Visitors' wines of 2010, part I
|N.B. submissions for Wines of the Year have now closed.|
This is part I of this feature. There is a link to part II
at the bottom of the page.
selection below added 31/12/2010
Jim Fulcher, UK
Red: Penfolds (Australia) Grange Hermitage 1988
White: Domaine Rollin (France) Corton Charlemagne 2006
Budget red: Chamonix (South Africa) Rouge 2007
Budget white: Linar de Vides (Spain) Albarino 2002
Sweet: Ch Rieussec (France) 1983
Sparkling: Champagne Laetitia (France) Grand Cru NV
Fortified: Fernando De Castilla (Spain) Palo Cortado
Thing: The UK forum Edinburgh Offlines - Always a real pleasure
Comment: A lot of really good wines this year and my first steps into Burgundy thanks to some Edinburgh offliners advice and their generosity.
Wine-pages' 'miniBowl' in Glasgow was a great event, thanks again to those organising.
TOM: Like Jim, I was really impressed by the wines of Chamonix when I visited them in Franschhoek at the start of the year - wines of real finesse.
David Crossley, UK
Red: A slurp of Pontet-Canet 1934
White: Pav Blanc Ch Margaux 1985
Budget red: Faugères "Bancels" Dom de Cébène
Budget white: Ogier La Rosine Viognier VdP
Rosé: Alliet in a sunny Loire summer gite garden
Sweet: Montesquiou Jurançon Grappe d'Or
Sparkling: Bereche Reflet d'Antan
Fortified: Eq Navazos Bota de Manzanilla 16
Dud: Awful party wines this last fortnight
Thing: Champagne with food from a Riedel Riesling/Sangiovese glass
Comment: This is, I hope, a heart-felt selection. My red, white and sparkler were all flawed in some tiny way but were my WOTY on account of the generosity of those who supplied them.
The P-C is the oldest claret I've tasted, the Reflets a special act of generosity (a wine I love but can never get). The duds of the past fortnight made my wife comment on how lucky we are in what
we serve ourselves. As for my "thing", you should try it!
TOM: Apart from the top two, another list that celebrates some of the less well-trodden corners of France which is always fascinating - and makes me realise how impossible it is
to really stay on top of the whole world of wine. I'll try that Champagne and Riedel tip - and have noticed a couple of posh restaurants, including the Greenhouse in London last month, offer the choice
of Champagne flutes or big, Bordeaux-style glasses when ordering a decent bottle of Champagne.
Ive Marx, Belgium
Red: Pichon Lalande '82 (magnum)
White: DRC Montrachet 2000
Budget red: CdR '07
Budget white: M-S-R '09
Rosé: Canon La Gaffelière '09
Sweet: Gillette CdT '59
Sparkling: Dom P '90
Fortified: something 19th C
Dud: Belgian Pinot
Thing: corked cork
TOM: I think Ive must work in a top-secret cryptography laboratory deep within a Belgian mountain (?). A terse but fascinating list!
Bob Parsons, Canada
Red: Weinert Gran Vino, Mendoza 2003
White: Prado Rey Real Sitio de Ventosilla 3 Barricas, R del Duero
Budget red: Muscadet Ch l'Oiseliniere de la Ramee '07 C-Carre
Budget white: Prazo de Roriz Douro 2006
Rosé: Lancyre Rose Languedoc 2008
Sweet: Bauyuls Robert Doutres 1988
Sparkling: NV Chartagne-Taillet Brut Millesieme
Fortified: Fonseca VP 1985
Dud: Riesling Reserve Leon Beyer Alsace 2005
Comment: I am very fortunate to be able to help out at one of Canada`s best wine stores so I get the chance to attend many tastings along with meeting up with some good reps! I also have
an extensive cellar here in Edmonton and as a result of some careful buying, I have quite a few gems available (plus some duds too).
TOM: Nice globe-trotting list this, and nice to see Argentina, Muscadet and a Douro white all get a vote.
Ray Abercromby, UK
Red: Henschke (Australia) Hill of Grace 1990
White: Domaine Leflaive (France) Puligny Montrachet Clos de la Pucelles, 1999
Budget red: Chamonix (South Africa) Red 2007
Budget white: Domaine Treloar (France) La Terre Promise 2006
Sweet: Pazjos (Hungary) Eszencia 1993
Sparkling: Krug (France) 1988
Fortified: Dows (Portugal) 1908
Dud: Haut Brion (France) 1988
Thing: Pebbles bike ride
Comment: This has been a superb year of wine drinking. The Leflaive is one of my top 3 white wines of all time, drunk at a fabulous restaurant near Hull. The Henschke was my first
HoG, and what a way to start with the 1990! The Eszencia is as unctuous as you would expect, and the 1908 Dows, courtesy of feelow UK Wine Forum member Mr Wainwright, was a belter. At the same lunch, the HB88 was
curiously flat - a real disappointment. Finally, one of the great memories of the year (and my goodness, there have been many) had to be the Pebbles bike ride. I'll never forget that.
I was very lucky to be involved, and the level of generosity shown by all was humbling. It helped us get over the line.
TOM: Another vote for a Chamonix wine, and great to see that Ray enjoyed his bike ride in aid of The Pebbles Project
charity so much, as along with wine-pages visitor Keith Prothero I know he is one of its main UK-based volunteers.
Matthew Hemming, UK
Red: Clos de Tart 1945
White: Corton Charlemagne 2000 Bonneau du Matray
Budget red: Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006 Meo Camuzet
Budget white: Bourgogne Blanc 2006 Roulot
Rosé: Bollinger 2002
Sweet: Pinot Gris Clos Jesbel SGN 2007 Zind Humbrecht
Sparkling: Bollinger 1999
Fortified: Merchant Prince Rutherglen Muscat
Dud: POX and my (now deceased) car
Comment: Perhaps a boringly predictable list? Neither budget wine was particularly 'budget' but they stand out as wines I bought in case quantities at prices at which I was happy to
open them in reckless abandon at my 30th birthday lunch. The Bahans HB 2001 I used at the same lunch would also count as it was an auction bargain (~£180/cs!) but the Meo was just nicer. Oeno
1996 competes with the Bolly 1999. The 99 was the last of Mentzendorff's UK stock and the last disgorgement prior to moving to the 2000. I got mags for the birthday and it was totally delicious.
TOM: Boringly predictable - if that means 1945 Clos du Tart, Grand Cru white Burgundy and rare Champagnes and sweet whites I'll have some boring predictability too!
Chris Hewson, UK
Red: Bovin (Macedonia) Alexandar, Tikves, 2008
White: Rolly Gassmann Gewurztraminer (France) Alsace, 2007
Budget red: Paulie Heins Cabernet-Merlot (South Africa) Single Vineyard, 2006
Budget white: Bodegas Naia (Spain) K-Naia, Castilla y León, 2008
Sweet: Argyros Vinsanto (Greece), Santorini, 1989
Sparkling: Le Mesnil (France) Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, 2002
Fortified: Grahams 1980
Dud: Andean Vineyards (Argentina), Condor Peak Mendoza, 2006
Thing: The realisation that 2011 is going to be... interesting
Comment: The Bovin was a real eye opener, and the QPR had me reeling to the extent I bought 2 cases on the spot. The Paulie Heins was an inconseqential bottle, bought some time ago from
Virgin for little over a fiver - took it to a party, and wished I'd kept it for myself (and in the end virtually did). I could also have mentioned any number of Santorini whites... and their
Vinsanto's are vastly underpriced, albeit the one mentioned is c.£60, most are in the £20's.
