Tom Cannavan's   

Visitors' wines of 2010, part II

N.B. submissions for Wines of the Year have now closed.

This is part II of this feature. There is another link to Part I at the bottom of the page.

selection below added 11/01/2011

Richard Bray, UK

Red: Ridge Montebello 2000, Santa Cruz, USA
White: R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco 1987, Rioja, Spain
Budget red: Tramontane Wines Côtes du Roussillon 2009, Roussillon, France
Budget white: Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Badenhorst Family Wines, 2007 & 2009, South Africa
Sweet: Consolation Armistice Late Harvest Syrah 2007, Roussillon, France
Sparkling: Moët & Chandon 1961, France
Fortified: Barbeito 10yo Malvasia, Portugal
Dud: The cynicism and growing exclusivity of the fine wine market. Or Mouton 1990, which was inexcusably awful.
Thing: Opening Day, Fenway Park, Boston Massachusetts.
Comment: It's bizarre. I've chronicled my tastings more than ever this year, and yet the overall impression is a sea of good wine, rather than individual bottles or glasses. The Ridge just barely pipped Leoville-Barton 2000 to the post for reds, which is odd as overall I felt remarkably disappointed by both Bordeaux and Cabernet based wines in general. But the Montebello was enormously impressive and a relative bargain. I confess to being late to the Lopez party. The Tondonia white was simply at a different level, and probably my single wine of the year. In the interest of full disclosure, I help out Andy Cook & Philippe Gard at Tramontane. It doesn't change the fact that this is the best red I've had under ten pounds in the last three years. The Secateurs is great stuff. I wouldn't be surprised to see more of Adi Badenhorst's wines on future lists. Again, Consolation's wines are close to my heart, but I've never tasted anything like Armistice. Deservedly becoming legendary among those who have tasted it. The Moët was a magnum opened for the bells at Hogmanay by old friend and bubbly lunatic Pete Crawford. Generous to a fault - it was extraordinary. I've had the Barbeito several times this year and it's never disappointed. The Mouton wasn't worth its name and I would say the market is self-explanatory. Being at Fenway Park for the Red Sox first game of the season was a dream come true. Just a shame the rest of the season didn't go as well. Looking forward to new wines in 2011
TOM: Terrific list. The Secateurs is a great representative of the fine Chenins, Syrahs and other wines coming from Swaartland in South Africa - like Leyda or Elqui in Chile, a must-watch area. Andy Cook is an ex-colleague of Richard's and mutual friend who now makes wines in the Languedoc, including Richard's budget red - but hey, I am fascinated by the sound of that late harvest Syrah too. One to look out for.

Raymond Tilney, UK

Red: Calera (USA) Reeds Vineyard P.Noir 1996
White: Guigal (France) Ex Voto Ermitage 2005
Budget red: No Thanks!
Budget white: Chamonix (S.Africa) Chardonnay 2008
Rosé: Jacques Selosse (France) Brut Rose N.V.
Sweet: Jacques Selosse (France) Cuvee Exquise N.V.
Sparkling: Krug (France) Vintage 1981
Fortified: Yquem (France) 1999
Dud: Musar (Lebanon) Blanc 2001
Thing: The real life occasions that stem from the UK Wine forum
Comment: Sorry to be so late Tom but we only had the 81 Krug at the weekend after a dry festive season due to various sicknesses,I just knew it would be the outright WOTY. I had loved the 98 Musar Blanc but just thought the 01 was pants, we really did not get it. The "Thing" has to be the fantastic get togethers in person. The Champagne and Christmas UK Forum 'Wimps' and the post CIVC do at The Ritz, joined The Pebbles Blind Challenge as really top events.... there were others.
TOM: I think this officialy makes Cape Chamonix estate in South Africa the 'sleeper' of the 2010 WOTY - at least three people have picked their wines in the budget category, which considering how many thousands of estates are on the wine shelves of the UK alone, is pretty remarkable. Raymond - I will let you off wiht the Yquem in the 'fortified' category, even though I'm sure you know it is not!

Kevin Courtney, New Zealand

Red: Clos des Papes (France) Chateauneuf du Pape 2001
White: Schoffit (France) Clos Saint-Theobald GC Rangen Tokay Pinot Gris 2002
Budget red: Borsao (Spain) Crianza seleccion 2006
Budget white: Gran Vinum Essencia Divina (Spain) Albarino 2008?
Rosé: Lafon-Veyrolles (France) Bandol Rose 2009?
Sweet: Riverby Estate (New Zealand) Noble Riesling 2008
Fortified: Morris (Australia) Old Premium Liqueur Muscat
Dud: All my oxidised 01 and 02 white burgs.
Thing: Finding international acceptance for Marlborough rieslings
Comment: I would never have thought my white wine of the year would be a pinot gris, but there you go. I am horribly biased regarding the sweet wine, but it is quite good. Of course I did try heaps of very good New Zealand wine, especially chardonnay, riesling and syrah, but because the European wines are rarer they tend to stick in the memory better. The sparkling is missing because it is a style I just don't drink enough of.
TOM: Yes, Riesling is definitely a grape with great potential on the South Island, and could be a very useful extra string to Marlborough or Otago's bow.

Paul Anderson, UK

Red: Meerlust (South Africa) Rubicon 2005
White: Zind-Humbrecht (France) Clos Jebsal Pinot Gris 2004 Vendanges Tardives
Budget red: Churton Winery (New Zealand) Tummil Flat Marlborough Pinot Noir 2008
Budget white: Punt Road (Australia) Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2005
Rosé: Janison et Fils (France) Rosé Champagne NV
Sweet: Lafaurie-Peyraguey (France) Sauternes 1997
Sparkling: Drappier (France) Champagne Grande Sendrée 1996
Fortified: Quinta do Noval (Portugal) Silval Port 1997
Dud: Many white Burgundies (Grrrrr)
Thing: Has to be swine flu
Comment: I've had a few really good wines this year so choosing he best ones was quite difficult. The Rubicon just seemed to punch well above its price mark (£17) and tasted rather sublime with lamb on Christmas Day. The Clos Jebsal (and Z-H) has stirred a bit of debate on W-P recently but this wine was superb. Drank it over three days and it just seemed to improve with each day. The Tummil Flat was my bargain find of the year at £8. Churton Winery is fully biodynamic and it really shows in the quality of this Pinot - not trying to be like Burgundy made it all the better. I was surprised I went for an Oz Chardonnay for my budget wite but if the Punt Road is a sign of what's to come from there then I'll be buying more. Good acidity and balance has helped it over the 5 years of ageing. Sneaked a Champagne into the Rosé category but this was the 'Asda bargain' flagged up here on W-P and I managed to get a case of the stuff. Superb Champagne for a tenner. The Drappier is now showing well at 14 years old with lovely strong Pinot character coming through. The Silval was about the only Port I had of any quality so it was a no-brainer. The dud has to be white Burgs and this is annoying me more and more. I just wish they'd get their act together having poured so many down the drain. My episode with swine flu was well documented on teh UK Wine Forum and I am still in recovery mode from the effects of being in ICU for 7 weeks. With it being all over the news now brings it all back and reminds me I'm one of the fortunate ones who, having suffered the worst effects of it, actually survived.
TOM: A surprising list from Paul, a stalwart of wine-pages and our UK WIne Forum, who's list is normally comprised solely of Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne! Maybe that dreadful experience with swine flu gave you time to contemplate other areas! All the best for the continuing recovery.

