TOP 100 19 Final 02

THE TOP 100 WINES


As we bid farewell to 2019 our editorial team has gathered to reflect back on the most impressive and memorable wines we have tasted over the course of the past year.

This year we had the chance to taste thousands of sensational wines from around the globe, and our team has narrowed down the selection to 100 very special wines which we felt deserve extra special attention. This year's Top 100 is a diverse list of wines that have been selected on based on certain criteria, which include overall quality, price and current market availability.

We thank you again for following us throughout the year and we hope you have the opportunity to taste some of these outstanding wines and be just as impressed as we were!

Rank Rank Country Region Appellation Rating Score Value Tasting Note
1 LARKMEAD Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 'The Lark' 2016 #1 Wine California Napa Valley, Calistoga 100 100 $360 The 2016 in Napa Valley vintage was one of the best ever on record, and Larkmeads 'The Lark' was a highlight and a clear standout amongst many outstanding wines from this sensational vintage, which is why it has earned our award for Wine of the Year in 2019. Winemaker Dan Petroski has crafted this simply stunning wine from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a parcel of older vines planted in the the bale loam soils of Larkmead’s A Block. It instantly begins to impress with its incredibly expressive aromatic profile that is impossible to resist, offering seductive aromamatics of ripe blackberries, dark currants, tobacco, soil, espresso, spring florals and hints of dark chocolate all coming together and bursting from the glass. This full-bodied Cabernet displays exceptional concentration, precisision and structure, framed with beautifully polished tannins that give way to an expansive mouthfeel that gracefully envelops the palate. Typical of all Larkmead’s wines from this vintage, this showcases a wonderful combination freshness, balance, finesse and striking purity from start to finish. This a simply flawless wine from Larkmead, which is nothing short of utterly brilliant today, however there is no doubt it will also have an incredibly long evolution ahead.
2 CHÂTEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES Saint-Julien 2016 #2 Wine Bordeaux Saint-Julien 99 99 $275 The 2016 Leoville Las Cases looks to be an all-time classic from this iconc Château and a highlight in this remarkable vintage. This simply has it all, as it starts with hauntingly seductive aromas of fresh ripe blackberries, dark currants, fresh florals, tobacco, gravel, crushed stones aalong with hints of graphite and iron minerals all emerging beautifully from the glass. On the palate this doesn't miss a beat, it possesses a gorgoeus full body, with incredible textural richneess, beautifully polished tannins and incredible overall balance making for an utterly ethereal experience. It contines to impress as it displays remarkable purity and sheer class, as it heads through the long, majestic finish. This is without question the finest young Las Cases I personally have ever tasted, and I can only imagine it only will go on to age brilliantly over the course of the next three decacdes or more.
3 EGON MÜLLER Riesling Spätlese, Scharzhofberger 2018 #3 Wine Mosel Saar, Wiltingen 97 97 $236 The 2018 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese is an absolutely epic release from Egon Müller. This simply brilliant Riesling opens to mesmerizing aromatics of orchard fruits, lime, white peach, white florals, candied melon, herbs, spicy orange zest, smoke and crushed slate that lift gracefully from the glass. On the palate this shows remarkable precision and clarity, as well as incredible overall balance. It goes on to impress as it displays a gorgeous texture, which is framed by bright acidity and saline infused minerals resulting in a succulent mouth watering finish that goes on and on. Showing incredible elegance and purity, this is an utterly captivating Spätlese that is sensational in its youth, but has the potential to age marvelously for many years to come.
4 TENUTA SAN GUIDO Sassicaia 2016 #4 Wine Tuscany Bolgheri 99 99 $250 Following last year's sensational vintage, 2016 was another stellar growing season in Bolgheri and expectations were once again set high for Sassicaia. The 2016 Sassicaia certainly does not disappoint, as it is an absolutely monumental effort that completely delivers, and in some aspects even looks to be more compelling than last years brilliant wine. Composed of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Cabernet Franc, the 2016 is all about elegance, class and purity. It begins to impress with its striking aromas of fresh blackberries, dark cherries, fresh florals, exotic spices and wild herbs along with a touch of licorice and mineral characteristics all coming together to complete the seductive nose. On the palate this is nothing short of extraordinary, as it displays outstanding overall structure and balance along with remarkable clarity and precision. This continues to dazzle with its beautiful expression of incredibly pure red and dark fruits, along with exotic spices and floral characteristics which all work their way seamlessly across the palate before leaving a lasting impression on the gorgeous finish. The 2016 is without question another all-time classic vintage for Sassicaia, as it clearly possesses the elements that indicate an extremely bright future ahead, with the potential to evolve into a perfect wine over time.
5 PIERRE PÉTERS Champagne, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 'Les Chétillons' 2012 #5 Wine Champagne Champagne 95 95 $150 The 2012 Les Chétillons is another absolutely fabulous release from Rodolphe Péters. Showing striking purity and class, this gorgeous Blanc de Blancs begins with aromas if sliced apples, sweet lemon, blossoms and crushed stones. On the palate this displays remarkable balance and precision with a radiant texture that makes it nearly impossible to resist. The 2012 is nothing short of drop-dead stunning and it is another simply brilliant vintage ading to the string of remarkable releases from Pierre Péters.
6 BLANKIET ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon 'Mythicus' 2016 #6 Wine California Napa Valley, Yountville 100 100 $300 The 2016 'Mythicus' is a completely captivating wine that doesn’t miss a beat. Composed entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paradise Hills Vineyard this instantly begins to impress with its striking aromas of red and dark currants, fresh spring florals, spices, graphite with underling tobacco leaf nuances. On the palate this is fine tuned and impeccably precise, displaying an incredible degree of class, sophistication and striking elegance. This beautifully structured red goes on to further impress with its gorgeous polished texture and incredibly long, precise finish. While 2016 looks to be nothing short of perfection, patience will be required, as this is a exceedingly well-made Cabernet from the Blankiet’s and winemaker Graeme MacDonald that is build to age for decades.
7 CAYUSE VINEYARDS Grenache 'God Only Knows' 2016 #7 Wine Washington Walla Walla Valley, Rocks District 99 99 $100 The 2016 'God Only Knows' Red Wine is a one of a kind wine that flirts with perfection. The wine was entirely aged in neutral barrels prior to bottling. The nose is gratifying and intoxicating with red rose petals that mingle with guava puree, Hoisin sauce, green peppercorns, Umami and white truffle that all sing in the glass. The aromatic range imparted is just remarkable. The texture is hugely gratifying as this silky wine effortlessly glides across the mid-palate. Impeccably balanced, the Grenache displays seaweed, blood orange zest, black truffle shavings, and guava puree with a bright minerality and stony character that all all evolve on the palate. The exceedingly long finish lingers. While a delight to savor at this juncture, this beautiful new wine will evolve well over the next decade. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
8 FRANK CORNELISSEN Rosso 'Magma' 2017 #8 Wine Italy Sicily, Terre Siciliane IGT 99 99 $250 The 2017 'Magma' is an utterly fascinating wine from Frank Cornelissen. This stunning Nerello Mascalese is Cornelissen’s Grand Vin and it is only produced in exceptional vintages. It is sourced from over 100-year-old un-grafted vines planted in the Barbabecchi vineyard, which is situated at 910 meters above sea level which a North-North East exposure, allowing the fruit to capture the first and cool morning sun rays. This is reflected beautifully in the wine as it instantly impresses with its intoxicating aromatics of sweet red and dark berries, florals, dried exotic spices, tangerine rind, black tea leaf, wet stones and earthy mineral nuances all taking shape. On the palate the combination of purity and sense of place is a thing of beauty, as it displays striking elegance and finesse, with a gorgeous silky texture that is incredibly concentrated and displays remarkable overall precision and balance. It goes on to impress as it shows a bright zesty flavor profile of black raspberries, blood orange, florals and exotic spices which continue to add wonderful complexity as they build through the finish. While this is absolutely outstanding now, it also possesses lovely aging potential and should have a sensational future ahead. Overall, this is an absolutely brilliant wine, and one of most impressive wines ever from the region.
9 PIERRE GONON Saint-Joseph 2017 #9 Wine Rhône Valley Saint-Joseph 97 97 $130 The 2017 Saint-Joseph is another faboulus release from Gonon. This instantly begins to impress as striking aromas of fresh blackberries and wild red berries come together with lavendar violets, black olives, graphtite, pepper, smoke and savory herbs. On the palate this is full-bodied, and and beautifully polished with a concentrated core of fresh dark berries laced with pepper and spice flavors. On the palate this displays remarkable balance and with a lovely combination of bright acidity and wonderful minerality as it continues to show remarkbake freshness and purity all the way through the gorgoeus finish. Today this simply stunnning, as it displays incredible energy and verve, however Gonon's wines have a proven track record for their ability to age, and the 2017 should be no exception.
10 NIKOLAIHOF Grüner Veltliner, Im Weingebirge 'Baumpresse' 2013 #10 Wine Wachau Wachau 97 97 $75 The 2013 Baumpresse Grüner Veltliner is absolutely brilliant, and amongst one of the finest wines I have ever had the chance to taste from Nikolaihof. It is made using a 350-year-old wooden winepress, carved from a single tree trunk, which takes a 10-hour process to slowly extract the juice. The result is a wine of sheer beauty and refinement, offering striking aromas of sliced apples, dried orange zest, honey blossoms, chamomile, dried herbs and crushed stones that all take shape. On the palate this is every bit as compelling, showing remarkable balance, with wonderful precision and clarity. It displays a beautiful textured mouthfeel, underlined by a gorgeous touch of acidity and saline streak that persists through the pretty finish. There is an alluring freshness and sense of purity that makes this extremely appealing now, however it also displays the potential to age marvelously for over a decade.
