tom
Duncan McLean, Scotland
Red: Patrick Corbineau, Chinon ‘Beaulieu’ 1990, France
White: Seresin, Chiarascuro 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand
Budget Red: Zorgvliet, Silver Myn Argentum 2015, Banghoek, South Africa
Budget White: Sileni, Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, NZ
Rosé: Matthias et Emile Roblin, Sancerre Rosé ‘Terres Blances’ 2016, France
Sparkling: Laurent-Perrier, Champagne Brut Millésimé 1999, France
Sweet: Greywacke, Botrytis Pinot Gris 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand
Fortified: Sandeman, 20 year Old Tawny Port, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Château La Tour de Mons, Margaux 1992, France
Dud: Pretty much everything in UK and US politics.
Thing: My first visit to New Zealand.
Comments (maximum 650 characters): My three weeks exploring the wine regions of New Zealand were very enjoyable and educational, and left their mark on this year’s wine highlights. I’m slightly surprised that no reds from NZ squeezed in. Pinots from Central Otago in particular – e.g. Felton Road, Valli, Akarua – gave enormous pleasure, but the astonishing mature Chinon just had to get the nod. One more takeaway from NZ: the white style that really impressed me was big, bold and funky: not just the Chiarascuro, but also others like Greywacke’s Wild Sauvignon and Vidal’s Legacy Chardonnay. My Extra Choice was a miracle: modest chateau, horrendous vintage, but delicious!
Great to see a Chinon take red wine of the year – it makes it as a budget choice occasionally, but it rarely gets star billing. Yes, it’s a few years since I’ve been toNew Zealand, but I have had three wine tours there and watch the increasing sophistication and diversity of the wines with great interest – Tom
Mark Carington, UK
Red: 1993 Domaine René Engel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulées
White: 2000 Grosset Riesling Watervale
Budget Red: 2010 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil La Petite Cave
Budget White: 2011 Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume Les Vaulorents
Rosé: 2016 Château La Martinette Côtes de Provence Rollier de La Martinette
Sparkling: Taittinger Prelude NV
Sweet: 1999 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille (WotY)
Fortified: NV Dutschke The Tawny 22 Year Old
Other style/Extra choice: J-F Mugnier, NSG 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale Blanc 2014 & Rouge 2012
Dud: 2004 Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet (faintly corked)
Thing: Other than meeting up with our daughter on her world travels, watching Le Tour hurtle past whilst overlooking the vineyard from which we were drinking the wine. see extra choice above.
Comments (maximum 650 characters): A cracking year for fortified & sweet wines. Quite a few of the above were provided by generous friends & wine-pages’ Forumites. Honorable mentions(tasted only) Haut Brion ’90, 1970 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Clos du Bourg (utterly dreadful) & Quinta da Noval Nacional ’03 (now understand what all the fuss is about) at Tom’s Festival of Wine (both well worth the trip). Very enjoyable first time visits to Northern Rhône & Yarra Valley. The latter as picturesque as books portray – excellent new producers bursting onto the scene; Luke Lambert is going to be a star.
Thanks Mark and delighted you enjoyed the Festival so much. It’s also just lovely how many great bottles mentioned in this annual feature are drunk with friends at ‘offlines’ of our UK Wine Forum. Surely that is a fabulous testament to the generous spirit of our community here? – Tom
David Ludlow UK
Red: Chateau Figeac 1998, France
White: William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bourgros Bougerots 2005, France
Budget Red: Domaine Charles Joguet 2010 Chinon, Les Charmes, France
Budget White: Domaine des Forges 2010 Savennières Roches aux Moines, France
Rosé: Chateau Miravel Rosé 2016, France
Sparkling: Ridgeview Cuve Merret Bloomsbury 2008, England
Sweet: Dr Thanisch Bernkasteler Doktor Auslese 2004, Germany
Fortified: Matusalem 30 year old Oloroso Sherry, Spain
Other style/Extra choice: Chacoli Txomin Etxaniz 2015, Greece
Dud: Luckily nothing
Thing: Our Company going public
Fantastic year and although my selection is very classical my year was full of adventure in trying strange grape varieties and far flung places. Tried some excellent wines from E Europe and China. Also tried some of the newer names from S Africa and found their white blends often led by Chenin to be superb. Keep up the good work on your website.