TOM: The Bovin wines are unknown to me, but I will try to rectify that. I like the strikingly modern wines of Bodegas Naia too - alwayd beautifully made.
David Ludlow, UK
Red: Chateau Haut Brion 2000
White: Vergelegen The White 2006
Budget red: Terrasses de Maynard Saint Chinian - Roquebrun 2007
Budget white: Domaine Magellan Grenache Blanc 2007
Rosé: Domaine Ott 2009
Sweet: Chateau Doisey-Daene 1989
Sparkling: Ridgeview Merret Fitzrovia Rose 2004
Fortified: Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Amontillado
Thing: Enjoying the late Autumn sunshine in Crete
Comment: The Haut Brion 2000 was a fantastic wine, even if I was drinking it several years too young. It pipped a Flacionella 1997 for wine of the year. The white from Vergelegen was
one of the white hghlights of the year together with Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2008, Planeta Cometa 2008 (100% Fiano) and also Pieropan La Rocca Soave 2007. The Amontillado is excellent and has
shown up how good the Taste the Difference range can be.
TOM: Château Haut-Brion and its sibling La Mission Haut-Brion are getting a huge number of mentions so far this year - much more than any of the other Bordeaux first growths.
As one of my favourite, and I think comparatively under-appreciated estates, I am delighted with that.
Tom Hewson, UK
Red: Escoda-Sanahuja (DO Conca de Barbara, Spain) 'Les Paradetes' 2006
White: Ascheri (Piedmont, Italy) Montelupa Viognier 2005
Budget red: Bodegas Carchelo (Jumilla, Spain) 'Carchelo' 2008
Budget white: Sartarelli (Marche, Italy) Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi 'Tralivio' 2008
Rosé: Nicodemi (Montepulciano, Italy) Ceruasolo 2008
Sweet: Stefano Mancinelli Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi 'Goti' 2007
Sparkling: Paul Bara 2000
Fortified: Romate Amontillado 'NPU'
Dud: Henri Giraud Code Noir NV
Thing: Preservino wine preserving doo-da
Comment: This has been a year of Italian discovery for me. Verdicchio surely has the potential to be one of Europe's greatest white grapes. Mancinelli's late-harvest 'Goti' was one of the wine
experiences of the year for me; mad but brilliant.
Ascheri's Viognier is a slap in the face to all those that say the grape doesn't age well - if Italian merchant Bat and Bottle still have some, buy it (even if it's a bit late for Christmas lunch
this year). Extraordinary stuff.
Lastly, the blanc de noirs 'Code Noir' from Giraud was burly, coarse and awkward for the price. Oak fermented blanc de noirs champagne is obviously a difficult act to pull off....
some more scribblings at www.tomhewson.com/foodwine
TOM: Another interesting list exploring Spain and Italy. I do agree that the Verdicchio wines of Castelli di Jesi rarely disappoint, and at around £6 or £7 for really good examples
in stores like Majestic and Waitrose, there are wines well worth trying.
Benjamin Cain, UK
Red: Beringer, Cab Sauv Reserve, 1994
White: Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, 1990
Budget red: Torbreck, The Juveniles, 2001
Budget white:Henksche, Tilly's Vineyard, 2008
Rosé: Dom Perignon Rose, 1986
Sweet: Willi Opitz, Opitz 1, 1997
Sparkling: Dom Perignon, 1990 Magnum
Fortified: Gonzales Byass, Noe
Dud: Damargi, Gaja, 1994
Thing: A free holiday in L.A courtesy of winning it on Classic FM (UK)
Comment: A mixed year wine wise but one where keeping fizz and having the strength not to drink it early has paid off with some glorious bottles.
TOM: We had the pleasure of Torbreck's owner/winemaker Dave Powell at wine-pages Glasgow 'miniBOWL' event in May and the wines went down a storm. Congratulations on the free
holiday in California too! We also holidayed there in the summer, but sadly not as prize winners :-)
selection below added 30/12/2010
Graham Tigg, UK and France
Red: Domaine Moncalmes (France, Languedoc) 2001
White: Domaine de Clovallon (France, Languedoc) Les Aires Viognier 2006
Budget red: Mas Gabriel (France, Languedoc) Les Trois Terrasses Carignan 2009
Budget white: Chateau Malautié (France, Languedoc) Vermentino 2009
Rosé: Domaine La Croix Chaptal (France, Languedoc) 2009
Sweet: Mas de Daumas Gassac (France, Languedoc) Vin de Laurence 2007
Sparkling: Château Rives-Blanques (France, Roussillon, Limoux) Cuvée de l'Odyssée 2009
Fortified: Mas Jullien (France, Languedoc) Clairette Beudelle 1996
Dud: Mas de Daumas Gassac (France, Languedoc) Rouge 1996
Thing: Last season at Le Mimosa restaurant
Comment: Yes these are all LR wines but that pretty much 90%+ what I drink!
TOM: yes, given that much of Graham's time is spent in the Languedoc/Roussillon area then the very narrow focus of this (very good) selection is not surprising!
David Matzdorf, UK
Red: Caiarossa Rosso Toscana IGT 2004
White: De Bortoli (Victoria) Reserve Release Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2004
Budget red: Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2009
Budget white: Macon-Villages Domaine de la Bongran Jean Thévenet Cuvée Tradition 2005
Sweet: Ürziger Würzgarten Jos. Christoffel Jr. Riesling Auslese 2 star 2005
Fortified: Graham's Vintage Port 1977
Dud: Chablis grand cru Preuses William Fèvre 2004
Thing: Having an article on my garden published in "The Garden"
Comment: The Preuses 2004 may come good eventually, but the score so far is: 1 bottle very reduced, 1 bottle prematurely oxidised, 1 bottle slightly corked and 1 bottle OK, but
extremely tight. Having to open 4 bottles just to see if the wine is progressing seems rather unfortunate. The Caiarossa is the best modern Tuscan wine I have ever tried, with balance, depth,
length and complexity - and acquired for scarcely more than half its usual price in BBR's sale. The Ürziger Würzgarten is the most absorbing/tingling so far of a variety of German 2005s that
I have waiting for me. I am a serial consumer of Thévenet\'s wines over 2 decades and the 2005 is the best-balanced vintage he has done in many years, although it strains to qualify as a "budget white".
The De Bortoli has genuine complexity and finesse, as well as another few years of development - an achievement in Australian Chardonnay.
TOM: Oh yes, the Caiarossa is really terrific stuff, and I have been very impressed by it on a couple of occasions. Great to see a vote for Martinborough Vineyard's PInot too - one
of New Zealand's original Pinot specialists.
