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With the new cellar tracker it took a bit longer to go through all the notes for my top ten and it might change via one wine as we have a horizontal 2002 Champagne Tasting coming up but here is my list:


1. 1996 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (10/6/2012)
A hammer lock for wine of the year! Amazing and the groups wine of the night! Blueberries, coffee, chocolate, leather and minerals. Complex and wonderful perfume to this wine. Decanted 3 plus hours and it never lost a step in the glass for over 2 more. Long finish and young wine. Wine of the Vintage? (99 pts.)

Not really much time needed to put this one at number one. This is the best wine I have tasted in my life and a wine to revisit again hopefully in the next decade. I wish I could afford to drink wines like this from even better vintages but I did not win the lottery last Wednesday.


2. 2004 Greenock Creek Shiraz Apricot Block - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (10/28/2012)
DAY 2 REVIEW: Mega complex nose of roasted meats, coffee beans, soy, charcoal and exotic spices. On the palate dense with the addition of raspberries. Fine sediment and long finish. An amazing transformation and a top Shiraz for 2012. 96 points plus (96 pts.)

This is why I love to experiment with day one, day 2, etc. Many wines are just not ready to drink but the transformation the next day or two will reveal so much more. Day one 92 and day two shows the best Shiraz from Australia I tasted in 2012.



3. 2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Aro - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (4/22/2012)
A early top ten wine of the year. A powerhouse and tannic but showing a ton. Blackberries, bing cherries, leather, cigar, oak, vanilla and a hint of mint. Long finish, complex and age worthy. Drink now through 2030. 96-98. (96 pts.)

Of course this year’s top ten is not factoring price and this $150 wine should become a masterpiece. From 2004 my favorite vintage from Spain this wine shows a ton and needed some serious decanting. Hold for a decade and enjoy!


4. 2005 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (1/15/2012)
Close to the best wine I have ever had and over time it might get there. Intense nose with white pepper, blueberries, roses, raspberries, mild oak and minerals. Complex is an understatement and the palate and finish just change over and over. The finish on this wine is over a minute and a true wine to savor. A pure effort that will improve. This could get to 100 for me. 97-100. (97 pts.)

While young this is drinking unbelievable. Super complex effort and a wine everyone should drink that is just getting into this hobby to see what Northern Rhone Syrah is all about.


5. NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (11/28/2012)
Great stuff and as good as many vintage Champagnes. For $28 a super QPR. Minerals, sour apples, spice and pear. Crisp wine and refreshing. Complex, medium finish. (93 pts.)

By far the cheapest top ten of the year and this might outperform many vintage efforts for four times the price. I have tasted this wine 5 times this year and they all are in the range of 91-93. Well done Piper!


6. 2008 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Botanica - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (3/31/2012)
Light in color. Exotic nose of floral, dust, earth, cranberry and smoke. Complex wine with a medium plus finish. Improved with some time and this has a decade plus of enjoyment. (94 pts.)

A new find in 2012 and it won’t be the last. Wonderful, balance Pinot Noir that for the money will beat just about all from Burgundy.


7. 2008 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe (6/3/2012)
Super light in color, almost clear. Appricots, floral, peaches and super balanced. A touch of sweetness but this should really age into an amazing wine in a decade or enjoy right now! (94 pts.)

I love Riesling and this was the best German of the year. This should age a long time and can be enjoyed today.


8. 2009 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (4/6/2012)
Should improve with age and my wine of the night! Complex with earth, ripe fruit, coffee and spices. The perfect "funk" quality on the nose that makes you realize how good Burgundy can be. Long finish and tannic and should age nicely for 30 years. 94-96. (94 pts.)

Tasted at a Winestreets private dinner event this wine shows how good young Pinot can be but promises so much more with cellaring. Thanks Brad.


9. 2008 Kitchak Cellars Adagio - USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (5/17/2012)
One of the best wines in Napa Valley for under $100. Intense nose of cherry, oak, vanilla, licorice, blueberries and tobacco. Firm tannins and super long finish. Concentrated wine and this will age a decade or more. Outstanding and a chance to improve in the bottle. (95 pts.)

An undiscovered Napa gem that the wine geeks have not discovered. Every vintage tasted so far as knocked my socks off.


