RankWine NameRankCountryRegionAppellationRatingScorePriceValueTasting Note
1 CAYUSE Red Wine 'God Only Knows' 2014 #1 United States Washington Walla Walla Valley 100 100 $100 $100 The 2014 'God Only Knows' is an utterly fascinating wine from the amazing team of Christophe Baron and Elizabeth Borcier of Cayuse Vineyards. This stunning Grenache was sourced from the Armada Vineyard and instantly impresses as it opens to intoxicating aromatics of red fruits, tangerine rind, floral, dried spices, smoldering ash, Earl Grey tea, wet stones and earthy nuances all taking shape. On the palate this continues to impress, as it displays striking elegance and finesse, with a remarkable silky, polished texture, and wonderful poise as it shows a bright zesty flavor profile of black raspberries, blood orange, floral, umami and black olives which continue to add complexity and impressive range as they build on the finish. The combination of purity, precision and sense of place are a thing of beauty. Overall, this is a complete success, and one of most impressive wines ever from Walla Walla. While this is absolutely outstanding now, it also possesses lovely aging potential.
2 CHÂTEAU DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU Saint Julien 2014 #2 France Bordeaux St. Julien 98 98 $145 $145 The 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of the finest wines from the vintage. Impressing with its remarkable overall purity, elegance and sheer class, this slowly opens to striking aromatics of blackberries and cherries which are woven together with spices, spring florals, tobacco, graphite and hints of toast all taking shape. Beautifully structured and balanced, this displays remarkable depth and precision, which place it on another level of quality. It continues to impress as everything comes together seamlessly on the long, polished finish, as this leaves a lasting impression. This is a simply gorgeous wine, which will undoubtably thrive in the cellar and continue to provide incredible satisfaction for many years to come.
3 TOR KENWARD Proprietary Red, Oakville 2014 #3 United States California Napa Valley 98 98 $175 $175 The 2014 Oakville Red is a simply dazzling blend from Tor Kenward and winemaker Jeff Ames, which is composed of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each of these varietals beautifully showcase their individual characteristics as they take shape and form the striking aromas of fresh blackberries and cassis along with spices, tobacco, leather, dried earth and a gorgeous fresh violet character, which all come together and soar from the glass. On the palate this is well structured, possessing a wonderful rich, voluptuous mouthfeel and impeccable overall balance and depth. It continues to impress with its outstanding focus and layers of beautiful ripe dark fruits, spices and tobacco notes expanding on to the long, supple finish. This displays exceptional purity and I expect this to continue to evolve over the course of the next decade and beyond. That being said, even at this young age this is already absolutely compelling.
4 VIETTI Barolo, Ravera 2013 #4 United States Oregon Willamette Valley 98 98 $200 $200 Ravera is a simply magical wine in this vintage from Luca Currado. Elegant, refined and simply stunning, this slowly opens to seductive aromatics of red and dark berries, followed by fresh florals, orange zest, exotic spices, mint and minerals, which all take shape in this stunning Barolo. This continues to impress with its absolutely remarkable overall balance and structure, as it delivers gorgeous flavors of pure red and dark berries with incredible precision and finesse before ending in a beautiful, long, sleek finish. Overall, this is a utterly fascinating Barolo from Vietti, and the potential here is limitless, nonetheless patience will be a virtue, as this will continue to thrive in the cellar for many years to come.
5 POGGIO DI SOTTO Brunello di Montalcino 2012 #5 Italy Tuscany Brunello di Montalcino 98 98 $165 $165 The 2012 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino is an absolutely sensational showing in this vintage. Situated close to Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the vineyard produces extremely low yeilds and benefits from a unique microclimate influenced by the Orcia River, the Monte Amiata Volcano, and the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in a wine of exceptional purity and remarkable elegance. As this slowly unwinds it begins to release striking aromas of fresh red cherries and sliced strawberries woven together with flowers, spices and minerals and underliying hints of leather all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this is medium-bodied, refined and beautifully structured with fine tannins underlined by bright acidity keeping it fresh and vibrant. This continues to impress with its remarkable overall balance and finesse as it heads into the long, pretty finish that is marked by gorgeous red fruits and light spice notes. This classically made Brunello is one of the most beautiful wines from the vintage, and although it already shows some appealing characteristics, this is ultimately an age worthy wine, which will thrive in the cellar for many years to come.
6 DÖNNHOFF Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese 'Goldkapsel' #6 Germany Nahe Nahe 96 96 $90 $90 The 2015 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel is an utterly captivating wine in this vintage. Hermannshöhle is considered to be one of the most prestigious sites in the Nahe and this wine is a testament to the level of quality which can come from this site. The soils comprised of mostly black slate mixed with extrusive igneous rock, porphyry and limestone, and these intense mineral components certainly reflect in the wine, as they are woven together with bright citrus notes, granny smith apple, floral, ginseng and saline notes all coming together in the glass. This displays remarkable balance and precision with striking purity and beautiful ripe fruit framed by vibrant acidity that leaves your mouth watering. This is without a doubt one of the most impressive young wines I have tasted from this vintage, and while this is simply irresistible now, I expect it to age gracefully for decades to come.
7 KRUG Champagne Brut 'Grande Cuvée' (163ÈME Edition) #7 France Champagne Champagne 96 96 $170 $170 The 2013 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino is another sensational wine from this historic estate, situated on the south-east side of Montalcino, which is one of the finest areas for growing Sangiovese. The vineyards consist of steep slopes, with rocky soils, composed of gravel and clay and vary from 200 meters to 400 meters above sea level. The wine spends 48 months in 30 hl Slavonian oak casks and 8 months in bottle prior to release. The final result is an exquisitely made, classic style of Brunello that begins with simply gorgeous aromas of raspberries and red plums woven together with exotic spices, fresh florals and a wonderful mineral character, which beautifully reflects its terroir. It continues to impress on the palate with remarkable overall structure and finesse, showing wonderful elegance and precision through the long, pretty finish. Overall, the 2013 exudes sheer class and shows tremendous promise for a long, graceful evolution ahead.
8 DIDIER DAGUENEAU Pouilly-Fumé 'Silex' 2014 #8 France Loire Valley Pouilly-Fumé 95 95 $120 $120 Located just outside the village of Saint Andelain sits Dagueneau’s 11-hectares vineyard, which is now managed by Didier’s son Louis-Benjamin. ‘Silex’ is the premier wine from Dagueneau and is sourced from low-yielding plots, which contain the most silex. The Sauvignon Blanc then undertakes fermentation in Dagueneau’s famous concrete cigar barrel tanks, which were designed to allow maximum lees contact during fermentation. The result is an utterly brilliant wine, which instantly impresses as smoky accents immediately begin to take shape around nuances of smoldering ash and crushed stones, framed by bosc pear and hints of melon aromatics, which dazzle the senses. The palate shows incredible weight and textural richness, as this beautifully balanced Pouilly-Fumé leads to complex flavors of white peach, orchard fruits, gooseberry, smoke and a lovely intense saline mineral character, which persists through the precise finish. Overall, a simply striking effort from Louis-Benjamin, which is already showing some inviting appeal, however Dagueneau’s wines have earned the reputation for ageing extremely well, and this certainly possesses the characteristics to cellar well past the next decade.
9 VIÑA ALMAVIVA 'Almaviva' 2014 #9 Chile Maipo Valley Puente Alto 98 98 $135 $135 Viña Almaviva has earned the status as one of Chile’s most prestigious wines, and the 2014 certainly possesses the qualities to live up to that esteemed reputation. This utterly captivating blend includes 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, which spent 18 months in new French oak. Displaying an impressive dark, inky color, this sensational red blend opens to profound aromatics of ripe blackberries and dark currants woven together with spices and cigar box, underlined by savory herbs, roasted coffee and dark chocolate nuances, which all beautifully take shape together. Full-bodied and remarkably structured this continues to impress with its remarkable depth and concentration, as layers of ripe dark fruits are framed by exotic spices. This continues to impress, as it shows excellent poise through the long multidemsional finish. While its pedigree is already quite apparent, this will demand at least a few years of bottle age before it will hit its stride. Nevertheless a sensational, age-worthy wine, which will thrive in the cellar for many years to come
10 MOËT & CHANDON Champagne 'Dom Pérignon' 2009 #10 France Champagne Champagne 95 95 $175 $175 The 2009 Dom Pérignon is a simply fabulous effort from a challenging vintage in Champagne. The musty and earthy aromatics grab you straight away followed by wild mushrooms, brioche, poached pear and toasted hazelnut aromatics that impress. Incredibly balanced and with remarkable finesse, this showcases flavors of lemon zest, baked apple and marzipan with biscuit. Today this is just a touch youthful, needing some additinonal time to develop. Nonetheless this it is a simply gorgeous Champagne with marvelous cellaring potential. Try to hold off on this stunner for at least two years. Disgorged in June 2016.
11 SPOTTSWOODE Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 'Estate' 2015 #11 United States California Napa Valley 98 98 $225 $225 The 2015 Estate Cabernet from Spottswoode is one of the most captivating wines from the entire vintage. Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, this immediately begins to impress with its seductive aromatics of ripe blackberries and currants which are woven together with fresh spring florals, exotic spices, graphite, tobacco along with subtle hints of mint leaf all developing beautifully in the glass. Displaying an absolutely incredible balance of power and elegance, this impresses with its gorgeous opulence and remarkable finesse, as well as outstanding depth and precision. It continues to thoroughly impress as layers of ripe dark fruits combine with spices and graphite that expand beutifully through the seamless finish that shows incredible length. The Novak’s along with winemaker Aron Weinkauf have crafted one of the finest wines from the region, and while already utterly fascinating, this is ultimately a wine built for the cellar and should go on to evolve gracefully for many years to come.
12 SALVIONI Brunello di Montalcino 2013 #12 Italy Tuscany Brunello di Montalicno 96 96 $180 $180 The 2013 Salvioni Brunello di Montalcino is drop dead gorgeous, and one of the most compelling wines from the vintage. This opens to simply stunning aromas of cherries and sweet red fruits followed by spices, fresh florals, minerals and hints of mint leaf all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this refined Brunello dazzles with striking purity and focus. The overall balance and structure is outstanding as it continues to impress with excellent depth and precision through the beautiful finish. Salvioni’s wine are amongst the finest and most age-worthy wines from Montalcino, and today the 2013 only offers a glimpse at its full potential, and will ultimately require some time in the cellar before its shows its best. A Brunello built for the ages.