Cameron Clark, The Netherlands
Red: 1997 Turley Hayne Zinfandel
White: 1966 Clos du Petit Demi-Sec, Applias Pere et Fils
Budget red: 1998 Peninsula Estate Hauraki, NZ
Budget white: 1966 Vie-Vie Murfatler Chardonnay, Romanie
Sweet: 1937 Massandra White Muscat
Sparkling: 1996 Mailly Cuvee Les Echansons
Dud: Young Left Bank Red Bordeaux
Comment: Stand out wine was the desert wine at a recent Xmas meal - the 1937 Massandra White Muscat. Dark brown, caramel and a finish that did not stop. Best wines of the year though were the
Murfatlers that were picked up at auction for 10-12 Euro a go. The Tokaj like Chardonnay was the pick of the 3, but I've had great bottles of the 64 Pinot Gris and the 66 Mucat. Red wine of the year
was a Turley Zin, which astounded a group of us with a finish that also went on for ages. Auctions seen to be where I but most of my interesting wine at the moment and as well as supplying the
2 budget wines and the sweet wine, it also supplied the White wine of the year. Actually bought it but mistake (distracted by Trudi), but its a wonderfully complex wine. Started the year with
some good drinking Bordeaux reds (right bank), but finished with a few duff left bank reds for Xmas. I know the summers are getting warmer there, but they'll never have that wonderful accessability
that the New World has.
TOM: Nicely obscure bits amnd pieces in here, and someone else including an aged Romanian white as one of their choices. What's going on here! :-)
Jonathan Hesford, UK
Red: Mas du Soleilla, Les Bartelles 2007
White: Riesling Auslese Zeltinger Himmelreich, Molitor 2003
Budget red: Les Jablieres Saint Joseph 2007
Budget white: Marti Fabre, Verd Albera 2009, Emporda
Sweet: Domaine Laforgue Rivesaltes Ambre 2004
Sparkling: Timmy Taylor's Landlord
Fortified: Treloar Muscat Rancio (private collection)
Dud: Many but Clos de l'Origine stands out
Thing: 4OD, Dominion card game
TOM: Another fascinating list full of interesting wines from less exalted regions, and yes, I will just let you off with choosing a beer for your sparkler of the year!
Mike Grammer, Canada
Red: 1999 Taupenot-Merme Clos des Lambrays
White: 1999 Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc
Budget red: 2007 Black Kite Angel Hawk Pinot Noir
Budget white: 2004 Francois Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnes
Sweet: 2001 Chateau La Tour Blanche
TOM: Delighted to see the Tour Blanche 2001 is on song as I have some in my cellar. Had to look the Angel Hawk up, but I see it's a Californian Pinot.
Uillaim Tait, UK
Red: Domaine Dujac (France) Clos St Denis, 1990
White: Chateau Musar (Lebanon) Bekaa Valley, 1995
Budget red: Chateau de Campuget (France) Costieres de Nimes, 2007
Budget white: St Hallet (Australia) Poachers Blend, 2008
Sweet: Isabel Estate (New Zealand) Noble Sauvage, 2000
Sparkling: Bollinger (France) Special Cuvee, N/V
Fortified: David Franz (Australia) Very Old Barossa Tawny
Comment: The Dujac stands out as perhaps the most memorable wine of the year but not far behind was the mind bogglingly complex 95 Musar Blanc. The Campuget has grit and character for
under a fiver whilst also under a fiver the St Hallet has been our house white all year. Whilst I have tasted many far grander champagnes this year the basic Bolly N/V gets it for being so consistent
throughout the whole year, I have tasted it perhaps twenty times this year and on each occasion it has been quite splendid. Two new discoveries, the Isabel sweetie was excellent whilst the Barossa
Tawny from David Franz was exceptional.
TOM: A fine list, and that's the second vote for the white Musar this year - a wine that ususally splits the jury in my experience. Agree on the consistent excellence of the Bolly.
Garry Clark, UK
Red: La Mission-Haut-Brion (France) Pessac-Leognan 2005
White: Larrivet-Haut-Brion (France) Pessac-Leognan 2007
Budget red: La Chapelle du Marin (France), Cotes de Rhone 2008
Budget white: Ant Moore (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough 2010
Rosé: Charles Melton (Australia) Rose of Virginia, Barossa 2009
Sparkling: Ruinart (France) Dom Ruinart Rose 1990
Fortified: Madeira Bual 1935 (producer unknown)
Dud: Failing my Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Exams
Thing: Turning some major corners in my life and being stronger and happier in my achievements.
Comment: I can't believe we are back to the end of the year again. The red was kind of hard to pick again, but i chose the La Mission because it shows such amazing potential, yet is
accessable and breathtaking. The Larrivet Haut Brion is one of my wiser purchases en primeur, we bought an awful lot of it, but its drinking sublimely just now and again shows amazing potential.
Both my budget wines are Boutinot wines and as our supplier they have come up trumps this year, every wine they have brought for us to look at has been a winner, and many of them at the budget
end of the market too. My Rose is possibly my favourite, after all these years Charlies wines are still wowing me, this seems to get darker with each passing year, i almost expect a red soon.
I'm not a big fan of the sweeties, so struggle to fill this one in. The fizzy was a toss up between the Ruinart Dom Ruinart Rose and the Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, but the rose had the edge
due to the added maturity. Stunning. Dud was my failing the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Exams. I was woefully underprepared on the theory paper and it flumoxed me. Im pleased that I passed
the practical paper though as I was nervous as hell. And my thing this year was just seeming to get my life back on track. I think that last year I was in a bit of a rut, both with work and my
personal life, and it all seems to have come together nicely this year. Im fast approaching my seventh year here at the Chester Grosvenor and things are going from strength to strength.
Hopefully January will give us some good news on the Michelin front and then we will see where the rest of 2011 takes us. I plan to resit my Court of Master Sommelier exams, having done a
lot more studying on Germany!!! Then who knows, maybe I might give the MS a go.
TOM: A fine, postive round-up of your year Garry, and as always some enviable drinking too! La Mission 2005 was a star for me (96-points) in the
extraordinary vertical tasting of 50 vintages back to 1929 that I attended a couple of years ago. Good luck on the exam and
Michelin fronts for the Chester Grosvenor too - I am long overdue a return visit there.
Jeremy Holmes, Australia
Red: E.Pira e Figli Barolo 1971
White: Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet 2009
Budget red: Claude et Catherine Marechale Bourgogne 'Gravel' 2008
Budget white: Tribut Chablis 'Beauroy' 2008
Rosé: Arrivo Rosato di Nebbiolo 2009
Sweet: Yquem 1996
Sparkling: Krug 1988
Fortified: Sandeman 1945
Dud: Corked botts at a Jayer dinner
Comment: Disclaimer: I have sold a couple of these wines and bought plenty for our personal cellar.
TOM: Cracking Euro-centric, indeed euro-classic selection from down under.