11 COMANDO G Garnacha, Tumba del Rey Moro 2016 #11 Wine Castilla y Leon Tierra de Castilla y León, Sierra de Gredos 97 97 $100 The 2016 Tumba del Rey Moro is a fantasic follow up to least years sensational release, and may even be a notch better. The wine was sourced from just outside Mardid, in the Sierra del Gredos where Fernando García & Dani Landi farm the 60-70 year old vines planted to the granite and quartz soils. The wine itself is simply striking, showing remakable elegance and finesse as aromas of raspberries, florals, dried herbs, tea leaf and minerals which all take shape beautifully. Onpossesses a gorgoeus medium-body with outstandng overall balance and purity and a long graceful finish. The Tumba del Rey Moro is one of the most exciting wines in all of Spain and the wines of Comando G seem to be getting better and better with each vintage.
12 CHÂTEAU PICHON BARON Pauillac 2016 #12 Wine Bordeaux Pauillac 99 99 $170 The 2016 Château Pichon Baron is drop-dead stunning and one of the most compelling and complete wines from the vintage. Composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, this begins with wonderfully complex aromatics of ripe dark currants, sweet exotic spices, roasted coffee grounds, fresh florals, graphite and hints of loam which all come together seamlessly in the glass. On the palate this follows through and continues to thoroughly impress with its full body and beautifully polished, yet supportive tannins and a deep core of ripe fruit. It demonstrates remarkable depth and concentration along with outstanding balance and finesse leading up to the long, graceful finish. This wine has it all and while it is already quite fascinating in its youth it is ultimately built for the long term. This is an epic vintage for Pichon Baron, and could eventually go down as one the greatest wines ever from this legendary Château.
13 DOMAINE AUGUSTE CLAPE Cornas 2016 #13 Wine Rhône Valley Cornas 98 98 $140 The 2016 Cornas from Auguste Clape is another absolutely brilliant and classic effort from this ledgendary producer. It begins with simply dazzling aromatics of fresh dark berries and cherries which come together with spices, pepper, smoke, fresh violets, black olives with some herbal and earthy elements all adding wonderful complexity. On the palate this is remarkably well structured, with incredible overall precision and balance. It continues to impress with its remarkable class and sophistication through the ultra-long finish. Auguste Clape has a track record for making some of the very best wines in Cornas and they are considered by many to be amongst the finest wines in the the world, and the 2016 is a clear example of why they have earned that esteemed reputation. Overall, this is a simply fascinating Cornas, which will ultimately go on to evolve gracefully for many years to come.
14 CHÂTEAU PICHON COMTESSE DE LALANDE Pauillac 2016 #14 Wine Bordeaux Pauillac 99 99 $200 The 2016 Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande is simply sensational in this vintage. This brilliant wine is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc and it exudes sheer class and elegance. It begins to impress with its beautifully pure aromatics of fresh dark currants, exotic spices, coffee bean, spring florals, graphite, tobacco all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this is medium to full-bodied with remarkable structure, balance and depth. It further impresses displaying striking precision and definition through the long, graceful finish. The 2016 may require a decade of cellaring, but it is such a beautiful wine and clearly has the potential to be an all-time classic from this legendary Château.
15 DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon, Volcanic Hill 2016 #15 Wine California Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain 100 100 $250 The 2016 Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely stunning. This blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot displays an impressive dark, opaque color, which is followed by striking aromatics. Seductive nuances of ripe black currants, black cherries and blueberry are woven together with violets, spices, herbs, charcoal and hints of earth, that all take shape beautifully. On the palate this is simply gorgeous, showing incredible purity and freshness, with layers of ripe dark fruits that are delivered through a full-bodied frame, which is impeccably structured and polished. It continues to impress as it displays a wonderful enveloping texture that persists all the way through the long supple finish. Overall the 2016 is utterly captivating and looks to have reached the limit of perfection in this vintage. WhileVolcanic Hill is certainly marvelous today, it should also continue to develop beautifully for many years to come.
16 POGGIO DI SOTTO Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva 2013 #16 Wine Tuscany Brunello di Montalcino 99 99 $350 Poggio di Sotto only produces their Riserva Brunello only in exceptional vintages, and the 2013 is an absolutely brilliant release from this renowned estate in Montalcino. This is beautiful Sangiovese Grosso comes from 20+ year-old vines which are planted to rocky marl soils that are farmed biodynamically. The Riserva is aged for 5 years in 25 to 35-hl Slavonian oak botti, and 1 year in bottle prior to release. The result is a stunning expression of Brunello that begins to impress with striking its purity and gorgeous aromas of dried wild berries, crushed flowers, spices, white truffles, leather and hints mineral nuances all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this medium-bodied red is about balance and precision, while displaying outstanding structure with remarkable focus through the long, lingering finish. While the 2013 will require some additional bottle age before it becomes fully accessible, it certainly possesses the potential to have an incredible evolution and extremely long drinking window ahead. Year after year Poggio di Sotto's Riserva is one of the finest Brunello’s made in all of Montalcino, and the 2013 is certainly no exception.
17 LOUIS ROEDERER Champagne Brut 'Cristal' 2008 #17 Wine Champagne Champagne 98 98 $290 The 2008 'Cristal' Champagne is an absolutely magical effort from cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, who has crafted a simply dazzling wine from this sensational vintage. Composed of 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay the 2008 was bottle-aged for 8 years before being left to rest for at least 8 months after disgorging. This beautiful Champagne begins with highly perfumed aromatics, offering a gorgeous combination of musty and earthy tones up front, followed by white truffle shavings, peat moss, brioche and bright pear nuances that complete the exotic nose. Streamlined throughout, this shows incredible precision and clarity, as well as an unmistakable a seamless quality that makes it nearly impossible to resist. It goes on to impress with its incredible verve and energy, as well as racy acidity, which is all underlined by a remarkable saline character that echos through the palate. This continues to deliver an outstanding combination of weight and effervescence as flavors of Asian pear, marzipan, Marcona almond and kumquat all come together to delight the senses. The 2008 is truly one of the most compelling releases that I’ve ever had the opportunity to taste from this house. Although it is already utterly scintillating in its youth, this will ultimately need some more time in bottle, nonetheless its pedigree and potential are extremely evident.
18 KRUG Champagne Brut 'Grande Cuvée' (167ÈME Edition) #18 Wine Champagne Champagne 97 97 $200 The 'Grande Cuvée' 167ÈME Edition from Krug is a simply sensational effort that is drinking marvelously now, but is ultimately destined for an exceedingly long life in the cellar. This particular wine was disgorged in Spring 2017 and is a blend of 191 wines ranging from vintages 1995-2011. The aromatics show wonderful mustiness, white truffle and peat moss with bright nectarine rind, toasted macadamia nut, kumquat, marzipan and a lovely nutty character all build in the glass. The brightness and intensity on the palate excites with wonderful weight, textural richness as well as a dazzling minerality. Mouth-watering acidity accompanies this beautiful Champagne with lemon zest, wild mushroom and ginger infused sourdough bread flavors with diatomaceous earth undertones all impress. Am absolute stunner, this brilliant Chamagne is glorious now and should go on to evolve and drink beautifully over the next two decades.
19 HORSEPOWER VINEYARDS Grenache, Sur Echalas Vineyard 2016 #19 Wine Washington Walla Walla Valley 99 99 $120 The 2016 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache is another absolutely stunning release in this vintage from vignerons Christophe Baron and assistant Elizabeth Bourcier. This head-turning Grenache begins with an enticing bouquet of wild strawberries, potpourri, tobacco leaf and wet stones along with shades of umami, blood orange zest and charcuterie, which all come together beautifully to form the highly complex and satisfying aromatics. The palate is equally as captivating, beautifully balanced, lithe and light on its feet, this simply dazzles as it displays a marvelous combination of salinity and mouth-watering acidity, which gives way to an incredibly complex flavor profile of leather, tarragon, orange zest, red cherry candy, guava and white truffle shavings. The range imparted in the wine is second to none, as is the gorgeous texture which possesses a remarkable seamless quality as it glides gracefully into the radiant finish. Flirting with perfection, 2016 Sur Echalas Grenache is utterly brilliant to say the least, and is quite possibily the most impresive Horsepower release to date. This is a one of a kind Grenache that is certinaly amongst of the most compelling being made anywhere in the world. While simply delightful in its youth, I also expect this to flourish in the cellar and continue to drink beautifully for years to come.
20 BEVAN CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon Wildfoote Vineyard 'Vixen Block' 2016 #20 Wine California Napa Valley, Stags Leap District 99 99 $195 The 2016 Bevan Cellars Wildfoote Vineyard 'Vixen Block' is a drop-dead stunning Cabernet Sauvignon, which delivers on every level. This utterly captivating wine instantly begins to seduce with absolutely intoxicating aromatics of ripe red and dark currants laced with spiced plums, exotic sweet spices, graphite and violets underlined by dusty minerals and hints of loam that are impossible to resist. On the palate this is equally impressive, as it possesses a full body with a gorgeous velvety texture and a wonderful inner-sweetness, along with outstanding depth and concentration. It continues to amaze as it demonstrates outstanding overall power and intensity, yet incredible purity, class and complexity through the ultra-long, supple finish. This Cabernet has it all, and while it is already impossible to resist it also has the potential to evolve and have a brilliant future for years to come. This is without question amongst the most compelling wines from this excellent vintage.
21 VINE HILL RANCH Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 2016 #21 Wine California Napa Valley, Oakville 99 99 $200 The 2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is a drop dead stunning wine from the Phillips and their talented team of Mike Wolf and Françoise Peschon. This majestic Cabernet bursts opens to seductive aromas of dark currants, blueberries, spices, graphite, iron, violets and a touch of sage all emerging from the glass. On the palate this is equally as impressive, as it boasts a gorgeous full body that shows incredible depth, with a resonating core or ripe dark fruits that expands beautifully through the long polished finish. This is one of the most compelling wines from this fabulous vintage, and readers should not hesitate to get their hands on this years exceptional release from VHR.