10. 1996 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (5/5/2012)
My wine of the night and groups wine of the night. An amazing effort that is balanced, powerful, graceful, elegant, etc. One of the best wines from Bordeaux I have sampled to date. Intense nose of clay, chocolate, figs, stones and raspberries. Long finish and complex. Drink now- 2040. Wonderful effort!!! (97 pts.)

My number ten wine that should age for 30 years. Again if I could only afford to drink these Super Seconds more often.


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Posts: 451 | Location: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting list and a great read, wineglas.

You still have a month to go and pre-Holiday.
You just may find yourself editing your top 10 releasing this early Wink
 
Posts: 15645 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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true on the editing
The Vilmart might sneak in after sampling in a few weeks.

2002 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée


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Posts: 451 | Location: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice list and good read.

How'd you put your list together? Did you figure in QPR, X Factor or whatever? Its your list and obviously you can do it however you like, just curious how a 97 point wine places so far below a 91-93 pointer.
 
Posts: 2301 | Location: NH Seacoast | Registered: Oct 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I threw the price out the window this year. Some of the top ten are of course under $50 which is what I can afford but our club will all throw in a few hundred twice a year and drink wines we can't normally drink and I would never buy solo.

I like to try and mix it up with different regions also. Could not find a Barolo or Super
Tuscan this year.


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Posts: 451 | Location: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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2002 Ruinart Champagne just made the list.

•2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne (12/16/2012)
2002 Champagne Tasting (Jan's House): Well hello! My Champagne of the night and the lowest priced one, double winner. Almond, citrus, berries, green apples and minerals. A bit tart in a good way on the palate and the longest finish of the night. Two plus minutes. Super complex and still young. This should evolve over 2 decades. Wonderful and just moved into my top ten of the year. (96 pts.)


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Posts: 451 | Location: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am going to have to do this from memory -it has been a great year of wine again, but I have not kept as many tasting notes.

1 '99 Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin clos st jacques
2 '70 Latour - had this twice this year, amazing wine
3 '89 Guiraud
4 '90 Latour
5 '90 Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis
6 '82 Leoville Poyferre
7 '83 Margaux - drank this with grossie in Beaune of all places!
8 '99 Chave Hermitage (red)
9 1863 Malmsey Madeira BBR bottling 1973
10 '97 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc
11. '67 Baummard Quarts des Chaumes - incredible

Oops, that was 11.

Have a great holiday season one and all

BirD


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must not buy any more wine, must not buy any more wine... DOH!!!!
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Posts: 1113 | Location: London,UK | Registered: Mar 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You're less than 60 hours away from a lineup that might produce another substitution into your list, wineglas! Banana
 
Posts: 1883 | Location: L.A. | Registered: Dec 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1996 Chateau Margaux
2002 Shafer Hillside
1990 Chateau d'Yquem
1996 Taittinger Comtes
 
Posts: 1149 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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N/V Krug Grand Cuvee
1967 Bertani Amarone Classico
1987 Dunn Howell Mt Cabernet Sauvignon
1991 Beringer Private reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2000 Château Monbousquet St. Émilion
2001 Chateau Haut Brion
2004 Penfolds Grange
2009 Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay
2009 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard
DESSERT WINE: 2005 Chateau Rieussec, Sauternes


"Believe me, you can count on Slippery Pete" - Kramer
 
Posts: 1449 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Jun 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gundam

Cool (short) list, I thought it was top 10...

I have a case of the 05 Rieussec to be delivered, looking forward to it! Rieussec is one wine I can almost always spot blind (sounds like a dare, no?)

Joyeux Noel

BirD


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Posts: 1113 | Location: London,UK | Registered: Mar 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
You're less than 60 hours away from a lineup that might produce another substitution into your list,

Might have one today that might make it and we will see on Wednesday. The company will surely be 100 points!