John Lamond, UK
Red: Chateau Leoville Barton ((France), St. Julien 1989
White: Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot (France), Vougeot 2001
Budget red: Palataia Pinot Noir (Germany), Pfalz 2009
Budget white: Jim Barry Lodge Hill Riesling (Australia) Clare, 2007
Rosé: Cellier des Esperides (France), Cotes de Provence 2009
Sweet: Torcolato (Italy), Veneto 2003
Sparkling: Bollinger Grande Annee (France), Champagne, 2000
Fortified: Guimaraens (Portugal) Port 1996
Dud: Robert Skalli Syrah (France) Languedoc 2008(?)
Thing: The sunroom
Comment: Discovery of the year was the vast improvement in the quality of M&S's wine offering
TOM: I had the 2000 vintage of the Leoville-Barton just a couple of evenings ago and it was my Christmas highlight. Agree on the improved quality of the M&S wine range over the
past couple of years, and John probably knows his budget red is made by one of the wine buyers responsible for that, who as since left M&S to make wines in the Pfalz.
Richard Zambuni, UK and USA
Red: Allemand (France) Cornas Reynard 1991
White: Jadot (France) Le Montrachet 2004
Budget red: Barruol (France) Gigondas St Cosme 2001
Budget white: Leitz (Germany) Rideshiemer Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett 2007
Rosé: Domaine de Chevalier (France) rose 2009
Sweet: Huet (France) Vouvray Le Mont moelleux 1950
Sparkling: Pol Roger (France) Vintage Champagne 1998
Fortified: La Gitana (Spain) Manzanilla nv
Dud: Chateau de Beaucastel (France) Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998
Thing: My two back-to-back Cornas offline dinners at 28-50
Comment: I know, I know - these are all European wines. I do drink the occasional NZ, Australian, American, Chliean wine etc. but they nearly always seem to not be worth the effort or expense
compared to the elegance and completeness of the the terroir-driven wines of Europe. I will keep trying other wines, but I always come back to Europe. Cornas is one of my very favourite wines, and it
was a great year for drinking Cornas both from my cellar and at offlines. When I offered to organize an offline centred on Cornas I was overwhlemed by the response and ended up running two
back-to-back dinners at 28-50 where we tasted the great and the good of Cornas back to 1983 with most wines being a very great pleasure to drink. The Allemand Reynard from 1991, 1994 and 2001 were highlights, but there were another ten wines of great stature and more importantly of pure pleasure in that line-up - you just have to give these wines time. I have picked out the Allemand Reynard 1991 as my red of the year - it was superb. There\'s always a danger that wines like Le Montrachet are over-rated on the basis of their appellation alone, but the Jadot 2004 was stunning - perhaps the best dry white wine I have ever drunk (thank you David W). Apart from some of these grand wines, I got much pleasure from some that are very affordable and very available. La Gitana is always a delicious aperitif, and the Domaine de Chevalier rose, while a little recherche, was all you could ask for in a simple, fresh rose wine. On the sweet front, there were many potential contenders this year. One of the good things about offlines is that we often end on a glass of something sweet and this gives me a chance to try more sweet wines than I do at home where consuming a whole bottle (or even half bottle) between two is more of a challenge. Thinking of challenges, it was at Neil Holland\'s vintage pairs event that I got to taste the Huet Le Mont moelleux 1950 - what nectar. I love old chenin blanc wines. Finally to the dud - my Ch de Beaucastel 1998 was a soupy mess at the Beaucastel vertical early in the year. Very disappointing. Chapoutier's Chante-Alouette Hermitage blanc 1999 has also been a serial failure when pulled from a case
bought en primeur and stored impeccably. Finally, I jsut want to say how much of a pleasure it has been to meet, drink and eat with so many generous and engaging friends from the UK Wine Forum over 2010.
It wouldn't have been the same without them. Here's to a great 2011 on the wine front.
TOM: If that rosé is from the Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Légnan I confess I did not know it existed, let alone know what it tastes like! No need to apologise for
a Euro-centric list here, as despite plenty of New World brilliance, surely nobody could deny that Europe is still responsible for so many of the world's finest expressions of grape and place?
selection below added 29/12/2010
Red: Jaboulet-Aine (France) Crozes Hermitage Thalabert 1990
White: Domaine Huet (France) Loire Le Mont Demi Sec 2002
Budget red: Catena / Domaines Baron Rothschild - Lafite (Argentina) Amancaya 2008
Budget white: Tomas Cusine (Spain) Auzells 2008
Rosé: Henri Bonnaud (France) Provennce Palettes 2007
Sweet: Chateau de Fargues (France) Sauternes 1990
Sparkling: Philipponnat (France) Clos des Goises 1996
Fortified: Lustau (Spain) Murillo PX NV
Dud: K Vintners (USA) All!
TOM: This is the third vote in for the Philipponnat Clos des Goises 1996 Champagne - makes me even more certain I committed vinous infantacide when I served both of my bottles
at a dinner around four years ago...
Ronald Massard, Thailand
Red: Domaine Peyre-Rose (France) Clos des Cistes, Coteaux du Languedoc 1998
White: Chateau La Nerthe (France) Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2000
Budget red: Domaine du Vissoux (France) Coeur de Vendanges, Beaujolais 2008
Budget white: Ten Minutes by Tractor (Australia) 10X Chardonnay, Mornington 2007
Rosé: Horiot (France) Rose des Riceys 2006
Sweet: Bernard Plageoles (France) Vin d'Autan, Gaillac 1997
Sparkling: Chateau Le Roc (France) Vin Turbulent, vin de table NV
Fortified: Seppelt (Australia) GR 113 Rare Rutherglen Muscat, Rutherglen NV
Dud: Domaine Germain (France) red Saint Romain 2008
Thing: Ex aequo : a mushroom year and young chefs in Paris : Gagnaire-trained Guillaume Delage at Jadis (XVth) and the stellar Petter Nilsson at La Gazzetta (XIIth) - try his
"pied de cochon et oursin, oignon doux des Cevennes". (pig trotter and sea urchin, sweet onion)
Comment: At the end of an endless rugged track, I finally saw Marlene Soria's kingdom at Peyre-Rose : a windy plateau surrounded with odorant bush. She captures the soil austerity and the
garrigue scents, controls the alchemy for a number of years (1998 released in 2005). The result reveals natural environment and winemaker's character : frank and austere, yet delicate and expressive.
The 10-year-old white La Nerthe was at its best : powerful and vertical, with a miraculously mineral backbone and profound complexity. No real hit in bubblies this year, so I chose the funny
negrette-mauzac frizzante from one of the forefront Fronton (near Toulouse) producers, just ahead of Plageoles' Mauzac Nature (a delight on strawberries in summer).
TOM: Lovely evocative selection and fascinating to see so many wines from less well-trodden wine roads of France. As I spent some time in the Southwest around Gaillac last
year and will do the same again this Spring, I have some new names to look out for.
