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Wines of the Year 2011

by Tom Cannavan, 12/2011

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 wines featured.

As always, I am looking for your entries to be added to this feature too. Your 'dud' should be the worst, or most disappointing wine you have tasted - it could 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 before January 15th 2012 using this form. WoTY is always incredibly popular so please be patient if your list doesn't appear immediately.

Link to Visitors' Lists at bottom of page

Tom's wines of 2011

Red Frank Cornelissen, Magma Rosso 8 VA 2009, Italy
White Alves de Sousa, Reserva Pessoal Branco 2005, Portugal
Budget red Achaval Ferrer, Malbec 2010, Argentina
Budget white Tesco, Picpoul de Pinet 2010, France
Sweet Disznókő, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 1993, Hungary
Sparkling Champagne Krug, Clos du Mesnil 1995, France
Fortified Horácio dos Reis Simões, Moscatel de Setúbal Superior 10 Anos, Portugal
Dud Chocolate Shop, Spain
Thing Argentina, especially Patagonia and the far northwest


click to read my full tasting notes for my Wines of the Year 2011


What a tough choice. I finished off my tenure as Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year by annoucing my '50 Great' Portuguese wines in June, so the line-up above could easily have been a Portuguese clean sweep. I also had big trips to New Zealand and Argentina, France for the wonderful Bordeaux 2010 En Primeurs and dozens of other trips and amazing tasting. The link above to my tasting notes on the wines I chose will hopefully explain my choices, but a note on a few of them: Cornelissen is one of the 'natural' winemakers and whilst not all natural wines convince me, many of Cornelissen's did. Though classics from other regions could easily have taken its place, I wanted to include it as a representative of this interesting new wine movement. The Achaval Ferrer Malbec might stretch the 'budget' definition at almost £15, but what a wine that really over-delivers. The little Tesco Picpoul is chosen because it proved such a hit with wine-pages visitors when I recommended it as wine of the week and month - many of you bought it by the case. One other thing struck me in poring over my notes from the past 12 months: how many contenders there were from three countries this year: France, Portugal and New Zealand. My Portuguese 50 Great have been written up, so here's a dozen other contenders from France and New Zealand that could so easily have made the list:

Domaine David Clark, Vosne-Romanée 2009, France
Domaine JJ Confuron, Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Aux Boudots 2007, France
Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 1er Cru 1989, France
Château La Conseillante, Pomerol 1945, France
Château Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien 1962, France
Château Montus, Madiran XL 2000, France
Le Soula, Vin de Pays des Cðtes Catalanes Rouge 2006, France
Chard Farm, Mata-au Pinot Noir 2009, New Zealand
Felton Road, Block 5 Pinot Noir 2005, New Zealand
Henri Boillot, Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2006, France
Greywacke, Wild Sauvignon 2009, New Zealand
Framingham, F-Series 2009 Old Vine Riesling, New Zealand

click here to submit your own Wines of the Year for publication

See Visitors' Wines of The Year