22 QUILCEDA CREEK Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2016 #22 Wine Washington Columbia Valley 99 99 $175 The 2016 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a simply stunning and seamless release from Quilceda Creek. Winemaker Paul Golitzin has crafted an absolute beauty from this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was sourced from the Champoux, Wallula and Lake Wallula Vineyards and was aged in 100% new French oak prior to bottling. On the nose this takes on wonderful toasty oak character that wraps around blueberry compote, Turkish coffee, with shades of violets, exotic spices, anise and sagebrush accents. The balance and silky texture imparted in the wine is scintillating. Layers of mocha, blueberry cordial, sagebrush, crème de cassis and shades of eucalyptus flavors all marvelously combine on the palate and build up to the exceedingly long finish. Tasted this wine over several hours it becomes more approachable and and harmonious after some time in the glass. A true tour de force, the 2016 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is amongst with the finest wines ever made from this estate.
23 DOMAINE DENIS MORTET Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Lavaux St. Jacques 2017 #23 Wine Burgundy Gevrey-Chambertin 95 95 $230 The 2017 Lavaux St. Jacques from Denis Moret is a simply fabulous wine from the vintage. Showing wonderful purity and elegance, this gorgeous Gevrey-Chambertin opens to aromas of fresh wild berries, raspberries, spices, florals, forest herbs, tilled soil and crushed minerals which all take shape beautifully. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous texture with remarkable purity and precision, backed by a firm core laced with bright, juicy red fruits that expand gracefully through the pretty finish. This is a simply brilliant form Mortet that should age marvelously for years to come.
24 DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 'Sous Le Chêne' 2017 #24 Wine California Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills 96 96 $120 The 2017 'Sous le Chêne' Pinot Noir is another phenomenal showing from Domaine de la Côte. As this gorgeous wine slowly unwinds it begins to release beautifullly complex aromas of dried cranberries, boysenberries and dried strawberries, along side intoxicating scents of forest floor, smoke, black tea, dried flowers, exotic spices and smoldering incense all developing in the glass. On the palate this possesses a medium body with an absolutely gorgoeus seamless texture and striking finesse. It goes on to display outstanding overall balance and precision, with wonderful freshness and a core of beautiful ripe red fruits, earth and hints of citrus zest, which are framed by a lovey saline character that expands through the long, sleek finish. While this is alredy quite accessible and showng remarkable character as a young wine, the best is still yet to come for the Sous le Chêne, as it should offer a drinking window that spans two decades. This is undeniably amongst the finest Pinot Noir being made in all of the United States.
25 VIETTI Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2015 #25 Wine Piedmont Barolo 97 97 $200 The 2015 Rocche is drop-dead gorgeous wine from Vietti. Sourced from the single vineyard Rocche in Castiglione Falletto, this Barolo spent approximately 30-months in Slovenian oak casks. It impresses with striking aromatics of fresh berries, flowers, licorice, herbs, spices along with hints of fresh black truffles and mineral nuances. On the palate this is just as impressive, as it displays remarkable purity and class, with outstanding overall structure and balance. This displays a gorgeous silky texture that firms up nicely on the long, precise finish. While this will need some time, the sky is the limit for Rocche, as it should age brilliantly for many years to come. At the moment, Rocche seems to be the most impressive wine in this sensational lineup from Luca Currado and it should definitely not be missed.
26 CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE POYFERRÉ Saint-Julien 2016 #26 Wine Bordeaux Saint-Julien 98 98 $100 The 2016 Château Léoville Poyferré is utterly captivating and one of the most impressive young wines from the vintage. Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc this gorgeous Saint-Julien offers attractive aromatics of ripe black and red currants, exotics spices, fresh violets, graphite and minerals all taking shape. On the palate this is medium to full bodied backed by incredible tannin structure and outstanding overall balance. It displays stunning purity and is beautifully precise through the ultra-long finish. The 2016 is one of the finest young wines from Léoville Poyferré which I have had the chance to taste. That being said, this will demand some cellaring, but the sky is the limit for this simply brilliant wine.
27 VIÑA ALMAVIVA 'Almaviva' 2017 #27 Wine Maipo Valley Puente Alto 97 97 $175 The 2017 Almaviva is a show-stopping effort from this storied Chilean Estate. This is a compelling blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carménère with the remainder Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As this begins to unwind in the glass it releases capivatiing nuances of crème de cassis and blackberry pie which are joined by red bell pepper, green olive tapenade and Turkish coffee that all come together to provice the stunning aromaticas. On the palate this full-bodied red is possesses a gorgoeus silky, seamless quality that is backed by a multi-layered texture that leaves behind flavors of ripe dark fruits, mocha, creosote and black olive that all leave a lasting impression. Elegant, yet rich and sophisticated, the 2017 Almaviva is gorgeous now and should also have a sensational future ahead of it.
28 BERNARD BOISSON-VADOT Meursault 'Les Grands Charrons' 2016 #28 Wine Burgundy Meursault 94 94 $160 The 2016 'Les Grands Charrons' is a simply brilliant wine from the Boisson family. Pierre Boisson sources his Meursault form 60+ year-old vines and they are fermented wild in barrel, followed by 18-21 months in oak, with up to 40% new oak used for the top cuvées. This has it all going on, as it begins to dazzle with striking automatics of orchard fruits, almonds, stony minerals, honeysuckle nuances that all take shape beautifully in the glass. This continues to impress as it displaying remarkable overall balance and precision with a gorgeous texture leading up ti the incredibly focused finish. This is an utterly sensational wine in this vintage and it should go on to have a brilliant future ahead.
29 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Chenevottes' 2017 #29 Wine Burgundy Chassagne-Montrachet 94 94 $160 The 2017 'Les Chenevottes' is fabulous. This instantly impresses as it displays stunning focus and precision, this Chassagne-Montrachet opens to inviting aromatics of orchard apples and white peaches, citrus zest, crushed stones and hints of vanilla blossoms which all develop beautifully in the glass. On the palate this is bright and vivid, with a gorgeous textured mouthfeel. This is beautiful today, but could certinaly age for at least a decade. At this early stage the Chenevottes looks to have the potential to be Pierre-Yves finest wine from the appellation in this vintage.
30 PODERI ALDO CONTERNO Barolo, Bussia Romirasco 2015 #30 Wine Piedmont Barolo 98 98 $250 The Bussia Romirasco Barolo is an absolutely sensational release from Conteno. The Nebbiolo was sourced from vines between 50 and 55-years of age in the famed Romirasco vineyard. The 2015 is utterly brilliant, offering a gorgeous aromatic profile that reveals its delicate but impressive essence with notes of red plums, currants, raspberries, cassis and wild myrtle that come together with notes of juniper berries, licorice and dried marjoram. On the palate this is full-bodied, powerful, yet beautifully structured with a fabulous horizontal entrance to the palate, as there is a continuous crescendo of intensity and vertical unidirectionality until the very end. Elegance meets power and generates a wine with unique potential and difficult to replicate. Better from 2024 onwards. Manganese-rich soils give character and uniqueness. 60% Limestone and 40% clay. Better from 2024 onwards.
31 DOMAINE GEORGES ROUMIER Morey St. Denis 1er Cru 'Clos de La Bussiere' 2016 #31 Wine Burgundy Morey St. Denis 94 94 $240 The 2016 'Clos de La Bussiere' is absolutely gorgeous, showing a wonderful combination of precision and sheer elegance. As this slowly unwind it releases striking aromatics of dark cherries, spices, florals, minerals and hints of dried earth all taking shape beautifully. On the palate this possesses stunning purity and focus, was well as remarkable concentration and gorgeous silky tannins that surround the vibrant core of beautiful red fruit and spice flavors which linger through the graceful finish. This is an utterly fabulous wine from Roumier and it should go on to have a brilliant future ahead.
32 REYNVAAN Syrah 'Foothills Reserve' 2017 #32 Wine Washington Walla Walla Valley 96 96 $75 The 2017 'Foothills Reserve' Syrah is a simply magical new wine from Matt Reynvaan. The nose takes on highly hedonistic tones, showing a beautiful aromatic range, including orange zest, umami, bacon fat, roasted dates and fresh sage that all collide in the glass. Silky smooth on the mid-palate the wine unveils remarkable depth and salinity. The elegance is extraordinary, with a sensational mouthfeel as flavors of Hoisin sauce, blood orange, meat blood and umami with wild blackberry cobbler flavors all contine to build on the palate leading up to the exceedingly long finish lingers long on. Another sensational release from Reynvaan in this vintage that shoud have a brilliant future ahead.
33 MAYACAMAS Chardonnay, Mount Veeder 2017 #33 Wine California Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder 95 95 $60 The 2017 Chardonnay from Mayacamas is absolutely brilliant. The fruit was sourced primarily from their 40-year old dry-farmed vines located between 1,800 and 2,000 feet in elevation, as well as some fruit from the younger vines in the newly replanted Hill Block. Bright and vivid, this instantly impresses as it opens to gorgeous aromas of lemon oil, white peach, kiwi, honey blossoms and even hints of pineapple rind, which are woven together with a wonderful stony mineral character. Showing incredible focus and precision, this goes on to impress with its mouthwatering acidity and fantastic mineral-infused citrus flavors that persist though the finish. While this is absolutely stunning now, it should also go on to drink beautifully with some additional bottle age. The talented winemaking team of Braiden Albrecht and Andy Erickson have crafted an absolutely fascinating Chardonnay, which is amongst the finest being made in all of the United States.