Linden Wilkie, Hong Kong and UK
Red: Chateau Lafite-Rothschild (France) Pauillac 1870
White: Trimbach 'Clos Ste Hune' (France) Alsace 1976
Budget red: Penfolds 'St Henri' (Australia) 2004
Budget white: Domaine Roulot (France) Bourgogne Blanc 2007
Rosé: Sacha Lichine's Chateau d'Esclans (France)
Sweet: Chateau Suduiraut (France) Sauternes 1929
Sparkling: Louis Roederer 'Cristal' (France) Champagne 1979
Fortified: ABLE shipwreck 'Madeira' (Portugal) c1800
Dud: Domaine Roumier (France) Corton Charlemagne 2003
Thing: My son - now 3 months old
Comment: A lot of changes in 2010 - the arrival of my first child in September, and a move to Hong Kong in June, while commuting back and forth to the UK (which will continue).
Not the best wine of the year, but the most interesting was the circa 1800 'Madeira' I served at an event in December. It sunk with the Able off the Georgia coast in 1840 and was salvaged in
1979, sold at auction in 1980 and then bought by me this year at auction. Still deliciously sweet and fragrant. I'm stretching things a little to say Penfold's St Henri is a 'budget red', but they
made such great 2004s and it's one of the exuberant but superbly balanced wines that is great now, but will age and intrigue for decades I suspect (the '71 is still going strong).
TOM: As always, an eye-popping list from Linden (who's job does entail sourcing some of the world's rarest wine!). In June 2002 that CLos Ste Hune was my Wine of the Month,
when it stood out in a vertical tasting of the wine.
Richard Manley, UK
Red: La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 1995
White: Karthauserhofberg Auslese 1991 Magnum
Budget red: Potensac 2002 or 2004 both excellent
Budget white: Karthauserhofberg Kabinett 2001
Rosé: Moondah Brook 2004
Sweet: Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer
Sparkling: Pol Roger NV Magnum at a friends wedding occasion just made it
Dud: A few Burgundy reds
Thing: Eldest joining the Army. Proud but also Worried
Comment: Tom, As per 2009 notes another testing year. Jake has joined the Army so very proud and also worried at the same time.
We have had some illness in the family but glad to say all on the road to recovery. Congratulations on the TV show and Wine Gang ventures !! Wishing you
and your family a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.
TOM: Many thanks Richard, for the thoughtful words but also for a list of wines I enjoyed: it is so easy to overlook classic wines like the Gran Reserva 904 Rioja, when much
sexier new wines come along. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011 too.
Guy Dennis, UK
Red: 1981 Beaucastel
White: 1997 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
Budget red: 2007 Domaine Mas Theo, Coteaux du Tricastin
Budget white: 2008 Dr L German riesling from Loosen Bros
Rosé: 2008 Tempier Bandol - the only rose I've had this year!
Sweet: 2003 Domaine Pietri-Geraud Cuvée Méditerranée Banyuls
Sparkling: 1990 Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee
Thing: Gore bib shorts
Comment: What a year - so much amazing fine wine. Filling this form in was a lot easier a few years ago when there was less to choose between.
TOM: Good choices: I raved about the Mas Theo in a report on Oddbins and agree on its value, and if you only tasted one rosé, well at least it was a particlularly good one.
Chris Hambleton, UK
Red: Bouchard Pere et Fils (France) Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 1985
White: Louis Jadot (France) Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 1998, France
Budget red: Sogrape (Portugal) Pena de Pato 2007 Dão
Budget white: Marques de riscal (Spain) Rueda 2009
Rosé: Heidsieck Monopole (France) vintage 1985 Champagne rose
Sweet: Mullineux (South Africa) Straw wine 2008
Sparkling: Andre Jacquart (France) 2004 vintage Blanc de blancs Champagne
Fortified: Warre's (Portugal) 1977 vintage Port
Dud: A really old bottle of Bollinger NV - Dead as the proverbial parrot
Thing: Taking my son to see his first rugby match - we lost but it was a glorious day and he enjoyed it!
Comment: 2010 has been a very good year for us overall and many a good bottle shared with friends old and new. I'm surprised to be putting 2 Burgundies down as top wines given the variety
of stuff I get through for work and play, but these two were outstanding when I took them along to my Dad\'s birthday lunch - both did everything you could possibly have wanted of them, delicious
and all the better for sharing with the family. The Rueda is an old favourite that I had not had for 3 years or so - stunning stuff for the money if you like lemony crisp whites. Not had much
rose this year and certainly nothing to inspire except the bubbly version (sorry Tom, but it IS pink!), this seemingly venerable old thing was delicious, really toasty and complex and a bargain
to boot! Plenty has been written about the Straw wine on wine-pages and it's all true, lovely, lovely wine. The Andre Jacquart is there because it really sticks in the mind as the best fizz
I tasted at the CIVC tastings, I have probably had better fizz this year, but this one really stood out. The Warre's is in a great place right now, drinking superbly. The less said about the
bolly the better, although if anyone was in any doubt about what oxidation looked, smelled and tasted like (some brave souls did try it) all doubts have now been banished. My son (4)
came up to me in January and said he was worried about the birds not getting enough food so could we make a bird-table? I finally found a use for all those box-ends
that I had been keeping
for reasons unknown even to me. It's been great to meet so many people from the UK wine forum at the events I've been to this year, lots of good food, good fun and good company. Here's to an
even better 2011. Cheers!
TOM: Sounds like you had a great year in many ways Chris, and indeed there are several wines in your list that could easiy have been in my selection, including the very
characterful little budget red from Portugal, and Chris and Andrea Mullineaux's Straw Wine, which I had again just last week!
selection below added 27/12/2010
Red: Vieux Telegraphe Southern Rhone Mag 1981
White: Sarda Mallet L'insouciant Languedoc 2009
Budget red: Mugneret Gibourg Bourgogne Rouge 2003/4
Budget white: Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne Blanc 2007
Rosé: Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose Provence 2007
Sweet: Doisy Daene Sauternes 2005
Sparkling: Pol Roger NV
Fortified: Warre Porto Vintage 1983
Dud: Hosanna Pomerol 1999
Thing: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Comment: Lots of great wine - bought too much which means I'll have to drink too much...
TOM: Why is buying wine even easier than drinking it? How many of us buy too much, or find it hard to keep up with our expanding cellars!
Red: Parker Coonawarra Estate (Australia) Terra Rossa First Growth 1990
White: Chapoutier (France) Ermitage Blanc Le Meal 2007
Budget red: Joseph Burrier (France) Saint-Amour Cote de Besset 2007
Budget white: Marof (Slovenia) Chardonnay Breg 2008
Rosé: Tondonia (Spain) Crianza Rosado Rioja 2000
Sweet: Chateau de Fargues (France) 2003
Sparkling: Bollinger (France) La Grande Annee 1999
Fortified: Orlando (Australia) Vintage Port 1947
Dud: Dow (Portugal) Midnight Port NV
Thing: My new 9 day old son
TOM: Well, many congratulations on the new baby and I hope you are getting some sleep! A few lovely wines there to toast the baby with, and 2010 looking like a fine
vintage tolay down some wine too!