Nice to see a Txakoli/Chacoli make the list, bringing back memories of a wonderful few days I spent in San Sebastian in the autumn. And the Matusalem remains one of the wine world’s most amazing bargains I think – Tom
Derek Salmon, Australia
Red: Penfolds Grange 1991
White: Yelland and Papps Second take Vermintino
Budget Red: Rockford Moppa Springs 2013 (Barossa Valley)
Budget White: Pewsey Vale Riesling 2016 Eden Valley
Rosé: Z Wines Aveline Grenach Rosé 2017 (Barossa Valley)
Sparkling: Krug 1995
Fortified: Torbreck 2013 Highland Fling (Barossa Valley)
Other style/Extra choice: Pindarie (TSS) Temprinillo, Sangiovese, Shiraz 2016 Barossa Valley
Again the joys of living in a great wine producing country are evident: a few here I just don’t know. But some real favourites too: the Grange obvioulsy, but Pewsey Vale’s Riesling remains one of my go to wines – Tom
Hans Staal, UK
Red: 2012 Rudolf Fürst Hundsrück Spätburgunder Großes Gewächs
White: 2007 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune
Budget Red: 2015 Domaine Lafage Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors
Budget White: 2016 Charles Smith Riesling Kung Fu Girl
Rosé: 2014 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence – only Rosé I drank this year.
Sparkling: 1992 Chateau Beaux Hauts Pinot Meunier En Tirage Recently Disgorged
Sweet: 2003 Château Rabaud-Promis
Fortified: 1982 J.H. Andresen Porto Colheita – a forgotten bottle
Other style/Extra choice: 2012 Nonino Grappa Vendemmia Riserva di Annata
Dud: NV Ruinart Champagne Brut
Thing: Some excellent lunches at the Royal Oak, Paley Street (pre the well deserved Craig interest), Elystan Street and the Harrow in Little Bedwyn.
Drank far too much budget supermarket wines this year, saw far too little of my “wine” friends and only attended one wine tasting/event – must do better next year. The Chateau Beaux Hauts was a lovely discovery this year and probably the bargain of the year. The Ruinart is normally one of my favourite champagnes, but this one was totally shot. Some honourable mentions for some of the categories: 2013 Arista Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, 2012 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Rued Vineyard, 2015 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote, 2003 Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure Monbazillac Cuvée Abbaye and some very nice St. Joseph (red and white) from Domaine Faury – a new domaine for me.
The sparkling Pinot Meunier is intriguing – especially given it’s 1992 vintage. Had to look it up to discover it is Californian – one I have not come across before, but will certainly look out for – Tom
Red: Henri Gouges, Nuits St Georges, Les Saint Georges, 1990.
White: Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, 2010.
Budget Red: Cono Sur, Pinot Noir Reserva, Casablanca Valley, 2016.
Budget White: Fritz Haag, Riesling QbA, Mosel, 2015.
Sparkling: Dom Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs, 1998.
Sweet: Dr Loosen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Eiswein, 2006.
Fortified: David Franz, Old Redemption, Exceptionally Old Tawny, NV.
Other style/Extra choice: Lagavulin, 1995 Distillers Edition, Islay, Bottled 2013.
An excellent Les St Georges from Gouges that was to my mind quintessential Burgundy. The Haut Brion Blanc whilst far to young was as near to perfection as wine gets. Two proper budget wines, both under £10 and both offering excellent everyday drinking for not a lot of money. The Dom Ruinart was full of aged toasted richness whilst the Loosen Eiswein was as pure as driven snow. Difficult to chose a fortified but the Tawny from Oz wins out simply because it was most fun which is ultimately the whole point. I’ve snuck a malt in on the basis that it’s matured in PX casks and it is an absolute glory of a whisky.
Fine by me to include the whisky, and very envious of you having the chance to drink the white Haut-Brion 2010: some older vintages I’ve tried have been among my best white wines ever – Tom
Alex Jagger, UK/Bangkok
Red: Poisot Romanee St Vivant ’13
White: Coche Dury Meursault Les Chevalieres ’13
Budget Red: Z de Luc ’11
Budget White: Bachelet Monnot Bourgogne Blanc ’13
Rosé: DP Rosé ’04
Sparkling: DP P2 ’98
Sweet: Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Gold Longkapsel Auction ’90
Fortified: EP Manzanilla Bota 61
Other style/Extra choice: Bassot Ruchottes Chambertin ’45
Dud: Terrorism, Trump and Brexit. ’nuff said.
Thing: Huddersfield Town to the Premier League!