Winner


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Posts: 451 | Location: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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2012 has been a great wine year....
Here are my top 10 (sorry 16...):

1971 DRC Romane Conti - 98pts
1971 Jacques Prieur Chambertin - 99pts
1990 Momessin Clos de Tart - 98pts
2001 Yquem - 100pts
2004 Masseto - 99+pts
1991 Chapoutier La Mordoree - 100pts
1990 Jaboulet La Chapelle - 99pts
1989 Chave Hermitage - 99pts
1993 Compte Armand Clos de Eppeneaux - 98+pts
1995 DRC Montrachet - 97pts
1983 Chateau Palmer - 98pts
1989 Haut Brion - 100pts
1989 La mission Haut Brion - 99pts
1921 Yquem - 96pts
1900 Latour - 96pts
1899 Lafite -95pts

So many others....holy shit this has been a great year, feel so blessed
 
Posts: 1141 | Registered: Apr 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Two things I noticed while giving this some thought: First, I thought I drank more Burgundy this year than I actually have. I believe most of the good Burgundy came at the tail end of 2011. Second, I didn't drink a lot of great whites this year. I will try and remedy both these problems in 2013 Smile

2005 Peter Michael Cuvee Indigene Chardonnay
1993 Robert Arnoux Romanee St. Vivant
1997 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino
1954 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon
1982 Randy Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
1982 Chateau La Tour Haut Brion
1982 Chateau Haut Brion
1982 Leoville Las Cases
1982 Penfold's Grange
2002 Clos du Tart

This can change over the next 6 days Smile
 
Posts: 953 | Location: Olive Branch, Mississippi | Registered: Nov 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There don't seem to be many tasting notes in here... Confused
 
Posts: 1321 | Registered: May 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by AML:
There don't seem to be many tasting notes in here... Confused


Alright....I'll get on it, hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to get the notes in on mine.
 
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Dave Canada, you have an incredible list of wines. Very nice.
 
Posts: 953 | Location: Olive Branch, Mississippi | Registered: Nov 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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DC, 2012 was a great year for you. Congrats. I hope 2013 is equally as good. The KW group all did very well. Makes me wish I took the job back in '87.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Posts: 5838 | Registered: Jan 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
DC, 2012 was a great year for you. Congrats. I hope 2013 is equally as good. The KW group all did very well. Makes me wish I took the job back in '87.


KW would have been better for it Larry! You are always welcome here! Would love to have you back for a tasting. Let us know when you are available.
 
Posts: 1141 | Registered: Apr 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BirDungy:
I am going to have to do this from memory -it has been a great year of wine again, but I have not kept as many tasting notes.

1 '99 Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin clos st jacques
2 '70 Latour - had this twice this year, amazing wine
3 '89 Guiraud
4 '90 Latour
5 '90 Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis
6 '82 Leoville Poyferre
7 '83 Margaux - drank this with grossie in Beaune of all places!
8 '99 Chave Hermitage (red)
9 1863 Malmsey Madeira BBR bottling 1973
10 '97 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc
11. '67 Baummard Quarts des Chaumes - incredible

Oops, that was 11.

Have a great holiday season one and all

BirD


Glad to have been able to share 2 of your top wines with you in 2012. Hope to do the same in the New Year.
 
Posts: 2212 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a top 10. Many older wines, lot more Burgundy than before and starting to explore Piemonte...

1978 Château Léoville Las Cases Grand Cru Classé St-Julien
2004 Domaine Clusel Roch Côte-Rôtie Les Grandes Places
1996 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc
2006 G.D. Vajra Barolo Bricco Delle Viole
1997 Ridge Vineyards Sonoma Station Zinfandel
2009 Maison Louis Jadot Beaune 1er cru Cuvée 150 ans
2009 Domaine Chanson Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode
2008 Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis
2007 René Rostaing Côte Rôtie
2004 G. Roumier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

dzitt


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Posts: 909 | Location: Montréal, Canada | Registered: Dec 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since I have no "epic" wines planned for consumption between now and years end, this is my list from memory:

1926 Leoville las Cases
1953 Pierre Ponnelle Chambertin
1955 Chateau Montrose
1955 Biondi Santi Riserva Brunello di Montalcino
1959 Chateau Calon Segur
1961 Charles Vienot Clos de Beze
1979 Martin Ray Napa Valley Lake Pinot Noir
1980 Col d'Orcia Riserva Brunello di Montalcino
1989 Vietti Villero Riserva Barolo
1990 Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque
2009 Ramonet Montrachet

Many others that were close but these stood out the most for me in 2012.
 