Simon McCulloch, UK
Red: Chateau Le Gay (France) Pomerol 1982
White: Manni Nossing (Italy) Alto Adige Kerner 2008
Budget red: Domaine Charvin (France) Cotes du Rhone 2006
Budget white: Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon (France) Macon 2007
Rosé: Chateau du Galoupet (France) Cotes de Provence 2008
Sweet: Chateau Pajzos Esszencia (Hungary) Tokaji 1993
Sparkling: Moet et Chandon (France) Cuvee Dom Perignon 1995
Fortified: Niepoort (Portugal) LBV Port 1996
Dud: Fromm Winery (New Zealand) La Strada Dry Riesling 2007
Thing: Getting married :-)
Comment: 2010 was a big year for Alex and I - we got engaged in April, we both changed our jobs and got married in December, so many of my choices for WotY are influenced by those
events and by celebration. There were others that I would have liked to mention and some great restaurant bottles too. Going to my first UK Wine Forum 'offline' is a definite resolution for 2011.
Wishing all other forumites and their families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
TOM: And more congraulations obviously due here Simon. Another fine selection - pity the Fromm Riesling didn't perform, as I think there is good drinking to be had in
New Zealand Riesling, though I confess quite a few of them are 'good' without being great.
Phil Marshall, UK
Red: Ch Figeac 95
White: Bonneau du Martray - Corton-Charlemagne 1994
Budget red: 1998 Domaine de l'Hortus
Budget white: Concha y Toro Winemakers Lot No.33T Casablanca Viognier 2008
Sweet: Pergole Vece, 2005 Recioto della Valpolicella DOC Classico, Le Salette
Sparkling: Bollinger Grand Annee 2000
Fortified: Gould Campbell 1977
Dud: 1989 d'Yquem
Thing: Becoming 50
TOM: Delighted to see the Bolly 2000 which was my choice too, but disappointed to see the '89 d'Yquem as 'dud' as I still have a few half bottles tucked away. My fingers are crossed
that my experience will be better! Congratulations on the big birthday too.
Ian Springett, UK
Red: Cheval Blanc 1982
White: Laville Haut Brion Blanc 1962
Budget red: Domaine de la Fourmente Visan, Cotes du Rhone "Nature" 2009
Budget white: 2009 Compania de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez Godello Gabo do Xil Valdeorras
Rosé: Domaine Perdiguier Cuvee d'en Auger 2007
Sweet: Climens 1988
Sparkling: Clos des Goisses 1996, Philipponat
Fortified: Graham 1966
Dud: Vieux Telegraphe 1998
TOM: Nice Cross-section of French wines there (with a token Portuguese - wot, no Banyuls :-)).
Thomas De Waen, UK
Red: Bachelet Charmes Chambertin 1990
White: Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2000
Budget red: Carruades: you bought it as a bugdet wine and can turn it into Roumier GC!
Budget white: 2004 Dauvissat Chablis la Forest
Sweet: Suduiraut 2009 cask sample
Sparkling: Cristal 1990
Fortified: Oliveiras Madeira Valdeiro Reserva 1905
Dud: 2001 Ramonet Batard Montrachet (corked)
Thing: A baby
TOM: I like the cheeky choice of budget red - this is the second wine of Chateau Lafite that cost little more than a tenner a few years ago, but demand from the far east has
pushed the price to eye-watering levels.
Stewart Hunter, UK
Red: Cos Pithos (Italy) Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2008
White: Some Young Punks (Australia) Monsters Monsters Attack Riesling 2009
Budget red: Paul Jaboulet Aîné (France) Côtes du Ventoux L'Echapée 2009
Budget white: Château Roquette-Sur-Mer (France) La Clape, Arpège 2009
Rosé: Domaine de Villargeau (France) Coteaux du Giennois 2009
Sweet: Inniskillen (Canada) Cabernet Franc Icewine 2008
Sparkling: Reichsrat von Buhl (Germany) Spätburgunder Rosé Sekt 2008
Fortified: Lustau (Spain) East India Solera
Dud: Potel (France) Vosne-Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2005
Comment: Some Young Punks really took my fancy this year, as much for the artwork on their labels as for the very good quality of their wines.
The Potel was a huge disappointment, remaining completely closed three days after opening.
TOM: A couple of wines here I have not come across, inlcuding the punks which I will look out for. That crazy Cab Franc icewine is terrific stuff though.
Paul Benbow, UK
Red: Gramercy Cellars (USA) Walla Walla Syrah Washington 2007
White: Domaine Drouhin (USA) Arthur Chardonnay 2007
Budget red: Chateau Ksara Reserve du Couvent (Lebanon) 2007
Budget white: Wine Society (Germany) Saar Reisling 2008
Rosé: Weingut Wieninger (Austria) Pinot Noir 2008
Sweet: Serriger Vogelsang (Germany) trockenbeernauslese reisling 1976
Sparkling: Pol Roger (France) Champagne 1999
Dud: Domaine Pichard (France) Madiran 2003
Thing: Ice Wine. All of them so far!
Comment: Two USA wines topping my list is very surprising & nothing from New Zealand equally so.
TOM: I wondered if perhaps you'd been to Washington and Oregon this year (the homes of the two top wines), as I visited a couple of years ago and loved the wine regions of both
states, and discovered some great wines.
Bryan Collins, UK
Red: Noël Verset (France) Cornas 1988
White: Domaine Leflaive (France) Chevalier-Montrachet 1997
Budget red: Ghislaine Barthod (France) Bourgogne Rouge 2006
Budget white: Dönnhoff (Germany) Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2007
Rosé: Taittinger (France) Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2002
Sweet: Maximin Grünhauser (Germany) Abtsberg Riesling Eiswein #191 2001
Sparkling: Moët & Chandon (France) Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1995
Fortified: Valdespino (Spain) Moscatel Viejísimo Toneles
Thing: New house - with a real cellar!
Comment: If you'd told me at the start of the year than my red WOTY would be a Cornas, I would have been surprised. Not that I don't love Cornas, but the best of the year?
Well, I don't know if it really was the best of the year, but it was the most memorable, in terms of being my favourite wine at the best UK Wine Forum offline of the year - the first Rhone
offline at 28-50. One of those nights where just about everything was in perfect condition. The Leflaive was from Bobby's offline at The Fish Club, although the 1985 Combettes could
have got the nod. The 1995 Oenotheque was also from that night and I liked it enough to go out and buy some - ahead of the 1996, for me.
Other than that, odd not to see any Italian wines in the list - just funny how things worked out.
TOM: Lovely list, and greay when a relatively (emphasis on the relatively) moderst wine like the Cornas can be the most memorable. And one of every wine lover's dreams,
to have a proper cellar at home.