Another year, another myriad of wonderful wines, I’ve commented on the wine-pages’ forum regularly about the improving quality of the Bangkok wine scene and I can drink pretty well here. Highlights of my annual trip are catching up with forumites at WIMPS and dinners and my trips to Champagne and Burgundy. I’ll gloss over the dud as it’s political enough and it doesn’t need explaining but a little cheer for Huddersfield Town’s journey to the EPL and giving fans the experience for less than 200quid. 2018 is going to be a year of big change and a step into the unknown.
Indeed, I suspect you ‘duds’ could have made many people’s lists, but as you say: ’nuff said and we’ll stick to the wines 🙂 We had DP Rosé 2003 in November and I thought it was fantastic: a very vinous Champagne, and so meaty and rich – Tom
Anders Lind, Sweden
Red: Léoville Las Cases 1990
White: Samuel Billaud Chablis 1cru Mont de Milieu 2014
Budget Red: L&R Dufaitre Brouilly 2016
Budget White: Domaine Valette Macon Villages 2014
Rosé: Savart, Bulle de Rosé
Sparkling: Pol Roger 1998
Sweet: Wiese & Krohn Colheita 1997
Fortified: Verdelho Madeira (unknown producer)
Other style/Extra choice: Barrel sample at Closeries des Moussis in Arsac of their 2016 Margaux cuvée
Dud: Clos des Goisses 1996
Thing: My 19 year old daughter working in Paris for a year – as a responsible parent I’m obliged to go there even more often!
When it is fully mature, no chateau in the Médoc can beat LLC. Beaujolais is the region where vin nature really triumphs, and 2016 will be a top vintage. Last year I foresaw 2014 as THE white burgundy vintage. This year I have only been disappointed with myself, for not buying cases of the Valette. The Colheita port: an obituary for an old, quality firm, now engulfed by Taylor’s; releasing the stock under their label, at increased prices. The Verdelho I enjoyed by the glass at a Lisbon wine bar in November, but never got the name of the producer.
Congratulations on having the good sense to have a daughter in Paris 🙂 A lovely classic list of fine wines and vintages. And yes, 2014 white Burgundies impress me greatly too – Tom
Tim Carlisle, UK
Red: Luminous Hills Astra Pinot Noir, Oregon 2014
White: Domaine Moingeon Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne 2015
Budget Red: Hanewald-Schwerdt Spatburgunder, Pfalz 2015
Budget White: The Liberator ‘Midnight Bakkie’ Chenin Blanc 2014
Sparkling: Selosse Brut Initial
Sweet: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008
Fortified: Osborne Cappuccino
Dud: A bottle of Howard Park Museum Riesling – dead and fruitless.
Thing: Rediscovering some wonder in wine
There is a strong influence from The Wine Society mixed in with other Indie merchants on the list.
The Osborne ‘Cappuccino’ has got me – a quick google threw up nothing useful, so well done Tim for stumping me! Some fine drinking in there – big fan of all the ‘Liberator’ releases – Tom
Ian Amstad, UK
Red: Lynch-Bages 1982 and Figeac 1982 – tied
White: Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne 1970
Budget Red: Domaine De Grandmaison 2015 (Pessac Léognan)
Budget White: Les Demoiselles De Larrivet Haut-Brion 2013 and Pierre Boisson Bourgogne Blanc 2014 – tied
Sparkling: Champagne Forget-Chemin Carte Blanche
Sweet: Kiralyudva Tokaji Aszu 6 puttonyos 1999
Other style/Extra choice: Azelia, Castiglione Falletto
Dud: Malevolence behind the Brexit scam and Trump’s toxic agenda
Thing: My Cervelo S5 racing bike
Another eventful year, with memorable trips to Burgundy at the beginning, and Piedmont and Bordeaux at the end. Lynch-Bages is not my favourite estate but this 1982 was perfect and so was the bottle of Figeac drunk before seeing Deep Purple. Two sublime DRCs were also contenders – La Tache 1996 and Richebourg 2004. Made good progress in finding everyday drinking wines in Pessac-Léognan. Lots of happy memories of lunches and dinners with wine-pages’ forumites to distract from a troubled world seemingly ever more blighted by malevolent forces.
Was the bottle of Figeac necessary before seeing Deep Purple? Only joking: one of the band’s of my youth, before punk saved me :). Don’t know the Champagne grower, so obviously another to add to my list – Tom
Jasper Morris, UK/France
Red: Grands-Echezeaux 1957, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
White: Meursault Perrieres 1995, JF Coche Dury
Budget Red: La Souteronne, Hervé Souhaut
Budget White: Macon la Roche Vineuse Vieilles Vignes Olivier Merlin – 1992!