Angus Duncan, UK

Red: DRC (France) Romanee St Vivant 1972
White: Bonneau du Martray (France) Corton-Charlemagne 1990
Budget red: Ampeau (France) Auxey-Duresses 1994
Budget white: Will Schaefer (Germany) Riesling 1997
Rosé: Cedric Bouchard (France) Roses de Jeanne Rose de Saignee Creux D'Enfer 2006
Sweet: Pierre Bise (France) Coteaux du Layon Chaume 2004
Sparkling: Krug (France) 1988
Fortified: Fonseca (Portugal) 1963
Dud: Flat tires
Thing: Mt Ventoux
Comment: A lot of my drinking has been at village and premier cru level in Burgundy with an increasing amount of champagne. Cycling has taken a bigger part in my life and Mt Ventoux now has an almost religious significance in my life with 4 separate visits there this year and many climbs (twice following Rayas 98 the night before!)
TOM: Well, I'm in need of a drink just thinking about cycling up Mt ventoux after a bottle of Chateauneuf the night before, so full of admiration!

Tim Carlisle, UK

Red: Man O' War Vineyards Dreadnaught Syrah
White: Hans Vineyards Viognier
Budget red: Rene Rostaing Les Lezardes VdP 2005
Budget white: En La Tradition Cotes de St Mont Blanc, Plaimont
Rosé: Villa Wolf Pinot Noir
Sweet: Royal Tokaji 2005 5 Putts
Sparkling: Bollinger Grande Annee 2000
Fortified: Fonseca 1994 Vintage Port
Dud: Burgundy 08 - especially whites
Thing: Rhone Varietals
Comment: By no means a classic year but a few things stood out, a colleague spent 3 weeks in New Zealand and when it came to our Kiwi promotion the wines we bought on his recommendation blew me away, none more so that Man O' War. I also did very well in the WSET Diploma and will visit Austria for a week next year on the back of that, and will expect South Africa to feature next year after I spend a week there in July after winning another industry award - happy days! I could easily have filled most of the holes with Kiwi wines but Bolly 2000 stood out as the current release I'd love to be able to afford and the Fonseca 94 was quite simply amazing. This website and its forum have always encouraged me to delve further into wine, and having started as a pleb looking for more interest it seems fair to pay respect to Tom now I work in the trade, know the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc and get to travel places as a result. What a great place the UK Wine forum is!
TOM: Well thank you Tim! And enjoy South Africa - if it is your first time then I am sure you will be just blown away by the beauty of the wine country there.

Anders Lind, Sweden

Red: Ch. Haut-Brion 1989
White: Chablis 1cru Montee de Tonnerre 2008, Louis Michel
Budget red: Rosso di Montepulciano, Contucci, 2004
Budget white: Parallèle 20, Vermentinu (Corse) 2009
Rosé: Camille Savès Rosé Grand Cru
Sweet: Ch. Climens 1988
Sparkling: Billecart-Salmon cuvee N. F. 1996
Fortified: Taylors Vintage Port 1977
Dud: Corked bottles (Las Cases -82, among too many others...)
Thing: Spotify music !
Comment: Bought the H-B 89 early at still sensible price... fulfilled every possible expectation. Spotify streamed music site changed my life - will never play CD´s again.
TOM: A fine collection of 'classics' from Anders - and I wish I'd had the foresight to buy that '89 Haut-Brion, which is still one of my all time greatest wines.

Lars Jensen, Denmark

Red: Rocca & Vinding-Diers´ Due Normanni (Sicily) 2005
White: Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva (Italy) 2006
Budget red: Redhead studios (Australia, Mclaren Vale) The red sedan, Shiraz 2008
Budget white: Gutsverwaltung Niederhausen SchlossBökkelheim Hermannsberg Kabinet (Nahe) Riesling 2006
Rosé: Chateau Thuerry, (France) L´exception Merlot-Grenache 2006
Sweet: D´yquem (France) 1990
Sparkling: Cristal (France) 2002
Fortified: Burmester Colheita 1937
Dud: Cantenac Brown 2003. Simply not a good wine.
Thing: Summer tastings at Chateau D´esclans in Provence. Even though that I will never pay €80 for a rose - by nice tasting it
Comment: Hurra! After several years of stand still my "local" German wine Pusher is again able to supply me with Peter Lehmanns Stonewell Shiraz. By far the best australian wine I ever tasted...
TOM: I wonder if the time is right for Verdicchio to make more of an impact on the wine-buying public? There have been a few votes for them this year, and I featured a couple as Wine of the Week and so on. They really can be wonderfully refreshing, subtle but complex wines.

selection below added 07/01/2011

Ian Matte, Canada

Red: Daniel J Belda ( Spain ) CA' Belda 2006
White: Riverby Estate ( New Zealand ) Sali's Block Riesling 2009
Budget red: Daniel J Belda ( Spain ) Tempranillo 2005
Budget white: Vina Falernia ( Chile ) Torontel 2010
Rosé: Domaine de Cabasse Le Rose de Marie-Antoinette 2009
Sweet: Riverby Estate ( New Zealand ) Noble Riesling 2008
Sparkling: Edoardo Miroglio ( Bulgaria ) Brut Rose
Thing: QR Codes on bottles :-)
TOM: Nice choices. Love the wines from Falernia in the unearthly Elqui Valley in Chile, and in case anyone is wondering: QR Codes are those squiggly, square barcode patterns that can be read with a smartphone and which take you to lots of information about a product.

