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Visitors' wines of 2005 - Part 2


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

Here are Wine Pages Visitors' Wines of the Year for 2005 in the same nine categories that I used to draw up my own list (use link on left).

Note: There is always such a huge response to this feature that I have split the entries into parts. This is part 2.

Go to Part 1

final selection added Monday 30th January. Thanks to all who participated in the 2005 Wines of the Year awards

Mike Lee, UK
Red - Magpie Estate (Australia) The Malcolm Shiraz 1995
White - no award
Budget red - Sonoma Creek (USA) Syrah 1999
Budget white - Yalumba (Australia) Y Series Viognier 2004
Sweet - Doisy-Vedrines (France) Barsac 2001
Sparkling - Veuve Clicquot (France) La Grande Dame 1989
Fortified - Warres (Portugal) Vintage Port 1970
Dud - Wynns (Australia) "Michael" Shiraz 1997
Thing - Accepting a job in China beginning 1st Feb 2006

First outing of the Malcolm Shiraz to the Shiraz offline was disappointing due to volatile acidity. Fortunately it avoided dud by performing on Christmas day. The Grande Dame followed it a couple of days later at a farewell dinner accompanied by the Henschke Cyril Henschke 1993, which narrowly avoided being awarded red of the year, and was in turn followed by the Warres which is still drinking well. The Michael Shiraz was a bargain from Majestic but sadly corked - hopefully its mate will perform better. The job starts all too soon so I have had to up my wine quota to consume those which won't last until my return. Unfortunately I won't drink so well again for some time. The local selection is pretty limited but I may become an expert in Chinese wines :( I hope to be able to attend an off-line on one of my visits to London.

first of all, congratulation Mike on an exotic change of location. Chinese wine production is rumoured to be about to explode over the next few decades, so I look forward to a report from the field. Great to see another vote for Yalumba's Viognier.I spent 5 days in the company of Louisa Rose, the winemaker for Yalumba's whites, and Pewsey Vale's Rieslings, which have also picked up nominations this year. We were both on the judging panel for the Australian National Riesling Challenge in Canberra before Christmas, and she is both a *brilliant* winemaker and thoroughly good fun as a person - Tom

Matthew Edgeller, UK
Red - Chateau Pichon Lalande (France) 1982
White - Planeta (Italy) Cometa 2001
Budget red - Gulfi (Italy) Nerojbleo Nero d'Avola 2001
Budget white - Dr Loosen (Germany) Erdener Treppchen Kabinett Riesling 2004
Sweet - Dr Loosen (Germany) Erdener Treppchen Kabinett Riesling 2004
Sparkling - Krug (France) 1985
Fortified - Quinta do Noval (Portugal) Colheita Tawny Port 1974
Dud - Antonio Ferrari (Italy) Solaria Jonica 1959
Thing - NME Awards Tour 2005

First forays into top quality mature claret and fizz. Wasn't disappointed. Really enjoying 2004 German Riesling. NME 2005: Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Futureheads, Killers. What a line up!

Now I'm feeeling old - I think I've only heard of the Kaiser Chiefs. I love the Krug 1985 though! - Tom

Antony Moss, UK
Red - Dujac (France) Clos de la Roche 1989
White - Schafflerhof (Austria) Zierfandler Privat 2002
Budget red - Ch de Mercues (France) Cahors 1989
Budget white - Dr Loosen (Germany) Dr L Riesling 2002
Sweet - Feiler-Artinger (Austria) Ruster Ausbruch Welschriesling 'essenz' 2000
Sparkling - Cristal '2000' 1990
Fortified - no award
Dud - Dom Perignon 1995
Thing - no award

The Dujac provides a new reference point for me for great red Burgundy - endless layers of gamey, earthy and cherryish complexity (can a wine be too luxurious? - this was pushing the boundaries). The Schafflerhof wines, from Gumpoldskirchner country have provided a tremendous amount of pleasure. They\'re easy to enjoy -ripe tropical fruit and honeyed richness. The Cahors was a deliciously subtle and medium-bodied bargain at Majestic (£4.99!). Dr L is always a bargain. The Ausbruch was impressively well-balanced for such an intense, sweet wine. The Cristal was an unforgettable experience, tasted alongside the bog-standard Cristal 1990 at Tom Stevenson's Wine Report book launch. DP was not bad. Its just that it only ever tastes like a good vintage Champagne to me, and never anything more. (I can see the quality in Bollinger GA and VVF, Krug V and MV, LP Grand Siecle, Salon and other prestige cuvees, and I would even argue that they are worth the money, but alongside those wines DP always seems slightly Underwhelming.

Well, I don't know. The 1983 and 1985 DPs have provided two of my greatest Champagne experiences I have to say - Tom

Simon Eastwood, UK
Red - E&E Black Pepper Shiraz 1992
White - Domaine Cordier Pouilly-Fuisse 'Les Vignes Blanches' 2003
Budget red - Clos de los Siete 2003
Budget white - Jackson Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Sweet - Clos de Cray Montlouis Moelleux 1997
Sparkling - Jacquart 1996
Fortified - Niepoort Colheita 1979
Dud - Duhart-Milon 1998
Thing - "Wine Behind The Label" - it's been a very handy guide.

The E&E Black Pepper was absolutely stunning, and well worth the hour of careful decanting required, the cork having well and truly seized to the neck of the bottle. Other reds enjoyed: Pavie 97, Mas de Daumas Gassac 98. Can't think of too many budget reds that have been particularly memorable though I thought the Clos de los Siete very impressive - a great wine for the money. Deciding on a favourite white has been a much more difficult task but I'd have to plump for the Domaine Cordier Pouilly-Fuisse 'Les Vignes Blanches' though the Didier Dagueneau Silex 96 and Domaine Cordier St Veran 'Les Crais' 2003 were close runners. As for the fortified, I've had a range of several lovely vintage ports and aged tawnies over the year, but the Niepoort Colheita was on another level altogether. Discounting the odd bottle of corked wine, the biggest disappointment was the Duhart-Milon 98 which was flat and closed but maybe it just needed a bit more time...