Rosé: Domaine de la Giscle, Cotes de Provence 2016
Sparkling: Champagne Dom Perignon P3, 1971
Sweet: Yquem, either 1947 or 1957
Fortified: Fonseca Guimaraens 1964
Other style/Extra choice: Nana Tsu Mori Pinot Noir, Domaine Takahiko 2013 (Hokkaido)
Dud: La Tache 1957, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (oxidised)
Thing: Retirement from commerce!
I didn’t do this before while ITB but feel free to have a go now. Several bottles from a wonderful 1957 lunch in October to celebrate our 60 years. Quite a few others in the expensive category from a dinner at Epure restaurant in Hong Kong. Despite the grandness of the great wines I am lucky enough to drink, at home our midweek tipple is mostly Bourgogne Rouge, Beaujolais, red Loire or occasional cru bourgeois Bordeaux. However they were all pipped to the post by a no-sulphur gamay from an Ardeche producer. I met a friend in a winebar in Hong Kong – “we will just be an hour or so”. Three bottles of this wine later we rolled out at 1.15am.
Delighted to have you participate fully Jasper, and for the vicarious pleasure of your list. A ‘simple’ Macon from 1992 must have been a wonderful surprise – it’s always a grave danger to age wines too long, but also amazing how often humble bottles turn up trumps years after their supposed ‘best by’ date – Tom
Craig Thomson, New Zealand
Red: Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2015, Hawkes Bay, NZ
White: Kumeu River Mates Vineyard Chardonnay 2014, Auckland, NZ
Budget Red: Puriri Hills Estate Merlot Malbec Franc 2010, Clevedon, NZ
Budget White: Fromm La Strada Riesling Spatlese 2014
Sparkling: Bollinger Grand Annee 2007, Champagne, France
Sweet: Framingham F Series Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2016, Marlborough NZ
Thing: 2017 weather. After the wettest vintage in living memory smashing Auckland we have now flipped to the warmest driest December I can remember! Yay!
I have tried many, many top NZ Syrahs over the last 20 years. The 2015 Trinity Hill Homage beats them all. It is amazing world class Syrah. It just edges out some predictably high performing wines from Stonyridge and Te Mata and some brilliant 2013 flagships from Villa Maria, Babich and Elephant Hill. My love affair with Auckland’s under the radar cult Puriri Hills continues. This year I tried a handful amazing wines yet to be released, so lets exclude them (this year).Watch this space. But in scope is the spellbinding 2010 Estate that is mind bending drinking right now. The Framingham TBA is rare and again world class, just amazingly pure.
Great list. Delighted to see Framingham on there, one of my favourite Riesling producers. I’ve just been tasting throuhg a case of top Hawkes Bay wines which the producers were kind enough to send over, half Chardonnay and half Syrah, and will be publishing notes soon, but great wines from several you have mentioned – Tom
Red: Bethel Heights ‘Casteel’ Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette
White: Antoine Jobard Meursault ‘Poruzots’ 2010, Burgundy
Budget Red: St. Chinian, ‘Pour les Amis’ Gilbert & Gaillard 2013
Budget White: Riesling ‘Classic’ 2015 Cave de Ribeauville, Alsace
Rosé: Inman Family OGV Estate Brut Rose, 2014. Russian River Valley
Sparkling: Paul Dethune l’Ancienne. 2009, Champagne
Sweet: PX Juan Pinero S.A.
Fortified: Quinta do Passadouro 2003, Vintage Port
Dud: Terroir Historic Blanco 2016, Terroir al Limit. Priorat
Thing: faulty wines EVERYWHERE
A cry from the heart on the faulty wines obviously Peter! And your red brings back very happy memories of my trip to Oregon a few years ago when the wines were so impressive. It’s a shame they are relatively hard to track down in the UK, and of course expensive by the time they hit our shelves – Tom
Red: Chateau Talbot 1982
White: Gerard Thomas St Aubin Murgers des Dents de Chien 2010
Budget Red: Bilbainas La Vicalanda Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva 1994
Budget White: Terra de Asorei Albarino 2016
Sweet: Maculan Torcolato 1988
Fortified: Warre’s Vintage Port 1970
Other style/Extra choice: English White Wines
Dud: Natural Wines
Thing: Touring France in a June heatwave in an old open top Saab Aero
Talbot 82 and Warres 70 just felt like they were opened at the perfect moment of maturity. The St Aubin was a great surprise, really classic rich white burgundy despite the lowly appellation – and I loved the name too! Budget red a slight cheat – bought at Majestic many years ago for a song, but still drinking beautifully. Budget white a supremely refreshing minerally mouthful. Maculan Torcolato like a mythical blend of the best of Loire Chenin sweetness, Tokaji acidity and Sauternes botrytis. English dry whites are getting better – make 2018 the year you give them a try again!