Douglas Murray, UK

Red: Ata Rangi (New Zealand) Pinot Noir 2007
White: Schloss Johannisberger (Germany) Rosalack Riesling 2007
Budget red: Terra Noble (Chile) Gran Reserva Carmenere 2007
Budget white: Pegasus Bay (New Zealand) Main Divide Riesling 2009
Sweet: Kracher (Austria) TBA No. 6 "Grand Cuvee" 2007
Sparkling: Pol Roger (France) Vintage Champagne 1998
Fortified: Taylor's (Portugal) Quinta de Varagellas 2001
Dud: Chateau de Tracy (France) Pouilly Fume 1997 (kept too long)
Thing: Wine tasting visit to New Zealand last February. Marvellous wines, delicious food and charming and delightful people
Comment: There were so many excellent wines which I tasted in New Zealand that I feel I must mention a few of them. Te Whau Chardonnay 2008, Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2007, Te Mata Woodthorpe Syrah 2008, Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2007, Muddy Water Hare's Breath Pinot Noir 2008, and Seresin Rachel Pinot Noir 2007. For something different another red I really liked was Trapiche Single Vineyard Malbec Vina Federico Villafane 2006.
TOM: Nice, wide-ranging selection from Douglas and whetting my appetite for my trip to NZ in a couple of weeks. Agree too about those single vineyard Malbecs from Trapiche which can be absolutely stunning.

Edward Bolland, UK

Red: Soldera (Italy) Intistieti 1995
White: Bouchard (France) Corton Charlemagne 2002
Budget red: Gérard Mouton (France) Givry 2007
Budget white: Roulot (France) Bourgogne Blanc 2007
Rosé: Dom Perignon Rosé (France) Champagne 1996
Sweet: Raymond Lafon (France) Sauternes 1995
Sparkling: Gosset-Brabant Noirs d'Ay NV (France) Champagne
Dud: A corked Grand Puy Lacoste
Comment: I have not opened that many great bottles this year, but had some fantastic champagnes at the end of the year. My top three wines of the year were champagne, hence the cheat of sneaking in DP Rosé in the Rosé slot. Salon 90 was pretty awesome, but a touch obvious compared with the magnificence of the Gosset-Brabant Noirs d'Ay a wine which just built and built. I look forward to participating in UK Wine forum life in 2011 and enjoying the wonderful input of so many other members.
TOM: We haven't had a huge number of corked wines being cited as 'duds' this year. I wonder if the problem is decreasing, or if people now just write corked bottles off as a hazard of daily wine life?

Michael Keating, UK

Red: Domaine Digioia-Royer, 1er Cru Les Groseilles 2002, Chambolle-Musigny, France
White: Eric Morgat, L'Enclos 2005, Savennieres, France
Budget red: Domaine des Rochelles, La Croix du Mission 2003, Anjou-Villages Brissac, France
Budget white: Domaine des Aubuisieres, Silex 2003, Vouvray, France
Rosé: Domaine du Sauveroy, Cabernet d'Anjou 2005, France
Sweet: Chateau Pierre-Bise, La Pierre de Coulaine, Savennieres Doux, France
Sparkling: Roederer NV, Champagne, France
Dud: Chateau Duhart-Milon 1996
Comment: I don't drink Loire and/or French exclusively, although the above might give that impression. A Prado Enea 2001 nearly got my Red vote, a Vinalba Malbec Reserva 2006 my budget red. Bought a lot of Mosel Riesling 2008/9 during 2010 so no doubt these will feature in the future sometime.
TOM: Not excluisvely LOire, but pretty comprehensively :) The Vinalba is great value - and subsequent vintages have been very good too.

Don Reid, UK

Red: Jim Barry ( Australia) The Armagh 1994
White: Aldo Conterno ( Italy) Bussiador Langhe Chardonnay 2006
Budget red: 2008 Château Maris ( France ) Vieilles Vignes Minervois Cru La Livinière
Budget white: 2009 Marqués de Riscal ( Spain ) Rueda Blanco
Rosé: 2009 Château de Sours ( France ) Bordeaux
Sweet: 1988 Château Climens ( France) Barsac
Sparkling: Vilmart ( France) Champagne Coeur de Cuvée 1990
Fortified: Turley (USA) Zinfandel Delinquent 2001
Dud: Running out of wine storage space at home.
Thing: Discovering we are to be Grandparents again, in June. Fingers crossed.
Comment: My WOTY was the exceptional Turley Delinquent, aided by its being matched with the Pave of Chocolate served as dessert at the November WIMPS lunch (a regular luch arranged through the UK Wine Forum). So many of the wines I drank this year were shared with others from this site's Forum community that the people are as important as the wines in most of my choices. Huge, and annual, thanks to Tom Cannavan for the opportunities provided by this friendly community.
TOM: Lovely choices from Don (a stalwart of our forum community) and reminds me that I have a single bottle of that 94 Armagh in the cellar which I must liberate soon!

Mike Bartlett, UK

Red: Cheval Blanc, St Emilion, 2001
White: Mac Forbes Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2008
Budget red: Nadal, Domaine de Fondreche, 2007
Budget white: Bruno Sorg, Gewurtzaminer, Alsace, 2007
Rosé: Cabaret, Provence 2009
Sweet: Petit Vedrines, 2005
Sparkling: Pol Roger, special Cuvee, 1998
Fortified: have so enjoyed a number of Manzanillas this year
Dud: Bruno Giacosa, Barolo Falletto 2000
Thing: my 1 year old twins
Comment: The Cheval Blanc was my first experience of this wine, still youthful, but already delicious to drink. I loved Mac Forbes' elegant and distinctly European Chardonnay. The budget red is quite incredible value and testimony to the magnificent 2007 vintage in the Southern Rhone. And the barolo, which I had been saving carefully for a special occasion, was corked... you could smell a bit of the magic, but ultimately it was undrinkable...oh well!
TOM: Is it a late surge for corked wine 'duds' I wonder? That Pol Roger 1998 is coming up on the rails as this year's most nominated fizz I think.