I agree with Simon that Williamson & Moore have done a great job with their annual wine guide, Wine Behind the Label - Tom

Lionel Nierop, UK
Red - Chateau Montrose 1970
White - Mas de Daumas Gassac 2003
Budget red - Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2003, Chile
Budget white - Erdner Treppchen 1986
Sweet - Chateau Yquem 1986
Sparkling - Gosset 1996
Fortified - Dow 1983
Dud - Delaforce 1960
Thing - no award

Some difficult choices & some categories where there are several equal entries, notably sweet wines (Yquem '99, '96, several Hugel SGN's, Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Eiswein 2003) & duds (most Zind Humbrecht '03 which isn't in a 'drinking' style unless you like very high alcohol off-dry wines and Dom Perignon 1996 - 2 bottles tasted, neither as good as the Gosset or Pol '96, though storage could be an issue). The red contender was Latour 2000 and fortified was Noval'31 which turned up at a college tasting but was 20 days too early to count.

Some fine stuff here and delighted the Montrose 1970 is drinking so well: I have a bottle or two left, but even as recently as five years ago it was still someewhat backward and needed time - Tom

Mike Holiday, UK
Red - Ch Leoville Las Cases 1982
White - Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Spatlese 1989
Budget red - Cellers de Capcanes Mas Collet 2002
Budget white - Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2003
Sweet - Ch Suduiraut 1967
Sparkling - Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 1983
Fortified - Blandy's Terrantez 1975
Dud - Ch Leoville Barton 1955
Thing - Radio 3 Bach Christmas

The sweet category was difficult - from the same tasting there were also Toyal Tokay Wine co 'Szt Tamas' 5 putts 1991, Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille 1990, Noble One 1982 and a Quarts de Chaume from Baumard. Others preferred different wines, but in the end for me the Suduiraut just took it on re-tasting the following day. None of them in the end was quite as good as the Maculan Acininobili I'd had the previous year, but it was a pretty good tasting. The Leoville Barton was definitely past it - possibly just a bad bottle, since I had one relatively recently which was still showing well. A couple of years ago the Leoville las cases appeared as the dud, but this year as last it was showing beautifully.

Lovely stuff here, and great to see a vote for the excellent Spanish co-op at Cellers de Capcanes - Tom

Stephen Pickles, UK
Red - Jasmin, Cote Rotie 1986
White - Nicolas Joly, Savenniers 2001
Budget red - Mas Domerge ,Cuvee L'Esperance, Languedoc 2001
Budget white - Chateau Fontcreuse, Cuvee F, Cassis 2003
Sweet - Chateau Maydie, Cahors 2002
Sparkling - Champagne Boulard, Les Rachais, 2001
Fortified - Lustau, Manzanilla Pasada de Sanlucar, Almacenista Manuel Cuevas
Dud - no award
Thing - Offlines!

Better drink more outside of France, but sometimes its a bit difficult! Most of these wines were a real surprise (alleged poor vintages or great combinations with food ). An example is the Jasmin, expecting it to be dead, I opened it at a barbeque with plastic glasses - the reidels were soon out though - it was fabulous!

lovely stuff from Stephen and another vote for on of Francis Boulard's Champagnes - a real favourite this year - Tom

six selections below added Wednesday 25th January

Brian Smith, UK
Red - 1990 Chateauneuf, Dom Pegau
White - 1983 Maximin Grunhauser Auslese
Budget red - 2005 Pinot noir, Chile- M & S offer
Budget white - 1993 Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese
Sweet - 1994 Tokaji, 5 Putts, Oremus
Sparkling - 1988 Drappier Champagne
Fortified - 1983 Grahams Vintage Port
Dud - no award
Thing - no award

I have very fond memories of a dinner with Carl Von Schubert of Maximim Grunhauser, where a couple of 1983s were consumerd - fantastic wines from a fantastic Mosel producer - Tom

Ian Webb, UK
Red - Poggio Antico (Italy) Brunello di Montalcinio 1985
White - Andre Perret (France) Condrieu Clos Chery 2003
Budget red - Daumas Gassac (France) Moulin de Gassac Elise 2003
Budget white - Domaine les Chenets (France) Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2003
Sweet - Fruitiere Vinicole d'Arbois (France) Vin de Paille 1997
Sparkling - Lanson (France) Champagne Brut 1982
Fortified - Chateau de Mereville (France) Muscat de Frontignan NV
Dud - (Italy) Pinot Grigio
Thing - Being on a Wine and French Degree Course

Heavily biased to what I bought when I was working, and to what I have tasted on my course. A "Field Trip" to the Northern Rhone was a vinuous highlight

Good luck to Ian on his studies, but hey - writing off all Italian Pinot Grigio? I know there's a lot of rubbish about, but there are a few really good one too! - Tom

Bill Nanson, UK
Red - DRC (France) La Tâche 1990
White - DRC (France) Montrachet 2002
Budget red - Wyndham Estate (Australia) Bin 555 Shiraz
Budget red - Chanson (France) Bourgogne Rouge 2003
Budget white - St Urbanshof (Germany) Piesporter Goldtropfchen 2004
Sweet - Chateau d'Yquem (France) 1989
Sparkling - Dom Perignon (France) 1985
Fortified - Harlan (US) Estate 1996
Dud - no award
Thing - no award

Sad to see two from the same stable at the top, but they are what they are. Lots of bottles of the 555 were drunk over Christmas, only 4.99 @ Morrisons and better than all the others I tried under £10 but it tied with the Chanson because it is just sooo goof for €6.90. Likewise the Piesporter very reliable for about £6.50. First time I liked a d'yquem - very nice. The DP pipped Krug '88, but probably only because they were drunk at the same time and the DP is sweeter. Dud - I liked the Harlan I realy did, but wouldn't pay more than £20...

Nice to see Burgundy Bill drinking s well with his DRCs! Yquem 1989 is, for me, one of the greatest ever - Tom

David Pope, UK
Red - Domaine Romaneé-Conti Richebourg 1993
White - J-L Chave Hermitage blanc 1990
Budget red - Jean-Marc Millot Bourgogne Rouge 2003
Budget white - no award
Sweet - Von Kesselstatt Riesling Oberemmeler Karlsberg auslese goldkapsel 1989
Sparkling - Taittinger Comtes de Champagne rosé 1995
Fortified - Marks & Spencer 20 year old Tawny port
Dud - Terrens Pago de Cueva Baja
Thing - England winning the Ashes

No less than three of these wines were opened at my birthday offline in February. It's been downhill since then! The Richebourg was brought by Neal Martin - incredibly generous of him. The only DRC I've tasted and it was fabulous. One of the most complex wines I've drunk and it changed considerably in the glass. I'm sure there's a long future ahead of it and the same is true of the rich Hermitage blanc. The auslese GKA was a great bargain - an utterly delicious sweetie sold for just £15 by the Wine Society. I've drunk little fizz or fortified wines over the last year but these were the most memorable. The dud was served at the Ashes offline. As I observed at the time, it seemed like a caricature of a Barossa shiraz. Totally over the top and like drinking an atom bomb. It cost £50 (allegedly).