13 DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE Pinot Noir, Siren's Call 2016 #13 United States California Santa Rita Hills 97 97 $120 $120 The 2016 Siren's Call Pinot Noir is without question one of the finest wines from this vintage. Siren's Call is all about elegance and refinement, as this beautiful Pinot Noir begins with striking aromatics of wild raspberries, pomegranate, rose petal, light spices, forest floor and hints of ash all coming together beautifully in the glass. On the palate this is just as captivating, as it exudes sheer class with its medium-bodied, silky texture and remarkable overall balance, clarity and precision through the beautifully finessed finish. One of the finest examples of Pinot Noir you will find in California. This is a total beauty that will without question continue to evolve for many years and ultimately become even more compelling over time.
14 TENUTA SAN GUIDO 'Sassicaia' 2015 #14 Italy Tuscany Toscana IGT 98 98 $200 $200 The 2015 Sassicaia is utterly fascinating, and may be the finest vintage I have tasted in the past decade. It begins to open with simply striking aromatics of ripe red and dark fruits, which come together with spices, tobacco, floral and graphite all taking shape. On the palate this shows remarkable overall purity, focus and balance with a gorgeous velvety texture and beautifully polished tannins making it extreamly captivating, even at this youthful age. It displays remarkable precision and concentration, with fantastic underlying acidity providing wonderful lift, as well as a lovely sense of freshness leading up to the long, polished finish. This is already absolutely stunning, and it also possesses the characeristics, as well as the track record to age gracefully for years to come. This has the potential to become one of the all-time great vintages for this iconic wine.
15 SADIE FAMILY WINES 'Palladius' 2015 #15 South Africa Coastal Region Swartland 96 96 $115 $115 The 2015 Palladius is a world-class wine from one of South Africa's most talanted and exciting winemakers Eban Sadie. An exotic and harmonious blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Verdelho, Roussanne, Marsanne, Semillon Gris, Semillon Blanc and Palomino and Colombard, sourced from both granite and sandstone soils. The grapes are pressed in a traditional basket press and the juice run off directly to clay amphoras, concrete eggs & old oak foudres prior to natural fermentation for up to 20 months followed by two years aging. Each varietal adds its own distinct characteristics to this complex blend as it offers an extremely aromatic wine with nuances of orchard fruits, poached pear, tangerine peel, honeysuckle, jasmine, crushed stones, Meyer lemon and flinty minerality. It is equally as complex on the palate, also showcasing a beautiful texture along with remarkable overall depth, concentration and balance. The finish is long, percise and mouthwatering. This is a seamless wine which is already absoluely brilliant today and clearly has a bright future ahead. One of the most compelling and simply intreguing whites I have tasted in a while. A total masterpeice from Eban Sadie to assemble such a fascinating wine.
16 MONTEVERTINE 'Le Pergole Torte' 2014 #16 Italy Tuscany Toscana IGT 96 96 $120 $120 The 2014 Le Pergole Torte is a utterly fascinating wine from an exceedingly challenging vintage. While many across the region struggled with the growing conditions, this iconic estate in Radda-in-Chianti absolutely excelled with this simply beautiful Sangiovese. It immediately begins to impress with its striking aromatics of fresh red berries, herbs, wet stones and fresh florals which all take shape in the glass. It displays a lovely texture, with remarkable finesse and gorgeous underlying acidity keeping fresh and inviting. It continues to impress with its refined character along with outstanding overall balance and precision which persists through the long graceful finish. While the 2104 already shows signs of brilliance, it should certainly go on to have a fabulous evolution ahead. It’s nearly impossible to believe this came from a vintage that offered so many challenges.
17 DUNN VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 2014 #17 United States California Napa Valley 97 97 $140 $140 The 2014 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Dunn Vineyards is absolutely sensational in this vintage. This stunning Cabernet bursts opens with profound aromatics of ripe dark cherries and black currants along with graphite, fresh florals and hints of earth all taking shape. On the palate this demonstrates outstanding overall balance and structure, with gorgeous a textural richness and impressive depth leading up to the finish. Polished and classy, this is a simply beautifully made Mountain Cabernet from the Dunn’s, which will go on to age gracefully for many years to come.
18 VIÑA ALMAVIVA 'Almaviva' 2015 #18 Chile Maipo Valley Puente Alto 97 97 $125 $125 The 2015 Almaviva is a total beauty, which impresses on all levels. Year after year this Bordeaux inspired red from Puente Alto in the Maipo Valley is one of Chile's finest wines and it certainly does not disappoint in this vintage. Composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot which spent 18 Months in new French oak. The resulting wine begins with striking aromas of ripe blackberries, dark cherries, tobacco, spices, fresh violets, expresso bean and a lovely herb character all come together in the glass. This leads to a gorgeous full-bodied and remarkably structured wine, backed by gorgeous polished tannins which are seamlessly integrated. Balanced, concentrated and tremendously complex, this is a complete success from this estate which should have a wonderful future ahead.
19 SANTA MARIA LA NAVE Etna Rosso 'Calmarossa' 2015 #19 Italy Sicily Etna 97 97 $70 $70 The 2015 ‘Calmarossa’ is an utterly fascinating wine. Composed of 85% of Nerello Mascalese and 15% of Nerello Cappuccio, sourced from pre-phylloxera vines situated on the south-eastern slope of Mount Etna, 800 meters above the sea level, overlooking the Ionian Sea. The vineyard is grown with ancient bush-trained vines, which are planted on extreme slopes, at some points beyond 40%. The soils are composed of black sand and volcanic ashes that are rich in mineral content. The wine itself is completely captivating, as it begins with striking aromatics of ripe raspberries and macerated cherries which are woven together with fresh florals, exotic spices, wet lava stones and hints of orange zest all developing in the glass. On the palate this is all about balance and finesse, as it possesses a gorgeous silky texture with remarkable poise and elegance. It continues to impress with its outstanding precision and beautifully concentrated fruit, which persists through the gorgeous seamless finish. Sophisticated and classy, this is one of the finest wines being made on Mt. Etna. Production is limited, so readers should jump if given the opportunity to taste this truly brilliant Rosso from Santa Maria La Nave.
20 FRANK CORNELISSEN Rosso 'Magma' 2016 #20 Italy Sicily Etna 97 97 $250 $250 The 2016 'Magma' Rosso is the "Grand Vin" from Cornelissen and was sourced from the Contrada Barbabecchi, which was planted in 1910 and situated at 910 meters above sea level. The Barbabecchi Vineyard is positioned at a North-North East exposure, and consists of ungrafted 100+ year old vines of Nerello Mascalese. The resultant wine is simply magnificent, as it slowly unwinds and begins to release a wonderful range of aromatics, including dried dark cherries and ripe red plums, which are woven together with exotic spices, eucalyptus, dried florals, dusty leather, blood orange and a subtle hint of cedar all taking shape beautifully in the glass. This impeccably structured wine continues to impress on the palate with its remarkable overall depth and precise concentration through the incredibly long finish. While already showing so much, this has a tremendous amount of potential to age beautifully for many years to come. Overall, this is another brilliant effort from Frank Cornelissen, and is amongst one of the most fascinating wines you will find in all of Italy.
21 CHÂTEAU HAUT-BAILLY Pessac-Léognan 2015 #21 France Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan 97 97 $110 $110 The 2015 is one of the most compelling wines from the vintage. The blend consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. It opens to seductive aromatics of ripe blackberries, dark cherries and blueberries which come together with spring florals, tobacco and wonderful mineral nuances, all soaring from the glass. This possesses a medium-plus body with incredible balance and poise. It remans beautifully concentrated, with remarkable overall depth and focus, as it shows a wonderful combination of freshness and minerality leading up the ultra-long, opulent finish. A simply fascinating wine from Haut-Bailly which will absolutely thrive in the cellar for decades.
22 SAINT PRÉFERT Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Collection Charles Giraud' 2015 #22 France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 98 $130 $130 The 2015 'Collection Charles Giraud' is an simply fascinating wine from Isabel Ferrando. Composed of 60% grenache and 40% Mourvèdre this instantly begins to impress with its remarkably complex aromatic profile of ripe black raspberries and dark plum which are laced with exotic spices, lavender, thyme, cured meats, cocoa, black olives and wet stones all taking shape beautifully. Pure, ripe and expressive this simply stunning red displays outstanding depth and concentration with wonderful poise. It remains beautifully balanced and structured with a dense core of sweetly ripe red berries and plums which expand with wonderful finesse onto the long graceful finish. Overall, this is a flat-out outstanding wine which will have long future ahead. There are few words to describe this other that simply brilliant.
23 PATRIA Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Ranch 'Avoyelles' 2016 #23 United States California Napa Valley 98 98 $150 $150 The Oakville Ranch 'Avoyelles' Cabernet Sauvignon is yet another simply magnificent wine from Patria in this vintage. Past vintages of ‘Avoyelles’ have been predominately Cabernet Franc, however the 2016 consists of a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (58%) with the remainder Cabernet Franc (39%) and a dash of Petit Verdot. The wine itself is a total beauty, as it begins with seductive aromas of ripe blackberries, dark currants and blueberries woven together with tobacco, violets, graphite, dusty earth, sage and exotic spices which are nearly impossible to resist. This is full-bodied with a gorgeous supple texture, laced with beautifully ripe dark fruits, sweet spices and graphite nuances that all build on the palate. It continues to impress with its remarkable concentration and sophistication, as it comes to an end with a long, supple finish. While this is simply delicious now it should also have an incredible evolution ahead. Tony Biagi has done an outstanding job in this vintage, and the 'Avoyelles' is amongst the most compelling wines from the entire valley.
24 CHÂTEAU PICHON BARON Pauillac 2015 #24 France Bordeaux Pauillac 98 98 $150 $150 One of the most impressive wines from the vintage, the 2015 Pichon Baron is an absolutely stunning showing. This gorgeous Pauillac is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot and slowly begins to open to seductive aromas of blackberries and dark cherries woven together with graphite, tobacco, spring florals and exotic spices all beautifully taking shape. On the palate this is remarkably structured with firm, yet well integrated tannins, along with outstanding depth and concentration This continues to impress with its remarkable precision and length through the finish. While already showing plenty of appeal, this will ultimately has to potential to age gracefully and become an all-time classic Pichon Baron.