Paolo Strada, Italy (but living in Switzerland)

Red: Tenuta delle Terre Nere (Italy-Sicily) - Etna Rosso La Vigna di Don Peppino Prephylloxera 2006
White: Emrich Schonleber(Germany) - Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Spätlese 2006
Budget red: Domaine Des Antimagnes (france) - Cotes du Rhone Les Escaravailles 2007
Budget white: Santa Caterina (Italy-Liguria) - Giuncaro 2009
Rosé: Chateau La Canorgue (france) - Cotes du Luberon Rose 2009
Sweet: Cave du l'Etat du Valais (Switzerland) - Petite Arvine Fletrie 1995
Fortified: Mas Amiel (France) - Maury Prestige 15 ans d'Age
Dud: Two Hands (australia) - Shiraz Bella's Garden 2006
Thing: My Wedding in Provence in June!!!! And the honey moon in Turks and Caicos
TOM: COngratulations on the wedding Paulo, and for a intriguing list - the pre-Phyyoxera red included.

Matthew Bryan, UK

Red: Dujac (France) Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Aux Combottes 1998
White: Francois Cotat (France) Sancerre Les Culs de Beaujeu 2007
Budget red: AA Cos (Italy) Frappato 2008
Budget white: Jadot (France) Pouilly Fuisse 2008
Rosé: Oeil de Perdrix (France) Champagne NV
Sweet: Kracher (Austria) NV #8 Traminer 1995
Sparkling: Dom Ruinart (France) Champagne 1990
Fortified: Fernando de Castilla (Spain) Antique Oloroso
Dud: Medal winners from international wine competitions
Comment: A rather old world look to the list, I fear, though not through a lack of experimentation. New and exciting experiences have come largely from France and Italy, particularly from tastings at the Oxford offline group - thanks Mark! My favourite bottles of the year, though, are mainly ones where I have been able to experience the full journey of the wine over the course of a good meal and where I have been able to have several glasses. The ethereal nature of the burgundy in particular - perhaps the closest I've ever come to a 'haunting' wine - would have been lost on me if I'd merely had a single tasting measure. The Cos wine is far from cheap, but it is a unique and stunning wine which I have pressed onto more people than I can remember this year; the Jadot came in at just 6GBP in a sale at TEE and is more than fine for the money. The champagnes were had to celebrate the birth of our daughter in February - the rose at a party and the mesmerising Ruinart with my wife. This was incontrovertible evidence that champagne can be a serious food wine. A word in despatches too for the Sherry - my first foray into 'serious' examples of the type and the most mind-blowing wine of the year. The 'dud' is, I'm sure, more a reflection on my shortcomings than anything else, but I have become slightly disillusioned with wines that have triumphed in the IWC, DWWA etc. Too many have been bland; seemingly aiming at being generally pleasing without ever scintillating. None of the several I have bought have come close to some fabulous recommendations that I have picked up from wine-pages this year. Thanks to Tom and everyone who contributes to make this such an invaluable resource and fun place to spend time.
TOM: Congratulations on another wine-pages new-born! That Oeil de Perdrix fizz (a permanent fixture in Majestic stores) is always great value for money I think. This year I am swapping from being a judge at the IWC for these past few years to judging the DWWA (Decanter Awards). I hear the judging process is very different, so look forward to seeing how they compare.

Anthony Taylor, UK

Red: Stag's Leap Vineyards, Cask 23 Cab Sauv 1985 , Napa Valley, California
White: Domaine Varoux Grand Cru Bougros 2002 Chablis, France
Budget red: Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cab Sauv 2005, S Australia
Budget white: Zind 1 2007, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Alsace
Rosé: Charles Melton Rose of Virginia 2008, S Australia
Sweet: Chateau Coutet 2001 Barsac, France
Sparkling: Henri Giraud En Fut Du Chene 1998, Ay, France
Fortified: Unknown Crusted Port (at least 60 yrs old)
Dud: Corked Clarendon Hills Astralis on Boxing Day
Comment: The Stag's Leap ended up being one of the great bottles of my life, and finally convinces me of Napa's ability to create truly great wine. A late choice as it was drunk on Christmas Day. The hardest choice of all was in the sparkling category, with equally honourable mentions to Veuve Cliquot Vintage Rare 1988, Clos De Cazals 1999, and Vilmart Coeur De Cuvee 1998. The Wynns is surely one of the great fine wine bargains in the world, it will only improve with time. The Coutet is also a Christmas day entry, being the first of an EP case. Simply delightful.
visited Champagne grower Henri Giraud a couple of years ago and tasted his base wines from barrel, where the Chardonnay could easily have been bottled and passed off as Meursault 1er Cru, being so rich and full.

selection below added 06/01/2011

Christiaan Jonkers, UK

Red: Dujac Clos de la Roche 1978
White: Coche Dury Meursault Les Chevalieres 2002
Budget red: Coudelet de Beaucastel 2007
Budget white: Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Les Setilles 2007
Rosé: Henri Billiot Rose NV
Sweet: Yquem 1989
Sparkling: Salon 1988
Fortified: Taylors 1977
Dud: Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett
Thing: Many, but England retaining the Ashes is fresh in my mind
Comment: Although not the grandest white I have had this year, the Coche merits its inclusion by being the best village wine I think I have ever had. I was struggling to find a dud, and there is nothing wrong with the Prum, but, try as I might, I just don't get it.
TOM: That Bourgogne Les Setilles was one I really enjoyed - declassified Puligny and Meursault and good value at £12 or so. JJ Prum is one of those revered names of winemaking, so a brave choice as 'dud', but I like that honesty.

