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The Top 25 Wines of 2017!

top 25 2017Another year has passed, all too quickly.  There were many memorable moments along the journey through 2017, and many of them involved great wine.  That is always a welcome occurrence in our lives, and here we’ll share with you the best that we encountered in the past 12 months.  As always, there are some ground rules that dictate which wines end up on the list.  Here they are:

1. This is based solely on our opinion, as we don’t have any other staff to offer a comment.

2. There are no numerical scores involved.

3. Factors include value, certainly, but also overall quality as well as unique qualities.  The most important factor continues to be the Wow! factor.  Somehow, amid all the experiences over the past 12 months, the top wines leap right to mind.  That is the Wow! factor.

4. We limit the list to wines that you can expect to find under $100 retail, although as usual we’ll highlight a few higher end wines that are worth noting, even if they do break through that ceiling.

5. None of this is based on anything any other wine review site or publication has published.  We did an article a few years ago which

The #1 Wine of 2017!

The #1 Wine of 2017!

compared the top rating publications and their Top 100 lists, and found virtually no overlap between them.  It seems everyone goes out of their way to list different wines.  All we care about is how much we like them.

6. We only taste between 800-1000 wines a year generally, so your favorite very likely never made it to our blog.  We’d like to do more!

So after all of that what made it to the list?  Let’s find out.  For any of the wines below, you can click on them to go to the more detailed tasting review.

The Top 25 Wines of 2017!

1. 2014 Figuero 12 – $32 – simply unbelievable for the price.  Fabulous wine from Ribera del Duero.

2. 2014 Mt. Brave Mt. Veeder Merlot – $75 – if you have dismissed Merlot try this and change your mind.IMG_1294

3. 2014 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon – $40 – classic Cab for $40.

4. 2013 Catena Zapata White Stones – $80 – this wine is just unbelievably complex.

5. 2015 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc – $40 – the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tried.

IMG_11456. 2010 Celler Piñol Mather Teresina – $68 – from Terra Alta, and different, and great.

7. 2015 Ferraton Pére & Fils La Martiniere Crozes-Hermitage – $23 – spectacular value here.HG 2

8. 2015 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Cotes du Rhone – $25 – special at this price.  More like a full fledged CDP.

9. 2015 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin – $55 – incredible Bordeaux blend, from the Judean Hills in Israel.

10. 2013 Silverado GEO – $75 – top end Cabernet, impeccably made.IMG_0979

11. 2015 Sonoma-Loeb El Novillero Chardonnay – $50 – great acid AFTER malolactic fermentation.  Very wonderful.

12. 2011 Ramon Bilbao Reserva – $20 – Another amazing Spanish value.

13. 2013 Nino Negri Inferno Valtellina Superiore – $30 – An unusual Nebbiolo wine from Valtellina.  Delicious.gasb april 1

14. 2015 Ken Forrester The FMC – $65 – always great Chenin Blanc, and this vintage is no exception.

15. 2014 Trefethen Merlot Oak Knoll – $35 – More spectacular Merlot.

16. 2013 Carlos Serres Rioja Crianza – $12 – Supreme value.

17. 2012 Matectic Vineyards EQ Syrah – $40 – This is an amazing, high end Syrah from South America.

18. 2014 Chateau Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse Le Clos Monopole – $60 – Perfect Pouilly-Fuisse.

19. 2014 La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot – $85 – Another great Merlot from Chris Carpenter.

20. 2011 Viña Magana Merlot – $63 – And even more Merlot – this time an aged version from Spain.IMG_2428

IMG_241821. Casteller Cava Rose – $15 – Supremely delicious bubbly at an incredible price.

22. 2014 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon – $40 – Another classic Cab at a great price.

23. 2012 Orma Toscano – $80 – Great Super-Tuscan from Bolgheri.

24. 2015 Colliano Cuvee White – $15 – Every year the white wine I would pick if I had to choose one under $20.

25. 2012 SPES Rioja – $25 – We love Rioja.  This is why.IMG_2448

So there is a list anyone can enjoy.  Some are a bit expensive, but many are quite reasonably priced, and every wine delivers value at its respective price point.  It was truly another wonderful year of wine.

Now, obviously, there are many, many wines which extend past our $100 price limit.  Some extend far beyond it.  While we weren’t lucky enough to try that bottle of DRC this year, we did sample some excellent higher end wines.  Here are a few to consider if you are so inclined.

2013 Silverado SOLO – a great wine, with layers of complexity that will expand with time.  $125

2013 Trefethen Halo – we sampled the very first bottle opened in North America after release.  This is special.  $250

Vinska Klet Goriska Brda Motnik – an orange wine from Slovenia.  This vintage the fruit focus is more pronounced, and the wine sings.  $130

2010 Chateau Pichon Baron – world class Bordeaux from a great vintage – they poured this at the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival!  $250

2014 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon – the first Chilean super-wine, and still a classic.  $125

We look forward to another year of discovery.  At the same time, we’ll enjoy as many bottles of the wines above as we can find.

A votre santé!

 

 

 

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