Ian Crawford Amstad, UK but living in USA
Red: Chateau La Conseillante (France) Pomerol
White: Coche Dury Meursault (France) 1996
Budget red: Vietti Perbacco (Italy) Piedmont 2007
Budget white: Gavi di Gavi, many producers (Italy)
Rosé: Chateau Minuty (France) Provence
Sweet: Chateau D'Yquem (France) Sauternes 1970
Sparkling: Champagne Billiot (France) 2002
Dud: 2010 - not a great year
Thing: Volvo XC60
Comment: I mainly content myself drinking Bordeaux, burgundy and Piedmont these days. As for vinous highlights La Conseillante is my wine of the year and I enjoyed three
examples: 1989 ('won' our vertical in April), 1982 (much better in August) and 1990 (my wotn in a 1990 horizontal in Dec). The most mesmerising wine was certainly La Tache 1985, and from
Bordeaux Mouton 1995 'won' our 'Paris '76 Revisited' event 'beating' Harlan and Bryant. Leoville Barton 2001 is as good as it gets at a reasonable price point. Lots of good barolos and
barbarescos too, the stand out being Giacosa's Rabaja Riserva 2001, it will turn out to be really something in 15-20 years. Cappellano remains my 'go to' producer, however.
TOM: Lot's of terrific wines in Ian's year obviously, so the Conseillant and Molitor did very well to win! Funnily enough 2010 was a year when Gavi really won me over too -
many of them much brighter and more zingy than I'd often found.
selection below added 24/12/2010
Keith Prothero, UK and South Africa
Red: Palmer 1961
White: Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet "Les Demoiselles" 1985
Budget red: Vincent Paris St Joseph 2007
Budget white: Musar 2001
Sweet: Yquem 1950
Sparkling: Vilmart Cuvée Creation 1999
Fortified: Leacock Solera 1808
Dud: Beaucastel 1998
Thing: Pebbles now looking after over 600 children
Comment: Another brilliant year of UK Wine Forum
'offlines', with my highlight being the Charity Dinner for Pebbles with
Jancis Robinson. At this dinner we were fortunate to taste some great bottles with the Palmer 61, Yquem 50 and Leacock Solera 1808 being absolutely sensational.
Love the wines of Vincent Paris and the St Joseph is excellent value for money, especially as I bought three cases at the cellar door for less than E10 a bottle. The 2001 Musar blanc is a truly
outstanding wine, and an absolute steal at under £15. Many thanks as always to Tom for the Forum and to everyone who contributed their time, money, company, and/or bottles for various Pebbles
fund raising events in the year.
TOM: Keith's fund-raising work for the South African charity The Pebbles Project is tireless,
so I am glad he at least gets to drink some half-decent plonk!
Derek Salmon, Australia
Bethany LE Shiraz
Peter Lehmann Wigan Eden Valley Riesling
Pikes Eastside Cab Sav 2008
Yalumba Pewsey Vale Riesling 2010
D'arenberg The Mud Pie
Seppeltsfield Paramount Collection Tokay
Henschke Hill of Grace 2006
Expecting First child / First Head Chefs Posistion
Some great wines tasted and wine dinners attended. Mclaren Vale grenache 2009 looking great. Mclaren Vale 'bushing king' lunch is a must do experience.
TOM: I judged the McLaren Vale wine show a couple of years ago and had a great time, though unfortunately I had to come home just as they were about to crown the
'bushing king'. Congratulations on the imminent baby - and job!
Jonathan Beagle, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong
1985 La Tache, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, France
1991 Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco, Lopez de Heredia, Spain
2006 Roero 'Sergentin', Fabrizio Battaglino, Italy
2009 Colori del Sud, IGT Sicilia, Fuedo Montoni, Italy
2008 Rosae di Nebbiolo, Nada Giuseppe, Italy
1950 Chateau d'Yquem
1996 Clos de Goisses, Philipponat, (2006 Disgorgement)
1985 Fonseca Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal
1990 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, France
Unknown Piemonte Producers making great wine at good prices.
Another fun year of interesting and eclectic wines, and some real treats with good friends and good memories of the vinious year, which brought a new start and moving to working
on my own and for myself!
TOM: Two from the fab 1985 vintage (so many of these 25-year-old wines still showing so well, from almost every corner of the globe). I have tasted that 1990 Mouton a couple of times,
but not for eight years I see from my records. I noted it was a bit dilute and did not seem to have the balance for ageing, so maybe that predicition was true... Surprised you get time to drink
anything with all that globe-trotting though Jonathan :-)
Jamie Hutchinson, UK
Henri Jayer (France) Vosne Romanee 1993
Chateau Grillet (France) Cuvee Renaissance 1970
Bilbainas (Spain) Vina Pomal Crianza 1978
Charles Hours (France) Clos Urolat Jurancon Sec 2005
Chateau d'Esclans (France) Garrus 2008
Coutet (France) Barsac 1971
Roses de Jeanne (France) Creux d'Enfer 2006 Rosé
Equipo Navazos (Spain) La Bota de Manz Pasada No 20
Charvin (France) Chateauneuf-du-pape 2007
Hardy (England) featherlight 3-weight fly reel, timeless.
It's been a pretty hectic year, but happily I've managed to slip in some decent wine along the way. The top red was the hardest - early highlights included my favourite
totally unready wine, with a barrel sample of Chateau Margaux 2009, and finished with some lovely wines like Cos 1929 and Palmer 1961, but it was the Jayer, drank at Michel Bras
over a wonderful dinner that really made the biggest imprint. It didn't last long, but for 30 minutes that wine soared from the glass, in my imagination oozing its aromas over the lip of the glass
and covering the entire table. Another very notable wine was the Charvin 07 - never have I had such filth in a glass. Everything about the winemaking and intentions I like the sound of,
but the result was sickly beyond redemption. Must try it again at some point in the future. I've also been a convert to drag-less fly reels. When I rarely catch anything, and when I do its
tiny, whats the point of titanium-carbon braking systems that weigh a tonne and make a racket when you can use your thumb instead.
TOM: A very classic selection there, and all European - but at least that includes the 'dud' :-) I haven't tasted the Charvin '07, but know it has something of jury-splitter,
with some finding the sweetness and oak overdone.
Jem Netley, UK
Cahuil Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Chile) Leyda Valley, 2008
Viognier Roussane, Romaneaux Destezet (France) 2007
Château de Caraguilhes Rouge (France), Corbières, 2006
The Naked Grape Riesling (Germany) Pfalz, 2008
Chateau d'Esclans (France) Garrus 2008
Originel, Clos de la Bruyere (France) Courtois
The Originel wasn't so much a dud, as not what I was expecting. Definitely an acquired taste but I have two bottles still to go.
TOM: The Wine Gang also picked the Cahuil Single Vineyard Pinot Noir as our 'Great Value Red Wine of the Year', and at a reasonable £14.99 it's a great choice here.
Leon P E Markham, UK
Haut Brion 1988
Domaine Dujac Morey St Denis 2002
Domaine David Clark Bourgogne Rouge 2007
Domaine Treloar Terre Promise 2007 (I think? served at a winemakers' dinner)
Bollinger NV Rosé
Pol Roger 1999
M&S Dry Oloroso by Lustau
My son Alex
Lots of travel chaos through the year - hugely disappointing not to be able to see loved ones at important times - but good for the soul I think to be reminded that all
of us, rich or poor, are subject to the whims of nature and circumstance...