Phil David, UK

Red: Jaboulet (France) Hermitage La Chapelle 1979
White: JJ Prum (Germany) Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese 1995
Budget red: Clonakilla (Australia) Hilltops Shiraz 2004
Budget white: Steffens Kess (Germany) Rieler Goldlay Riesling 2006
Rosé: Larmandier Bernier (France) Rose de Saignee 1er Cru NV
Sweet: Mullineaux (South Africa) Straw Wine 2009
Sparkling: Pol Roger (France) Chardonnay 1998
Dud: Mollydooker (Australia) The Boxer Shiraz 2007
Thing: The Bordeaux Index sale
Comment: A tough one this year and nowhere more so than the reds. Calling it a shortlist would be a misnomer, for it stretched far and wide; 1999 Mascarello Barolo Monprivato, 1979 La Chapelle, 1999 Gilles Barge Cote Rotie Cote Brune, Palmers 1982 and 1996, 1985 Vina Tondonia GR and 1999 Sorrel Le Greal were all in the mix but finally the '79 Chap wins it for the combined pleasure of wine and occasion at The Ledbury. I should say that only two of these were directly purchased by me; the rest were supplied by generous fellow diners at various offlines. Riesling certainly supplied the thick part of my white pleasures this year. By no means were they all from the Mosel but the two that made this list just happened to be, Prum's wonderful Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spat and an equally wonderful basic effort from a slightly more obscure producer, picked at random from an organic Berlin grocery. The two Aussies are an instruction in the folly of geographical generalisation - Clonakilla's Hilltops is reliably precise and pleasurable for the price point, the Mollydooker almost a parody of Oz Shiraz, packing 16.5% alcohol and fruit so ripe you're swatting the flies off it. I suspect my sweet of the year would have been Climens 1990 but sadly that was just a snatched sip, while the beautifully pleasurable Straw Wine was consumed with a delightful dessert at the same table as one of its makers. My thing of the year is a salute to the sadistic sod who devised the fiendish Bordeaux Index Price Drop sale, in which participants had to gamble on the prospect of reducing prices against rapidly vanishing stock.
TOM: and as if to prove the point about JJ Prum, the very next entry received has one of his wines as the best of the year. Isn't that what makes this hobby (obsession?) so fascinating though!

David Wainwright, UK

Red: 1967 Chateauneuf du Pape Chateau Rayas (RIP NW)
White: 1972 Montrachet DRC
Budget red: 2005 Bourgogne Rouge Anne Gros
Budget white: 2007 Oberhauser Leistenberg Kabinett Donnhoff
Rosé: 2007 Sancerre Chavignol Francois Cotat
Sweet: 1929 d'Yquem
Sparkling: 1952 Krug en magnum
Fortified: 1963 Noval Nacional
Dud: a corked 1966 Romanee-Conti DRC
Thing: my wife
Comment: Once again I find myself loving wine more than ever. The promise of drinking something special never fails to light a fire within me. I'm fortunate not only to drink some good bottles, but being able to share them with so many wonderful people, not least of all the late Nigel Williams.
TOM: Some stunning older wines in there that will be making all readers deeply envious! Nigel Williams was one of the UK Wine Forum's most active participants, and his sudden passing just before Christmas was a shock to the community. I'm sure he'd be delighted to be remembered in this context.

Charles Morgan, UK

Red: De Vogue Musigny VV 1989
White: Zind Humbrecht Riesling Brand VT 1990
Budget red: Syrah Les Rosiers VdP M&S Ogier 2005
Budget white: Manzone Langhe Rossesse 2008
Sweet: Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano 1991
Sparkling: Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee (vintage unremembered)
Fortified: Taylors Vintage Port 1908
Dud: Corked Ceretto Bricco Rocche 1996
Thing: Losing 30+kgs, the Highlands and winning the Prothero Blind tasting challenge
Comment: A very restrained year, apart from my first wine-pages 'Superbowl', no OTT events. The Musigny (out of a half kindly shared with me by Rainer Guntermann) was just sublime, what a great Grand Cru should be. The Brand still needed decanting and was supreme. The Ogier was moreish, the Manzone most refreshing and original. Having cut down on sweet things, the Avignonesi was just a rich fruit cake of a wine, while I had the Vilmart several times, it remained an excellent and very reasonable set of bubbles. The Taylors (assuming it was so) was gorgeous, just about mature. No real duds as such but after sublimely good bottles having my last Ceretto of three corked was a pain. Too many things but cutting back and losing weight keeps me on track to be realistically hedonistic, the Highlands for the first time were intoxicating, and of course, beating such luminaries as Linden Wilkie and David Wainwright for the blind tasting challenge shall live on as an example of inspired blagging.
TOM: I'm sure Charles' winning of the blind-tasting challenge was not 'blagging' at all, but a highly experienced palate - as can be witnessed by this list of wines! Congratulations on the considerable weight loss too.

Mark Henderson, New Zealand

Red: Antinori (Italy) Tignanello 1989
White: J.L Chave (France) Hermitage Blanc 1996
Budget red: Domaine Puig-Parahy (France) Coteaux du Roussillon Georges 2007
Budget white: Domaine des Aubuisieres (France) Vouvray Cuvee Silex 2009
Rosé: Domaine Pregentiere (France) Rosé 2009
Sweet: Riverby Estate (New Zealand) Noble Riesling 2009
Sparkling: Quartz Reef (New Zealand) Chauvet Vintage Methode 2006
Fortified: Domaine Bernadines (France) Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2007
Dud: Domaine de la Janasse (France) Chateauneuf du Pape 2007
Thing: The birth of my first child Lena just before Xmas
Comment: I have had the good luck to have had a surfeit of lovely bottles over the course of the year and choosing only one in each category is being unkind to very, many other contenders - my choices come back to the occasion, the context in which they were enjoyed or their value for money. A gorgeous Tignanello that was enjoyed at dinner with a fellow forumite and a Chave that shone at a tasting which gave me a glimpse into what good Hermitage Blanc can become become my top two. A meaty and savoury southern French red with real structure that was ludicrously good for the price and a consistently good Chenin from the Loire give me my budget options that I have enjoyed several times. One of only two or three Rosés drunk all year so Hobson's Choice. I have been treated to, and opened, some fabulous sweet wines this year but this one wins on sheer dollars for value. The first Quartz Reef Vintage bubbly after a three year gap is absolutely outstanding and will make a devious ringer in Champagne tastings. The fortified might fudge the rules for some but this fortified dessert wine was tried at a cave in Beaumes de Venise itself alongside the Domaine de Durban and it won me over. The Janasse is a label that I have enjoyed in the past but this bottle was (alcoholically) hot, soupy and almost verging on the unpleasant which made it a huge disappointment for me. Finally, the arrival of Lena means that you cannot wipe the smile off the face of this very proud father.
TOM: Congratulations on the new baby Mark. I enjoyed the Riverby wines too this year, with the 2008 version of the Noble Riesling one of my stars.

