In its 25th year of continuous publication, Wines of the Year for 2022 was still impacted by fewer tasting trips and professional tastings in the wake of Covid. I still managed to taste very widely, with bottles opened at home, informal tastings, and professional tastings supplemented by virtual meetings with winemakers via Zoom.
As always, I invited visitors to send in their own nominations for publication. The ‘Dud’ could be the worst or most disappointing wine, and ‘Thing’ was used as imaginatively as you like. The definition of ‘budget’ in this exercise will vary for each person, so there’s no hard and fast rule.
See the Wines of the Year nominations from visitors to wine-pages. Submissions for 2022 are now closed.
Tom’s Wines of the Year 2022
Red ‣ Château Léoville-Barton, St-Julien 2000 (France)
White ‣ Keller, Dalsheimer Hubacker Riesling Großes Gewächs 2013 (Germany)
Budget red ‣ Morgenster, Lourens River Valley Red 2015 (South Africa)
Budget white ‣ Tyrrell, HVD Single Vineyard Semillon (Australia)
Rosé ‣ Château d’Esclans, Garrus Rosé 2020 (France)
Sweet ‣ Riverby Estate, Cyrene 2016 (New Zealand)
Sparkling ‣ Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée Brut Edition 168eme (France)
Fortified ‣ Quinta do Noval, Late Bottled Vintage Port 2016 (Portugal)
Extra choice ‣ Domaine Mouillard, Château Chalon 2014 (France)
Dud ‣ All de-alcoholised ‘wines’
Thing ‣ My lockdown-inspired business online-tastings.co.uk continues to give me huge satisfaction, but the resistance of the people of Ukraine in face of such adversity has to be the most extraordinary thing of the year. Red Cross Ukraine Appeal
Click to read full tasting notes for Tom’s Wines of the Year.
A few notes on my choices. There are several Bordeaux wines between this year’s list and my runners up below. Many of those came late in the year, from a Bordeaux 2000 tasting that I hosted as part of my online-tastings.co.uk business, and an extraordinary lunch with members of wine-pages’ forum where three first growths from 2002 featured – and could all have made the list. My ‘Extra’ of the Château Chalon is just a wine that stole my heart: it’s a vin jaune from the Jura region, made in a similar style to Sherry, but not fortified, and so deliciously different from 99.9% of white table wines.
My dud? Well, there’s a flood of de-alocholised ‘wines’ promoted during ‘Dry January’ or ‘Sober October’. Those that imply that they taste just like regular wine are involved in a big fat lie; the truth is that they are all thin, watery, and taste much the same. By all means sell them as soft drinks, but it’s a travesty to describe them as wine.
With the sheer number of excellent wines tasted, I’ve allowed myself my usual indulgence of a baker’s dozen that so very nearly made it, so congratulations to all:
- Champagne Roederer, Blanc de Blancs 2013 (France)
- Champagne Marc Herbrat, Special Club 2012 en magnum (France)
- Gusbourne, Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine 2018 (England)
- Stefano Zoli, Verdicchio di Matelica 2021 (Italy)
- Journey’s End, Destination Chardonnay 2019 (South Africa)
- Cantina Toblino, ‘Foll’ Chardonnay 2019 (Italy)
- Taille Aux Loups, Montlouis Sur Loire ‘Remus’ 2017 (France)
- Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac 2002 en magnum (France)
- Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac 1996 (France)
- Domaine de l’Arlot, Romanée-St-Vivant Grand Cru 2019 (France)
- Torres, Mas de la Rosa 2018 (Spain)
- Vasse Felix, ‘Tom Cullity’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Australia)
- Barbadillo, Ataman Original Vermut (Spain)