All these people drinking DRC! Next year it's £50 an entry for submitting a WoTY list :-) Great to see the Chave white Hermitage in there, which is one of the world's most profound white wines in my opinion - Tom

Henry Goulding, UK
Red - Vieux Telegraphe (France) Chateauneuf du Pape 1995
White - Francois Jobard (France) Meursault En La Barre 1998
Budget red - Alquier (France) Maison Jaune Faugeres 2001
Budget white - Haart (Germany) Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett 1996
Sweet - Lafaurie Peyraguey (France) Sauternes 1996
Sparkling - Taittinger (France) Champagne 1996
Fortified - Graham's (Portugal) Port 1985
Dud - Gauby (France) Muntada 2000
Thing - Apart from the arrival of no 3? The Ashes

What ties all of these is an interest that developed and lasted from the first to the last drop. The wine was always one step ahead of me. The Gauby I feel guilty about - it is undoubtedly a good wine but for me it tried too hard. And it tasted of bananas!

I don't know "Muntada", but I presented a couple of Gauby's wines from "La Soula" at a seminar a couple of years ago and they absolutely split the room into lovers and haters - Tom

Ray Abercromby, UK
Red - Chateau Meyney St Estephe 1961
White - Olivier Leflaive Corton Charlemagne 1995
Budget red - Ch. Etienne La Dournie (Languedoc) 1999
Budget white - La Combe Blanche, Four a Chaux de la Combe 2000
Sweet - Donnafugata Ben Ryé, Passito di Pantelleria (Sicily) 2003
Sparkling - Charles Heidseick Champagne Charlie 1985
Fortified - Dow Port 1945
Dud - Dujac Chambolle Musigny 1996
Thing - Live 8

The Meyney wins on emotional appeal. Other greats were Hermitage La Chapelle 88, LLC 83, Opus 1 2000, 98 Stonyridge Larose and the amazing '01 Graf Hardegg viognier from Austria. The budget wines are courtesy of merchant Leon Stolarski; the white is a blinder. The Dujac was a dried out husk; the Dows sublime. Champagnes like Taittinger Comte 95 and Vilmart GC Rubis 98 almost made it. Live 8? Been there, done that, missed the tshirt!

Ray drank some splendid old wines this year! I wonder how many 1961s I'll ever get to taste in my life? The three that I have tasted have each been absolutely sublime - Tom

six selections below added Tuesday 24th January

Tom Shearer, UK
Red - Camberley (South Africa) Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, 2001
White - Chaume Arnaud (France) Cote du Rhone Vinsobres Blanc 2002
Budget red - Tukulu (South Africa) Pinotage 2002
Budget white - same as white of year
Sweet - no award - see "fortified" below
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Rey Fernando de Castilla Jardinillo (Spain) Antique Pedro Ximenez
Dud - Rustenberg (South Africa) Brampton Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Thing - Schwerin - another German town I've fallen in love with.

Most of the wines I drink are under £10, so some folk would regard all of these (except the sherry) as budget wines. The Camberley is only slightly over £10. The Brampton is normally one of my favourite everyday wines, but I thought the 2004 was well short of the standard of the previous couple of vintages. I've had a lot worse for the price though, so maybe it's just Disappointment of the Year rather than a full-blown dud.

I recognise a man here who shops at the Great Grog Co in Edinburgh - a fantastic source of great wines at modest prices. I know most of these and they are terrific. I always enjoy lists that are basically all "budget" level, so well done Tom - Tom

Mike Bartlett, UK
Red - Chateau Palmer 1989
White - Puligny Montrachet 2002, Vincent Posardin
Budget red - Vinos Gain, Rioja Artadi 2003
Budget white - Macon Farges, 2004
Sweet - Chateau Rieussec Grand Cru Sauternes 1983
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - La Pasada Manzanilla
Dud - Chateau Cos D'Estournel 1986
Thing - England winning the Ashes on the first day of my honeymoon!

A very different selection from me this year...no Italian wine?! the Palmer was magnificent, the Rioja excellent value and the Sauternes simply sublime. Didn't taste any really outstanding fizz this year despite England's heroics....and the Cos D'Estournel wasn't bad, just not as good as I thought it would be

Well, another mouthwatering Old World selection here. I'm on record as saying the 1986 Cos d'Estournel may never "come round" as it has had such massive tannins and extraction since release that it has rarely given me any pleasure on the four or five occasions I've tasted it; I'm not convinced it has the fruit to outlast the structure - Tom

Nigel Leckie, UK
Red - Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili 1985
White - Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1999
Budget red - Domaine Bunan (Bandol) 2000
Budget white - Foradori Myrto 2003
Sweet - Otto Pauly Graacher Himmelreich Beerenauslese 1976
Sparkling - Raymond Boulard Petraea
Fortified - Taylor Port 1977
Dud - no award
Thing - Hotel La Meridiana, Liguria.

We enjoyed the Giacosa Barbaresco on our first night at La Meridiana, and drank it with a risotto sprinkled with white trufle. A lovely wine with just the right food. I tasted the fruity and refreshing Myrto (60% sauvignon blanc, 20% Pinot Bianco, 20% Manzoni) on a visit to the Foradori winery on a warm summer's morning in late August, and left with a case in addition to the Granato that was the original objective. I don't know much about Bandol, but the Bunan was heavily discounted in an M&S sale, so I had a punt and now I've secreted a few bottles away for the future. Otto Pauly has vines in Wehlen and Brauneberg, but I like his rieslings from Himmelreich; this sumptuous beerenauslese was a real treat at the end of a wonderful dinner. I don't think I can add much about the Petraea; a lovely wine that can raise the spirits at the end of a difficult day. I don't drink much port; in fact the Taylor's was one of only three bottles last year, but I may have to invest some time in finding out more. The thing; we spent a luxurious 4 nights at La Meridiana; wonderful food and a proprietor who loves wine and talking about wine.