Kevin Heatherington, UK

Red: Cote Rotie Cote Brune (Gilles Barge) 1998
White: Bockenauer Felseneck Spatlese (Shafer Frohlich) 2008
Budget red: Barbera D'Alba (Enzo Boglietti) 2007
Budget white: Piesporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese (von Kesselstatt) 2005
Sweet: Ch Lafaurie Peyraguey (Sauternes)2001
Sparkling: Henriot Brut Millesime 1998
Fortified: Harveys PX VORS
Thing: Two new grand daughters Freya and Katie
Comment: Alongside the usual Bordeaux and Burgundy, lots of German Risling and Barbera D'Alba/Asti this year. Nearly reached my self-imposed cellar bottle limit so I'll be buying quality rather than quantity from now on and focusing on mature wines more than new vintages.
TOM: Lots of new young wine lovers of the future amongst wine-pages visitors this year! I like your policy on buying: I think there comes a time when you have considerbale wine in the cellar that cutting back on acquiring, or changing the focus of what you buy, is a really sensible exercise.

Mark Carrington, UK

Red: Côte Rôtie La Landonne '94 Guigal
White: Defaix Chablis Bougros '05
Budget red: 2007 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes La Rosine*
Budget white: 2008 Le Rocher des Violettes Montlouis-sur-Loire Cuvée Touche-Mitaine Sec
Rosé: 2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé
Sweet: 2000 Gewurztrminer, SGN Hors Choix, Trimbach
Sparkling: Chandon (Green Point) Vintage Brut rosé '04
Fortified: Dutschke 22yo Tawny
Dud: 1982 Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage Nacional**
Thing: Riding up the Tourmalet***
Comment: A year of drinking loads of thoroughly enjoyable wine at <£15 & continuing to buy far too much wine. During 2010 a series of excellent sweet & fortified wines. Honourable mentions: Ostertag Fronholz Gewurz SGN '02; Pajzos Essencia '93, Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Auslese '93, Rieussec '76 & '03; Toro Albala Montilla-Moriles Don PX '82; Graham '70, Warre '83. And a series of thoroughly enjoyable UK Wine Forum off-lines throughout the year. * WOTY; ** My 1st ever Nacional, lovely nose, drab palate. Going nowhere; *** Adelaide 7th Dec a close 2nd.
TOM: Noval Nacional as a dud is another brave choice (given it is such an iconic wine). I visited Noval and tasted a vertical of Nacionals back to 1964 earlier in the year which I thought were terrific, but then the 1982 wasn't amongst them.

Phil Wilkins, UK

Red: Vieux Telegraph (France) Chateauneuf en magnum 1981
White: Sine Qua Non (USA) 'Twisted and Bent' 1997
Budget red: Fox Creek (Australia) Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001
Budget white: Donnhoff (Germany) Pinot Gris 2006
Rosé: Francois Cotat (France) Sancerre Chavignol rosé 2004
Sweet: Huet (France) Vouvray 'Cuvee Constance' 1989
Sparkling: Dom Pérignon (France) Rosé en magnum 1996
Fortified: Blandy (Portugal) Malvasia Velha 1862
Dud: Domaine Gauby (France) Cotes du Roussillon Villages 'Muntada' 1995
Thing: The kids… still!
Comment: There could have been dozens of Reds of the year but what just separated this from the pack was the occasion that it was drunk. Perhaps not the grandest bottle but it was sublime on the night, but who's to say this couldn't happen with any bottle. Fizz is fizz but the magnum of DP Rosé bought out when über cook, Brett Graham, received his second Michelin star all the way back in January was just stunning. But every wine drunk this year has again been a real treat. The generosity on the UK Wine forum is legendary!
TOM: A very nice, globe-trotting list this. 1862 Madeira - will that be this years oldest winner at almost 150 years!

Stewart Travers, UK

Red: Domaine Combe Blanche Minervois La Liviniere La Galine 2001
White: Domaine Treloar Le Terre Promise IGP Cotes Catalanes 2009
Budget red: Raúl Peréz Ultreia St Jacques Bierzo 2008
Budget white: La Vinyeta* Heus Blanc Emporda 2009
Rosé: Chateau de Chorey Jacques Germain Bourgogne Rose Vieilles Vignes 2009
Sweet: Mullineux Family Wines Straw Wine 2009
Sparkling: Anything I drank to toast the wee one
Fortified: Gonzalez Byass 30yr Old range
Thing: My wee girl, Eva
Comment: La Galine 2001 was a great find, thanks to Mr Stolarski. Jonathan's LTP is really coming together style-wise, the Bierzo was hotly contested with another slightly cheaper one (but the Ultreia is just too charming), Heus Blanc is a lovely drop from a very much up and coming region (thanks JH), Ch. de Chorey Rose VV was a belter from the now very, very sadly deceased Benoit Germain whom I visted last January, Mullineux's Straw 2009 was even more impressive than 2008's debut, and the GB 30yr range offer such impressive value at the price it's hard not to come back to them again and again. Cheers!
TOM: I'm assuming another new baby in the wine-pages 'extended family'? What's happening - is it something in the water? :-) Agree fully on the Gonzalez Byass range - stunning wines, relatively easy to find, and not too expensive.

Sunny Chuang, Maldives

Red: Domaine de Fontbonau (France) Cotes Du Rhone 2008
White: Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups(France) Montlouis Remus 2000
Budget red: Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot( France) Les Fontanilles Minervois 2008
Budget white: Loimer Gruner Veltliner(Austria) Spiegel Kamptal Reserve 2008
Rosé: Castello di Ama(Italy) Rosato 2009. Toscana Italy
Sweet: Domaine de la Taille Loups (France) Montlouis Romulus 2003.
Sparkling: Jacquesson (France) Degorgement Tardif Grand Vin Signature 1988, Champagne
Fortified: All Saints Estate( Australia) Museum Rutherglen Muscat NV.
Dud: No wine report for two years!!!
Thing: We found a great seafood restaurant for wine lover. Great list with great prices(i really mean great affordable). The best and freshest seafood ever tasted.
Comment: Sorry for being so Francophile with the list. This year I thought some of the best value wines and best experience I had was mostly European, in particular France. New World wines performed rather poorly. Either over-price or overtly alcoholic and/or overly oaky.
TOM: No need to apologise for an (almost) all-European list. As I said for someone else's choice, there's no denying that Europe still makes an astonishing diversity of truly great wines. Sunny's reference in 'dud' is to the very useful little annual wine guide that Tom Stevenson published from 2004 to 2009. I know Tom would still love to find a publisher to revive the format, so who knows what the future holds!

