Wines of the Year 2012

xMy annual Wines of the Year have been published since 1997- the best wines I have tasted in seven different categories, plus two extra categories: ‘Dud’ of the Year, and ‘Thing’ of the Year.

As always, I am looking for your entries to be added to this feature too. Your ‘dud’ can be the worst, or most disappointing wine you have tasted – it could be a cheap wine that was truly horrible, or an expensive wine that really didn’t deliver. ‘Thing’ is a catch-all category: many people have suggested I add extra categories – ‘Restaurant of the Year’, ‘Wine Merchant of the Year’ and so on – but rather than have an ever-expanding range of categories, please use ‘Thing’ as imaginatively as you like.

Click to see Visitors’ Wines of The Year 2012.

Tom’s wines of 2012

Red Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 1961, France
White Joseph Drouhin, Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 2008, France
Budget red Paparuda, Pinot Noir 2011, Romania
Budget white Waterkloof, Circle of Life White 2010, South Africa
Sweet Egon Müller-Scharzhof, Scharzhofberger Auslese Goldkapsel 2010, Germany
Sparkling Champagne Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne 2000
Fortified Graham’s, Vintage Port 1963, Portugal
Dud SPAR Portuguese Rosé NV, Portugal
Thing the village of Crail on Scotland’s East Nuek


Click to read full tasting notes for Tom’s Wines of the Year 2012


As always, a hugely difficult exercise. In the course of the year I had my first ever trip to Lebanon which excited me hugely and I was treated to so many remarkable and rare old vintages back to the 1930s. I also spent a week in South Africa judging their Trophy Wine Show and tasting the country’s top wines and a special tasting of old vintages. And then there was the Primum Familiae Vini lunch where 11 of the world’s top estates showed a pair of wines representing their most classic vintages. In the course of other foreign trips to taste and judge, tastings in this country, eating at some fabulous restaurants and of course dipping into my own cellar, it really was another great year that made this a very tough task. As always I allow myself the privilege of another bakers’ dozen superb wines I tasted in 2012, that could so easily have made the list above:

  • Coates & Seely, Britagne Blanc de Blancs NV, England
  • Hugel, Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles “S” 2007, France
  • Querciabella, Bátar 2010, Italy
  • Zind Humbrecht, Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain Grand Cru 2009, France
  • Château Musar, Musar Blanc 1972, Lebanon
  • Achaval Ferrer, Malbec Finca Altamira 2008, Argentina
  • Penfolds, Grange Shiraz 2007, Australia
  • Bell Hill, Pinot Noir 2008, New Zealand
  • Kanonkop, Cabernet Sauvignon 1973, South Africa
  • Quinta da Gaivosa, Abandonado Douro Tinto 2009, Portugal
  • Vega Sicilia, Unico 1953, Spain
  • Ogier, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Expression de Terroir Safres 2009, France
  • Punt e Mes Carpano, Antica Formula Red Vermouth, Italy

Click to see Visitors’ Wines of The Year 2012.

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