Wines of the Year 2015

2015-woty-cupMy annual Wines of the Year have been published since 1997. Reflecting on a year of wine is always a pleasure and a challenge, and the process in 2015 has been as tough as ever.  I’ve whittled thousands of wines down to the best I have tasted in eight 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. Many people suggest extra categories each year, but rather than an ever-expanding list, please use ‘Thing’ as imaginatively as you like.

Go to Visitors Wines of the Year 2015

Tom’s wines of 2015

Red Bruno Giacosa, Barbaresco Asili 2012, Piedmont, Italy
White Dauvissat, Chablis 1er Cru La Forest 2014, Burgundy, France
Budget red Domaine David Clark, Vosne-Romanée 2009, Burgundy, France
Budget white Domäne Wachau, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2013, Wachau, Austria
Rosé Château d’Esclans, Whispering Angel Provence Rosé 2014, Provence, France
Sweet Haut-Charmes, Sauternes 2012, Bordeaux, France
Sparkling Champagne Krug, Clos d’Ambonnay 1998, Champagne, France
Fortified Malaga Virgen, Moscatel Reserva de La Familia, Spain
Dud Waitrose Soft and Juicy Chilean Red 2014, Chile
Thing Our 30th anniversary weekend in Paris

Click to read full tasting notes for Tom’s Wines of the Year 2015.

I realise that, unusually for me, this is an all European list. I had some fabulous New World wines too of course, including several from South Africa that made my runners-up list below following a great trip to the Cape in September. But my winners were irresistable, and picking out just a few, the Chablis came from a visit to Vincent Dauvissat’s cellar where every wine was superb, whilst the sheer beauty of David Clark’s Vosne-Romanée confirmed what a great loss it was when he sold his domaine. The Haut-Charmes is an ‘insiders’ secret’, widely believed to be the second wine of Château d’Yquem, and the brilliant Krug Champagne came from my UK wine tasting highlight of the year. Below: my ‘baker’s dozen’ that could so easily have made the list above:

  • Exton Park, Blanc de Blancs 2011, West Sussex, England
  • Iona Estate, Chardonnay 2014, Elgin, South Africa
  • Alheit Vineyards, Cartology 2014, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Querciabella, Batàr 2012, Tuscany, Italy
  • Domaine de Bonserine, Condrieu 2012, Rhône, France
  • Domaine Huet, Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec 2009, Loire, France
  • Château Montus, Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh Sec Blanc 2010, France
  • Savage Wines, Follow the Line 2014, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Spioenkop, Pinotage 2013, Elgin, South Africa
  • Domaine de Pignan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009, Rhône, France
  • Sadie Family Wines, Columella 2012, Swartland, South Africa
  • Riglos, Cabernet Franc 2011, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Kopke, Colheita Port 1965, Douro, Portugal

Go to Visitors Wines of the Year 2015


  1. As french wine tasters , we are great that you enjoyed the Domaine de pignan 2009 as much as we loved it.. we are proud to have found it in our neigborhood 😉

  2. Not an American wine in sight. Is it a bias or lack of availability or access? We’re making world class wines here too, you know!

    1. Dick, of course you are (see as just one example :)). There’s no Germany or Australia either for example, but with only 8 main slots to fill it’s definitely not a game of me trying to please everyone, but just genuinely choosing the best of what I have happened to taste in the previous year. You are partly right in that US wines really do not have a great, widespread distribution in the UK unfortunately, and most big ranges in a store of 600 or 700 wines might only have a handful of Californian examples, maybe one from Washington or Oregon, and probably none from anywhere else. We have a few specialist merchants, and I’ve raved about several US wines in print and on social media this year.

      1. Bias? An American is talking about bias in wine rating? Now that is funny! Had a look at the Wine Spectator top 100 for 2015? All of the top 5 from the USA

        1. Craig, if that’s what they are claiming to be the best five wines in the whole wild world, it’s certainly a leap of imagination to believe that all could be from one country – any country.

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