25 ANDRÉ CLOUET Champagne 'Cuvée 1911' #25 France Champagne Montagne de Reims, Bouzy 95 95 $100 $100 The 'Cuvée 1911' is an absolutely thrilling bottle of Champagne from winemaker Jean-François Clouet. Composed of 100% Pinot Noir, which sourced from Clouet’s ten best lieux-dits in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay. 'Cuvée 1911' is a blend of three vintages, this release consists of ’07, ’09, ’10, and spent more than 6 years aging on its lees before its disgorgement in November 2017. Dramatic and intense on the nose, aromatics of Challah bread, Pazazz apple, and kumquat instantly draw you in. Even more captivating is the weight, tension and gorgeous texture of the mousse, as flavors of orchard fruits and citrus combine with the beautiful salinity of the wine. An absolutely striking Champagne, which will continue to evolve gracefully for many years.
26 CASANOVA DI NERI Brunello di Montalcino 'Tenuta Nuova' 2013 #26 Italy Tuscany Brunello di Montalicno 96 96 $110 $110 The 2013 Tenuta Nuova is another simply incredible showing from Casanova di Neri. As this slowly begins to unwind it releases seductive aromatics of ripe dark cherries and fresh raspberries which are accompanied by spring florals, spices and hints of fresh porcini adding complexity. On the palate this is full-bodied and beautifully polished showing remarkable restraint, as well as a gorgeous velvety texture and seamless quality. It continues to impress with its excellent overall depth, balance and focus. The finish is refined with spectacular length leaving behind vivid red fruits lingering on. This is a classic, age-worthy Brunello, and yet again one of the most compelling wines from the region.
27 VIETTI Barolo, Ravera 2014 #27 Italy Piedmont Barolo 97 97 $200 $200 Sourced from the 3-hectare vineyard Ravera vineyard in Novello, this looks to be the most compelling wine from Luca Currado in this vintage. Ravera lies on a south-west exposure and consists of vines averaging 25-years, with the oldest vines planted over 80-years ago to the clay-limestone soils. The wine itself is simply sensational, as it begins with striking aromas of fresh strawberries and cherries which are joined by wet stones, mint, florals and hints of spice and iron, all developing beautifully in the glass. On the palate this is just as captivating, as it possesses remarkable elegance and precision, along with fine tannins, which provide remarkable structure. It continues to show wonderful focus and concentration through the beautiful long finish. While Ravera certainly already shows signs of its brilliance, it is still displaying some youthful austerity. That being said this a magnificent Barolo, which possesses incredible aging potential, and readers should plan on allowing it plenty of time to fully develop.
28 EGON MÜLLER Riesling Spätlese Scharzhofberger 2016 #28 Germany Mosel Wiltingen 96 96 $150 $150 The 2016 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese is a drop dead gorgeous showing in this vintage. Sourced from soils composed of slate and gravel this Riesling shows a wonderful combination of ripe fruit, acidity and minerality. It beings with striking aromatics of white peachs, citrus, honey blossoms, green tea, orange zest and wet stones all developing beautifully in the glass. On the palate this continues to impress as it possesses a stunning texture with lovely weight, as the beautiful underlying acidity provides wonderful balance and freshness. Showing remarkable overall precision and poise, this is utterly brilliant Riesling is nearly impossible to resist now, however it will certainly thrive in the cellar for decades.
29 RIDGE VINEYARDS 'Monte Bello' 2015 #29 United States California Santa Cruz Mtns. 98 98 $250 $250 The 2015 Monte Bello is another brilliant wine from the team at Ridge Vineyards, as this wine comes from a wonderful growing season, which certainly reflects in the quality. Composed of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc this instantly begins to impress with its seductive aromatics of ripe blackberries and cassis woven together with spices, graphite and roasted coffee which all take shape in the glass. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous rich velvety texture with beautifully integrated tannins. It continues to impress with its incredible complex flavors and beautifully concentrated fruit, which is balanced by lovely underlying acidity that makes it nearly impossible to resist, even at this youthful age. The 2015 Monte Bello has it all, and while this is already utterly fascinating, it will only prove to become even more compelling over time.
30 TENUTA DELLE TERRE NERE Etna Rosso 'Prephylloxera' 2016 #30 Italy Sicily Etna 96 96 $90 $90 Sourced from two parcels, in the midst of a larger vineyard of Calderara Sottana that have survived phylloxera, La Vigna di Don Peppino is the estates grand cru. These vines are over 130 years old and stand on their original rootstock. The wine is composed of 98% Nerello mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio and slowly opens to an array of pretty aromatics including red berries and dark cherries woven together with spices, fresh florals and herbs. On the palate this is simply gorgeous, balanced, silky and remarkably well structured. It continues to impress with its outstanding overall focus and concentration of flavor as it enters the long, precise finish. Overall, this 2016 La Vigna di Don Peppino is a tremendous, age-worthy wine from Marco de Grazia which should only become more compelling as it evolves.
31 LARKMEAD Napa Valley Red 'LMV Salon' 2015 #31 United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $200 $200 The 2015 'LMV Salon' is an absolutely fabulous blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc. It opens to seductive aromas of blackberries, red currants, roasted coffee, tobacco, dried herbs and loam all soaring from the glass. Impeccably structured and balanced this continues to impress with its outstanding precision, lovely underlying acidity and incredible minerality. Beautifully focused and classy, this is a total gem, which should continue to evolve for many years to come.
32 CAYUSE VINEYARDS Grenache 'God Only Knows' 2015 #32 United States Washington Walla Walla 97 97 $85 $85 Truly one of the most fascinating wines made in Washington, the 2015 'God Only Knows' Red Wine from Cayuse Vineyards is another stunning release from this storied estate. It instantly begins to captivate the senses as the nose displays an impressive aromatic range, showing an exotic combination of potpourri, white rose, white truffle and umami. On the palate this is incredibly silky, with a gorgeous seamless mouthfeel, underlined by vibrant, mouth-watering acidity. This continues to impress as it reveals a wonderful flavor profile of guava purée, wild blackberry, blood orange, wet stone and umami which all combine with red and dark fruits that show remarkable purity. Overall, this is a total beauty, which is already showing a tremendous amount of appeal.
33 CHÂTEAU DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU Saint-Julien 2015 #33 France Bordeaux Saint-Julien 97 97 $200 $200 The 2015 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. It begins with absolutely stunning aromatics dark cherries and crème de cassis along with graphite, spring florals, minerals and tobacco which soar from the glass. On the palate this is every bit as striking, as it displays outstanding overall depth an concentration, with a beautiful velvety texture and tremendous length on the finish. Overll, this is an absolutely beautifully made wine, which will certainly have a long, graceful evolution ahead.
34 CORISON Cabernet Sauvignon, Kronos Vineyard 2015 #34 United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $175 $175 Cathy Corison has crafted a simply magnificent set of wines in 2015, and the most impressive is the Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced from an 8-acre parcel, located on the valley floor in St. Helena, which is comprised of old Saint-George rootstocks that were planted back in 1971. This brilliant wine begins with seductive aromas of ripe blackberries and currants woven together with fresh spring florals, graphite and crushed stones all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this classy wine has it all, balanced, structured and complex, with remarkable precision and focus. It's beautifully concentrated with gorgeous underlying acidity keeping it fresh and inviting leading up to the the long, polished finish. All being said, this is an utterly fascinating and impeccably made wine, which without question should age gracefully for decades.
35 KAPCSÁNDY FAMILY WINERY 'Estate Cuvée' 2015 #35 United States California Napa Valley 95 95 $150 $150 The 2015 'Estate Cuvée' is a barrel selection composed of composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, which was aged in 100% new French oak for 20 months. This remarkable wine instantly begins to impress as it begins with striking aromatics of crème de cassis, currants, roasted coffee, and suggestions of black tea all taking shape. On the palate this is remarkably structured and shows a wonderful combination of freshness and intensity, with notable weight and textural richness. Beautifully balanced, this possesses a gorgeous seamless quality making nearly impossible to resist now, however it also has all the characteristics to age gracegully for many years.
36 QUILCEDA CREEK Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2015 #36 United States Washington Columbia Valley 98 98 $150 $150 The 2015 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a total beauty and the most compelling red wine that I have tasted from this vintage in Washington. The fruit was sourced from the Champoux (roughly 70% of the fruit), Palengat, Wallula and Lake Wallula Vineyards. While this designates Columbia Valley AVA on the bottle, it is primarily a Horse Heaven Hills wine. This instantly impresses as it begings with inviting aromas of crème de cassis, pencil lead and black tea with a touch of red cherry compote on the nose, which continue bring you back to the glass. On the palate this is silky smooth, and marvelously coats the mouth with layers of ripe dark fruits. Lightly tannic, the wine slowly unveils blueberry compote, blackberry cobbler, mocha, and crème de cassis flavors that continue to build. There is a seamless quality to this wine really shines through and impresses with every lingering sip. The minerality, weight and overall presentation of the wine is simply astounding, as is the long, lingering finish, which is marked by beautiful ripe black fruits and lovely minerality. This is a truly monumental effort in a vintage that proved to be challenging due to severe heat spikes throughout the summer growing season.
37 TENUTA DI TRINORO 'Tenuta di Trinoro' 2015 #37 Italy Tuscany Toscana IGT 97 97 $250 $250 The Estates flagship wine 'Tenuta di Trinoro' Rosso is yet another fabulous showing in this excellent vintage. Growing conditions were ideal across Tuscany in 2015, as the warm season allowed for slow and steady ripening, with cooler conditions late in the season allowing for optimum harvest time. The final blend consists of 50% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, which spent 8 months in new French oak barriques, 11 months in cement vats. This instantly impresses as the ripe characteristics of the vintage are certainly evident. The wine itself displays a dark, inky color followed seductive aromas of ripe dark cherries, blackberries, spices, fresh violets graphite and hints of tobacco that all come together and soar from the glass. On the palate this full-bodied Rosso possesses a gorgeous opulent texture with beautifully polished tannins making for a wonderful mouthfeel. It displays remarkable depth and concentration, with the structure to hold everything in place as layers of ripe fruit continue to build up to the long, supple finish. Overall this is a majestic wine from Andrea Franchetti, and while it offers immediate appeal, there is little doubt this will go on to have a wonderful evolution ahead.
38 KATA Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard 2015 #38 United States California Napa Valley 97 97 $200 $200 Sourced from the Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard, this is an utterly compelling blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petite Sirah from the talented duo of David Beckstoffer and Benoit Touquette. The 2015 Kata begins with alluring aromatics of ripe black currants and blueberries which are beautifully woven together with exotic spices, chocolate shavings, violets, sage and mineral accents that all come together and soar from the glass. On the palate this is every bit as stunning, full-bodied, intense and concentrated, yet displaying remarkable poise. It continues to impress with its wonderful purity and depth, as layers if ripe dark fruits, exotic spices and violets all continue to build and resonate through the long, opulent finish. A simply majestic wine, which is thoroughly impressive and flat-out delicious right now, yet should also have an extremely bright future ahead.