TOM: Congratulations on Alex (whom I presume is a new addition!) and on a lovely list: I have yet to taste the Burgundies of Scotsman David Clark, but really must
Jelle Schutte, The Netherlands
Comtes Vogue, Musigny Veilles Vignes (France) Burgundy 2000
Marquis de Laguiche, Montrachet (France) Burgundy 1995
Fubbiano Colline Lucchesi (Italy) Toscana 2004
Murfatlar, Pinot Gris (Rumania) 1964
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé (France) Champagne 1998
Chateau Yquem (France) Sauternes 1990
Krug, Grande Cuvee N.V. (France) Champagne
Massandra Muscat (Georgia) 1935
Comtes Lafon, Meursault Charmes (France) Burgundy 1988
Wineheaven: tasting Screaming Eagle 99 against Mouton Rothschild 86 and not being able to choose
TOM: I have the Musigny and the Yquem in my cellar, so delighted to see them make Jelle's list, but what about that 1964 Romanian white! That I would have loved to taste!
Ewan Murray, UK
Bodegas Muga (Rioja, Spain) Seleccion Especial Reserva 2005
Egon Müller (Germany) Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett 1999
Masseria Monaci (Puglia, Italy) Copertino Eloquenzia 2006
Three Choirs (England) Midsummer Hill 2009
Clos Colombu (Corsica, France) Corse Calvi Rosé 2009
La Tour Blanche (Sauternes, France), 1912
Alfred Gratien (Champagne, France) Brut Vintage 1998
Tio Pepe (Jerez, Spain) Fino 'en Rama' 5
Montana (Marlborough, New Zealand) Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010
The lovely snow that had bookended this year.
TOM: Nice to see someone taking our current snow-bound conditions in such a spirit! The 1912 Tour Blanche sounds intriguing: I remember asking a number of winemakers in Sauternes
what wine they would drink if not their own, and La Tour Blanche came up more often than any other.
Julian Seers-Martin, UK
Chateau Haut Brion (France) Pessac-Leognan 1989
Chateau Haut Brion Blanc (France) Pessac-Leognan 1985
Chateau Musar (Lebanon) Hochar Pere et Fils 2003
Olivier Leflaive (France) Les Setilles 2008
Chateau Miraval (France) "Pink Floyd" Cotes de Provence 2009
Chateau La Tour Blanche (France) Sauternes 1995
Vincent Perseval (France) Brut Reserve 2002
Orlando (Australia) Vintage Port 1945
Chateau Cheval Blanc (France) St. Emilion 1983
Peddling for Pebbles Charity Lunch.
TOM: A clean sweep for Haut-Brion at the top of the list, but I am fortunate enough to have drunk both of those wines and they are amongst my best ever wine experiences. I also
enjoyed the 'Pink Floyd' rosé this year, made in a Château where the band recorded at least some of 'The Wall'.
Will Cashman, Ireland
DRC Grands Echezeaux 1991
Vincent Dancer Chevalier Montrachet 2007
Roumier Chambolle 2004
Emrich Schoenleber Monzinger Riesling 'Mineral' 2007
NV Billecart Salmon Rosé (Magnum)
Selosse Champagne Exquise NV
2004 Diebolt Vallois Fleur Du Passion
N.V. Emilio Lustau Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Solera Reserva
Mayer Nakal Spatburgunder
UK Forum Offlines in Ireland!
It was another great year for wine. I attended a few, really fun offlines and was delighted that we had 3 in Ireland this year (1 in Belfast and 2 in Dublin). Hopefully we'll
be able to have more next year. I travelled to Germany (Mosel/Nahe) for the first time and have really started to enjoy their rieslings, although Spatburgunder remains a mystery to me.
I'll certainly be back there sooner rather than later. The Emrich Schoeleber Riesling was one of the first bottles I tasted over in the Nahe and I was blown away by the pure deliciousness that the
wine presented. There were lots of great wines this year and it was tough coming up with the final selections. The DRC stood tall at a burgundy offline, the Dancer Chevalier was shared with a
good friend and the Diebolt Vallois Fleur shone against many more prestigious wines. The Selosse Exquise was brilliant at the Burgundy offline but wasn't half as good in December, once
again proving that there are only great bottles not great wines. I bought the Roumier Chambolle cheaply a few years ago and it has showed really on a couple of occasions this year, thankfully
free from green ladybird notes. Hopefully next year will be another great year for wine!
TOM: Sneaking in three Champagnes, eh? It is great to see UK Wine Forum members like Will keeping up the 'offlines' (occasions when people who meet on the forum actually get
together to drink some wine) outside of London.
Oliver North, UK
AN2 2007, VdT Mallorca
Papa Luna 2007, Calatayud
Dr L Riesling 2009
Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2009, NZ
Lustau Palo Cortado
Chateau Musar 2002
The Canton Arms, Stockwell
TOM: The Siefried was a 'Wine of the Week' for me and it is great to be able to buy NZ's sweet wines in the UK now after a trading embargo was lifted. Lustau is doing very well in
the fortified category so far this year.
Andrew Stevenson, UK
Plantagenet (Australia) Shiraz 1999
Poggio Argentiera (Italy) Alture, IGT Maremma Toscana 2007
União das Adegas Cooperativas do Dão (Portugal), Adro da Sé Reserva, 2001
Antech (France) Crémant de Limoux, Cuvée St Laurent 2008
Ch. de Blaceret-Roy (France) I love you Gamay Aromatique Méthode Ancestrale NV
Moët & Chandon (France) Grand Cru Les Vignes de Saran NV
2004 Diebolt Vallois Fleur Du Passion
Gonzalez-Byass (Spain, Sherry) Tio Pepe 'En Rama' NV
Volcano Winery (USA, Hawaii), Macadamia Nut Honey Wine NV
PDANet by junefabrics.com
It's been a bit of a quiet year wine-wise, largely reflecting personal circumstances. There were lots of ties for each of the categories, except fortified, where the
Tio Pepe was an easy standout though from a very limited field. Whites and particularly sweeties were the most difficult from which to choose a winner. The Alture just pips it from a very
strong field by being a bit different: a Tuscan sauvignon blanc! The number of sparkling wines in my selection surprises me. There were actually a couple of better rosés, including a Beaujolais
Rosé from the same producer as my final choice, but the "I Love You" stands out from simply being such fun. Not a serious wine at all, but just brings a smile to the face when drinking it.
The Antech Cuvée St Laurent comes from The Wine Society and is great value for £7.50 a bottle (dozen price), but when you take into account the quality, it's amazing.
The dud was at one of the few UK forum offlines I've managed to attend this year. Bizarre and seriously unpleasant drinking. Fortunately it didn't take the edge off a fantastic evening.
For thing of the year, I was tossing up between two new London restaurants: Gauthier Soho (and particularly Alexis Gauthier's truffle risotto) and Koffman's. But then I realised that I'm using
PDANet to post this, and in terms of the most useful thing I've bought this year, it wins hands down.
TOM: Andrew's vote fro that Antech Crémant reminds me that different vintages of their Cuvée Exception were wines of the month for me a couple of years back - I must taste
them again soon. Macademia Nut Honey Wine, eh? Mmmm...
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