In November I had a long weekend in Bergamo in northern Italy and one night had the white truffle menu at a 1* restaurant in the old walled city: nine course, each shaved with white truffle and just amazing. Great to see another vote fro Francis Boulard's superb 'solera' Champagne - Tom

Andrew Morrison, UK
Red - Cullen Mangan (2002)
White - Riesling Auslese, Brauneberger Juffer Sonnehur, F. Haag (1997)
Budget red - Wynns Coonawara Cabernet Shiraz (1990)
Budget white - Riesling Auslese, Priesterseminar Trier Kanzemer Altenberg (1989)
Sweet - Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos (1999)
Sparkling - Bollinger RD (1985) (Disgorged 08/10/1998)
Fortified - no Award
Dud - Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot (2000)
Thing - Chucking myself down mountains on a bike

Thing of the year was going to be seeing Kraftwerk play live in Glasgow. Spent most of that gig with my jaw scraping the floor. Truely awesome and easy top five gigs of all time. Only problem is, on checking the dates, concert turned out to be 2004. How did that happen? Next years thing will hopefully be ressurection of crumbling memory.. Re the booze, most difficult to choose was the sparkling stuff. Very honourable mentions must go to the Krug (1990), Krug (NV), Dom Perignon (1996) and indeed the Taittinger Comtes (1995) that was gobbled up at a truely extraordinary evening at the Fat Duck. As for the dud, well this was a no-brainer for me. I detest that stuff. I'm sure I must be physiologically defficient in the tastebuds required to appreciate this wine as others seem to like it, but then I quite like the Clos de los Siete (sorry Tom) which is arguably very similar in style. Ah well variety spice of life etc etc. As for the new year, looking forward to more cycling and hope to cut out on the currently mandatory crash involving my head and a tree which seems to occur every time I set wheel on a hillside.

I is strange, as I have always loved the Casa Lapostolle merlot, whereas the
Clos Siete does little for me. Different strokes, and all that - Tom

Mathew Hemming, UK
Red - Wynn's Michael Hermitage Claret 1955
White - DRC Montrachet 1994
Budget red - Cantine Due Palme Primitivo 2000
Budget white - Ch de Mosny 1996 Montlouis (Moelleux)
Sweet - Gunderloch NR TBA 2002
Sparkling - Salon 1995
Fortified - 1955 Cockburns
Dud - Ornellaia 1999
Thing - Hot black coffee

Most of these wines were tasted/drunk at the Len Evans Tutorial in the Hunter - and I could easily have filled the entire list with wines we drank there. Disappointed not to have any claret or red Burgundy but this isn't because they were lacking, just that these were soooo good. Yquem 75, chosen by others, narrowly missed as did the ubiquitous Krug and various Aussie fortifieds...

Romanée-Conti's Le Montrachet was my White Wine of the Year last year - an absolutely stunning wine. Now let me see, what does wine-searcher say the current price of a single bottle of the 1994 is? Ah yes, £1,135. Very nice! - Tom

Mark Carrington, UK
Red - Penfolds 90A (Shiraz/Cab) 1990
White - Chassagne Montrachet Morgeots Duc de Magenta ( Jadot) 2000
Budget red - Lacoste Borie 2000
Budget white - Lugana Ca dei Frati 2003
Sweet - Sparkling Icewine Inniskillin
Sparkling - Brilliant Disguise Two Hands 2005
Fortified - Sandemans 1966
Dud - Chasse de Pape Reserve 2003
Thing - The Fall live at Oxford (less said about Brighton the better)

Penfolds drunk alongside 80A. Wines made before Parkerisation. Lacoste £5! Lugana 2004 also recommended, but totally different style. Sandemans; opened my eyes to quality of the vintage. Chasse d P. Absolute abuse of the term 'reserve'

And another Canadian wine takes a trophy. There's defintiely something going on with Canada at the moment. Time to buy shares in a winery? - Tom

six selections below added Wednesday 18th January

David Pearce, UK
Red - Chateau Latour 1982
White - Montagny 1er Cru 2001 Jean-Marc Boillot
Budget red - Bonny Doons range
Budget white - Bonny Doons range
Sweet - Chambers Rare Muscat
Sparkling - Lenz 1996 (Long Island)
Fortified - Madeira 1850 (I think)
Dud - Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley
Thing - Grace Family Vineyards Cabernet for Breakfast at the estate

I was fortunate to have a 4 week tour of US wine regions, mostly focused on the Napa. One day saw private visits to Grace Family, Harlan, Dalla Valle and Pahlmeyer. Sensations and all worthy of WoTY award. My consumption is greatly reduced these days so not 1000's tasted as per usual. I haven't had much fizz this year but the Lenz really took me. Bonny Doon totally blew me away - diversity, quality and low prices.

Great choices here - the '82 Latour is legendary of course, but nice to see Randall Grahm getting the votes for his always interesting and often quirky range at Bonny Doon - Tom

Tom De Vecchi, UK
Red - Pegasus Bay (New Zealand) Pinot Noir 2002
White - Thevenet (France) Macon-Villages "Domaine de la Bongran" 2000
Budget red - Saintsbury (USA) Pinot Noir "Garnet" 2003
Budget white - Lagar de Cervera (Spain) Albarino 2004
Sweet - Maculan (Italy) Acininobili 1999
Sparkling - Nyetimber (England) Blanc de Blancs 1996
Fortified - Quinta do Noval (Portugal) Vintage Port 1963
Dud - Camel Valley (England) Sparkling Wine NV
Thing - My new Global kitchen knives

A modest selection this year i think with few great names. Strongest field was in the sweets this year, and it's finally gone to the same one as another contributor, and was drunk in the same sitting. This had to compete with Suduirant 1997, and Disznoko Tokaji Aszu-Essenzcia 1988, which both blew my socks off and in other years would be stand alone winners. But the Acininobili... seamless. Otherwise... I've managed to include two NW Pinot Noirs in the shout even though I claim to like Red Burgundy best. The Pegasus Bay might partly have been the occasion, food etc that went with it too. The Garnet is great "QPR". Unlike QPR itself which is expensive for average quality football this year. The Albarino woke me up to the Rias Baixas. Best white was a toughy - Musar Blanc 1993 didn't quite make the cut even tho it's fabulous. But the individuality of the Bongran is stunning. Nyetimber - because I'm determined to believe there's a glittering future for English sparklers. The Camel Valley because it persuaded me there's some way to go yet. And the Noval was special over Christmas. The knives are great but an honourable mention should go to wine-pages for keeping me sane at work.

first, thanks for the honorable mention for wine-pages, and second, another selection that reflects a lot of my own favourites. Maculan's 'Torcolato' is currently one of my wines of the month, and Nyetimber and Thevenet have both been honoured in the past. I blew several hundred pounds on a set of top of the range knives a few years ago and it is one of the best investments I've made - certainly better than all the kitchen gadgets put together - except maybe my Gaggia Syncrony bean to cup machine :-) - Tom