39 TYLER Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard 'Old Vine' 2016 #39 United States California Santa Maria Valley 96 96 $65 $65 The Old Vine Pinot Noir comes from own-rooted vines planted by Miller family in 1973, in a diverse set of soils within Bien Nacido Vineyard. The wine itself is a total knockout, with gorgeous aromas of cherries, red berries, loam, toasted herb, soy, Ethiopian coffee, tree bark and dried flowers. Pure and beautifully balanced as well as excellent focus and precision through the finish. Terroir driven and made in a classic style, this is one of the finest example of Pinot Noir from the vintage. A simply remarkable wine from Justin Willett, which is completly stunning and certainly looks as if will have an even brighter future ahead.
40 MAYACAMAS Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 #40 United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $130 $130 The 2014 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon is an simply stunning wine in this vintage. It begins with gorgeous aromatics of blackberries and dark cherries which are woven together with graphite, spring florals, spices and herbs, which all leap from the glass. On the palate this is beautifully structured and balanced, with remarkable purity or fruit. Well-defined with incredibele precision and remarkable length, this Cabernet has it all. While this is already absolutely outstanding, Mayacamas has a tremendous track record for producing age-worthy wines, and this should be no exception, as it possesses all the signs for an incredibly brilliant future ahead.
41 CHÂTEAU TROPLONG-MONDOT Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2015 #41 France Bordeaux Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 97 97 $130 $130 The 2015 Troplong Mondot is a total beauty and one of the most compelling wines from Saint-Émilion in this vintage. Composed of predominately Merlot with a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, it displays an impressive dark, inky color with seductive aromatics of ripe dark cherries and blackberries woven together with graphite, violets, tobacco and lovely traces of spicy nuances all filling the glass. This is full, round and voluptuous, yet remarkably well balanced and structured with layers of plush ripe fruits expanding beautifully across the palate, as it all comes together seamlessly on the long, opulent finish. While the ripe fruit and Merlot base will make this accessible earlier than most, don't underestimate its aging potential, there is a long future ahead for this stunning Saint-Émilion.
42 ASHES & DIAMONDS Cabernet Sauvignon, Rancho Pequeño Vineyard 2015 #42 United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $125 $125 This absolutely brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from Ashes and Diamonds is sourced from the Rancho Pequeño Vineyard, Bart and Daphne Araujo’s Oakville property on the east side of the valley floor. The biodynamically farmed vineyard is consists of deep soils, composed of alluvial loam washed down from the eastern Vaca Mountains, and maintains a high water table resulting in little to no need for irrigation. The vines benefit from the afternoon sunshine, and are relieved by the cool marine influence at dusk and dawn. This all results in a beautiful, classic expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which is all about purity and sheer class. It begins with striking aromatics of cherries and blackberries woven together with graphite, fresh spring florals, crushed stones and traces of dried herbs all taking shape. On the palate this is flat-out gorgeous, possessing a medium-bodied, silky and refined texture with a remarkably elegant structure. It thoroughly impresses as it effortlessly glides across the palate with incredible balance and finesse leading up to the graceful finish. Winemaker Dan Petroski has crafted a simply sensational Cabernet Sauvignon, made in a ultra-traditional style, which is already drinking beautifully, yet has all the signs for a wonderful evolution ahead.
43 HERTELENDY Signature Mountain Blend, Napa Valley 2015 #43 United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $125 $125 The 2015 Hertelendy Signature Mountain Blend is made in a Right Bank style, composed of 81% Merlot from the Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard vine and the remaining 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec from vineyards in Pritchard Hill, Atlas Peak, and the Silverado Bench. This fantastic wine begins with a seductive aromatics of dark cherries and blueberries, woven together with violets, sweet spices, tobacco, dark chocolate shavings, loam and minerals all emerging from the glass. This continues to impress on the palate with is full body, outstanding depth and gorgeous seamless, opulent texture. It possesses wonderful depth and concentration, with flavors of ripe dark fruits, spices, graphite and mocha which layer the palate and expand through the long, supple finish. Overall this is an utterly delicious wine, which is already showing extremely well, yet has the potential to thrive in the cellar for 20+ years. Another gem from Ralph Hertelendy and Philip Corallo-Titus. 283 Cases Produced.
44 CHAPELLE ST. THEODORIC Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Le Grand Pin' 2015 #44 France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 97 $70 $70 The 2015 'Le Grand Pin' is all about elegance and finesse. This old vine Grenache was sourced from sandy soils in a parcel at the top of Pignan, which is literally adjoining the vines of Château Rayas. The wine itself is simply beautiful, aromatics of raspberries, red plum, floral, lavender, spices, licorice and crushed stones fill the glass. On the palate this simply striking as it displays a gorgeous, fine texture, with fantastic focus and clarity. It continues to impress as it remains beautifully balanced through the refined, silky finish. This is a totally captivating Châteauneuf-du-Pape, however at this stage it is only shows a glimpse of its full potential, as it will demand significant time in the cellar before it hits its stride.
45 DOMAINE SERENE Chardonnay 'Recolte Grand Cru' 2015 #45 United States Oregon Willamette Valley 96 96 $125 $125 The 2015 'Recolte Grand Cru' Chardonnay is an drop-dead gorgeous wine from Domaine Serene. It begins with aromatics which are simply intoxicating, with Meyer lemon oil, pink grapefruit blossom, butterscotch and beeswax all coming together beautifully. Intense, layered and absolutely stunning, this wine shows an amazing combination of acidity, tension and weight, as this wine shows serious range as well as a seamless quality which is truly amazing. A wonderful wine to approach now or watch evolve in the cellar.
46 UCCELLIERA Brunello di Montalcino 'Riserva' 2012 #46 Italy Tuscany Brunello di Montalicno 98 98 $150 $150 The 2012 Brunello Riserva from Uccelliera is a total beauty, and as compelling as any wine I have ever tasted from Andrea Cortonesi. This instantly opens to simply striking aromatics of dark cherries and red plums along with white truffle, florals, exotic spices, leather and hints of cured meat all soaring from the glass. On the palate this is medium to full-bodied and beautifully polished with a gorgeous seamless, velvety mouthfeel. It is impeccably balanced, with wonderful finesse and precision through the long, graceful finish. This Brunello is nothing short of sensational, and although already drinking extremely well, it should continue to provide pleasure for many years to come.
47 JOSEPH PHELPS 'Insignia' 2015 #47 United States California Napa Valley 97 97 $250 $250 The 2015 Insignia is a simply stunning wine in this vintage, made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. This majestic wine instantly opens to seductive aromatics of ripe black currants and dark cherries, woven together with spices, graphite, herbs and a beautiful touch of well integrated oak, all coming together to make this nearly impossible to resist. On this palate this full-bodied red continues to thoroughly impress with its remarkable structure, concentration and poise. The beautifully polished tannins make for a luxurious mouthfeel as this works its way into the long, supple finish. This is an absolutely remarkable wine which will thrive in the cellar and has the makeup to ultimately become an all-time classic Insignia.
48 DAL FORNO ROMANO Valpolicella Superiore, Monte Lodoletta 2012 #48 Italy Veneto Valpolicella Superiore 95 95 $150 $150 The 2012 Valpolicella Superiore 'Vigneto Monte Lodoletta' is a fantastic showing from Dal Forno. This dark and brooding wine begins with seductive aromas of ripe blackberries and dark cherries, which are laced with spices, cigar box, flowers, tar and smoky nuances all taking shape in the glass. This is full-bodied and beautifully polished, with outstanding overall balance of ripe fruit and acidity. It continues to impress with incredible depth and concentration through the long, opulent finish. Another sensational Valpolicella from the Dal Forno Family, and while this is outstanding right now, it will also have a long evolution ahead.
49 CHÂTEAU D'YQUEM White Wine 'Ygrec' 2015 #49 France Bordeaux Bordeaux AOC 97 97 $175 $175 The 2015 'Y' from Chateau D’YQuem is a head turning, simply brilliant blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Sauvignon Blanc is harvested rather early in the growing season to retain its freshness, while the Semillon is given more time to mature and allow botrytis to take effect. The wine itself displays a lovely golden hue, and begins with an exotic bouquet consisting of star jasmine, honeydew melon, starfruit and lemongrass aromatics which all take shape. On the palate this possesses remarkable tension and viscosity, which is truly one of a kind as the mouthfeel takes on a sultry, unctuous character as lemon cream, kumquat, cantaloupe and roasted pineapple flavors all come together beautifully. It continues to impress with its gorgeous seamless quality and balance while showcasing the ripeness and intensity of the vintage. While this is already showing trememdous appeal it should go on to age exceedingly well over the course of the next two plus decades. This is a absolute gem from the legendary Château.
50 BIG TABLE FARM Pinot Noir 'Earth' 2016 #50 United States Oregon Willamette Valley 95 95 $105 $105 The 2016 'Earth' Pinot Noir is a barrel selection that the utterly talented winemaker Brian Marcy deems to be the best. Translucent in color, this starts off with beautiful aromatics of smoked brisket, white pepper, forest floor and cigar box with a smattering of dark fruits. There is a wonderful elegance and restraint to this silky bottling. Blood orange zest, red cherry candy, peat moss and cigar ash flavors mark this exceptional wine. Rich and inviting, this one of a kind Pinot displays a remarkable sense of place and purity. Just over 100 cases made of this stunning wine. Overall, this Pinot Noir is one of the most compelling that I have tasted from the Willamette Valley in the past year.
51 LUCIANO SANDRONE Barolo 'Le Vigne' 2014 #51 Italy Piedmont Barolo 96 96 $150 $150 The 2014 'Le Vigne' is a magnificent showing in this challenging vintage. This gorgeous Barolo is sourced from multiple vineyards, which include Ceretta, Vignane, Merli, Conterni, and Villero. The wine itself begins with absolutely striking aromas of dark cherries and red plums woven together with violets, spices, wet stones and hints of fresh mint all taking shape. On the palate this is medium-bodied with fine, silky tannins and beautiful concentration. It displays wonderful purity, along with a lovely combination of balance and finesse through the elegant finish. 'Le Vigne' is nothing short of a total success in this vintage, and should continue to drink well for many years to come.
  CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE POYFERRÉ Saint-Julien 2015   France Bordeaux Saint-Julien 96 96 $100 $100 The 2015 Château Léoville Poyferré is a drop-dead gorgeous wine in this vintage. It begins with seductive aromatics of ripe blackberries and cassis which are woven together with exotic spices, graphite, and hints of espresso bean all taking shape. On the palate this is full-bodied and opulent with beautifully polished tannins and layers of ripe dark fruits. Structured, balanced and long, this is a total knockout which is outstanding now, but also built for the ages.