Posts: 2212 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This has been an absolutely phenomenal year for wine drinking. Looking back at my tasting notes, I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to drink such wonderful wines, in the company of good friends. I was not able to stay true to the original terms of this thread, but tried to keep it close at 15 wines. I have also included an honorable mentions section, which I have limited to 10 for red, and 5 for white. As this is only my second year taking this hobby seriously, I am very excited (or horrified) to see what the future holds.

THE TOP 15:
  • 1989 Château Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed over the course of the evening. In the glass, similar in appearance to the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion served alongside it. An incredibly complex nose that takes half of me to Bordeaux, and the other half to Cote Rotie in Northern Rhone; blackberries, pure red fruits, campfire, olive brine, crushed rocks, graphite, herbs, light mint and dried tobacco. On the palate, even more rich than the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion, but a touch less glycerin and slightly more acid, with flavours of tart red fruits, blackberries, mineral, smoke and tobacco, rounding out the incredibly long finish. This wine is just so seamless, and I can't even comprehend the level of intensity in this wine, while still remaining elegant, and almost understated. To me, this is what sets this wine apart from the other wines in this flight, as well as the incredible purity of fruit here. (100 pts.)
  • 1991 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (3/24/2012)
    The Northern Rhone Dinner (Chave, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Rostaing, Tardieu Laurent) (Patrick's House): Decanted quickly for sediment, and served immediately, followed for two to three hours. Extremely powerful nose of bright red fruits, pineneedle, fresh herbs, dirty stank, mushroom, earth, decomposing leaves, smoked bacon, pepper, spice, olive, mint, leather and truffle. Incredibly complex nose. On the palate, this was seamless, showing red fruits, herbs, smoke, earth on the massive finish. Fully integrated tannin and wonderful balancing acidity. This so rounded and perfect in the mouth. I didn't think this would be able to follow up the 1990 La Chapelle, but it not only held it's own, it took the prize. I found this to be strikingly similar to the Chave earlier, but a step above in terms of balance and intensity. By the end of the night, I was ready to give this a perfect score, but upon reflection, the fact that I had to think about it means it shouldn't be. My initial hunch was 98, so I chose the middle ground. Absolutely gorgeous wine. (99 pts.)
  • 2001 Château d'Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (3/15/2012)
    Popped and poured, followed over the next 6 hours. Beautiful deep golden colour in the glass, and quite viscous. A powerful nose of honey, clove, roasted almonds, apricot, florals, beeswax, lemongrass, white peach and fresh grated ginger. Every time you stick your nose in this you get something different; constantly evolving and adding layer upon layer of complexity. With air, some tropical components came out on the nose, showing pineapple and coconut. On the palate, luxuriously textured, showing apricot, marmalade and spice. Beautiful balance with complimentary acidity, which paves the way for an extremely long finish. There is a touch of botrytis bitterness on the finish, as well as a slight greenness that I’ve never encountered in Sauternes. I was worried that this wouldn’t live up to the hype, but this truly is liquid gold. Worth every penny. (98 pts.)
  • 1971 Jacques Prieur Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru (1/28/2012)
    2nd Annual Burgundy Dinner (Dave's House): Popped and poured, followed over approximately 3 hours. This cork was quite fragile and broke in half on extraction, although we were successful in getting it out of the bottle with no chunks falling in to the wine. Heavy sediment was noted. In the glass, this was garnet in colour, with some bricking as well as some cloudiness. On the nose, big red fruits, truffle, wet leaves, forest floor, baking spice and hints of what I interpreted as coriander. On the palate, sweet red fruits, mushroom, iodine, leather and soy sauce. As the night progressed this got seemingly more youthful with more of that sweet red fruit and spice coming out. Great acidity remains in this wine, and there is a slight tannic grip on the palate. Nice long finish with great complexity of flavour and richness. Exceptional showing. In the background, Dave and