34 CORISON Cabernet Sauvignon, Kronos Vineyard 2016 #34 Wine California Napa Valley, St. Helena 98 98 $200 The 2016 Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolutely magical release from Cathy Corison. This immediately begins to impress as it opens to incredibly perfumed aromatics of ripe dark currants and black cherries, which are woven together with fresh violets, graphite shavings, exotic spices, herbs and earthy minerals that all come together and burst from the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied and remarkably polished, with absolutely incredible overall balance and structure. This stunning Cabernet goes on to impress with its wonderful concentration, precision and beautifully pure ripe dark fruits that continue to captivate the senses as they build up to the gorgeous finish. Corison's wines are always masterful display of both power, elegance and sheer class, and there is certainly no exception with this brilliant wine. The 2016 Kronos is clearly one of the finest wines from the entire vintage and there is no doubt it should have an incredibly bright future ahead for many years to come.
35 KAPCSÁNDY State Lane Vineyard 'Estate Cuvée' 2016 #35 Wine California Napa Valley, Yountville 96 96 $150 Composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot the 2016 Estate Cuvée from Kapcsándy is absolutely sensational. It begins with striking aromas of blackberries, dark currants, sweet spices, spring, floral, tobacco all taking shape beautifully. On the palate this is just as impressive, as it displays outstanding structure with beautifully polished tannins and remarkable balance. It continues to impress as it displays wonderful purity with notable depth leading up to the long lingering finish. The 2016 is already showing incredibly well, however it also possesses the potential to age tremendously well for many years to come.
36 DANIEL LANDI El Tiemblo 'Las Iruelas' 2016 #36 Wine Castilla y Leon Tierra de Castilla y León 96 96 $110 Las Iruelas is a simply thrilling wine from one of Spain's most talented winemakers Daniel Landi. This 100% Garnacha is sourced from a plot of 60+ year old head-pruned vines planted in sandy granite, schist, quartz and clay soils at an elevation of over 3,000 feet above sea level in the Sierra de Gredos. It underwent natural yeast fermentation in open vats, whole cluster and was aged 16 months in 500L French oak barrels. The wine itself is nothing short of sensational as it instantly begins with striking aromatics of wild red berries, fresh flowers, orange peel, dried herbs, incense and a stony mineral character all working beautifully together. On the palate this is medium-bodied, with incredible finesse and elegance. It displays remarkable precision, with a vibrant, focused core laced with gorgeous notes of red fruits, rose petals and spices that expand seamlessly through the long silky finish. While the 2016 is certainly utterly fascinating today, it should only become more compelling over time. Sierra de Gredos is becoming well-recognized for some of Spain's most exciting wines and there is no person more responsible for this than Daniel Landi, who has pioneered this emerging area, and is producing some of the worlds finest wines.
37 DOMAINE SAINT PRÉFERT Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Collection Charles Giraud’ 2017 #37 Wine Rhône Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 98 $130 The 2017 ‘Collection Charles Giraud’ is an absolutely brilliant wine from Isabel Ferrando and is one of the most compelling releases to date. The domaines flagship wine is composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre made from the oldest vines sourced from in two parcels, Les Serres, which features galets and gravel soil, and Le Cristia composed of sandy soils. The wine itself instantly draws you in with its fresh inviting aromatics of black raspberries and ripe dark cherries which are woven together with exotic spices topped with warm wet stones all emerging from the glass. On the palate this is simply stunning, displaying wonderful purity and offering a gorgeous medium-full body that is impeccably structured with incredible concentration and depth as well as wonderful finesse. Beautifully balanced and focused, this beauty has it all, as it walks the fine line of power and elegance all the way through the sensational finish. While this is already extremely appealing and clearly one of the most captivating wines from the vintage, there is no question this will only go on to have a long, illustrious future ahead.
38 CHÂTEAU PAVIE MACQUIN Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2016 #38 Wine Bordeaux Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 98 98 $110 The 2016 Château Pavie Macquin is an utterly fascinating wine in this vintage from Nicolas Thienpont. Composed of 82% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon this begins to dazzle with its striking aromas of blackberries and bright cherries which are woven together with flowers, charcoal, toast, menthol and spices. On the palate this is medium to full-bodied red displays outstanding concentration, depth and finesse with a gorgeous textured mouthfeel. It continues to impress with its remarkable balance of ripe fruit and lively acidity through the graceful finish. While this is already attractive in its youth, it is ultimately an age worthy wine which will demand some cellaring. This is one of the most compelling wines from this excellent vintage.
39 CHÂTEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE Pessac-Léognan 2016 #39 Wine Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan 98 98 $120 The 2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte is amongst the most compelling wines from the vintage. A clear standout, this sensational blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is already remarkably expressive. The Smith Haut Lafitte is offering striking aromas of ripe blackberries, dark currants, roasted coffee, loamy soil, sweet Asian spices and spring flowers which are all coming together and bursting from the glass. On the palate this possesses gorgeous richness and depth with wonderful opulence. Layers of complex flavors of ripe dark fruit combine with savory and earthy characteristics which continue to build up to the long, supple finish. Displaying remarkable purity and outstanding overall balance this Bordeaux simply has it all. While it is one of the most attractive young wines from the vintage, it also clearly has the potential age beautifully for quite some time.
40 TAITTINGER Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2006 #40 Wine Champagne Champagne 98 96 $200 Taittinger's 2006 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is composed of 15% Pinot Noir with the remainder Chardonnay and it is a sensational showing. This fabulous Rosé opens up beautifully to pretty aromatics of strawberries and red berries which are laced with citrus zest, lovely minerality and subtle toast nuances. On the palate this shows a stunning combination of depth and energy and precision which defines this gorgeous Rosé as it leaves a beautiful impression on the palate. While the 2006 is utterly captivating now, it should also continue to evolve gracefully over the next decade.
41 FAVIA Syrah, Amador County 'Quarzo' 2016 #41 Wine California Sierra Foothills, Amador County 95 95 $75 Taittinger's 2006 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is composed of 15% Pinot Noir with the remainder Chardonnay and it is a sensational showing. This fabulous Rosé opens up beautifully to pretty aromatics of strawberries and red berries which are laced with citrus zest, lovely minerality and subtle toast nuances. On the palate this shows a stunning combination of depth and energy and precision which defines this gorgeous Rosé as it leaves a beautiful impression on the palate. While the 2006 is utterly captivating now, it should also continue to evolve gracefully over the next decade.
42 LIQUID FARM Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley 'La Hermana' 2017 #42 Wine California Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley 95 95 $42 The 'La Hermana' Chardonnay is a total beauty from Liquid Farm in 2017. This brilliant Chardonnay instantly impresses as faboulas aromas of green apple, Asian pear, lemon zest, and tropical fruits combine beautifully with flint, crushed stones and white flowers. It displays laser-like focus and striking purity, along with remakeable balace and precision. It remains fresh and inviting, with bright acidity that makes this mouth watering and simply irresistible in its youth, yet it should also go on to drink beautifully with some additional bottle age.
43 ENVÍNATE Valle de la Orotava ‘Palo Blanco’ 2017 #43 Wine Canary Islands Tenerife / Valle de la Orotava 94 94 $50 The 2017 Palo Blanco is an absolutely brilliant wine from Envinate. Sourced from the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, this 100% Listan Blanco comes from a 1.5ha vineyard of 100 year-old braided vines (cordon trenzado) that are planted to black volcanic sand. The wine itself begins with beautiful aromatics of white nectarines, star fruits, citrus peel, crushed stones and a gorgeous saline character that are nearly impossible to resist. On the palate this continues to impress as it possesses striking overall balance and focus, with bright acidity cutting through the lovely waxy texture which leads up to the mineral laced finish. Wonderful flavors of citrus, oyster shell and crushed stones continue to leave a beautiful lasting impress on this utterly fascinating wine. This is absolutely one of a kind and should not be missed.
44 LINGUA FRANCA Chardonnay, Bunker Hill Vineyard 2017 #44 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley, Eola Amity Hills 94 94 $50 The Bunker Hill Vineyard was planted in 1995 and is located in the Salem Hills as it has a very strong maritime influence from strong Pacific Ocean winds that move winds through the Van Duzer corridor. The 2017 Bunker Hill Chardonnay is a terrific release by this talented winemaking team. The nose evokes toasty brioche with wild mushroom and green apple that all combine beautifully in the glass. The palate unveils a silky texture and a bright minerality, giving way to flavors of kumquat, green papaya and shades of white truffle with earthy undertones that round out the outstanding flavor profile. It finishes exceedingly long with lemon cream and minerals. This is downright thrilling now, and should also evolve in the cellar for a decade.
45 BIG TABLE FARM Syrah, The Funk Estate 2016 #45 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley 94 94 $62 The Bunker Hill Vineyard was planted in 1995 and is located in the Salem Hills as it has a very strong maritime influence from strong Pacific Ocean winds that move winds through the Van Duzer corridor. The 2017 Bunker Hill Chardonnay is a terrific release by this talented winemaking team. The nose evokes toasty brioche with wild mushroom and green apple that all combine beautifully in the glass. The palate unveils a silky texture and a bright minerality, giving way to flavors of kumquat, green papaya and shades of white truffle with earthy undertones that round out the outstanding flavor profile. It finishes exceedingly long with lemon cream and minerals. This is downright thrilling now, and should also evolve in the cellar for a decade.
