Tom Cannavan's   

Wines of the Year 2008

by Tom Cannavan, 12/08

Once again I present my Wines of the Year - the best wines I have tasted in seven different categories, plus two extra categories: 'Dud' of the Year, and 'Thing' of the Year. There is a link to my tasting notes on all of the wine featured.

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

Send me your lists any time between now and January 12th 2009 using this form. I will publish batches of visitors' lists every few days. Please be patient if your list doesn't appear immediately.


Link to Visitors' Wines of The Year and entry form at bottom of page

Tom's favourite wines of 2008

Red - Château La Mission Haut-Brion (France) 1945
White - Olivier Merlin (France) Pouilly-Fuissé 'Terroir de Vergisson' 2006
Budget red - Julien Schaal (South Africa) Merlot Petit Verdot 2006
Budget white - Château Saint Ferreol (France) Viognier 2006
Sweet - Domaine Bellegarde (France) Jurançon Cuvée Thibault 2004
Sparkling - Krug (France) Champagne Clos du Mesnil 1998
Fortified - Rozès (Portugal) Vintage Port Quinta do Grifo 2003
Dud - The entire Yellowtail range
Thing - Porsche Cayman S

click to read my full tasting notes for my Wines of the Year 2008

The 1945 was one of half a dozen La Mission Haut-Brion's that could have made the top spot, as it was part of an extraordinary vertical tasting and lunch I atteneded where 50 great vintages were poured. The Saint Ferreol is a stunning viognier, and possibly the best example I have ever tasted of this variety. The little Jurançon gets the nod over some amazing Tokajis I tasted on a visit to the region, just because it is such an inexpensive and honest little wine. The Krug was a profound experience and a wine that is in its absolute infancy, but at £500+ per bottle, one for the serious collector. Yellowtail might seem like too obvious a choice for 'dud', and indeed there were expensive wines that disappointed me too, but I give the entire range of this Aussie phenomenon the vote, because it is such a cynical range of wines, made sugary sweet to please people who'd really rather be drinking Coca Cola, and the antithesis of what 'real' wine is abot. Finally, I have indulged myself with a dozen wines that could easily substitute for wines in the list above. Webmaster's privilege!

  1. Krug (Fance) Vintage Champagne 1998
  2. Fleury (france) Brut Vintage Champagne 1995
  3. Jeff Carrel (France) Morillon Blanc 2005
  4. Bergström (USA) Dr Bergström Willamette Valley Riesling 2006
  5. Fontodi (Italy) Chianti Classico Riserva 'Vigna del Sorbo' 2004
  6. Aurora (New Zealand) Syrah 2006
  7. Trapiche (Argentina) Malbec Felipe Villafañe 2003
  8. Viña Cobos (Argentina) Malbec 2005
  9. Bruno Giacosa (Italy) Dolcetto d'Alba 2006
  10. Királyudvar (Hungary) Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2002
  11. Disznoko (Hungary) Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 1999
  12. Willi Opitz (Austria) Opitz One 2004

See Visitors' Wines of The Year (includes entry form for your list!)