Interesting take on the English dry whites Paul: I confess I too have been more and more impressed by the best examples. I wonder if climate change will eventually make them as generally successful as the sparkling wines? And the 1994 Rioja is very acceptable as a budget choice: just becuase you were clever enough to buy it and lay it down 🙂 – Tom
Ben Fawcett, Edinburgh
Red: Tixiano Grasso Barolo Briccolina 2013, Piedmont, Italy
White: Edi Kante Chardonnay Senza Solfiti 2016, Kras, Italy
Budget Red: Powell & Son Riverside GMS 2015, Barossa, Australia
Budget White: Kirrenbourg by Martin Schaetzel Pinot Blanc Reserve 2014, Alsace, France
Rosé: Domaine Tempier Rose 2016, Bandol, France
Sparkling: Andre Beaufort Ambonnay Grand Cru 1990, Champagne, France
Sweet: William Brogioni Vin Santo del Chianti, Nettare degli 2004, Italy
Fortified: Niepoort Colheita 1966, Port, Portugal
Thing: Spain – had a great trip there for our summer holiday this year.
Anyone who knows me will know that an Aussie wine has to be b***** good before I’ll even drink it. Dave Powell’s Riverside red is a bang out the park beauty. It was a delight to meet the man himself too this year – truly a gifted winemaker. The Pinot Blanc is everything a classic white Alsace white should be. Edi Kante’s reputation goes before him but this Chardonnay with no added Sulphites is far and away the best zero sulphite wine I’ve had. Eben Sadie’s Skerpioen was a very close second. The Barolo from the late Tixiano Grasso is simply the best debut vintage of a Barolo or any red wine I’ve ever tasted. Niepoort Colheita a treat. Granada, Madrid, Rioja and Bilbao – all blew my mind, magic country. I think we may have finally cracked Wine Fairs: Wild Wine Fair in July organised by Jospeh Radford and India Parry Williams and The Edinburgh Festival of Wine organised by some Dude called Tom Cannavan restored my faith in consumer wine fairs, loved both and more importantly, or so it appeared, did all those who attended both.
Ben works for one of the UK’s greatest wine merchants, Raeburn Fine Wines, and I recognise several of these from the portfolio. Thanks for the great feedback on my Edinburgh Festival of Wine Ben – it was a blast, and we’re doing it all again on November 2nd 2018 🙂 – Tom
Ray Abercromby, UK
Red: Rousseau, Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2005, Burgundy
White: Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet 2000, Burgundy
Budget Red: Santa Alba Pinot Noir Reserva 2015, Chile
Budget White: Quara Torrontes 2013, Argentina
Rosé: Vilmart Grand Cellier Rubis 2009, Champagne
Sparkling: Dom Perignon 2002, Champagne
Sweet: Pazjos Eszencia 1993, Hungary
Fortified: Boplaas Vintage Port 2009, Karoo, South Africa
Other style/Extra choice: Romanée Conti, Romanée St Vivant 2005, Burgundy
Dud: Chateau de Beaucastel 1998, Rhone
Thing: Our first dog, Luka. 4.7kg of Hungarian Viszla joy
After a couple of years in the wine wilderness caused by building my house, this year saw a return to form through several birthday celebrations. The Rousseau and DRC were consumed at the same meal in Girona, North Spain. Both were c.50% of retail price. The Mearsault was drunk the day after! The wine cellar has taken a battering as I sold chunks. I now have a proper wine cellar though – and a lovely new house above it – suitable for offlines! I’ll be contributing more to the wine-pages’ Forum next year, and I hope to see my wine friends much more in 2018.
Congratulations on the house Ray, and on the Viszla. Obviously you chose the Tokaji in his honour 🙂 Close friends in Glasgow had two of them, so I know what lovely dogs they are. Wine-wise, I love that Romanée-Conti only makes it as an ‘extra’ – Tom.
Fintan Kerr, Spain
Red: Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2001
White: Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2006
Budget Red: Algueira Mencia Joven 2015
Budget White: Casa Mariol Garnacha Blanca 2015
Rosé: Scala Dei Pla de Angels 2016
Sparkling: Recaredo Turo d’En Mota 2001
Sweet: La Vinyeta Sols NV
Fortified: Valdespino Amontillado Coliseo VORS
Other style/Extra choice: Northern Rhone Reds – several have been superb this year.