46 PAX Syrah, Sonoma County 'Sonoma-Hillsides' 2017 #46 Wine California Sonoma County 96 96 $48 The 2017 Pax 'Sonoma-Hillsides' Syrah is an absolutely brilliant wine. This is a classic expression of Syrah was made using 100% Whole-Cluster and sourced from various vineyard throughout Sonoma County, including Castelli-Knight Ranch / Walker Vine Hill in the Russian River and Griffins Lair / Nellessen Vineyard in Sonoma Coast. The wine itself instantly begins to grab your attention with its deep purple color, followed by vibrant aromatics of blackberries, exotic spices, violets, pepper, smoke, licorice and subtle hints of earth which all take shape beautifully. On the palate this is simply gorgeous, as it displays remarkable focus and precision with bright acidity at its core. It demonstrates striking purity and balance all the way through the finish. Simply put, this is a total gem from Pax Mahle which should have a sensational future ahead. An incredible value given the quality of the wine - get it while you can.
47 DOMAINE PAUL PERNOT Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos de la Folatières' 2017 #47 Wine Burgundy Puligny-Montrachet 94 94 $90 The 2017 'Clos de la Folatières' Puligny-Montrachet is simply brilliant and already showing wonderful appeal at this youthful age. This Chardonnay is sourced from Pernot's 45+ year old vines and begins with incredibly inviting aromatics of ripe white peaches, lemons and some exotic tropical notes along with white florals, sliced almonds and crushed stones that all develop in the glass. On the palate this is beautifully textured, and displays remarkable overall focus and balance and with a wonderful combination of minerality and bright acidity that framed the finish. This is a gorgeous wine from Pernot that is quite accessible today, yet should also have a marvelous future ahead.
48 DOMAINE RENÉ et VINCENT DAUVISSAT Chablis 1er Cru 'Vaillons' 2016 #48 Wine Burgundy Chablis 93 93 $120 The 2016 Vaillons Chablis is a simply brilliant showing from Dauvissat, who has a reputation for producing some of the finest Chablis in the region and there is no exception in this difficult vintage. As this gorgeous wine slowly unwinds in the glass it releases pretty aromas of orchard and citrus fruits, followed by orange zest, honey blossoms and pulverized stones. It goes on to impress as it displays wonderful overall purity and focus through a beautifully textured palate and remarkably precise finish. Overall this is a marvelous wine that is showing wonderful energy and appeal in its youth, but should also evolve beautifully for years to come.
49 EMIDIO PEPE Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017 #49 Wine Abruzzi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 94 94 $65 The 2017 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is an absolutely outstanding wine from this legendary producer. The wine was aged concrete tanks for 2 years then it is bottled by hand without straining and aging in bottle. It instantly begins to impress as it opens to incredible aromatics of dark cherry reduction and red berries, which are laced with forest herbs, violets, spices, licorice and mineral nuances that all take shape in the glass. On the palate this beautifully defined and focused, with a vibrant core of dark red cherries and spices that priest throughout. It displays wonderful elegance and concentration all the way through the long finish. This is Emido Pepe's Italian release, which is made from younger vines, nonetheless it is a simply sensational wine that will continue to drink beautifully for quite some time.
50 CHÂTEAU LYNCH-BAGES Pauillac 2016 #50 Wine Bordeaux Pauillac 97 97 $170 The 2016 Château Lynch-Bages is utterly captivating. Composed from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, which spent 18 months in barrel (75% new oak). This stunning Pauillac opens with striking aromas of ripe blackberries and dark cherries, joined together with fresh violets, tobacco and hints of licorice all developing in the glass. On the palate this is medium to full bodied with a gorgeous velvety texture which is underlined by lovely streak of acidity keeping it fresh and inviting through the finish. It continues to impress with its excellent overall balance, concentration and focus all they way through the long finish. While this is already showing plenty of character, it is ultimately and age worthy wine which will go on to evolve for decades. Jean-Charles Cazes and consultant Eric Boissenot have crafted a classic Lynch-Bages in 2016.
51 RIDGE VINEYARDS 'Monte Bello' 2016 #51 Wine California Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 98 98 $225 The 2016 Monte Bello is a drop-dead gorgeous release from Ridge. Composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc this stunning wine begins with seductive aromatics of fresh black currants and dark cherries which are woven together with flowers, graphite, herbs, tobacco and hints of earthy minerals that all take shape beautifully. On the palate this possesses a wonderful full-bodied texture with outstanding structure and remarkable overall balance and concentration. It continues to thoroughly impress as it goes on to display incredible purity and precision all the way through the beautiful long finish. The 2016 has it all, and while it is already extremely appealing, yet could also evolve gracefully for decades. This certainly has the potential to become one of great vintages for Monte Bello.
52 TENUTA DI TRINORO 'Tenuta Di Trinoro' 2017 #52 Wine Toscana Toscana IGT 96 96 $225 The 2017 Tenuta Di Trinoro is a fantastic effort from Andrea Franchetti in this difficult growing season which offered a dry winter, frost in the spring and summer temperatures were exceedingly high, with peaks of 104 degrees during the day, for three straight months with little or no relief at night. The 69% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon which was used in the blend was harvested on September 27th (Merlot) and between October 10-13 (Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon) and aged eight months in new French oak barriques, 11 months in cement vats. The wine itself opens with inviting aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, exotic spices, herbs and smoky pipe tobacco that all come together beautifully in the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied and concentrated with outstanding overall depth and balance leading up to the long opluent finish. The 2017 is a total success and while this is already quite alluring in its youth, it should also evolve gracefully for years to come.
53 POL ROGER Champagne 'Sir Winston Churchill' 2008 #53 Wine Champagne Champagne 96 96 $250 A simply magical Champagne, the 2008 'Sir Winston Churchill' Champagne is a drop-dead stunning release from Pol Roger in the this spectacular vintage. This dazzling Champagne immediately entices, showing striking aromatics of lemon infused biscuit with shades of wild mushroom and baked pear aromatics that all mingle beautifully in the glass. The palate displays incredible verve and freshness, with a bright sense of effervescence and a gorgeous elegant texture backed by bright flavors of lemon zest and green apple tones that collide with mushroom, peat moss and hints of freshly baked brioche. While this is nothing short of absolutely outstanding now, the 2008 will need another few years of bottle age before it hits its stride. One thing is certain — the 2008 Sir Winston Churchill will have a brilliant future ahead and go on to drink beautifully for decades.
54 CHÂTEAU CANON Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2016 #54 Wine Champagne Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 97 97 $190 The 2016 Château Canon is composed of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc from the Saint-Émilion limestone plateau. This absolutely brilliant wine begins with striking aromas of red currants, cassis and dark cherries which are laced with exotic spices, licorice, violets and lovely underlying minerality. On the palate this boasts a medium-plus body with excellent depth, concentration and precision. It further impresses with its wonderful elegance and finesse leading up to the long lasting finish. Overall, this is an absolutely stunning wine which will have a sensational future ahead, but it will clearly need some time before it will begin to show its full potential.
55 TOR Chardonnay, Beresini Vineyard, Reserve 'Cuvée Susan' 2017 #55 Wine California Napa Valley 95 95 $80 The 2017 Beresini Vineyard Reserve 'Cuvée Susan' is a drop dead gorgeous Chardonnay. Sourced from the three best barrels from Beresini, this shows beautiful aromas of topical fruits along with honey blossoms, and mineral undertones. On the palate this is clean, precise and beautifully textured with outstanding balance and clarity through the elegant finish. This is a simply brilliant Chardonnay from Tor that will age exceptionally well for many years to come.
56 BODEGA CHACRA Chardonnay 'Mainque' 2018 #56 Wine Patagonia Río Negro 94 94 $50 Mainque is an exciting project out of the Río Negro region in Patagonia and this is the second vintage for this collaboration between Burgundy's famed Jean-Marc Roulot and Piero Incisa della Rocchetta of Bodegas Chacra. The Chardonnay was aged for 10 months; 30% in concrete eggs and 70% in french oak barrels: 15% new, 85% used from Roulot’s domaine in Meursault. This absolutely delivers from the second the cork is pulled, as it releases striking aromatics of bright citrus, sliced pear, honey blossoms and wonderful saline minerality framing it all. On the palate this is beautifully textured, yet possesses remarkable definition and balance leading up to the mineral-laced finish. This is nothing short of outstanding today and should also age marvelously. Simply put, this is a thrilling bottle of Chardonnay that should not be missed.
57 DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER Pessac-Léognan 2016 #57 Wine Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan 97 97 $85 The 2016 Domaine De Chevalier is a total gem in this vintage. Composed of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc this opes to inviting aromas of ripe black berries and red currants which are woven together with Asian spices, spring florals, tobacco and wet stones all taking shape. On the palate this possesses a medium-full body with excellent overall balance. It continues to impress as it shows wonderful depth and complexity, backed by huge, well-polished tannins which provide plenty of structure through the long finish. While this is showing flashes of brilliance in its youth, it will ultimately require some time before it hits its stride. Given its quality year after year, this remains one of the best values in all of Bordeaux.
58 MASSICAN Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2018 #58 Wine California Napa Valley 94 94 $40 Massican's Sauvignon Blanc in 2018 is utterly brilliant. It offers complex aromatics of citrus, pineapple, guava, lychee, and peach along with hints of wild herbs and white flowers, which all take shape beautifully. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous mouthfeel and texture, backed by lively acidity keeping it fresh and delicious. Showing remarkable purity and clarity, this Sauvignon Blanc goes on to display striking precision through the beautifully textured finish. This is drinking remarkably well now, yet should also offer a drinking window spans at least five years.
59 R. LOPEZ DE HEREDIA Rioja, Gran Reserva Rosado 'Vina Tondonia' 2009 #59 Wine La Rioja Rioja 94 94 $40 The 2009 'Vina Tondonia' Gran Reserva Rosado is an impressive blend of 60% Garnacho with 30% Tempranillo and 10% Viura. This beautiful Rosé wine was aged for four years in American oak and another five years in bottle prior to release. As it begins to unwind it releases lovely aromatics of bright red fruits with blood orange and wild mushroom that are wrapped around toasty oak in the glass. The palate is silky smooth, revealing a seductive texture and a gorgoeus streak of mineral and saline. Remarkably light on its feet, and beautifully focused, this goes on to deliver flavors of red fruits and suggestions of kumquat and teaberry with peat moss undertones. Shownig a remarkable combination of balance and precision, this simply brilliant Rosé should continue to age gracefully for at least another another decade.