Geoffrey Smith, USA
Red - 2002 Scherrer Winery Ft Ross High Slopes Sonoma Coast Pinot
White - 2002 DuNah Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Budget red - 2003 Elio Altare Dolcetto d'Alba
Budget white - 2003 Domaine Gauby Les Calcinaires Blanc
Sweet - 2003 Alvear Pedro Ximenez de auada
Sparkling - Krug Brut Rose
Fortified - 1983 Graham's Vintage Port
Dud - no award
Thing - photography

The Scherrer Sonoma Coast Pinot is a true one-of-a-kind, where a red plum character intrigues. The DuNah Chard was a brilliant bottle showing that California can make super Chardonnay when grown in the right spot. Last comment is for the Altare Dolcetto, one of my favorite producers: here is wine! Cheers, Geoff

Intriguing blend of fairly esoteric (to me at least) Californian wines and Europeean classics from Geoff - Tom

David Matzdorf, UK
Red - Château Sociando Mallet Haut-Médoc 1988
White - Marques de Murrieta Reserva Blanco 1989
Budget red - Las Moras Tannat Reserva 2003
Budget white - Spy Valley Marlborough Riesling 2003
Sweet - Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos Château Dereszla 2000
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Churchill's Vintage Port 1985
Dud - Too many over-alcoholic (or corked) wines to list
Thing - Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (the rebirth)

The Sociando Mallet is the penultimate bottle of 12 and is very rich and complex; deep colour, full palate, fine old-fashioned wine. Many people hate Murrieta white Rioja, but I buy vintage after vintage; it is unique, fierce and usually memorable, though some older vintages can be short on fruit. The Argentinian Tannat is a real find from Majestic, balanced, long and not identikit new world wine. Spy Valley Riesling is wonderfully poised, fresh and off-dry, just right for Asian stir-fried food. The Tokaji is astonishing, managing to be both fresh and rich, and I wish I had bought 2 cases - completely brilliant winemaking - my wine of the year. And I've been sitting on 4 bottles of the Churchill for 12 years - and guessed just right about when to open the first. As for the duds: over-strong, fruit-driven wines all tend to taste similar after awhile - plus I can't drink as much as I'd like. Please can we go back to the days of 13% table wines? Guess not. And don't get me started on cork taint. I buy more and more screw-capped wines.

Interesting wines and points from David. I think winemakers around the world are acutely aware that 15 and 16% alcohol is becoming less and less attractive in table wines. Many that I speak to are actively looking to reduce this if they can, with technicques in the vineyard and in the winery - Tom

Andrew Paddock, UK
Red - Gruaud Larose (France) 1990
White - no award
Budget red - Yellow Tail (Australia) Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Budget white - Bert Simon (Germany) riesling 1990
Sweet - Lafaurie Peyraguey (France) 1997
Sparkling - Krug Grand Cuvee (France)
Fortified - no award
Dud - Clos D'Oratoire (France) 1999
Thing - Portsmouth 4:1 Southampton

Gruaud Larose was everything i expected it to be, the yellow tail was very smooth and easy to drink. The Lafaurie picked up in France was better than expected, and the krug was excellent but i suspect it needs more time in bottle. The Clos was served blind and i wasn\'t the only one who mistook it for a rhone. Why make a bordeaux that smells and tastes like a rhone?. If there are any pompey supporters reading this they will know why i picked it as my "thing"

I've just made the 1990 Gruaud-Larose my Wine of the Month for December, having opened a bottle on Christmas eve - fabulous wine, I still haven't actually tasted the infamous Yellowtail - Tom

Gareth Welch, UK
Red - Stonecroft Hawkes Bay Syrah 2002
White - Penfolds Bin 00a Chardonnay
Budget red - Eldredge Blue Chip Shiraz 2002
Budget white - Wachenheimer Riesling 2003 Dr Burklin Wolf
Sweet - no award
Sparkling - Laurent Perrier Rose
Fortified - Apostoles Gonzalez Byass
Dud - 2003 white Burgs
Thing - Pub Crawls in Winchester in the shadow of the old cathedral.

Not sure if my red wine of the year is the very best I've had this year - probably not quite, but it was a surprise and both bottles have been magnificent. The Penfolds Chardonnay was all I could wish from a New World chardy and more. The Eldredge Shiraz is a superb example of its style and better than many twice, or more its cost. I've drunk my half case of the riesling this year - nuff said! The fizz and fortified are textbook examples and always a treat.

I was lucky enough to visit Penfold's this year and taste through their wines with the winemaker of the white wines, and I have to say a couple of the Chardonnays were just outstanding. Also please to see another vote for Apostoles; an astonishing bargain at around £20 for such an incredible wine made from an ancient solera - Tom

six selections below added Friday 13th January

John Thomson, UK
Red - Pichon Lalande 1986
White - Batard montrachet, B Morey 2001
Budget red - Cotes de Nuits Chaillots, Gachot-Monot, 1999
Budget white - Jobard Borg. 2002
Sweet - no award
Sparkling - Prosecco La Marca
Fortified - Graham Port 1985
Dud - Ch. Teyssier, St Emilion 1998
Thing - no award

The 1986 Pichon LL is about as perfect a claret as you could hope to drink, to me wines like this make a mockery of rating systems. In a year spoilt by the realisation of the extent of the oxidation problem in white burgundies there were still a number of glorious examples, perhaps we'll have to start drinking them younger!. The Batard is 3 dimensional in a way that only great white burgundy can be-its got the weight and density of a great red and is lush. Alright I might be cheating a little with the Jobard but its such a lovely wine and shames many growers grander cuvees. The 1999 Chaillots I picked up at auction at under 8 quid a bottle and we've steadily gone through 2 cases, its a lovely, carefully made wine which I've no doubt benefitted from the vintage conditions La Marca Prosecco is £5.99 at Waitrose and I've had as much fun drinking this with friends over the year as many Chamapagnes 4 times the price. 85 Graham is perfect, if only I had a bit more. To my palate the Teyssier 1998 has been out of balance throughout its development and has dropped to pieces now mature.

Yes, at the annual wine-pages 'superBOWL' event in October many people were quite simply stunned by the qualities that Prosecco can achieve in the right hands when the Bisol company came over to present a seminar - Tom

Paul Leitch, Canada
Red - Domain Lucien Barrot & Fils 1989 CndP
White - Czechoslovakian "Tokay Vyber" 1983 4 Puts.
Budget red - Ciro - Librandi 2000
Budget white - Magnotta barrel fermented Chardonnay 2002
Sweet - Hillebrand Vidal Late Harvest 2002
Sparkling - No Award -(big beers!?)
Fortified - Gonales-Byass Apostoles Oloroso Sherry
Dud - A bevy of bad beer - all North American
Thing - Young grandchildren - the sunshine of our lives

Old botles such as the Apostoles - and the "Tokay" forgotten in the cellar for 15 yrs (and bought for a song) were quite unforgettable for rising above their station.