  LARUE Chardonnay, Charles Heintz Vineyard 2016   United States California Sonoma Coast 95 95 $60 $60 The 2016 Chardonnay from the historic Charles Heintz Vineyard is truly spectacular. This Chardonnay comes from vines that were planted back in 1982 and as you can imagine, access to this fruit is hard to obtain. As the wine slowly opens it delivers beautiful aromas of white peach, vanilla blossoms, lemon custard, tropical fruits, key lime and a touch of honeysuckle. It has a gorgeous texture, which is remarkably balanced, as it combines wondeful pure fruit and bright acidity leading up to the delicious finish. Absolutely stunning today and has the structure to last over a decade in the cellar. Only 50 cases made.
  CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Blanc 2016   France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 96 $95 $95 The 2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is a stunning wine from this famed estate. Needing more than an hour decant to fully develop, this starts off with beeswax, brandy soaked pear, nutmeg, and ripe banana that impress, as the intoxicating bouquet continues to bring you back to the glass. On the palate, the unctuous mouthfeel entices the senses. Silky smooth gliding through the palate, flavors reminiscent of baked pear, marzipan, banana bread and honeydew melon move through, leading to an exceeding long and satisfying finish. The salinity and light stony character of the wine further pushes this into the upper echelon of this prestigious region in the Rhone Valley. Enjoyable now, this wine will cellar well for decades.
  CHÂTEAU PAVIE-MACQUIN Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015   France Bordeaux Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 96 96 $100 $100 Nicolas Thienpont is at the top of his game and has created another absolute gem in 2015. This blend of 84% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon begins with seductive aromatics of blackberries and dark cherries which are laced with spices and floral nuances all coming together beautifully. On the palate this is full, rich and opulent, with remarkable balance and poise. It continues to impress with layers of dark fruits, which are cut with lovely minerality leading up to the long finish. A stunning wine which will require a bit of bottle age, yet shows incredible promise for an extremely bright future.
  TIMO MAYER Syrah, Yarra Valley 2016   Australia Victoria Yarra Valley 94 94 $85 $85 The 2016 Syrah from is a simply brilliant showing from Timo Mayer. Opening with a gorgeous combination of ripe dark berries and earthy characteristics woven together with fresh violets, pepper and black olive notes, this instantly grabs your attention. Showing remarkable balance and finesse this is simply stunning on the palate, as ripe fruit and lovely acidity burst from its core. Everything comes together beautifully on the gorgeous finish which leaves you wanting more. A total gem from the Yarra Valley and readers who enjoy Syrah from the Northern Rhône should absolutely adore this wine.
  PASSOPISCIARO Etna Rosso, Contrada Porcaria (P) 2016   Italy Sicily Etna 95 95 $65 $65 This stunning Nerello Mascalese is sourced from Contrada Porcaria, which is situated at 2,100 feet above sea level, with soils consisting of frail lava sheets. The wine itself is simply striking, as it begins with inviting aromas of dark cherries, black raspberries and pomegranate, woven together with dried florals, spices, dried mediterranean herbs and wet stones which all take shape in the glass. On the palate this is elegant with a gorgeous texture, backed by fine tannins. It is beautifully balanced with outstanding concentration and remarkable finesse leading up the finish. Classy and refined, this is an absolutely brilliant wine from Andrea Franchetti which is already stunning in its youth, yet should certainly go on to have a marvelous future ahead.
  HUDELOT-NOELLAT Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Aux Murgers’ 2016   France Burgundy Nuits St. Georges 94 94 $100 $100 The 2016 'Aux Murgers' Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru is wonderful showing from Alain Hudelot-Noellat which seemed to defy all odds in this vintage. This begins with gorgeous aromatics of red berries, spices, florals and crushed stones all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this is beautifully balanced with notable inner-depth and a beautifully fresh, mineral-laced core. It continues to impress with its outstanding concentration and focus through the long, pretty finish. Overall, the 2016 'Aux Murgers' shows wonderful promise and looks to be a total success in this vintage.
  REALM CELLARS 'Falstaff' 2016   United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $200 $200 Falstaff is predominately Cabernet Franc with a percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon which varies in each vintage. In 2016 the Falstaff is composed of 63% Cabernet Franc and 37% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Franc is sourced form from Weitz, Fortuna and Beckstoffer To Kalon, while the Cabernet Sauvignon is from Beckstoffer To Kalon. The wine itself is simply stunning as it begins with profound aromas of ripe black currants and blueberry compote woven together with spring florals, exotic spices and graphite along with loamy nuances all bursting from the glass. On the palate this full-bodied and layered, possessing incredible depth and concentration, with flavors of dark and blue fruits combining with exotic spices and a gorgeous mineral character. Voluptuous and multidimensional, this awe-inspiring wine continues to thoroughly impress through the long, mouth coating finish. This is a total knockout from Juan Mercardo and winemaker Benoit Toquette, which is utterly captivating today, yet should go on to provide years of drinking pleasure.
  Il POGGIONE Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva 'Vigna Pagnelli' 2012   Italy Tuscany Brunello di Montalicno 96 96 $120 $120 The 2012 'Vigna Pagnelli' Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a total beauty from Il Poggione. This sensational Brunello begins with striking aromas of dark cherries, plums, spices with hints of smoke and mint all taking shape. On the palate this is beautifully textured and precise with remarkable overall structure, balance and depth through the finish. A simply stunning wine which beautifully showcases the overall quality and ripeness form this amazing vintage in Montalcino. This will age gracefully for many years to come.
  CHÂTEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE Pessac-Léognan 2015   France Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan 96 96 $125 $125 The 2015 Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a total knockout in this vintage and is one of the most compelling releases I can reacall from this Château. Composed of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot this opens to stunning aromatics of ripe blackberries and sweet dark currants woven together with violets, graphite and hints of minerals all soaring from the glass. On the palate this is full, rich and dense, displaying remarkable concentration and structure with layers of dark fruits cascading onto the long, lingering finish. A absolute beauty form the Cathiard family which should thrive for decades in the cellar.
  REYNVAAN Syrah 'Stonessence' 2015   United States Washington Walla Walla 97 97 $95 $95 The 2015 Reynvaan 'Stonessence' Syrah is absolutely stunning and takes its place as one of the great wines of Washington. This profound wine begins with incredibly perfumed aromatics of red cherries, rose petal, blood orange and smoked meat nuances, which all come together beautifully in the glass. The palate is plush and seductive as the meaty and savory character of the wine really shines through. Mouth-watering acidity fills your mouth as the wine unveils flavors of red fruits, smoke, Hoisin sauce, Mandarin orange zest, Umami and white truffles all underlined by gorgeous minerality. It shows remarkable balance and the minute long finish is simply exceptional. This is one of the finest wines I can recall from Matt Reynvaan. The 13.6% alcohol was the lowest percentage of any Reynvaan Syrah made in 2015.
  ANAKOTA Cabernet Sauvignon, Helena Dakota Vineyard 2014   United States California Sonoma, Knights Valley 95 95 $120 $120 The 2014 Helena Dakota Cabernet Sauvignon is a completely fascinating wine from Pierre Seillan. The fruits was sourced from the 12.4-acre Helena Dakota vineyard which runs southeast to northwest and possesses slopes of up to 15 degrees. The vineyard benefits from the westerly winds pass over a large, cold pond and blow uphill, parallel to the rows of vines, slowing down the ripening of the grapes. The result is a gorgeous wine which displays a dark, opaque color and begins with profound aromatics of ripe blackberries and black currants laced with roasted coffee, spices, loam, well-integrated lightly scorched oak all bursting from the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied with a gorgeous opulent texture which displays remarkable concentration and depth. Everything is kept well balanced from start to finish and the acidity and tannin provide the right amount of structure and lift to guide this through the long, supple finish. This is a flat-out delicious Cabernet, and although just about impossible to resist today, the future for this fantastic Cabernet looks even more promising.
  DOMAINE DU PÉGAÜ Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Cuvée Réservée' 2015   France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 96 $75 $75 The 2015 'Cuvée Réservée' is an absolutely gorgeous showing and one of the most compelling wines from the vintage. It begins with beautiful aromatics of ripe cherries and raspberries which are woven together with exotic spices, smoke meat, floral and a touch of garrigue all taking shape. The medium-plus bodied is backed by a remarkable round, velvety texture, along with a lovely seamless quality as it expands beautifully across the palate. It continues to impress with its excellent overall balance and depth as it leads up to the incredibly long finish which leaves a lasting impression. While already extremely appealing, this sensational Châteauneuf-du-Pape shows the potential to evolve gracefully for well beyond a decade.
  NO GIRLS Syrah, La Paciencia Vineyard 2015   United States Washington Walla Walla Valley 96 96 $90 $90 The 2015 No Girls La Paciencia Vineyard Syrah is a stunning effort from this challenging vintage, which was plagued by serious heat spikes throughout the course of the year. Elizabeth Bourcier has been making this outstanding bottling since 2011. The 2015 is another remarkeble release, as it begins with a wonderful complex aromatic profile, which is beyond seductive and consists of green olive tapenade, bacon fat, umami and roasted marcona almonds. The palate shows wonderful elegance, with a silky mouthfeel marked by gorgeous red fruits accompanied by salted meats, as well as a savory seaweed character. The salinity, freshness and mouth-watering acidity is simply outstanding, making it extreamly compelling as a young wine. This is a total knockout, and should have an evolution of a decade, maybe even longer.
  LIQUID FARM Chardonnay 'Golden Slope' 2016   United States California Santa Rita Hills 94 94 $52 $52 In the 2016 Vintage, winemaker James Sparks blended the Golden Slope with fruit from Clos Pepe (23%), Ritas Crown (23%), Bentrock (19%), La Rinconada (13%), Kessler-Haak (13%) and Zotovich (9%). The resulr is a ripe and delicious Chardonnay that opens with aromas of fresh sliced apple, tangerine, fresh herb, honey, and flower blossoms. It has beautiful balance, with fresh, pure fruit, followed by a blast of acidity on the finish. I love the way this is drinking today, and also look forward to watch this beauty evolve.