Tim are bickering over the sauce for the upcoming course. (98 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed for the course of the evening. In the glass, deep garnet with mild brick. A soaring nose, that was slightly more complex than the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion, showing notes of blackberries, plums, dried fig, iodine, smoke, brine, crushed rocks, cedar, leather, dried tobacco, pyrazine, and some brettanomyces adding a nice funk that contributes to the overall complexity. This is one of those wines that you could sit there a keep picking out different scents and aromas that waft out of the glass. On the palate, again, quite lush, with an ample amount of glycerin, with flavours of dark fruits; blackberry, blackcurrant; leather, dried tobacco and mineral, paving the way to a nice long finish. As with the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion, I prefer the style of the 1989s a little more, which show more focus, are a touch less ripe, and have better purity of fruit. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (10/19/2012)
    Dinner at Crush Wine Bar (Crush Wine Bar, Toronto, ON): Popped and poured, following over the next couple hours. Deep garnet in the glass, and more transparent than the Clos des Epeneaux served along side it. A touch of brick is present at the rim. Right from the test pour, I knew this was rocking. The nose burst out of the glass with a perfume of red fruits, a touch of blackberry, campfire, black olive brine, crushed rocks, underbrush, fresh cut grass, earth, cured game and with time, developing some exotic spice notes, subtle coffee undertones and a healthy serving of that illustrious ball sweat. On the palate, this was totally seamless, showing some moderate acidity, and some very light silky tannin on the long finish framed with red fruit, mineral, olive, smoke and underbrush notes. In the mouth, this showed extreme elegance, especially next to the more brute and rustic Burgundy. I was absolutely enamoured with this wine, and could not wipe the stupid grin off my face all night. For my tastes, this is good to go now, although, I would expect this to hold on for many years. (98 pts.)
  • 1983 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 30 minutes prior to service, deep garnet in the glass. Wow…what a stunner this was. An absolutely explosive nose of black cherry, red currants, blackberries, earth, dried tobacco, undergrowth, intense florals, leather, crushed rocks and dried herbs. This is one of those wines where you can keep going back and picking out more every time you stick your nose in the glass. Not surprisingly the palate is aligned with the beauty of the nose, showing an immense richness, while still maintaining a certain level of elegance and finesse; exceptionally balanced, with lifted acidity. The finish is incredibly lengthy, lingering in the mouth with tastes of blackberry, licorice, mineral, earth and dried flowers. Still a touch of grip on the finish of some unresolved tannin. Up against some very stiff competition tonight, this wine takes the cake. Well done, Palmer. While this was very strong out of the gate, with some time in the glass, this faded substantially after the second hour. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed over the course of the evening. Deep garnet, bordering on purple in the glass. A fantastic nose of blackberries, licorice, smoke, cured meats, spice, gravel, light florals and cedar. On the palate, very rich dark fruits, complimented nicely by spice, a tough of pyrazine and mineral. Texturally, this is also quite rich, showing a bit of glycerin, however this is balanced by superb acidity, and results in a finish that lingers in the mouth for quite some time. Tannins are not yet fully integrated at this time, although they are quite soft and plush. An extraordinary wine now, but I'd love to revisit this in a few years as the tertiary notes come out a bit more. (98 pts.)
  • 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 20 minutes prior to service, straw colour in the glass. Exuding from the glass are some prominent ripe fruit notes of pineapple, stone fruit, as well as lemon curd, crushed rocks, florals and a light herbal note. The palate is very rich and concentrated, showing a volumptious mouthfeel, but no sense of flabbiness, with a strong streak of acid that accentuates the long citrus, tropical fruit, herb and mineral laden finish that lingers in the mouth. At 17 years of age, this is still drinking very youthfully from magnum, with plenty of life left to go. Absolutely gorgeous. (97 pts.)