Seeing the Hillebrand win an award brings back very happy memories of a really great meal I had at the restaurant there one evening on a recent visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we finished off the evening with the glass of the very same wine - Tom

Phil Shorten, UK
Red - no award
White - Alphonse Mellot (France) Sancerre "Cuvee Edmond" 2001
Budget red - Jean-Marc Burgaud (France) Morgon Cote de Py 2003
Budget white - Domaine de Montauriol (France) Roussanne 2002
Sweet - Domaine Baumard (France) Quarts de Chaume 1990
Sparkling - Joseph Perrier (France) "Cuvee Josephine" 1990
Fortified - Valdespino (Spain) 1842 Solera Rich Sweet Oloroso
Dud - Salon (France) Le Mesnil 1842
Thing - India

Many good reds, but no single wine stood out. Alphonse Mellot\'s Cuvee Edmond narrowly edges out Bonneau de Martray's 2001 Corton Charlemagne. The Roussanne was absolutely delicious, punching well above its modest pricepoint. The 2003 Morgon from Burgaud is a great wine from this super Beaujolais vintage, but will benefit from another couple of years in the cellar (at least). It beats out Jean Gardies Les Milleres Cotes du Roussillon. The best sweetie was an easy pick - the 1990 is as fresh as a daisy, with literally miles in the tank. Picking a sparkler wasn't as easy - plenty of candidates, but Joseph Perrier's top cuvee takes that prize for me - wonderfully mature and complex - more than a match for the likes of Dom and Krug. Nyetimber's 1996 Blanc de Blancs gets an honourable mention. The Oloroso is not an expensive wine, but absolutely delicious. The Salon was unfortunately shot - maderised - such a disappointment. India is one of the most alluring places in the world, and gave me the opportunity to act in a Bollywood film!

Well Phil, I think that is the first time in eight years of running Wines of the Year that someone hasn't awarded a gong to a red wine! I love the choice of white though - that Sancerre was a special parcel in Majestic that was just glorious during the year and could easily have made my list too - Tom

Chris Longstaff, UK
Red - Ch.Villars Fontaine Hautes Cotes de Nuits 1995
White - Chateau Chalon 92 from Auguste Pirou
Budget red - Givry 1er cru Le Bois Chevaux Didier Erker 2003
Budget white - Francois Lipp Gerwurtztraminer G.C. Eichberg 2003
Sweet - Chateau De Malle 1998
Sparkling - Marguet Bonnerave Cuvee Privilege assemblage 99/00
Fortified - no award
Dud - no award
Thing - Hugh Masakela with The Jazz Jamaica All Stars live at the Brighton Dome

After a weekend of tasting some pretty classy burgundies from Vosne, Gevrey, Nuits st Georges etc the Villars Fontaine, which accompanied a huge chunk of prime charolais grilled on a wood fire in the village restaurant, was a revelation. Like a stick of Blackpool rock it had BURGUNDY written all the way through.

And there lies the rub with Burgundy I guess! When you get a really great one... - Tom

Brian Whitlock, UK
Red - Amayna (Chile) Leyda valley Pinot Noir 2003
White - no award
Budget red - Ch. la Rose Bellevue, (France) 1er Cotes de Blaye. Cuvée Prestige 2003
Budget white - Jean-Jacques Bardin (France) Pouilly Fume 2003
Sweet - Dom du Mas Alart (France) Muscat de Rivesaltes "L'amandier"
Sparkling - Mumm Cordon Rouge 1995
Fortified - Otard (France) Plessis - Pineau Des Charentes Blanc
Dud - no award
Thing - Magimix M300 Nespresso Machine

Happy New Year!

and a HNY to you too Brian! Nice to see a Pineau de Charentes get a vote, and yes, the Nespresso system really does deliver, doesn't it? - Tom

Peter Bamford, UK
Red - La Reserve de Leoville-Barton, St Julien, 1996
White - no award
Budget red - Manoir des Journets, Chenas, 1999
Budget white - no award
Sweet - Chateau d'Aydie, Pacherenc, 2001
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - no award
Dud - Domaine de la Janasse, Southern Rhone, 2003s
Thing - no award

The 96 of Leoville-Barton's second wine is rocking at the moment: easily out-performing more fancy Bordeaux at this age. Speaking of which, the 99 Chenas was reminiscent of mature St-Emilion: chocolatey, textural and contemplative. I have to say Janasse's 2003s are Parkerised abominations. Sickly and dull, they were blown away by Domaine de Beaurenard's 03s which showed the importance of good acidity: the pepper, herb and spice were poised and thrilling. Parker gave Beaurenard lower ratings, hiding their greatest virtue behind the backhanded complement "elegant"!

Short, sharp and French from Peter and interesting comments on the stylistic issues of the Janasse Rhône - Tom

six selections below added Wednesday 11th January

Simon Rummens, UK
Red - Grand Puy Lacoste 1996
White - E.Burn Clos St Imer cuvee la Chapelle Riesling 1995
Budget red - Ch de Marsannay 1999
Budget white - Knapstein Clare Valley Riesling 2000
Sweet - Dr Loosen Urziger Wurtzgarten Auslese 1997
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Gonzalez-Byas Matusalem NV
Dud - Montirius Gigondas 1999
Thing - the view from Pico Ariero in Madeira

The Grand Puy Lacoste pipped my Beaucastel 1997 - several bottles have been fantastic despite the vintage (although a lot of bottle variation) and By Farr Pinot Noir 2001 which must be the best New World pinot I have drunk. Both the budget wines exceeded my expectations by a large margin - the Knapstein was an almost unaminous choice at a blind tasting.