Dud: A few undrinkable, minimal intervention style wines that weren’t cheap!
Thing: Drinking La Rioja Alta 890 Gran Reserva 2001 for the birth of my first child
Writing my ‘Wines of the Year’ reminds me how fortunate I am to find it difficult narrowing it down to a single choice in most categories. I was also fortunate enough to meet many members of the Wine-pages community this year and share a wine or two, something I hope to continue in the years to come. The La Rioja Alta 890 is a delicious wine, drunk at a special moment for me. New-wave Chile and Argentina were big culprits in my ‘dud’ category and of the Rhone reds, Chave Seleccion ‘Farconnet’ 2011 was a particular highlight. Salud!
Many of these are unfamiliar to me – Fintan’s advantage of being a wine geek living in a great wine producing country :). La Rioja Alta really is a superb wine producer who never put a foot wrong, but clearly the context here made the wine extra special – Tom
David Crossley, UK
Red: Meinklang Graupert Zweigelt 2013, Burgenland
White: Domaine des Miroirs Chardonnay Mizuiro 2013 “Les Saugettes”, Jura
Budget Red: Claus Preisinger Puszta Libre 2015, Austrian Rotwein
Budget White: Le Vendangeur Masque Melting Potes White 2016 (De Moor)
Rosé: Clos Cibonne Tibouren 2014, Provence (magnum)
Sparkling: Can Ramon Clos Lentiscus Sumoll Reserva Familia, St Pere de Ribes (Catalonia)
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 1988, Sauternes (5 litre)
Fortified: Equipo Navazos Palo Cortado Bota 75
Other style/Extra choice: Domaine des Bodines Red Bulles Pétillant Naturel, Arbois
Thing: Champagne by Peter Liem, wine book of the year
I hate this time of year as it’s so hard to choose from such amazing wines. I must mention the magnums of COS Zibibbo and the Pierre Peters Chetillons 2002 which nearly made it. The Spanish sparkler is unique and rare. The Sherry I’d missed on release. What a drongo! The Yquem was at a wedding in Tokyo (the bride’s birth year). One more “thing”, my first Japanese winery visit, though visit of the year was to Bodines in Arbois (thanks Emilie). I also got to Lavaux, Alsace, Jura and Champagne. I hope next year is as good. Also very proud that my blog now gets 50-100 visits almost every day. I enjoy it more than anything I’ve ever done.
And again, a fair few wines unknown to me in this list, but I’m a huge fan of Equipo Navazos too (including their unusual cava, where the dosage is sweet Sherry), and I love the idea of a 5-litre bottle of d’Yquem! – Tom
Paul Day, UK
Red: Giuseppe Rinaldi, Barolo Brunate 2013, Piedmont, Italy
White: Ramonet, Montrachet 1992, Burgundy, France
Budget Red: Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage 2013, Northern Rhone, France
Budget White: Julian Haart, Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling Kabinett 2016, Mosel, Germany
Rosé: Krug, Rose Brut NV (approx 20 yrs bottle age), Champagne, France
Sparkling: Pol Roger, Brut 1921 (1990’s disgorgement), Champagne, France
Sweet: Hugel, Gewurztraminer Beerenauslese 1961, Alsace, France
Fortified: Leacock, Terrantez 1846, Madeira, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Kokuryu Nizaemon, Fukui, Japan
Dud: The vast majority of white Burgundy 1995-2007
Thing: Yamaha N2 Hybrid Piano
It’s fun to refocus on a region you like and try to understand a little more. For me this year, I have had fun in investigating Piedmont a little further. Enjoying the young Rinaldi in Milan was one of the highlights. For those who get it at the cellar door, it would be a complete no brainer as Budget Red too! Of the other bottles, the Krug Rosé was the biggest surprise to me, as it is by far the best bottle I have tried at any age. I’ve put a Sake as an Extra Choice. But I almost nominated a Capovilla eau-de-vie, because it transcends a somewhat neglected category.
A lovely list with that ancient Madeira and Pol Roger obviously standing out, but then again the Krug with that age must have been quite something – Tom
Red: Greal, Hermitage, Marc Sorrel 1999
White: Guigal, Condrieu 2014
Budget Red: La Petite Ourse, Cotes du Rhone, Pascal Chalon 2015
Budget White: Ch des Tours, Cotes du Rhone 14/Domaine Lombard, Brezeme Blanc 2014
Rosé: Parisy, Chateau des Tours, Vin de Table, 2015
Sparkling: Bereche NV
Other style/Extra choice: Vina Ardanza, La Rioja Alta, 2008.
