Anyone who reads me regularly knows the rash I get around scores and Top-Lists about wine–especially when they are timed to enhance the market around holiday and gift-giving time. But hey, it’s the end of the year and one can’t help but think back on some of the fabulous wines we’ve drank… or drunk… or dranken? I can never figure out what is the proper word there. I started thinking about some incredible wines I have had this year and how to put them in a list–but not really a *LIST*. One not specifying Chardonnay A at position 46 is head-and-shoulders, mathematically better than the poor loser Chardonnay B at position 50. One way would be to publish this in late-January. One way would be to not publish a list at all. Nothing is easier to write than a list. ALL these wines are at the forefront of my mind–I don’t even need to go back and look at notes or ◊♦♦♦’s. These are wines which stand out so clearly in my mind–the list writes itself and, speaking of grades, everything I am remembering WILL NOT be all ♦♦♦ wines. Wine doesn’t need to fit little shaped-boundaries. I am going to do it in *categories*. My categories are not going to fit what you are used to seeing in the fish-wrap, but you’ll get used to it. No links, no click-bait back to my journal to jack up my hit-count… you dorks don’t need any of that–and I don’t either–this journal is already FAR more popular than I ever imagined.
Non-Napa/Sonoma Cab: 2010 Caldera Cuvee Paso Robles
Napa/Sonoma Cab: 2012 Oakville Winery Oakville. 2010 Longmeadow Ranch
Cab Franc (hard-shouldered): CARR
Cab Franc (soft-shouldered): Lieu Dit
BEST OLDER CAB: 2002 Laurel Glen
BEST OLDER PN: 2005 Summerland Vintner’s Select
CURRENT PN: TUDOR Tondre. TYLER Bentrock. TANTARA La Colline. FAILLA Sonoma. CHANIN Bien Nacido.
The Failla suggests another category: NORTH COAST BARGAINS: Briceland Pinot. Failla Pinot. Red Car Syrah.
Bargains NOT Pinot? Bonny Doon’s Clos Du Gilroy. Morgan’s Cotes du Crow and G17. Tensley’s Los Padres Syrah. BRAVE & MAIDEN UNION. Gine-Gine. Hitching Post Syrah.
Speaking of bargains… I LOVE SECOND LABELS: Soldiers of Fortune. Ramey Claret.
GRENACHE: A Tribute to Grace. A-Non-Ah-Mus.
SYRAH: Harrison-Clarke. 2007 Qupe Hillside.
PETITE SIRAH: Le P’tit Paysan 2011. Saxby.
Stand-out wines from OUTSIDE the US: 2012 Crognolo. 2012 Charles Jouget Chinon. 2003 Montes Folly.
BEST NON-RED’S: Miraval Rose (stop laughing). Donkey & Goat Pet-Nat.
BUBBLES: Graham Beck Brut Rose. Louis Roederer Brut Premier. MAYO Brut.