selection below added 04/01/2011

Otto Nieminen, Finland

Red: Chateau Musar (Lebanon) 2002
White: Naudin-Ferrand (France) Vin de Table Français A... Naudin 007
Budget red: Clos du Tue-Boeuf (France) Cheverny Rouillon 2009
Budget white: Domaine de la Pépière/Marc Ollivier (France) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Granite de Clisson 2007
Rosé: Jean-Marc Burgaud (France) Beaujolais-Villages Rosez! 2009
Sweet: Eric Texier (France) Condrieu Opale 2009
Sparkling: Domaine des Terres Dorées/Jean-Paul Brun (France) FRV 100 Rosé NV
Fortified: Williams & Humbert (Spain) Dos Cortados Palo Cortado NV
Dud: Errazuriz (Chile) Pinot Noir Wild Ferment 2008
Thing: Jazz
Comment: The Musar might just be the most exciting young Musar I have ever had. Otherwise it is a largely French "natural" list this year. It was also fun, after a lifetime of only Classical music, to learn to enjoy jazz.
TOM: Great choices and I agree that the Musar 2002 is a beauty. It's a shame that the only New World wine in the list was the 'dud', but I do think Errazuriz's 'Wild Ferment' Pinot Noir is nowhere near as good as the equivalent white, their Chardonnay. It is worth trying.

Antony Moss, UK

Red: Wolf Blass (Australia) Black Label Cab/Shiraz 1998
White: Guigal (France) Condrieu 'La Doriane' 2007
Budget red: French Connection (France) Saumur Champigny 2008
Budget white: Penfolds (Australia) Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2006
Rosé: Leclerc Briant (Champagne, France) Rosé Rubis 2003
Sweet: Barboursville (Virginia, USA) Malvaxia Passito 2001
Sparkling: Mumm (Champagne, France) Champagne Cuvée R. Lalou 1998
Fortified: Campbells (Australia) Merchant Prince Rare Rutherglen Muscat
Dud: E & J Gallo (USA) 'Sycamore Canyon' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Thing: Prospect Magazine
Comment: For the first half of the year, we limited our consumption to big-volume brands, and I came away with three lessons: 1) for most people who only ever drink these wines, the whole wine thing must seem like an insane abberation. 2) most cheap new world reds have little varietal character or structure, whereas the white equivalents usually taste of Chardonnay, Sauvignon, etc, and the Penfolds and Blass Chardonnays in particular were fresh and balanced. 3) Freshness is often more important than brand, and screwcaps keep things fresher far longer than cork or plastic stoppers. With palate suitably recalibrated, it was a tremendous relief to return to drinking finer wines!
TOM: Interesting experiment! I do think we wine nuts can get out of touch occasionally with what the average supermarket shopper is buying week in, week out, which does indeed tend to be the big brands on some sort of promotional pricing. But good to see from your list that you managed some rather fine wines later in the year (and that you clearly retained an open mind about the quality of which companies like Wolf Blass and Penfolds are capable).

Charles Mutter, UK

Red: Chateau Gloria (St Julien, Bordeaux, France) 2004
White: Domaine Leflaive (France) Bourgogne Blanc 2004
Budget red: Gulf Station (Australia) Pinot Noir 2007/8
Budget white: Alfred Merkelbach (Mosel, Germany) Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese 2003
Rosé: Chateau d'Aqueria (France) Tavel 2008
Sweet: Chateau Coutet (Barsac, Bordeaux, France) 2004
Sparkling: Champagne Lahaye (France) Brut Nature NV
Fortified: Gonzalez Byass (Jerez, Spain) Matusalem Oloroso Dulce
Dud: some "local" cider from our farmers' market that was in fact vinegar
Thing: Kindle mk 3
Comment: Gloria drunk at L'Espalier in Boston - perfect. Leflaive had been in a remover\'s warehouse for 3 years but none the worse. Both budget choices around £8, unbelievable quality/ interest/value. Coutet: liquid orange confit, from Bordeaux Gold's Xmas offer. Champagne from Berry Bros' "Biodynamic" mixed case offer earlier this year, most complex I've had since Krug! Kindle preserved my sanity throughout a 3-week concert tour of the US last month.
TOM: Very nice choices. The Gulf Station Pinot Noir from de Bortoli must be, on a 'bangs per buck' basis, one of the best Pinots in the world. Nice to see another vote for Matusalem too - those aged Sherries from Gonzalez Byass remain one of the wine world's great bargains.

Charles Taylor, UK

Red: Vieux Chateau Certan (France) Pomerol 1982
White: Bell Hill (N.Z.) Waipara Chardonnay 2004
Budget red: Awaroa (N.Z.) Waiheke Syrah 2008
Budget white: Pieropan Soave 2009
Sweet: Jorge Ordonez (Spain) Molino Real 2005
Sparkling: Boulard (France) Petraea (N.V, I forget which batch)
Dud: Yquem 1990
Thing: Tierra del Fuego and the Torres del Paine.
Comment: Three weeks in the Southern tip of Sth America yielded some magical hikes, with Torres being the most spectacular scenery I can imagine.
TOM: I've just made a Soave from Tamellini my 'Wine of the Week', reminding me how good these wines can be. Thanks for the tips on South America too - having been to Chile and Argentina eight times on purely wine-focused trips we are finally off there late in 2011 on holiday. This has whetted my appetite nicely!

Ben Fawcett, UK

Red: Fontodi Flaccianello 2006
White: Domaine de Chevalier 1999
Budget red: Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2008
Budget white: Cantina Mesa Primo Bianco 2009
Sweet: Isole e Olena Vin Santo 1996
Sparkling: Gosset Celebris 1999
Fortified: Niepoort Quinta do Passadouro 2000
Dud: Pretty much all red wines sold through supermarkets
Thing: Arcade Fire
Comment: Flaccianello is on a roll at the moment, since '98 they've all been magnificent and '06 the best yet. Dom' Chevalier is drinking so well at the moment. Thought I'd include a mention for Ch Thenac from Bergerac - almost as good and a third of the price. The Prima Bianco from Casa Mesa on Sardinia shows just what a great grape Vermentino is and celebris was hauntingly good. Please can supermarkets stop making all their reds taste the same - there is actually some good wines tying to break through the obsession with Carbonic maceration and chemical inclusion.
TOM: Fine choices. I published an article on the wonders of
white Bordeaux in 2010 and still think these wines are underrated overall. I agree there's a tendency for supermarket reds to become homogonised, but there is still variety to be found with a bit of effort as you say.