60 ALTESINO Brunello di Montalcino 'Montosoli' 2014 #60 Wine Toscana Brunello di Montalcino 95 95 $125 The 2014 'Montosoli' Brunello is an absolutely brilliant showing from Altesino, despite the difficult conditions of the vintage. This Brunello instantly impresses, displaying remarkable class and sophistication. As this unwinds in the glass it releases gorgeous aromatics of dried berries, leather, shaved white truffles, walnut, herbs and even subtle hints of dark chocolate all coming together. On the palate this is refined and elegant, with beautiful fine, silky tannins and striking overall balance and precision from start to finish. This is clearly one of the most compelling wines from this vintage, and while it is already extremely appealing, it should also have a fantastic future ahead.
61 CASANOVA DI NERI Brunello di Montalcino 2014 #61 Wine Toscana Brunello di Montalcino 94 94 $125 The 2014 Brunello di Montalcino from Casanova di Neri is absolutely fabulous. In 2014 Giacomo and Giovanni Neri decided to include all the fruit from Cerretalto and Tenuta Nuova in their normal Brunello, and it has definitely paid off, as this is one of the most successful wine from the vintage. This instantly begins to impress as it opens to pretty aromatics of dried red and dark berries, exotic spices, dried violets and smokey nuances all taking shape. On the palate this is absolutely gorgeous, silky and refined, displaying beautiful overall balance and finesse, which is backed by lovely underlying acidity that frames the satiny finish. The 2014 is already showing remarkably well, and readers will not need to wait long to fully enjoy this outstanding Brunello. While it is certainly somewhat disappointing not to see one of my personal favorite wines, Tenuta Nuova, in 2014, I absolutely love the decision and sacrifice that was made in order to achieve the best possible results given the difficult conditions of the vintage.
62 FORCE MAJEURE Syrah, SJR Vineyard 2016 #62 Wine Washington Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley 97 97 $100 The 2016 Force Majeure ‘SJR Vineyard’ Syrah is one of the most impressive Washington wines I have tasted over the past year. This simply awesome new Syrah was sourced from the esteemed SJR Vineyard in the Walla Walla Rocks AVA. The wine was fermented using native yeasts and then was aged in oak puncheons (50% new) for 18 months prior to bottling. While the Syrah was obviously given a good amount of oak treatment, this does not come off as particularly oaky. The wine shows serious range on the nose from green olive to bacon fat to blood orange rind to red cherry candy and guava puree. The beautiful aromatics bring you back to the glass for more pleasure. The texture to this wine borders ethereal and absolutely delights the senses once on the mouth. Black olive tapenade, wild blackberry cobbler, salted smoked pork shoulder, umami and touches of milk chocolate all come together marvelously. This is just stunning wine that marvelously showcases this great vineyard.
63 DOMAINE FRANÇOIS RAVENEAU Chablis Premier Cru 'Foret' 2016 #63 Wine Burgundy Chablis 94 94 $275 The 2016 'Foret' Chablis is currently wound up tighter than a top at the moment. Needing more than an hour of air contact to begin to show a sign of life, it slowly begins to evolve aromatically. As this gradually takes shape in the glass it displays aromas of nectarine skin, green apple, clove and wild mushroom tones that complement the beam of salinity. Characteristic of the vintage, the palate possesses incredible energy and freshness, showing bright citrus zest, diatomaceous earth, peat moss and a sterling minerality all the way through the finish. Overall the 'Foret' looks to be a sucess in this extreamely difficult vintage. While this shows flashes of brillance in its youth, it also possesses the potential to offer a drinking window that extends over a decade. Given Raveneau's track record, I only expext this to become more compelling over time, however with the low-yeilds in 2016 there likely won't be alot to go around.
64 CHÂTEAU CANON LA GAFFELIÈRE Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2016 #64 Wine Bordeaux Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 97 97 $85 The 2016 Château Canon la Gaffelière is another sensational release from Stephan von Neipperg. Composed of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the clay-limestone/clay-sand soils at the south-foot of the slope. It was aged in new oak barrels (60%) on the lees for 17 months. The wine itself begins to impress with its aromas of dark raspberries and red currants woven together with fresh spring florals, tobacco, toast and hints of topsoil all taking shape beautifully in the glass. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous medium-plus body with an outstanding plush texture, together with wonderful overall structure and balance. It displays excellent precision and definition through the long, complex finish. While this is already showing early appeal, readers should plan on cellaring this for at least 5 years. This is a special wine from this estate.
65 DOW'S Vintage Port 2017 #65 Wine Douro Porto 98 98 $125 The 2017 Dow's Vintage Port is crafted from largely Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca (80%) grapes with a fair portion of Alicante Bouchet (8%) blended in. The nose is intoxicating with its blueberry cobbler, mocha, tar, lavender and anise aromas that all meld together in the glass. The stunning bouquet brings you back to the glass for more hedonistic delight. The sense of balance and purity of fruit is truly amazing, as this pushes perfection with its dark chocolate shaving, blueberry liquor, espresso bean and shades of lavender puree. Exotic, and simply captivating, the wine has a seamless quality and a supple texture that truly shines. While a delight to savor now, this beautiful age-worthy Port really needs at least five more years in the cellar to come into its own.
66 YVON METRAS Fleurie 2017 #66 Wine Beaujolais Fleurie 94 94 $60 The 2017 Fleurie from Yvon Metras is utterly brilliant. Bright and complex, this begins with gorgeous aromas of wild berries, cranberries, minerals, fresh cut violets and dried exotic spices which all take shape. This medium-bodied red is elegant and beautifully balanced with wonderful acidity framing the core of delicious red fruits and spices that persist through the long juicy finish. The 2017 is striking today, but also display the potential to age for years to come.
67 DOMAINE HENRI GOUGES Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru 'Clos des Porrets St-Georges' 2017 #67 Wine Burgundy Nuits-St-Georges 94 94 $106 The 2017 Clos des Porrets St-Georges is an absolutely sensational showing from Henri Gouges. Sourced from a 9-acre monopole with 30+ year-old vines this gorgeous Nuits-St-Georges begins with dazzling aromatics of black raspberries and wild berries which are woven together with dried exotic spices, dried soil, fresh florals, forest herbs and minerals which all take shape. On the palate this is precise and impeccably structured around a focused core of vibrant, beautifully ripe fruit. It goes on to display remarkable overall balance and concentration leading up to the sappy, yet mouth watering finish. The 2017 is nothing short of utterly sublime and is already offering tremendous appeal at this young age, however that said, it also possesses the undeniable potential to age gracefully for many years to come.
69 NIEPOORT Douro Branco 'Coche' 2017 #69 Wine Douro Douro 94 94 $80 The 2017 'Coche' from Niepoort is a fascinating wine, and a testament to the potential whites can from the Douro can reach. This utterly captivating wine is composed of a few indigenous Portuguese varieties, including Rabigato, Viosinho and Códega do Larinho all sourced from old vines planted in mica schist soils. The wine itself beings with wonderful aromatics of fresh citrus, tangerine zest, saline minerals, vanilla blossoms and subtle hints of buttered pecans that all come together magnificently in the glass. On the palate this is bright and vibrant, yet also has a beautiful textured mouthfeel that persists through the finish. This is a simply delightful wine, and readers who enjoy Burgundy should find this extremely interesting and get a great deal of pleasure out of this sensational white Douro from Dirk Niepoort.
70 K VINTNERS Syrah, Columbia Valley 'Royal City' 2016 #70 Wine Washington Columbia Valley 96 96 $120 The 2016 'Royal City' Syrah is another show-stopping effort from the talented winemaking team at K Vintners that shows incredible range and poise from this wam vintage in Washington. Sourced from the famed Stoneridge Vineyard, the ‘Royal City’ shows off its garnet color and opens with beautiful aromatic range from cloves, to suggestions of wild mushroom, potpourri and olive tampenade aromatics that dance in harmony in the glass. The palate shows great freshness, evoking a deep core of dried cherries that mingle with with tightly structured peppery tannins, citrus zest and earthy undertones. The finish imparted is both persistent and unrelenting. While outstanding in its youth, this beautiful, terroir-driven Syrah will evolve beautifully over the next decade and beyond.
71 CADUCEUS CELLARS Nebbiolo 'Nagual del Judith' 2016 #71 Wine Arizona Yavapai County 94 94 $125 The 2016 'Nagual del Judith' Nebbiolo from Caduceus Cellars is sourced from individual blocks in the Judith Vineyard which are cropped between 2 to 2.5 tons per acre and sit at 4,900 feet elevation. This is an absolute stunner, as it begins with seductive aromas of dried cherries and wild berries which are laced with leather, truffle, and minerals, followed up with hints of eucalyptus and dried spices which all come together beautifully. It goes on to impress with its medium body and gorgeous silky tannins that glide beautifully across the palate as it displays outstanding balance and finesse through the finish. While this Nebbiolo is outstanding now, it should be aged for at least a few more years. It's extreamly impressive to see a Nebbiolo of this quality coming from Ariaona, it's a dead ringer for great Barolo!