  • 1989 Château La Conseillante - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass for the evening. Deep ruby, with a light brick in the glass, showing a lighter wine than its two other right bank counterparts. A perfumed nose of black cherry, red fruits, truffle, earth, cedar, florals, exotic spice blend and a nice funk that adds further complexity. On the palate, very elegant, with nicely balanced streak of acidity, giving way to tastes of tart red fruits, cherries, earth, spice and dried flowers. Almost fully integrated tannin, showing only a slight grip on the moderate plus finish. Overall very feminine, especially compared to the others in this flight, approaching the nature and character of a well constructed pinot noir. (97 pts.)
  • 1990 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass for the course of the evening. Showing a touch more brick in the glass than the 1989s. The character of the vintage shows up immediately, with riper fruit aromas of blackberries, roasted figs, licorice, smoke, gravel, dried tobacco, brine, and exhibiting more tertiary characteristics than its older brethren, with notes of decomposing leaves, leather and earth. On the palate, this is luxuriously textured, with massive amounts of glycerin, showing slightly less acid than the 1989s. The finish here shows great length, rounded out by flavours of dark fruits, red cherries, smoke, herbs, mineral and a touch of game. Another exceptional wine, but while slightly more integrated and developed, lacks the precision and purity of the 1989s. (97 pts.)
  • 1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (3/24/2012)
    The Northern Rhone Dinner (Chave, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Rostaing, Tardieu Laurent) (Patrick's House): Quickly decanted for sediment and served immediately, followed for approximately two to three hours. On the nose this showed gorgeous blue fruits, dark fruits, florals, iodine, smoke meats, spice, pepper, fresh herbs, earth, decomposing leaves and briny olive. On the palate, dark fruits, blue fruits, olive, earth, and spice. Perfectly balanced acidity, tannin and fruit concentration. This is a beast of a wine and has a very lengthy complex peacock finish, with layers upon layers of different notes on the palate. This huge wine, but not overdone and totally destroyed the 1989 that was consumed alongside it. I'd love to revisit this one in ten years. (97 pts.)
  • 1989 Château d'Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass over the next few hours. Medium, nearing deep golden colour in the glass. Gorgeous nose of honey, beeswax, spice, white florals, dried apricot, burnt sugar, lemongrass, and some light terpentine, mushroom and earth, showing a bit of age, despite overall, being quite youthful. On the palate, this really shines, very elegant and understated, while maintaining an immense richness, showing exceptional balance, and a massive finish characterized by notes of honey, botrytis, cloves, dried fruits and creme brule, that just glides across the palate with ease. A beautiful wine, and a wonderful way to set the stage for the reds. (97 pts.)
  • 2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (3/15/2012)
    Popped and poured, followed over 6 hours. Deep dark purple in the glass with huge concentration. This wine was rocking right from the first pour, bursting out of the glass with plums, cherry, red fruits, truffle, cedar, earth, chocolate with hints of undergrowth, fresh ground coffee and herbs. On palate, exceptional, rich mouthfeel, with massive, but incredibly balanced structure. Strong acidity provides an excellent counterbalance to the huge ripe fruit, and there is a ton of beautifully silky tannin. A lot of power in this wine, but it is done with such grace and elegance. I was quite shocked to see on the label that this was 15%. While you sense the richness, it never seems heavy due to the alcohol content, and I didn’t catch any heat on the nose or palate. A wonderful wine. (97 pts.)
  • 1971 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 20 minutes prior to service, deep ruby with a light brick at the rim. This was re-corked in 1998 by the Chateau, so extraction of the cork was not an issue. Inspection of the cork shows branding as expected. This wine just soars from the glass, with explosive aromas of red fruits, spice, dried herbs, cured meats, fresh cut grass, crushed rocks, olive brine, brown sugar, damp earth and mushroom. You can tell from the nose that there is a good amount of stem inclusion here. On the palate, an immense richness and depth of flavour, with tastes of red and black cherries, pomegranate, brine, minerals, spice and herbs, that round out the very lengthy finish. What a treat this was to taste – truly a once in a lifetime experience. (97 pts.)