  AU BON CLIMAT Pinot Noir 'Isabelle' 2014   United States California Central Coast 94 94 $50 $50 Isabelle is wine that Jim Clendenen created for his daughter starting back in 1995. It is a blend from at least 6 top Pinot Noir vineyards across California, from the central to the northern part of the state. The objective is to choose the best wines from each barrel to make the blend. The wine itself offers an interesting and appealing nose, with sexy aromatics of strawberry, dark berry, eucalyptus, mesquite, savory herbs, leather and dried violet. The palate is soft and round backed by vibrant acidity that leads into the long finish. While this is drinking beautifully now, I expect it will also evolve nicely over the next decade.
  DOMAINE DE LA JANASSE Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Vieilles Vignes' 2015   France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 96 $100 $100 The 2015 'Vieilles Vignes' Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine de la Janasse slowly begins to release sultry aromatics of ripe boysenberry, blackberry cobbler and blueberries woven together with fresh violets, exotic spices, pepper, orange zest, lavender and hints of grilled herbs all taking shape. The medium-full body is dense and concentrated with remarkable overall balance and precision. Beautifully layered and complex, this beauty up picks up momentum as it heads into the long, lavish finish. While this is nothing short of seductive now, it shows signs for an even brighter future ahead.
  DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Blanc 'Boisrenard' 2016   France Rhone Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 95 $75 $75 Sourced from a from a selection of old vines, 60-100 years old, and comprised mostly of Clairette and Roussanne, the 2015 'Boisrenard' blanc is simply gorgeous. It begins with pretty aromas of citrus blossom, apples, white peach and minerals all take shape as this slowly begins to open. Beautifully textured and elegant, while displaying remarkable overall balance through the beautiful finish. While this is already quite impressive the best is yet to come from this age-worthy blanc from Domaine de Beaurenard.
  BODEGA CATENA ZAPATA 'Nicolás Catena Zapata' 2014   Argentina Mendoza Mendoza 95 95 $120 $120 The 2014 Nicolás Catena Zapata is a simply stunning wine from Catena. It is composed of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Malbec which was sourced from the high elevation vineyards of La Pirámide, Adrianna and Nicasia and spent 24 months in French oak barrels and an additional 24 months in bottle before release. The wine itself begins with inviting aromatics of blackberries, dark cherries and currents woven together with spring florals, dark chocolate shavings, graphite, herbs and hints crushed stones all taking shape. On the palate this is full-bodied and firmly structured with remarkable overall balance. Concentrated flavors of dark cherries and blackberries continue to layer the palate as it expands beautifully on to the long, persistent finish. This is always an absolutely stunning wine from this estate and there is no exception in this vintage as it should have a brilliant future ahead.
  QUINTA DO CRASTO Douro, Touriga Nacional 2015   Portugal Douro Douro 95 95 $78 $78 The 2015 Quinta do Crasto Touriga Nacional is an absolutely gorgeous showing. This beautifully displays the fresh, ripe characteristics of this vintage, as it displays a, opaque, inky color, this instantly begins to impress as it bursts open with beautiful fresh aromatics of ripe blackberries and cherries, which are woven together with intense violets, spices, wet stones and hints of tobacco which all reflect on the palate. This full-fodied red continues to impress with well -ntegrated tannins, outstanding structure and gorgeous supple texture. Showing remarkable concentration and balance through the long finish, this is a simply remaekable wine which should age gracefullly, yet is nearly impossible to resist now.
  MASSICAN Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyards 2017   United States California Napa Valley 94 94 $45 $45 This utterly compelling Chardonnay is sourced from 25+ year old vines from the Hyde Vineyard in Carneros. As this begins to open it releases brilliant aromatics of sliced apple, honey, crushed limestone, stone fruits, fresh herb and white floral blossom. On the palate this possesses a beautiful rich texture, balanced by a gorgeous touch of acidity that lingers beautifully on the finish. This is flat out delicious now and will also continue to gain complexity over the next decade. A must have Chardonnay in 2017 from Dan Petroski.
  O'SHAUGHNESSY Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder 2015   United States California Napa Valley 96 96 $120 $120 The 2015 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is a total knockout in this vintage. It instantly opens with seductive aromas of ripe dark currants, blueberries, sweet exotic spices, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco all taking shape. Incredibly expressive, this full-bodied red is dense, layered with a gorgeous voluptuous texture that is nearly impossible to resist. It continues to display remarkable depth and concentration, with a mouthful of delicious ripe dark fruits and exotic spices that envelope the palate. This stunning wine comes to an end with a wonderful supple finish which shows tremendous length. While this is nothing short of absolutely stunning now, it will also cellar marvelously over the next decade or two.
  PHILIP TOGNI Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015   United States California Napa Valley 95 95 $150 $150 The 2015 Philip Togni Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely fascinating. It begins with an array of alluring aromatics, weaving together a lovely mix of dark and red berries combined with spring florals, graphite and a savory edge that are nearly impossible to resist. On the palate, this possesses an elegant, yet beautifully structured and restraint mouthfeel, combined with excellent overall balance and precision. This is remarkably well made and displays the characteristics Togni's wines are historically known for. Overall, this is utterly compelling wine which will thrive in the cellar and evolve gracefully for decades.
  MELKA Proprietary Red, La Mekerra Vineyard 'Mekerra' 2015   United States California Sonoma County, Knight's Valley 96 96 $150 $150 This Knight’s Valley red is composed of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot, which was aged for 22 months in French oak (60% new) prior to bottling. The wine starts off with stunning aromas of ripe dark fruits, chocolate, spice box, mocha and tar which all develop beautifully in the glass. The mouthfeel and texture is absolutely phenomenal as layers of mocha, anise, crème de cassis and blueberry compote flavors all come together marvelously. The texture and viscosity is sumptuous as this thoroughly impressess through the long finish. This should age tremendously well for years to come, however it is stimply stunning now.
  RED CAR Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard 2015   United States California Russian River Valley 95 95 $58 $58 The Red Car Chardonnay from the famous Ritchie Vineyard is a spectacular wine in 2015. The old Wente clones are amongst the oldest and most prized in Sonoma and this is the fourth year Red Car has produces wine from Ritchie Vineyard. This opens with gorgeous aromas of key lime custard, honey, ripe apple, white peach, fresh herbs, toasted almond and white flowers. It is rich, creamy and full-bodied, backed by tart acidity and pure fruit flavors. Focused and precise through the palate into the log finish. This is a total knockout that checks all the boxes. Amazing today and should even become more compelling with bottle age.
  BODEGA CONTADOR Rioja 'La Cueva del Contador' 2014   Spain Rioja Rioja 96 96 $150 $150 The 2014 'La Cueva del Contador' is an utterly compelling Rioja. Immediately are drawn to the inky color, which is followed by highly perfumed aromatics with amazing range. Nuances of black tea, Asian spices, blackberry cobbler and milk chocolate all marvelously come together in the glass. The palate is seductive and deep, offering a generous, silky mouthfeel which is layered with lavors of wild blackberry jam, mocha, anise, orange zest and hints of dried sage that thoroughly impress. This is a complete wine made by the talented Benjamin Romeo, which looks to have an exceedingly long life ahead.
  R. LOPEZ DE HEREDIA Rioja Reserva 'Viña Tondonia' 2006   Spain Rioja Rioja 94 94 $45 $45 The 2006 Viña Tondonia is a stunning effort from what was a challenging vintage in Rioja. The wine is a highly compelling blend of Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%), which was sourced from their estate vineyards and aged for six years prior to bottling. Needing some time to express itself, the wine offers an aromatic profile of cranberry, orange, red cherry candy and toasty oak aromatics. The palate is plush, as the wine glides through adding to the enjoyment. Red currants, blood orange zest, cigar ash and red cherry preserve flavors all beautifully weave their way through the palate. Showing wonderful ageing potential, this should cellar well for another fifteen plus years, however it is also drinking marvelously now.
  JOH. JOS. PRÜM Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2016   Germany Mosel Mosel 93 93 $45 $45 The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese is a sensational showing. This beautifully ripe and utterly delicious Riesling beings with striking aromas of white peach, lime zest, apricots, green tea and wet stones all taking shape. On the palate this displays outstanding overall combination for ripe fruit and acidity, with a gorgeous textural richness that makes it nearly impossible to resist, even in its youth. It continues to demonstrate remarkable overall balance and precision through he succulent finish. While the Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese is already simply sublime, it looks to be destined for an even brighter future in years to come.
  LINGUA FRANCA Chardonnay 'Bunker Hill' 2016   United States Oregon Willamette Valley 94 94 $50 $50 First planted in 1995, the Bunker Hill Vineyard is located in the Salem Hills and receives winds from the Pacific Ocean through the Van Duzer corridor. The resultant wine starts off with aromas of vanilla, crème brûlée, peat moss, and ripe pineapple. The minerality and intensity to this wine is highly satisfying, as is the richness and brightness shines through. Poached pear, marzipan, crème brûlée and apricot flavors come to mind, as the wine showcases an exotic edge.
  DELMAS Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016   United States Washington Walla Walla Valley 96 96 $85 $85 The 2016 Delmas Syrah is a head-turning wine that takes its seat at the high table in Washington Syrah. Sourced from the highly acclaimed SJR Vineyard, the Syrah is connected with 7.25% Viognier in the co-ferment and saw limited new oak prior to bottling. This instantly impressess as it exudes heady aromas of red currant jelly, cigar ash, blood orange rind, barn floor, crushed wet gravel and Asian spices which all come together beautifully and continue to bring you back to the glass for more. On the palate this silky, smooth and seductive red is well balanced and laced with flavors of cranberries, pomegranate, Mandarin orange, red cherry candy, peat moss and Umami. This has incredible range, precision, purity and focus. A completely compelling wine from winemaker, Billo Naravane, will cellar well for a decade or more.
  FERREIRA Vintage Port 2016   Portugal Douro Porto 96 96 $95 $95 Composed of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, the 2016 Ferreira Vintage Port is a total knockout. Displaying an opaque glass-staining inky color, this stunning Port instantly begins to impress with profound aromatics of blackberry reduction, blueberry compote and mission figs along with florals and raisins underlined by a touch of sweet spcies and a wet stone character rounding out the seductive nuances. This is rich, dense and deeply layered, with a gorgeous voluptuous texture and core of remarkably concentrated ultra-ripe black fruits and violets which envelop the palate. While this shows incredible power and intensity, there is also a wonderful sense of balance and poise. Overall this is a total hedonistic delight, and although utterly delicious now, it will also have a long brilliant future ahead for many years to come.
  BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS DEL CONTINO Rioja, Gran Reserva 'Contino' 2010   Spain Rioja Rioja 94 94 $50 $50 A superb Rioja, beaming with alluring aromatics of cherries, raspberries and plum, woven together with spices, leather and earthy nuances all taking shape. Beautifully structured with a medium-plus to full body backed by a gorgeous velvety texture and wonderful concentration through the long finish. The blend of Tempranillo, 15% Graciano, 12% Garnacha and a touch of Viura was aged in used French (60%) and American oak barrels for three years, followed by another three years in bottle. While this is impressive today, this fantastic Rioja will surely age gracefully, providing many years of pleasure to come.
  RASA VINEYARDS Grenache 'Primus Inter Pares' 2016   United States Washington Walla Walla Valley 95 95 $65 $65 Sourced from the famed Monette’s Vineyard in the Walla Walla Rocks AVA, this knockout Grenache was fermented in neutral puncheons prior to bottling. Smoked meats, blood orange rind, cigar ash and red rose petals mark the nose. This is beautifully feminine with red cherry, cranberries, guava puree and blood orange zest on the palate. This impossible to resist Grenache shows incredible range and complexity as the combination of weight, tension and range of this wine is almost unparalleled in Washington Grenache. Sexy, feminine and a delight to drink, this is a truly outstanding, one of a kind, wine from the utterly talented, Billo Naravane.
  IL POLLENZA 'Il Pollenza' 2015   Italy Tuscany Toscana IGT 96 96 $110 $110 The 2015 'Il Pollenza' is a magnificent showing, composed of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a dash of Merlot and Petit Verdot. It begins with captivating aromatics of dark cherries, plums and cassis woven together with tobacco, spices, leather, spring florals, forest herbs, tar and hints of crushed stones that all develop in the glass. This possesses a well defined, full body, which is beautifully structured with fine velvety tannins and remarkable overall precision and balance. It shows wonderful concentration and depth, with lovely streaks of minerality and vibrant acidity keeping it fresh and inviting through the long, silky finish. Sophisticated and classy, this is a total beauty from winemaker Carlo Ferrini. While already showing signs of greatness, this is ultimately an age worthy wine which will certainly have a incredibly long future ahead. That being said, I expect this will take a few more years before it hits its stride, and readers should highly consider tucking this away, or allowing extended air contact at the very least.
  PODERE POGGIO SCALETTE 'Il Carbonaione' 2015   Italy Tuscany Alta Valle della Greve 95 95 $60 $60 The 2015 'Il Carbonaione' is a simply sensational showing in this vintage. This Sangiovese di Lamole was sourced from the The Carbonaione vineyard, and spent 14 months in 90% French and 10% American, prior to 6 months bottle age. It begins with wonderful aromatics of cherries and blackberries, which are accompanied by spices, tobacco, florals and hints of leather all taking shape. This medium to full-bodied red is beautifully structured, with a sleek texture and remarkable finesse. It continues to impress as it displays excellent concentration and a lovely balance of fruit and acidity through the vibrant finish. While this is already offering plenty of early appeal, it also possesses the characteristics to thrive in the cellar.
  RUDI PICHLER Riesling Smaragd Ried Hochrain 2016   Austria Wachau Wachau 93 93 $65 $65 Sourced from old vines set on Gneiss, Granite and Loess, the Ried Hochrain Riesling shows striking minerality in the glass. The highly perfumed bouquet is reminiscent of apricot, ripe peach and wet stones. A touch of sweetness touches the mid-palate, showing impressive weight and unveiling flavors of ripe necarine, Gravenstein apple and kumquat with wet stone accents. A gorgeous age-worthy Riesling which should continue to drink well for years to come.
  ENFIELD WINE CO. Cabernet Sauvignon, Waterhorse Ridge Vineyard 2015   United States California Sonoma County 95 95 $70 $70 The 2015 Enfield Cabernet Sauvignon from the Waterhorse Ridge Vineyard in Fort Ross - Seaview is absolutely stunning. This gorgeous Cabernet is made in a traditional style, and instantly begins to impress with its striking aromas of ripe blackberries and dark cherries which are integrated with smoldering tobacco, green bell pepper, forest floor, dried spices and lovely hints of graphite nuances all coming together beautifully in the glass. On the palate this has a medium-plus body, with a sleek, velvety texture, backed by chalky tannins, bright acidity and incredible depth of flavor. It continues to impress with its outstanding, balance and focus leading up to the long, supple finish. This shows wonderful class and sophistication, and while already extremely attractive, it also should continue to evolve gracefully in the cellar.
  LAURENT PERRIER Champagne Brut 'Grand Siècle' NV   France Champagne Champagne 96 96 $150 $150 The latest release of the Grand Siècle from Laurent Perrier is a truly spectacular Champagne. Disgorged in October 2017 the wine is a blend of the top wines made from 2002, 2004 and 2006. The bouquet is simply intoxicating with amazing range, from honeydew lemon to citrus rind, brioche and Japanese pear. On the palate, this shows an excellent combination of viscosity and tension. Apricot, Challah bread, marzipan and kumquat zest flavors all marvelously combine togehter. While this is a marvelous Champagne that is built to age, it is simply impossible to resist right now.
  DOMAINE TEMPIER Bandol Rosé 2017   France Provance Bandol 92 92 $45 $45 The 2017 Domain Tempier Rosé is a lovely showing, which begins with exotic aromas of white peaches, strawberries, grapefruit, tangerine, dried herbs, and hints of floral blossoms. Beautifylly balanced and textured, with gorgeous concentrated flavors of ripe melon, citrus and crushed stones, backed by a wonderful vibrant core leading up to the silky finish. Overall, the 2017 a fantastic Rosé with wonderful complexity and sophistication. While excellent now, this Rosé also has the potential to evolve remarkably well over the next few years.
  DOMAINE HUET Vouvray, Le Mont, Demi-Sec 2017   France Loire Valley Vouvray 93 93 $40 $40 Located in the Première Côte, Le Mont is one of the regions most esteemed vineyards. The vineyards reputation of yielding age-worthy, mineral driven wines, is certainly evident with the 2017 Le Mont Demi-Sec. This sensational Vouvray is laced with stony minerality on the nose, which is combined with wonderful nuances of quince, lime zest, honeysuckle and jasmine all taking shape. On the palate this is beautifully balanced, with a gorgeous texture that is underlined by wonderful streaks of minerality which carries on through the finish. While this is already simply delightful in its youth, it should also go on to age remarkably well.
  PENFOLDS Red Wine 'RWT' 2016   Australia South Australia Barossa Valley 96 96 $150 $150 The 2016 'RWT' is an absolutely sensational showing from Pendolds in this vintage. Aged in French oak puncheons for 12 months prior to bottling, this begins with oaky and chocolate nuances which provide a beautifull complement the deep dark and blue fruit aromatics. The texture of this full-boded red is sinfully good, as it glides beautifully across the palate leaving behind profound flavors of black tea, blueberry compote, blackberry cobbler, cigar ash and boysenberry cordial which utterly delight the senses. While this is nothing short of delicious now, it is ultimately an age-worthy wine that will demand some time in bottle before it fully hits its stride.
  AYOUB Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2016   United States Oregon Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills 94 94 $45 $45 The 2016 Ayoub Chardonnay is a standout wine from this exciting vintage that throughly impresses. This immediately starts off with inviting aromatics of lemon oil, baked apple and suggestions of apricot jelly. The palate is lithe and luscious, revealing lemon merriange, banana and roasted pineapple flavors. Exotic and layered, this yet another utterly fascinating Chardonnay from winemaker Mo Ayoub that should not be missed.
  A. RAFANELLI Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2015   United States California Dry Creek Valley 93 93 $50 $50 The 2015 Dry Creek Zinfandel from A. Rafanelli is a simply fabulous showing which displays wonderful class and sophistication. It begins with inviting aromas of dark berries, cherries, spices, pepper and an underlying floral note which all develop beautifully in the glass. On the palate this is beautifully structured with big velvety tannins that provide plenty of structure through the finish. While the 2015 is showing some early appeal, it is ultimately a wine which will need plenty of additional bottle age to soften and show its best stuff. Nonetheless, a fascinating bottle of Zinfandel that will provide years of drinking pleasure ahead.
  ANTHONIJ RUPERT Cabernet Sauvignon 2012   South Africa Coastal Region Franschhoek Valley 94 94 $80 $80 A stunning wine from Anthonij Rupert the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Darling & Franschhoek the and was aged for 18 to 24 months in 90% new French oak, bottled unfiltered and bottle-aged for a further 24 months. It begins with intoxicating aromatics of dark cherries and black currants woven together with spice, herbs, tobacco and spring florals. On the palate this is beautifully textured and polished, with remarkable depth and concentration. It continues to impress with its fantastic overall complexity and range. This is outstanding now, but also will have a wonderful future ahead.
  RHYS VINEYARDS Pinot Noir, Alpine Vineyard 2014   United States California Santa Cruz Mountains 94 94 $100 $100 Sourced from the steeply sloped Alpine Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this Pinot Noir begins with gorgeous aromas of smoke, forest floor, mulberry and cherry cola. The silky texture and elegance is simply outstanding, as is the wonderful astringency and tension. Red currant jelly, red cherry cordial, cola and peat moss flavors captivate the senses. This is a truly outstanding Pinot Noir that will age gracefully for the next two plus decades.
  DOMAINE VACHERON Sancerre 'Les Romains' 2016   France Loire Valley Sancerre 95 95 $60 $60 The 2016 'Les Romains' is simply gorgeous, as it begins with striking aromatics of wildflowers, honey, lychee and cantaloupe that immediately draw you in. The texture and minerality is simply stunning, as flavors of with tree fruit and citrus oil leave a mark. The oily, unctuous character this possesses is found in very few Sauvignon Blancs. An absolutely brilliant wine from one of the leading producers in the region.
  A.A. BADENHORST Red Blend 2015   South Africa Coastal Region Swartland 93 93 $45 $45 The 2015 Red blend is a fantastic wine from Adi Badenhorst. It is composed of Shiraz, Grenache, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca and opens to inviting aromatics of blackberries, raspberries, smoke, pepper, spices, violets and crushed stones all taking shape. Medium-bodied with a lovely silky texture as well as wonderful overall balance and concentration. Everything all comes together beautifully on the precise mineral-laced finish. While this is excellentl now, it should only become more compelling as the characteristics evolve over the next decade.
  CADUCEUS CELLARS 'Sancha' 2013   United States Arizona Cochise County 94 94 $50 $50 The 2013 'Sancha' is an absolutely exceptional wine made from 100% Tempranillo, which was sourced from the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyard in Cochise County. The vineyard is located at 4300 feet elevation and some of the vines are as much as 29 years old. This begins with seductive aromatics of ripe blackberries and dark currents woven together with exotic spices, tobacco, dark cacao, wild flowers and hints of fresh mint all taking shape. On the palate this is full-bodied and nicely structured with remarkable depth and concentration. The tannins are beautifully polished and silky smooth, with a wonderful opulent texture through the long finish. While this is absolutely delicious today, it also displays wonderful ageing potential and should continue to develop even further over the course of the next decade.