Dud: Still Brexit
Thing: I’ll Drink to That podcast
I tasted the Sorrel Hermitage at a Rhone wine tasting in Dublin and it literally blew my mind. The best wine I tasted this year by a country mile. Otherwise nice to spend a few weeks in the Ventoux this summer. The quality of produce in that part of France is simply unreal. Wine wise I loved the red Ventoux from Olivier B. in Methamis,-really garrigue and was bowled over by the quality of the wines at Chateau des Tours.
A serious Rhone fan clearly, but great choices from that versatile region. And nice to see another vote for the wines of this year’s apparent favourite, La Rioja Alta, too 🙂 – Tom
Richard Zambuni, London and Connecticut
Red: Cornas Guy de Barjac 1985
White: Tondonia Gran Reserva Rioja blanco 1987
Budget Red: Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 1998 Paul Jaboulet Aine
Budget White: Fruscalzo Friulano Collio 2016
Sparkling: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1998
Sweet: Quarts de Chaume Domaine des Baumard 1959
Fortified: Harvey’s 30 year-old Palo Cortado
Other style/Extra choice: Sancerre La Grande Cote Francois Cotat 1989
Dud: 7/8 premoxed top white burgundies over the year (none of them mine!)
Thing: Watching the myriad fireflies at night over our retention pond in CT in late June. Unbelievably beautiful and mysterious.
It’s a been a truly great year for wines this year – and especially for mature Cornas. Three of the wines above were drunk at dinners arranged by incredibly generous wine-pages’ forum members where all the wines were provided by the host – what wonderful people one meets through the forum! The strange thing is that a red burgundy has not made it on to the list, but the de Barjac 1985 (now all gone) was a breathtaking wine. As life goes on, it’s often the small and poignant things that stand out, hence my zen-like moment of watching the patterns of the fireflies in the night sky – abundance, cyclicality, and beauty wrapped into one. Thanks Tom.
Thank you Richard. I also had a magical firefly watching evening in the south of France, but that was about 30 years ago and I am not sure if I’ve seen one since 🙂 Nice list, pretty classic, and the Tondonia white Rioja would make my shortlist every year – an amazing wine -Tom
Paul Jaines, England
Red: 1990 Château Cos d’Estournel: A thing of beauty
White: 2014 von Winning Forster Pechstein Riesling Großes Gewächs
Budget Red: Chateau Argadens Bordeaux Superieur 2012/14
Budget White: 2015 Joseph Verdier Resérve de la Verdiere Muscadet
Rosé: Chateau Valmy Rosé, Cotes du Roussilion
Sparkling: 1982 Dom Perignon
Sweet: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2007
Other style/Extra choice: 1999 Valpiculata Toro – £15 and tastes like a £150 Cote Rotie
Dud: 2009 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion
Thing: Working out how to make crystal clear ice-cubes for my gin & tonics.
In a year when drinking heavily seemed to be the best way to cope with Brexit and Trump I found myself coming back to Bordeaux, particularly Bordeaux Superieur level – so many good, drinkable wines without heaviness, oak or excessive prices. The Argadens is superb quality lunchtime claret, while the Joseph Verdier is £5 Supermarket Muscadet doing exactly what it should be doing! Other notable mention: Star-anise in my gin and tonics; transform a summer drink into a winter drink in one fell-swoop.
Will certainly try the star-anise trick over Christmas. And great to see that Bordeaux can deliver at low prices: something we tend to forget in a world full of wine – Tom.
Ben Coffman, UK
Red: 2007 Domaine Dujac Clos Dt Denis
White: 2008 Roulot Meursault
Budget Red: 2003 Rustenberg John X Merriman
Budget White: 2014 Domaine Denis Boussey Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Sparkling: 2000 Albert Gratien Champagne
Sweet: 1997 Huet Vouvray Mouelleux 1er Trie Haut Lieu
Dud: 2001 La Gravette de Certan
Thing: Getting my Private Pilot’s Licence
A very uneven year in life: unexpectedly and mysteriously dumped by lovely girlfriend of 3yrs; but very proudly got my licence to fly light aircraft. Vinously, the Dujac was magnificent: such perfume and balance and “rightness”. The same generous friend also supplied the Roulot – such precision. The Rustenberg shows that a supermarket wine that is (occasionally) under £10 can age superbly and improve. The Boussey is a delicious and classic under-the-radar wine direct from the domaine, courtesy of a Forumite. The second and final bottle of the Gravette was one of those bottles that didn’t seem faulty but simply grumpy.