72 LE CLOS DU CAILLOU Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Reserve' 2017 #72 Wine Rhône Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 97 $160 The 2017 Clos du Caillou ‘La Reserve’ is simply gorgeous. Composed of 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvèdre, from vines nearly 70-years-old in the sandy soil located on the lieu-dit of La Guigasse’ and Pignan. As this slowly begins to unwind, it releases stunning aromatics of raspberries, red plums, spices, florals, wet stones, herbs, spices. On the palate this possesses a wonderful medium to full body, which is beautifully structured. It goes on to impress with it concentrated core of sweet red and dark berries that continue to resonate through the finish. While the Reserve is already absolutely brilliant, this is built to last and will age beautifully for many years to come.
73 DOMAINE JEAN FOILLARD Morgon 'Côte du Py' 2017 #73 Wine Beaujolais Morgon 94 94 $160 The 2017 Côte du Py Morgon is an absolutely brilliant wine from this legendary producer. Côte du Py is one of the most iconic vineyards in Beaujolais. When you have a top producer and a top vineyard the sky is the limit, and that is just the case for the 2017. This brilliant wine begins with a gorgeous range of pure, vibrant aromatics consisting of red cherries, wild red berries and raspberries along with fresh violets, dried spices, orange zest and crushed stones that all develop in the glass and continue to carry follow on the palate. This is beautifully structured displaying lovely elegance and precision, with a gorgeous medium-plus body. It goes on to impress with an amazing combination of bright acidity and wonderful mineral undertones all working together to keep it fresh and inviting through the mouth watering finish. While this is simply delightful today, this is a serious Morgon that has the potential age marvelously for quite some time.
74 PATRIA Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Ranch 'Avoyelles' 2016 #74 Wine California Napa Valley 98 98 $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.
75 RUDD Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 'Samantha’s' 2016 #75 Wine California Napa Valley 97 97 $150 The 2016 'Samantha’s' Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely stunning. It instantly begins with an impressive dark inky color, followed by extremely expressive aromatics of ripe blackberries and cassis woven together with graphite, fresh violets, earthy minerals, along with underlying mocha and smoke nuances all emerging from the glass. On the palate this possesses wonderful full-bodied richness, yet demonstrates remarkable overall balance and poise. It goes on to impress with its remarkable depth and concentration, as layers of fresh ripe dark fruits continue to build and expand on to the long supple finish. Complex, pure and totally harmonious, this utterly fascinating Cabernet from Rudd is already outstanding, yet should go on to flourish as it evolves over the course of the next two decades.
76 CHÂTEAU CLIMENS Barsac 2016 #76 Wine Bordeaux Barsac 98 98 $75 The 2016 Chateau Climens is a head-turning blend made by the talented Berenice Lurton, who has managed this property since 1992. This 100% Semillon, dispplays a gorgoeus golden color and offers an exotic aromatic profile, with apricot jelly, pineapple upside down cake, butterscotch and shades of toasted hazelnut all coming together beautifully. Showing a marvelous combination of tension and viscosity, this goes on to display incredible elegance despite its obvious richness as flavors of lemon crème brûlée, vanilla cream, and orange marmalade that combine with a wonderful sense of acidity and a light salinity. While this is simply fascinating now in its youth, this remarkable new release will also have an exceedingly long life in the cellar.
77 ETIENNE SAUZET Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'La Garenne' 2017 #77 Wine Burgundy Puligny-Montrachet 94 94 $130 The 2017 'La Garenne' Puligny-Montrachet from Etienne Sauzet is a sensational release that has a marvelous combination of weight and terroir. Once in the glass the impressive combination of wet stones, dark truffle shavings and smoked Gala apple all show marvelous flair and work magically together. The silky texture glides across the mid-palate as characteristics of wet stones and forest floor flavors mingle with cinnamon infused Pink Lady apple, citrus and vanilla creme brûlée. While seductive in its youth, this ultimately needs more time in the bottle to fully develop. Enjoy this sensational bottling over the next fifteen to twenty years.
78 AU BON CLIMAT Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 'Isabelle' 2015 #78 Wine California Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills 95 95 $50 The 2015 Au Bon Climat 'Isabelle' is another sensational release from Jim Clendenen. Comprised of only the best spections each vintage, this stunning Pinot Noir offers classic old-world character, nuanced by gorgoeus aromas of fresh cherries, cassis, dried herbs, savory spices, florals and dried soil along with hints of forest floor and toasted oak all taking shape. On the palate this possesses wonderful balance and finesse, with beautiful flavors of red fruit and earth that presist through the finish. The 2015 is simply magnificant today and should go on to age incredibly well for years to come. This remains one of the finest valued Pinot Noir wines out there.
79 TENUTA ARGENTIERA Bolgheri Superiore 2016 #79 Wine Toscana Bolgheri 98 98 $75 The 2016 Tenuta Argentiera is an absolutely sensational showing and one of the highlights from the vintage. It begins with profound aroma of blackberries, currants and fresh crushed violets which all come together in this masterpiece of a wine. The body is full, with beautifully round polished tannins and a juicy core that is underlined by lovely acidity that keeps it fresh and vibrant through the long persistent finish. While this is already utterly compelling, it should evolve gracefully and begin to show its best after a few more years of bottle age.
80 DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Boisrenard' 2017 #80 Wine Rhône Valley Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 96 $90 The 2017 'Boisrenard' is yet another absolutely sensational release of this cuvée from the Coulon Family. It is composed of 66% Grenache along with 12% both Syrah and Mourvèdre withs he remainder consisting of other permitted varieties. As it begins to unwind in the glass it offers stunning aromatics of ripe blackberries and dark cherries which are woven together with exotic spices, espresso, smoke, licorice, graphite and minerals all taking shape. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous polished texture and shows wonderful overall balance, depth and concentration leading up to the gorgeous finish. While this displays plenty of upfront appeal now, there is no doubt it will go on to age gracefully for many years to come.
81 DANIEL BOULAND Morgon 'Les Delys' 2017 #81 Wine Beaujolais Morgon 93 93 $35 The 2017 'Les Delys' Morgon is an utterly captivating wine from Daniel Bouland. Sourced from 90-year-old vines planted in 1926 to sable soils with granite, this is an absolutely fantastic expression of old-vine Gamay which is nothing short of brilliant. It instantly begins to impress as it releases beautiful aromas of wild berries, pomegranate, florals, smoke, salty rock, dried soil and lovely mineral nuances which all come together in the glass. On the palate this vivid red displays wonderful textural richness, along with a gorgeous rich velvety mouthfeel. It goes on to display remarkable concentration and balance as it continues to thoroughly impresses through the long, sleek finish. A wine of incredible precision and class, this will certainly have a marvelous future and evolve incredibly for well over a decade. Readers shouldn't hesitate to get their hands on this astonishing value from one of the regions leading producers.
82 CRISTOM VINEYARDS Pinot Noir, Marjorie Vineyard 2017 #82 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley 93 93 $55 Marjorie Vineyard consists of the Cristom Vineyards oldest platings of Pinot Noir, which predate the company back to 1982. The vineyard is distinctive at Cristom both for being own-rooted, and for its lower-density plantings, with 6 feet between vines and 12 feet between rows that result in very small, highly concentrated clusters. The 2017 is simply stunning, as it opens with wonderful aromatics of teaberry, raspberry and shades of wet stone that all build on the nose. It possesses a gorgeous texture, with remarkable freshness and concentration as flavors of red and dark fruits are woven into minerals and peat moss that presist through the finish. This is a drop-dead stunning Pinot Noir that is outstanding today, tand should also have a bright future ahead.
83 CAPANNA Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva 2013 #83 Wine Toscana Brunello di Montalcino 96 96 $90 The 2013 marks the 50th Vintage Anniversary for Capanna, and the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva a is a sensational wine to commemorate that. This absolutely stunning Riserva impresses from the second it enters the glass, with its attractive dark ruby color and wonderfully complex aromatics, nuanced by dark cherries, exotic spices, leather, dried flowers, walnut shavings, dark chocolate and even some fresh herbs adding further appeal. This goes on to impress with its beautifully textured medium to full body, which is backed by gorgeous velvety tannins and outstanding overall structure and balance. It shows excellent depth and concentration along with lovely underlying acidity allowing it to remain fresh and vivid leading up to the sensational finish. While the 2013 Riserva is already showing extremely well, it is ultimately built to age and will have a tremendous future ahead, offering a drinking window that will span across decades.
84 GIODO Brunello di Montalcino 2014 #84 Wine Toscana Brunello di Montalcino 95 95 $135 One of the finest wines of the vintage, the 2014 Giodo Brunello di Montalcino shows wonderful elegance and refinment. It begins to impress as it opens to pretty aromatics of ripe black plums, strawberry and fresh cut florals and cloves spices all taking shape. It possesses a full body with soft, round tannins and lovely fresh acidity that persists through the long finish. This is a brilliant wine from Carlo Ferrini which will be ready approach early, but also shows the potential to offer a graceful evolution over the next decade.
85 SALVIONI Rosso di Montalcino 2017 #85 Wine Toscana Montalcino 93 93 $95 The 2017 Salvioni Rosso di Montalcino is all about elegance and finesse, as it opens to gorgeous aromas of cherries and red plums, which are woven together with orange zest, dried florals and exotic spices all taking shape. On the palate this possesses a lovely medium-bodied with remarkable overall focus and balance. It continues to impress with its sleek texture and pretty finish. This is an utterly captivating Rosso from the Salvioni family in 2017, which should develop beautifully over the next decade and go on to have a brilliant future ahead.
86 ANAKOTA Cabernet Sauvignon, Helena Dakota Vineyard 2015 #86 Wine California Sonoma County, Knights Valley 97 97 $125 The 2015 Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely fantastic in this vintage. This outstanding Knights Valley Cabernet was aged 13 months in 70% new French oak barrels and it shows a wonderful combination of ripe fruit and earthy characteristics throughout. As this slowly unwinds in the glass it releases profound aromatics of ripe black cherries and crème de cassis which are joined by fresh violets, loam, roasted coffee, warm gravel, cocoa powder and even roasted herbs which all come together beautifully. On the palate this is well-structured, with gorgeous textural richness, as well as outstanding concentration. It goes on to display wonderful opulence and depth, as layers of ripe dark fruits expand on to the long mouth coating finish. Even at this early stage the Helena Dakota certainly offers incredible appeal, however it will ultimately require some additional bottle age before it enters its optimal drinking window.