Emmanuel Barnay, France

Red: Yarra Yerring Dry Red Number 2 1994, Yarra Valley
White: Chardonnay Bell Hill 2009 (New Zealand)
Budget red: Syrah Te Whare Ra 2009 (New Zealand)
Budget white: Riesling Sons of Eden 2009 (Barossa Valley)
Rosé: Arrivo Rosato di Nebbiollo (Adelaide Hills) 2009
Sweet: Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvested 2008 (From Barrel) Pegasus Bay
Sparkling: Yarra Yering New Vineyard 1992
Fortified: Rebello Valente Port, Robertson's 1977
Dud: Pinot Noir Dry River 2006 (No PN character whatsoever!!), harsh, oaky, sweet, overextract, a really dud!
Thing: My winemaking travels this year
Comment: So many new people met travelling around Australia and New Zealand... and some amazing new wines tasted, many very hard to find in the UK.
TOM: Emmanuel's Antipodean travels have certainly paid off! Great to see your enthusiasm fired up by these Australian and New Zealand wines. I'm off to New Zealand for a big wine trip in just a couple of weeks, so will look out for these. Surprised the Dry River was such a let down for the reasons stated, as Neil McCallum is such a firm believer in terroir as he explained when I met him in 2009.

Natasha Hughes, UK

Red: Philippe Pacalet, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru, Lavaux St Jacques, Burgundy 2007 - very young, but very, very promising
White: Viña Tondonia, Gran Reserva Blanco, Rioja 1981 - not for everyone, but wonderfully poised, complex and elegant
Budget red: Viña Leyda, Costero Syrah, Leyda Valley, Chile 2009 - a recent visit to Chile revealed that cool-climate Syrah is the country's next big thing. This entry-level version showed huge promise
Budget white: Le Roc des Anges, Vielles Vignes Blanc, Vin de Pays des Pyrenees Orientales, 2008 - fantastic minerality and great balance
Rosé: Dom Pérignon Oenothéque Rosé 1990 - more wine than Champagne, with a layered, savoury depth
Sweet: Leitz, Rudesheimer Drachenstein Eiswein, Rheingau 2009 - already showing great complexity, despite its youth. Despite the 160g/l of residual sugar, it's not in the least bit cloying
Fortified: Stanton & Killeen Grand Rutherglen Muscat NV - I just wish I'd had a bottle of this on Christmas day instead of Christmas pudding
Dud: The corked bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that I'd been saving for a special occasion
Thing: It's a toss up between passing the theory part of my MW exams first time round and the blissful holiday in southern India I shared with my husband
TOM: Mouth-watering list. I am similarly enthusiastic about Chile's cooler climates and their potential for Syrah (and Pinot Noir) - and Viña Leyda is on fire currently with its wines, which are also easy to find in the UK. Good luck with the next round of MW torture!

Matthieu Guinard, France

Red: Ernst Triebaumer (Austria) Blaufränkisch Mariental 2007
White: Willy Schaefer (Germany) Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese 1969
Budget red: Weingut Nekowitsch (Austria) Zweigelt 2006
Budget white: Reinhold Haart (Germany) Riesling Trocken 2009
Rosé: Domaine de la Monardière (France) Rosé 2007
Sweet: Hans Tschida (Austria) Chardonnay TBA 2007
Sparkling: Larmandier-Bernier (France) Terre de Vertus
Fortified: Gourt de Mautens (France) Rasteau VDN 2006
Dud: Dujac (France) Morey-Saint-Denis 1995
Thing: The first trip to Mosel (Bernkastel)
Comment: Again, it was hard to pick, especially since this year was rich (over 1000 wine tasted). The emotion of the Schaefer 1969 was all the greater since I tasted it at the estate, this wine (which tasted almost dry) is the top of this year, by far. And the trip to Mosel will be followed by many. This is such an unforgivable place! and Besides, I am a Mosel wine fan since then.
TOM: Matthieu really caught the Mosel bug this year! The Mosel is indeed a very special place, and the string of recent vintages has been so good that it is well worth any wine lover's attention.

Jon Atkinson, UK

Red: Castelgiocondo (Italy) Brunello di Montalcino 2004
White: Marqués de Murrieta (Spain) 'Capellania' Rioja Blanco 2004
Budget red: Bodegas Santiago (Spain) Rioja Tinto Crianza 2006
Budget white: Triade (Italy) IGT Campania Bianco 2009
Rosé: Bodegas Valduero (Spain) Ribera del Duero Rosado 2008
Sweet: Ch Filhot (France) Sauternes 2001
Sparkling: Bollinger (France) Grande Année 2000
Thing: Jasper (Collie) & Elvis (Springer) - our 2 rescue dogs
Comment: Unusual for me not to have a Sherry in the fortified class, but it's all been reliable but mainstream this year. Not having been disappointed enough to nominate a 'dud' is a bonus though - let's hope that continues in 2001 - cheers!
TOM: Another vote for the Bolly 2000 which was my choice and I think that of three or four others - and on offer at Majestic currently! (no commercial connection). Jon's list reminds me how much I enjoy those whites from Campania too - well worth trying.

Richard Greenwell, UK

Red: G Mascarallo (Italy) Barolo Monprivato 2003
White: Dom. Leflaive (France) Puligny-Monrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 1986
Budget red: Bodegas Piqueras (Spain) Almansa DO Mario Bonete Syrah 2006
Budget white: Gaec Bordenave (France) Jurançon sec La Rosée de Montesquiou 2008
Sweet: Chateau Coutet (France) Barsac 1er Cru 1971
Sparkling: Pol Roger (France) Champagne 1999
Fortified: Romate (Spain) Cayetano del Fino y Cia Paolo Cortado
Dud: Snow
Thing: UK Forum Offlines
Comment: So many stunning wines to choose from this year - I could easily have chosen something else in every category. In many instances I've opted for the wine that surprised me most; particularly in the red categories where I had no great expectations from an 03 Barolo (even this one), and who'd have thought that a Spanish Syrah from baking hot Almansa would manage to put me in mind of the northern Rhone? A reminder to me that predjudices are dangerous. I can't think of any wines that have been real duffers this year, selective memory perhaps, so I've slightly cheekily nominated snow - a car trashed in January and a holiday trashed in December. I hope you'll let it pass this once and I'll try to find a real horror for next year...
TOM: Terrific list and yes, good to have ones prejudices knocked for six now and again with wine! I will certainly let you away with nominating the snow for your dud of the year as it seems to have impacted you from start to finish of 2010!

N.B. submissions for Wines of the Year have now closed.

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