The Knappstein Riesling is a great little wine (Oddbins) and a former Wine of the Week for me - Tom

Rupert Yardley, UK
Red - Chateau Palmer (France) Margaux 1983
White - Vincent Girardin (France) Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 2002
Budget red - Planeta (Italy) Nero d\'Avola Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2003
Budget white - Veracruz (Spain) Verdejo Rueda 2004
Sweet - Lamothe Guignard (France) Sauternes 2001
Sparkling - Billecart-Salmon (France) Cuvee NF Champagne 1990
Fortified - no award
Dud - Dom Perignon (France) Champagne 1996
Thing - Arcade Fire, Funeral (music)

Unusual for me to prefer claret over burgundy, but the Palmer was as good as its reputation. The Folatieres was a last minute stand in for a Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet 1985 which turned out to be horribly corked, but I can't imagine that the Leflaive could have been any more exciting. Only had one fortified wine - a 1960 Fonseca which was very nice, but probably doesn't justify inclusion in a list of wines of the year. My failure to appreciate the DP probably says more about my inability to taste young champagne than about the wine itself, but I'm afraid I couldn't really detect any flavour in it.

And another vote for the Veracruz Verdejo. Palmer '83 is a classic Bordeaux which I also love - Tom

Raymond Queally, UK
Red - Beaucastel 1990
White - Lequin-Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeots 2002
Budget red - Seigneurs D'Aiguilhe 2003
Budget white - Montagny Premier Cru 2002 Cave des Vignerons de Buxy
Sweet - Schoffit Gewurtztraminer Rangen Grand Cru Clos st. Theobald 2003
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Warres LBV 1994 Unfiltered
Dud - Terreus 98
Thing - kissing my kids goodnight

The Beaucastel narrowly edges out the Gaja a friend brought to an "offline" of the UK Wine Forum. My dud was also brought to an offline by me - this has been better I'm hoping it was in an awkward stage. Had a few vintage ports but this Warres is a cracker for the price. Didn't drink many sweeties or Champagne.

Schoffit is a great, slightly undervalued estate. There have been remarkably few votes for Alsace this year in any category, whereas usually they are very strongly represented. I wonder why? - Tom

Cameron Clark, The Netherlands
Red - Rust en Vrede Estate Wine, 1999, South Africa
White - Amayna Sauvingon Blanc 2004, Chile
Budget red - Cato Negro Carmenere 2004, Chile
Budget white - Jose Parientes Verdejo 2004, Bodegas Dos Victorias, Spain
Sweet - 2002 Gumpoldskirchner Chardonnay BA, Harald Zierer
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Taylors LBV 2000
Dud - no award
Thing - no award

The Amayna only beat the Vergelegen White '02, due to being 25 Euro a bottle cheaper. The '02 Cloudy Bay Te Koko tasted in Jan was the best experience of the year, but subsequent bottles didn't live up to the first. Shame. The Rust en Vrede is now ready to drink, complex and mouthfilling. Chilean Carmenere is still the best value red on the market. Tasted the Parientes in the summer and was really impressed. Unfortunately it was white wine of the year at a big wine show here in Holland, so is now sold out. Only drink Port when out with the girls on a Tuesday night, and its their favourite, and mine as well.

Another Verdejo in the list as budget white. Is Verdejo going to be 'the new chardonnay'? or more likely, 'the new Sauvignon Blanc'? - Tom

Andrew Crawford, Australia
Red - 2000 Chateau de Beaucastel CNdP Rouge
White - 2000 Vincent Girardin Chassagne Montrachet "Morgeot"
Budget red - 2002 Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon
Budget white - 1996 Pewsey Vale Riesling
Sweet - 2002 De Bortoli Noble One
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - no award
Dud - 2003 Central Otago Pinot
Thing - 2005 Ashes Series

To quote Tom Waits "It's been a long time since I drank Champagne". Way too long it seems. The two French were drunk on the same night in Brussels and just blew me away for their balance(if only I could afford them in Australia!). The 2002 Wynns Cab Sav is great value. The Pewsey Vale could of been joined by several aged rieslings from Australia and Hunter semillons which provide a truly unique experience. The 2003 Otago pinots I have tasted seemed too big to me although I have enjoyed other vintages. Finally, as a cricket fan first and an Aussie second the ashes series was the best thing to happen to cricket in years.

I'm off to Central Otago later this month for the CO Pinot Celebration, so it will be interesting to bear Andrew's comments in mind. A very generous choice of The Ashes for an Aussie - Tom

Jan-Tore Egge, Norway
Red - Vajra (Italy) Barolo Bricco delle Viole 1999
White - Trimbach ( France) Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Émile 1993
Budget red - Vajra (Italy) Langhe Rosso 2004
Budget white - Schloss Gobelsburg (Austria) Gobelsburger Riesling 2002
Sweet - Alois Kracher (Austria) Nouvelle Vague TBA No 7 1998
Sparkling - Legras (France) Cuvée Saint Vincent 1996
Fortified - Quinta do Vesuvio Port 2003
Dud - Katnook (Australia) Prodigy Shiraz 2000
Thing - no award

Barolo this year, too? And a young one at that? Well, I love barolo, and Vajra\'s wines are right up my alley. Had there been additional categories, I would have nominated Feudi di San Gregorio (Campania, Italy) Ros'aura 2004 as rosé wine of the year, Argüeso Amontillado as sherry of the year, Barbeito Malvasia Special Reverva 20 Years Old as madeira of the year and Ragnaud-Sabourin Alliance No. 35 (aka Fontvieille) as cognac of the year. For white wine, I guess Bonneau du Martray (Burgundy, France) Corton-Charlemagne 2002 will surpass the CFE given time. As far as my dud of the year is concerned, I guess many would use expressions like "quality fruit" and "quality oak" for the Katnook Prodigy, but it's in a style which I care nothing for (and with a ridiculous price tag), and my original TN described it as a "wine" for rich coca cola drinkers. The other contender in this category was Grand Regnard Chablis 2002, a very ordinary village chablis priced as an expensive premier cru in a "fancy" bottle.

Well, I'm more of a fan of Katnook's whites and some of their 'smaller' reds than Prodigy, but I've enjoyed it when I've had it - and I never touch Coca Cola! A fine, very classical list from Jan-Tore though - Tom

six selections below added Tuesday 10th January

Mark Temple, UK
Red - Hobbs "Amarone" 2004
White - Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang 2003
Budget red - Doña Dominga Old Vines Cabernet-Carmenère 2003
Budget white - Ermita Veracruz Verdejo 2004
Sweet - no award
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - Manzanilla La Cigarrera
Dud - Valbuena 5 año 1996
Thing - a Riedel glass at last

Lots of choice for the best red. I was particularly impressed with a Colombo Les Ruchets 2000, Aldo Conterno's Conca Tre Pile Barbera, a Gaja Bolgheri I tried at L&W. Other whites: the "basic" Quintarelli Bianco (mostly Garganega) I tried in Venice, and the Colin "Murgers de Dents de Chien" St Aubin from the Majestic parcel. I've limited the budget category unilaterally to £6, as £10 definitely isn't budget for me, sadly! Again, much easier to find a budget red than a white. The Manzanilla is fabulous - tiny production. Cost me less than €6 in Málaga. Have had some nice sweeties too but nothing really stands out.

