|Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com|
Well, another fantastic year of tasting opportunities has just passed for me, and has left me with the familar but not unpleasant problem of sorting through a year's worth of contenders
to home in on just seven great wines. In a year that included tasting trips to Bordeaux, Provence, the Languedoc, Trentino, California, Argentina and Chile there was no lack of choice.
I also attended superBOWL 2003 of course, and the amazing "mega-wines dinner", as well as meeting a host of winemakers, re-assessing the 2000 Bordeaux from bottle and
attending the launch of Romanée-Conti's 2000s. Oh yes, and I drank lots of good stuff at home too!
Click here to see visitors' Wines of the Year 2003.
Red - Fernand-Pernot (Burgundy) Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St-Jacques 1969|
White - Niepoort (Portugal) Redoma Reserva Branco 2000
Budget red - Celler de Capçanes (Spain) Mas Collet 2000
Budget white - Clos d'Yvigne (France) Cuvée Nicholas Bergerac Sec 2000
Sweet - Château d'Yquem (Bordeaux) Sauternes 1er Grand Cru 1997
Sparkling - Antech (France) Blanquette de Limoux Cuvée Exception 1996
Fortified - Vin Santo Trentino 1957
Dud - Niellon (Burgundy) Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chevenottes 1989
The 1969 Burgundy was just sublime. That perfect, ethereal beauty of old Burgundy at it rarest, yet most beguiling. The Clos St-Jacques is for me the star of all the
red Burgundy Premieres Crus, and this one testifies exactly why. The white Redoma scoops the best white title partly on the sheer unexpected excellence of a serious white wine
from the Douro. There were lots of other contenders, but this is a great white in its own right. The little red from Mas Collet is just a joy; proof indeed that this co-operative
is a shining example to the rest of the region - and the world. I loved English winemaker Patricia Atkinson's Bergerac Blanc, a mini white Graves of lovely quality. The sweet
wine title has to go to the Yquem. The 1997 is destined to be one of the all-time great Yquems on the evidence of this early tasting. Though I drank lots of posher Champagnes,
I'm going to stick to a modestly-priced Blanquette de Limoux as my sparkling wine of the year; with a little barrel fermentation, this was a delicious mini-Krug. The fortified wine
was enjoyed with a great meal at the top restaurant of Trento in northern Italy. What a pleasure to enjoy a 46-year-old wine in a lovely setting. Finally, I have awarded the "dud"
award to the white Burgundy from Niellon. Top producer, top vineyard, top year, which should have guaranteed a great wine, but this did nothing for me.