Same budget red of the year as me, but yours is 11 years older which I guess proves your point about ageability. Huge congratulations on gaining your pilot’s licence. So wine shopping trips to France so much easier now 🙂 – Tom
Colin Bradley, UK
Red: Penfold’s Grange 1986
White: YGrec 2000
Budget Red: Various Crus Beaujolais
Budget White: Mehringer Blattenberg Riesling Auslese 1993, Franz Josef Stefan
Rosé: Champagne A Bergere Rosé Brut (NV)
Sparkling: Krug Grande Cuvee
Sweet: Ch d’Yquem 1988
Fortified: Domecq (now Osborne, Palo Cortado Capuchino
Other style/Extra choice: Le Soula Blanc 2001
My oldest friend, from schooldays, emigrated to Canada in 2017 with his Canadian wife. We first developed an interest in wine together 30+ years ago. We gave them a blow-out dinner before they left, when we drank the Krug, YGrec, Grange and d’Yquem. Matthew had given me the Grange as a 40th birthday present in 1993; it was spectacular. I’ve chosen the wines from that dinner for the association but they do merit inclusion here. The Auslese cost €16 at Trittenheim Wine Festival during our holiday; we drank the Rose when we stayed at Bergere and were surprised by how good it was. Of many excellent sherries the Capuchino gets the nod.
Very nice sentiments behind most of the (cracking!) wine choices, and I’m a huge believer that context is as important as any other factor in making great wine experiences – Tom.
Mark Priestley, UK
Red: Antonio Bernardino Paulo de Silva, Colares Chitas 2007, Colares, Portugal
White: Benanti, Etna Bianco Superiore “Pietramarina” 2007, Sicily, Italy
Budget Red: Carussin, Grignolino “Ciuchinoi” 2015, Piedmont, Italy
Budget White: Marco de Bartoli, Grappoli del Grillo 2013, Sicily, Italy
Rosé: Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rosé 1999, Bandol, France
Sparkling: Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne 1998, Champagne, France
Fortified: Quinta do Noval, Colheita 2003, Douro, Portugal
Other style/Extra choice: Ryme Cellars, Vermentino “Hers” 2015, Carneros, USA
Thing: Trips to Lisbon and the Aeolian Islands
Some difficult choices to make this year especially on the Whites. The Pietramarina 2007 was a stunning bottle which was great to share with good friends at Lorne restaurant; shame that I don’t have any more. Find of the year has to go to the Ryme Cellars Vermentino “Hers” from the USA that I came across at the Real Wine Fair tasting this year. Two amazing trips to Lisbon and the Aeolian Islands were a real highlight this year. Lisbon in particular with its vibrant atmosphere, great food, interesting wines and friendly people was an unexpected treat. Will definitely be returning next year.
Lisbon? One of the great European cities I think (though I love Oporto too). And great to see that has influenced some of your wine choices too – Tom
Ray Tilney, UK
Red: D.R.C. 1988 RSV Burgundy France
White: Arnaud Enté 2012 Meursault Clos des Ambreys Burgundy France
Budget Red: Claymore 2010 Nirvana Shiraz Clare Valley Australia
Budget White: Saint Claire 2014 Omaka Chardonnay New Zealand
Rosé: Krug G.C. Rosé Champagne France
Sparkling: Dom Perignon 1988 Champagne France
Sweet: Chateau d’Yquem 2001 Sauternes France
Fortified: Chateau Climens 1988 Sauternes France
Other style/Extra choice: Gosset 15ans de cave brut NV Champagne France
Thing: Peaky Blinders
Not so many events such as austerity and first growth offlines, but the memorable bottles still seem to come from the upper end of the generosity so freely shared by those of this parish. The absolute WOTY though was the DP 88 shared on his birthday by a wine-pages’ forumite and it tasted all the better for knowing he got it from the chunnell at 39 Euros when released. The dud reflects a poor showing at a dedicated offline and everywhere else for that matter from a previous favourite house of mine. Anyone who has not yet caught up with Peaky has a real treat in store including recent proof from Tom Hardy that he is as great as the hype. Cheers W-P &Wimps!
Some fine choices, and it looks like a lot of us have cottoned on to just sneaking in another fine Champagne under the ‘Rosé’ category 🙂 – Tom