87 BEAUX FRERES Pinot Noir, The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2016 #87 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley 95 95 $100 The 2016 Beaux Freres ‘The Beaux Freres Vineyard’ Pinot Noir is a simply marvelous new effort from this storied estate. The Ribbon Ridge AVA wine shows wonderful earthy terroir on the nose. This shows a wonderful combination of red and dark fruits on the nose with Asian spice and forest floor aromatics. The palate shows good richness and tension with red currant, red cherry candy, strawberry puree and orange rind flavors with a touch of peat moss. Rich and focused, this will cellar well for the next fifteen years.
88 LE MACCHIOLE Toscana 'Messorio' 2016 #88 Wine Toscana Toscana IGT 98 98 $190 The 2016 'Messorio' is another utterly captivating wine from Le Macchiole in this vintage. As this alluring Merlot slowly unwinds in the glass it releases striking aromatics of raspberries, dark cherries, dried red flowers, citrus zest and subtle hints of fresh vanilla all come together to form the aromatic framework of this wine. This possesses outstanding balance with beautiful soft texture that expands gracefully into the the rich and harmonious finish. There is so much potential here, however it will require a few years before it shows its best stuff.
89 DOMAINE HUET Vouvray Moelleux, Clos du Bourg 2018 #89 Wine Loire Valley Vouvray 94 94 $42 The 2018 Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Moelleux is as spectacular as always in this vintage. The Clos du Bourg is unique from the other parcels, it contains the Première Côte’s shallowest, stoniest soils, which results in a distinct mineral character that reflects in the wine, as well as a notable textural richness that this vineyard has become well-known for producing. The wine itself is already incredibly expressive, showing gorgeous aromatics of orchard fruits, pineapples, honeysuckle and lovely nuances of pulverized stones which all work together beautifully. On the palate this displays a wonderful medium-plus sweetness, with a succulent flavor profile that lead by golden delicious apples, poached pear, honeysuckle and orange blossoms, that are frame by a gorgeous touch of lively acidity and minerality leading up to the succulent finish. This is a magnificent release that is utterly delightful today, however if you can resist, this wine has a remarkable track record for its ability to age for many years.
90 DOMAINE WEINBACH Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 'Cuvée Sainte Catherine' 2017 #90 Wine Alsace Alsace Grand Cru 95 95 $75 The 2017 'Cuvee Sainte Catherine' Riesling is a simply stunning release from Domaine Weinbach. It has a touch more residual sugar (7.5% g/l) than the Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling and was also aged for ten months in French oak prior to bottling. Vines for this wine are 40-60 years of age. This beautiful dry Riesling shows an unctuous texture which brings ripe white peach, wet stone, cantaloupe and copious minerals that fill the palate. With a generous mouthfeel, this finishes strong with minerals and melon tones. This sensational bottling needs at least another year in the bottle to evolve, but will cellar beautifully for decades.
91 ST. INNOCENT Pinot Noir, Temperance Hill Vineyard 2016 #91 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley 93 93 $45 The gorgeous new 2016 Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir shows a marvelous combination of richness and astringency from this warm vintage in the Willamette Valley. On the nose this begins with aromatics reminiscent of black tea, peat moss, wild blackberry and cran-orange, providing some serious range aromatically. The mouthfeel entices as black and red fruits dance with wet stone and earthy tones on the palate. Seriously inpressive now this stunning Pinot Noir will continue to evolve for the next fifteen to twenty years.
92 UCCELLIERA Brunello di Montalcino 2014 #92 Wine Toscana Brunello di Montalcino 94 94 $55 The 2014 Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino is a simply fabulous effort in this vintage. It begins with inviting aromas of dried cherries and wild berries which are laced with leather, dried florals, minerals with hints of eucalyptus, orange rind andspices which all develop beautifully. It goes on to impress with its medium-plus body and gorgeous silky tannins that beautifully caress the palate. Displaying outstanding balance and finesse this goes on to throughly impress all the way through the lingering finish. This is drinking remarkably well even ay this early stage and should go on to evolve nicely with some bottle age. A magical effort from Andrea Cortonesi, who has who certainly excelled in making a wonderful wine in this extremely difficult vintage.
93 CLOS CIBONNE Côtes de Provence, Tibouren Rosê 'Cuvée Tradition' 2017 #93 Wine Provence Côtes de Provence 93 93 $33 The 'Cuvée Tradition' Rosé from Clos Cibonne is composed from 90% Tibouren and 10% Grenache, which was sourced from schist soils containing vines over 30 years-old. The wine is fermented in stainless steel prior to being aged on the lees under fleurette for one year in 100-year-old foudres. The result is a simply stunning Rosé, displaying a gorgeous dark pink color and incredible complex aromatics of peach, strawberries, lemon oil, orange peel, dried herbs and saline minerals which all come together beautifully. Bright, fresh and focused, this sensational mouth watering Rosé continues to deliver all the way through the precise, crisp finish.
94 LA PELLE Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2016 #94 Wine California Napa Valley 93 93 $45 The 2016 La Pelle Sauvignon Blanc from winemaker Maayan Koschitzky is absolutely stunning, and certainly amongst the most compelling domestic Sauvignon Blancs around. It possesses layered aromas of Meyer lemon, ripe orange, green herbs, pineapple, and white flowers. It continues to impress as it displays outstanding depth of flavor, along with an incredible creamy texture and gorgeous salinity that persists through the finish. Made in the style of Dagueneau Sauvignon's, this one is not far off. A total beauty which is simply stunning today, yet can also handle some short-term cellaring.
95 BRILLIANT MISTAKE Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2016 #95 Wine California Napa Valley 93 93 $50 The 2018 Brilliant Mistake Sauvignon Blanc is absolutely sensational. It begins with inviting perfumed aromatics of tropical fruits, lychee, green herb, orange pith and lemon. The possesses a medium body with a gorgeous texture and a beautiful combination of fruit and acidity from start to finish. Aged in French oak cigar barrels, this is a simply stunning Sauvignon Blanc that is utterly delicious now and can also be enjoyed with some additional bottle age over the next few years.
96 DOMAINE SERENE Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 'Récolté Grand Cru' 2016 #96 Wine Oregon Willamette Valley 96 96 $130 Always a barrel selection of the choicest lots, the 2016 'Recolte Grand Cru' is a stunning Chardonnay from Domaine Serene. Needing more than an hour decant to fully evolve, it awakens to bright aromatics of banana, pineapple, Pazzaz apple, and lemon infused sourdough bread aromatics that all combine wonderfully in the glass. There is a seamless quality to the wine as this dances across the mid-palate. Copious minerals collide with lemon oil, vanilla cream, brioche and shades of pineapple on the seductive palate. The minute-long finish completes this incredible new release. This is absolutely stunning now and will only improve with time in the bottle. Overall, Michael Fay has crated one of the great wines of Oregon here. Try to resist this beauty for at least another year.
97 ALHEIT VINEYARDS 'Cartology' 2017 #97 Wine Coastal Region Stellenbosch 93 93 $40 The 2017 'Cartology' is another fantastic release from the Alheit’s. Composed of 87% Chenin Blanc and 13% Semillon sourced from dry-farmed bush vines ranging from 35-82 years old. This begins with captivating aromatics of orchard fruits, honeysuckle, and jasmine along with a wonderful saline mineral character. On the palate this possesses a gorgeous textured mouthfeel, with beautiful overall balance and gorgeous streaks of saline infused minerals leading up to the sleek finish. While this is simply fascinating today, it should also continue to drink brilliantly over the course of the next decade.
98 ORNELLAIA Bolgheri Superiore 'Ornellaia' 2016 #98 Wine Toscana Bolgheri 96 96 $200 The 2016 Ornellaia is an absolutely brilliant wine from this famed Bolgheri estate. The bland of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot was aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. The result is a stunning wine that opens with seductive aromas of blackberries, plums and hot stones with some oak influence showing in the background. On the palate this is full bodied, concentrated red is structured with soft and well-refined tannins and and shows remarkable balanced all the way through the long plush finish. The 2016 is a monumental showing and while it possesses wonderful appeal, it also has the potential to last decades.
99 DOMAINE LAURENT TRIBUT Chablis 2017 #99 Wine Burgundy Chablis 92 92 $40 The 2017 Chablis from Laurent Tribut is magnificent. It instantly impressess with its inviting aromas of fresh sliced pears and lemon zest, which are laced with lovely mineral nuances. On the palate this displays excellent focus and precision, with a gorgeous combination of acidity and minerality that frame the bright citrus flavors. Overall, this is a fantastic release and a textbook Chablis from the Tribut's that is instantly appealing, yet it should also continue to drink beautifully for several more years.
100 BRICK & MORTAR Brut Rosé, Sweetwater Springs Vineyard #100 Wine California Sonoma County, Russian River Valley 92 92 $50 This is the first vintage of this Brut Rosé from Brick & Mortar, which is a blend of 96% Chardonnay and 4% Pinot Noir that was sourced from the Sweetwater Spring Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. It is a fantastic showng that begins with gorgeous aromatics, showcasing inviting nuances of fresh strawberries, orchard fruits and citrus, alongside crushed almond, toasted brioche and wild flowers. The mouthfeel is wonderful, with a beautiful profile of red berries and citrus coupled with a creamy texture and burst of acidity on the finish. This fantastic Rosé is excellent today and should continue to drink beautifully with some additional bottle age.
 
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