  WILLI SCHAEFER Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2017   Germany Mosel Graach 92 92 $35 $35 The 2017 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett is wonderful effort from Willi Schaefer. This begins with a light, gold-tinged appearance, followed by vibrant aromas of white peach, lime, green tea and slate all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this is bright and focused with gorgeous acidity leading up to the pretty finish. This is a total beauty in its youth with should continue to evolve beautifully over the next decade.
 

Top 100 Wines 2017


TOP 100 WINES 2017


Rank Wine Color Country Rating
#1 CAYUSE
Red Wine 'God Only Knows' 2014
 wine  wine 100
#2 CHÂTEAU DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU
Saint Julien 2014
 wine  wine 98
#3 TOR KENWARD
Proprietary Red, Oakville 2014
 wine  wine 98
#4 VIETTI
Barolo 'Ravera' 2013
 wine  wine 98
#5 POGGIO DI SOTTO
Brunello di Montalcino 2012
 wine  wine 98
#6 DÖNNHOFF
Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese 'Goldkapsel' 2015
 wine  wine 96
#7 KRUG
Champagne Brut 'Grande Cuvée' NV
 wine  usa 97
#8 DIDIER DAGUENEAU
Pouilly-Fumé 'Silex' 2014
 wine  wine 95
#9 VIÑA ALMAVIVA
'Almaviva' 2014
 wine  wine 97
#10 MEROI
Malvasia, Zitelle 'Durì' 2015
 wine  wine 95
#11 TYLER
Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
 wine  usa 96
#12 WILLI SCHAEFER
Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #5 2015
 wine  wine 95
#13 QUILCEDA CREEK
Cabernet Sauvignon, Galitzine Vineyard 2014
 wine  wine 99
#14 CORISON
Cabernet Sauvignon, Kronos Vineyard 2013
 wine  usa 98
#15 LAPOSTOLLE
'Clos Apalta' 2013
 wine  usa 97
#16 DOMAINE HUET
Vouvray, Moelleux 1ère Trie 'Le Mont' 2015
 wine  usa 97
#17 SANDRONE
Barolo 'Aleste' 2013
 wine  usa 97
#18 CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE
Pauillac 2014
 wine  usa 97
#19 PHILIP TOGNI
Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014
 wine  usa 97
#20 DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE
Pinot Noir 'La Côte' 2015
 wine  usa 96
#21 TENUTA DELLE TERRE NERE
Etna Rosso 'Prephylloxera' 2015
 wine  usa 96
#22 KONGSGAARD
Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2014
 wine  usa 97
#23 CHÂTEAU HAUT-BAILLY
Pessac-Léognan 2014
 wine  usa 96
#24 MÜLLER-CATOIR
Bürgergarten 'Im Breumel' Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2015
 wine  usa 95
#25 DIAMOND CREEK
Cabernet Sauvignon, Volcanic Hill 2013
 wine  usa 99
#26 ALTESINO
Brunello di Montalcino 'Montosoli' 2012
 wine  usa 97
#27 CASANOVA DI NERI
Brunello di Montalcino 2012
 wine  usa 96
#28 SALVIONI
Brunello di Montalcino 2012
 wine  usa 96
#29 TENUTA DI TRINORO
'Palazzi' 2014
 wine  usa 96
#30 BODEGA CATENA ZAPATA
Red Wine, Nicolas Catena Zapata 2013
 wine  usa 95
#31 CHÂTEAU RIEUSSEC
Sauternes 2014
 wine  usa 97
#32 K VINTNERS
Syrah 'Royal City' 2014
 wine  usa 97
#33 CHÂTEAU PICHON BARON
Pauillac 2014
 wine  usa 96
#34 ZILLIKEN
Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spatlese 2015
 wine  usa 95
#35 DAL FORNO ROMANO
Valpolicella Superiore 'Vigneto Monte Lodoletta' 2010
 wine  usa 96
#36 EVENING LAND
Chardonnay 'Summum' 2014
 wine  usa 95
#37 NIKOLAIHOF
Riesling 'Steiner Hund' 2013
 wine  usa 94
#38 DOMAINE AUGUSTE CLAPE
Cornas ‘Renaissance’ 2014
 wine  usa 94
#39 COBB
Pinot Noir, Rice-Spivak Vineyard 2014
 wine  usa 96
#40 AZELIA
Barolo 'San Rocco' 2013
 wine  usa 96
#41 DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD
Châteauneuf du Pape, Blanc 'Boisrenard' 2015
 wine  usa 96
#42 BODEGA CHACRA
Pinot Noir 'Cincuenta Y Cinco' 2016
 wine  usa 95
#43 DOMAINE SERENE
Chardonnay 'Récolté Grand Cru' 2014
 wine  usa 95
#44 PAOLO BEA
Sagrantino di Montefalco 'Cerrete' 2009
 wine  usa 97
#45 OPUS ONE
Proprietary Red, Napa Valley 2014
 wine  usa 98
#46 CHÂTEAU LYNCH-BAGES
Pauillac 2014
 wine  usa 96
#47 E. PIRA CHIARA BOSCHIS
Barolo 'Cannubi' 2013
 wine  usa 96
#48 CHÂTEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES
Saint Julien 2014
 wine  usa 96
#49 SANDHI
Chardonnay, Mt. Carmel Vineyard 2015
 wine  usa 95
#50 ODDERO Barolo
Rocche di Castiglione 2013
 wine  usa 96
#51 BURN COTTAGE
Pinot Noir 'Moonlight Race' 2015
 wine  usa 95
#52 LIQUID FARM
Chardonnay 'La Hermana' 2015
 wine  usa 95
#53 DOMAINE SAINT PRÉFERT
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2015
 wine  usa 95
#54 LARUE
Pinot Noir, Thorn Ridge Vineyard 2014
 wine  usa 95
#55 HORSEPOWER
Grenache, Sur Echalas Vineyard 2014
 wine  usa 98
#56 LEONETTI CELLAR
Red Wine 'Reserve' 2014
 wine  usa 98
#57 DOMAINE FOURRIER
Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Vieille Vigne’ 2015
 wine  usa 93
#58 R. LOPEZ DE HEREDIA
Rioja Reserva 'Viña Tondonia' 2005
 wine  usa 94
#59 CLAUS PREISINGER
Pinot Noir 2015
 wine  usa 94
#60 CHÂTEAU CANON LA GAFFELIERE
Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2014
 wine  usa 95
#61 DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER
Pessac-Léognan 2014
 wine  usa 95
#62 QUINTESSA
Red Wine, Napa Valley 2014
 wine  usa 97
#63 TENUTA DELL’ORNELLAIA
'Ornellaia' 2014
 wine  usa 96
#64 WEINGUT ROBERT WEIL
Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese 2015
 wine  usa 94
#65 ALHEIT VINEYARDS
'Cartology' 2016
 wine  usa 93
#66 LAURENT TRIBUT
Chablis Premier Cru 'Côte de Léchet' 2015
 wine  usa 94
#67 JOH. JOS. PRÜM
Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2015
 wine  usa 94
#68 FORMAN
Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014
 wine  wine 95
#69 ALZINGER
Gruner Veltliner Steinertal Smaragd 2015
 wine  usa 94
#70 REYNVAAN
Syrah 'Stonessence' 2014
 wine  usa 96
#71 FATTORIA LE PUPILLE
'Saffredi' 2014
 wine  usa 96
#72 CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Blanc 'Clos de Beauvenir' 2015
 wine  usa 95
#73 BIG TABLE FARM
Pinot Noir, Pelos Sandberg Vineyard 2015
 wine  usa 94
#74 DOMAINE J.A. FERRET
Pouilly-Fuissé 'Le Clos' 2015
 wine  usa 94
#75 PASSOPISCIARO
'Franchetti' 2014
 wine  usa 95
#76 DOMAINE DU PÉGAÜ
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Cuvée Laurence' 2012
 wine  usa 96
#77 CLOS MOGADOR
Priorat 2015
 wine  usa 95
#78 LISINI
Brunello di Montalcino 2012
 wine  usa 95
#79 MELKA WINES
Proprietary Red, La Mekerra Vineyard 2013
 wine  usa 96
#80 QUINTA DO CRASTO
Douro 'Reserva - Old Vines' 2014
 wine  ptgl 93
#81 LUIGI PIRA Barolo
'Vigna Rionda' 2013
 wine  usa 95
#82 PENFOLDS
Shiraz 'RWT' 2014
 wine  aussi 95
#83 ST. INNOCENT
Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill Vineyard 2014
 wine  aussi 94
#84 BODEGA CONTADOR
'Qué Bonito Cacareaba' 2014
 wine  wine 94
#85 GRAMERCY CELLARS
Cabernet Franc 2014
 wine  wine 94
#86 BROADBENT
Vintage Port 2015
 wine  ptgl 94
#87 MONTES
Syrah 'Folly' 2012
 wine  wine 94
#88 KOSTA BROWNE
Pinot Noir, Gap's Crown Vineyard 2015
 wine  wine 95
#89 NICOLAS FEUILLATTE
Champagne 'Palmes d'Or' 2006
 wine  wine 95
#90 BODEGA NUMANTHIA
Toro 'Termanthia' 2012
 wine  wine 96
#91 RAMEY WINE CELLARS
Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard 2014
 wine  wine 95
#92 DOMAINE LA SOUMADE
Rasteau 'Cuvèe Prestige' 2015
 wine  wine 94
#93 GOYO GARCIA
Ribera del Duero 'Finca Cascorrales' 2014
 wine  wine 93
#94 DOMAINE VACHERON
Sancerre Rosé 2016
 wine  wine 93
#95 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY
Bourgogne, Hautes-Côtes De Beaune 'Vignes Baudet' 2015
 wine  wine 92
#96 RONCHI DI CIALLA
'Rosé di Cialla' 2016
 wine  wine 93
#97 RUBEN DIAZ
Cebreros 'Cuesta del Tejar' 2014
 wine  wine 93
#98 BRITTAN VINEYARDS
Pinot Noir 'Cygnus Block' 2014
 wine  wine 94
#99 CALIZA
Syrah, Paso Robles 2014
 wine  wine 93
#100 HAMILTON RUSSELL
Pinot Noir 2016
 wine  wine 92
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