Fine choices here, and the ermita Veracruz was my Wine of the Week in its last two vintages; it's a brilliant modern white wine from Rueda in Spain - Tom

Ben Coffman, UK
Red - 1987 Chateau Haut Brion
White - 1997 Maison Champy Corton Charlemagne
Budget red - 2000 Nervi & Ezio Barbera d'Asti Martleina
Budget white - 2002 Henri Pellé Menetou-Salon
Sweet - 2000 Chateau la Rame, Ste Croix du Mont
Sparkling - no award
Fortified - no award
Dud - 2000 Domaine Roger Belland Santenay Les Gravières
Thing - no award

The Haut Brion was my first first growth. Expectations were low for such a poor vintage, but it was beautifully delicate and persistent. Likewise, the Corton Charlemagne, from a Majestic parcel, is from a producer of no great regard, but it was a fabulous. The Barbera was bin-ended at £3.99 - a real bargain. Dud for me was yet another bottle or rubbish red burgundy. Why do I buy this stuff? I'm beginning to think I don't really get old world Pinot Noir.

I know other knowledgeable wine lovers who have given up on red Burgundy. It can still under-deliver spectacularly, but (imminent cliché warning) when it is good it is spectacular. Nice to see one of my favourite Bordeaux - Haut-Brion - putting up a good show from a generally awful vintage - Tom

David Wong, UK
Red - Chateau Ausone (France) 2000
White - Schloss Johannisberg (Germany) Riesling Rosa-Goldlack BA 2004
Budget red - Spice Route (South Africa) Pinotage 2003
Budget white - Franzen (Germany) Bremmer Calmont Reisling troken 2004
Sweet - Inniskillin (Canada) Reisling Icewine 2002
Sparkling - Billecart-Salmon (France) Nicolas Francios Billecart 1996
Fortified - Graham's (Portugal) Vintage Port 1980
Dud - Bodegas Lan (Spain) Crianza 2000
Thing - Blackberry

I'm into my second year of BlackBerry ownership and it had been invaluable for me with so much foreign travel. Inniskillin is one of the places I visited, where I really enjoyed various icewines made from Riesling, Vidal and even Cabernet Franc - Tom

Paul Anderson, UK
Red - Domaine Rapet (Burgundy, France) Corton Grand Cru 1996
White - Remoissenet (Burgundy, France) Le Montrachet 1989
Budget red - Buckingham Estate (Western Australia) Reserve Shiraz 2003
Budget white - René Michel (Burgundy, France) Viré-Clessé Quintaine 2002
Sweet - Chateau d'Yquem (Sauternes, France) 1996
Sparkling - Drappier (Aube Champagne, France) Grande Sendrée 1996
Fortified - Quinta do Noval (Portugal), Silval 1997
Dud - no award
Thing - Boys Brigade 7-a-side football tournament

In terms of my 'Thing' of the year, my son's team are in the final and it's gone to penalties and it's still level when he stepped up to take the last, deciding, penalty and coolly stroked it into the bottom right corner. Brilliant !!! I have become more and more impressed with Vincent Rapet since first visiting him 2 years ago and the 1996 Corton is superb. The Montrachet 1989 is one of the best 3 whites I have tasted ever. It is still very tightly balanced and restrained. The Buckingham Estate was a pleasant surprise - I'm not usually a fan of Oz shiraz, but this was nicely balanced and not over the topin the fruit front. My annual list would be incomplete without a white from René Michel - still my favourite value Burgundy. I haven't had many sweet wines this year but the d'Yquem was easily the best. The Drappier stood out especially as it was tasted alongside a Roederer Cristal 1996 and held it's own. I've also had very few fortified wines this year and the Silval was excellent, though requiring about another decade's cellaring. I had a few diappointing wines this year but they were ones that nothing much was expected from, so no real duds, I suppose. There were a few great concerts this year (The Fall, The Damned) but my son's football moment stood out for me.

I know Paul is a huge Burgundy fan, so nice of him to allow one interloper into the still wine categories. I'll look out for your son's name on the Glasgow Celtic teamsheet in future year's Paul :-) Tom

Gareth Groves, UK
Red - Chateau de Beaucastel (France) Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1990
White - Dujac (France) Morey-St-Denis Blanc 1999
Budget red - Fattoria di Magliano (Italy) Morellino di Scansano 'Heba' 2003
Budget white - Salomon Undhof (Austria) Pfaffenberg Riesling 2004
Sweet - 1955 Banyuls (France) - Producer Forgotten!
Sparkling - Laurent-Perrier (France) Grand Siecle NV
Fortified - Pedro Romero (Spain) Palo Cortado VORS Prestige 50
Dud - Any one of several 1998 Chateauneufs...
Thing - The Ashes

A good year with a number of contenders in most categories. The Banyuls was wonderful and part of a great meal at London's Chez Bruce restaurant where I was too busy enjoying myself to take notes.

Some of my absolute favourites in this list, so an easy one to agree with. And yet another vote for the Ashes! It shows you what a relatively poor sporting nation we are currently when this is the only victory for us all to get excited about! - Tom

Ian Glover, UK
Red - Rene Engel Clos de Vougeot 1997
White - no award
Budget red - Vina Leyda Las Brisas Pinot Noir 2004
Budget white - Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2003/4
Sweet - Peller Estate Family Reserve Trinity Ice Wine 2003
Sparkling - Jacquesson Cuvee 729 NV
Fortified - Quinta do Noval Nacional 2003
Dud - Henschke Julius Semillon 2001
Thing - Cruising down the Nile

The Rene Engel saw the new year in with a bang that wasn't surpassed by any other red. There were lots of nice whites but none really jumped out ahead of the rest. For the Yalumba both vintages were consistently good drinking whenever tried, similarly for the Vina Leyda. The Peller snuck in on Boxing day beating out another Yalumba Viognier (the 2004 hand-picked botrytis). Hardly drink Champagne but the Jacquesson was excellent. The Nacional was tasted at a Cambridge offline and comfortably knocked any other fortified of the year into a cocked hat. The Henschke wasn't the worst wine of the year but the biggest mismatch of expectations to performance (that said a 1993 at a later tasting was better).

There's been a small run on Canadian wines this year (Peller in this case) - I think that's the third or fourth so far. Obviously a region to watch - Tom

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