HONOURABLE MENTIONS; RED:

1899 Château Lafite Rothschild
1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart
1900 Château Latour Grand Vin
1989 Château Montrose
1989 Château Palmer
1993 Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux
1991 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage
1989 Château Le Tertre Rôteboeuf
1995 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée
2001 Château Pavie

HONOURABLE MENTIONS; DRY WHITE, SPARKLING, SWEET:

2008 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet
1921 Château d'Yquem
1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
1998 Krug Champagne Brut
1997 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
 
Posts: 1321 | Registered: May 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by AML:
This has been an absolutely phenomenal year for wine drinking. Looking back at my tasting notes, I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to drink such wonderful wines, in the company of good friends. I was not able to stay true to the original terms of this thread, but tried to keep it close at 15 wines. I have also included an honorable mentions section, which I have limited to 10 for red, and 5 for white. As this is only my second year taking this hobby seriously, I am very excited (or horrified) to see what the future holds.

THE TOP 15:
  • 1989 Château Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed over the course of the evening. In the glass, similar in appearance to the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion served alongside it. An incredibly complex nose that takes half of me to Bordeaux, and the other half to Cote Rotie in Northern Rhone; blackberries, pure red fruits, campfire, olive brine, crushed rocks, graphite, herbs, light mint and dried tobacco. On the palate, even more rich than the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion, but a touch less glycerin and slightly more acid, with flavours of tart red fruits, blackberries, mineral, smoke and tobacco, rounding out the incredibly long finish. This wine is just so seamless, and I can't even comprehend the level of intensity in this wine, while still remaining elegant, and almost understated. To me, this is what sets this wine apart from the other wines in this flight, as well as the incredible purity of fruit here. (100 pts.)
  • 1991 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (3/24/2012)
    The Northern Rhone Dinner (Chave, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Rostaing, Tardieu Laurent) (Patrick's House): Decanted quickly for sediment, and served immediately, followed for two to three hours. Extremely powerful nose of bright red fruits, pineneedle, fresh herbs, dirty stank, mushroom, earth, decomposing leaves, smoked bacon, pepper, spice, olive, mint, leather and truffle. Incredibly complex nose. On the palate, this was seamless, showing red fruits, herbs, smoke, earth on the massive finish. Fully integrated tannin and wonderful balancing acidity. This so rounded and perfect in the mouth. I didn't think this would be able to follow up the 1990 La Chapelle, but it not only held it's own, it took the prize. I found this to be strikingly similar to the Chave earlier, but a step above in terms of balance and intensity. By the end of the night, I was ready to give this a perfect score, but upon reflection, the fact that I had to think about it means it shouldn't be. My initial hunch was 98, so I chose the middle ground. Absolutely gorgeous wine. (99 pts.)
  • 2001 Château d'Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (3/15/2012)
    Popped and poured, followed over the next 6 hours. Beautiful deep golden colour in the glass, and quite viscous. A powerful nose of honey, clove, roasted almonds, apricot, florals, beeswax, lemongrass, white peach and fresh grated ginger. Every time you stick your nose in this you get something different; constantly evolving and adding layer upon layer of complexity. With air, some tropical components came out on the nose, showing pineapple and coconut. On the palate, luxuriously textured, showing apricot, marmalade and spice. Beautiful balance with complimentary acidity, which paves the way for an extremely long finish. There is a touch of botrytis bitterness on the finish, as well as a slight greenness that I’ve never encountered in Sauternes. I was worried that this wouldn’t live up to the hype, but this truly is liquid gold. Worth every penny. (98 pts.)
  • 1971 Jacques Prieur Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru (1/28/2012)
    2nd Annual Burgundy Dinner (Dave's House): Popped and poured, followed over approximately 3 hours. This cork was quite fragile and broke in half on extraction, although we were successful in getting it out of the bottle with no chunks falling in to the wine. Heavy sediment was noted. In the glass, this was garnet in colour, with some bricking as well as some cloudiness. On the nose, big red fruits, truffle, wet leaves, forest floor, baking spice and hints of what I interpreted as coriander. On the palate, sweet red fruits, mushroom, iodine, leather and soy sauce. As the night progressed this got seemingly more youthful with more of that sweet red fruit and spice coming out. Great acidity remains in this wine, and there is a slight tannic grip on the palate. Nice long finish with great complexity of flavour and richness. Exceptional showing. In the background, Dave and Tim are bickering over the sauce for the upcoming course. (98 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed for the course of the evening. In the glass, deep garnet with mild brick. A soaring nose, that was slightly more complex than the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion, showing notes of blackberries, plums, dried fig, iodine, smoke, brine, crushed rocks, cedar, leather, dried tobacco, pyrazine, and some brettanomyces adding a nice funk that contributes to the overall complexity. This is one of those wines that you could sit there a keep picking out different scents and aromas that waft out of the glass. On the palate, again, quite lush, with an ample amount of glycerin, with flavours of dark fruits; blackberry, blackcurrant; leather, dried tobacco and mineral, paving the way to a nice long finish. As with the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion, I prefer the style of the 1989s a little more, which show more focus, are a touch less ripe, and have better purity of fruit. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (10/19/2012)
    Dinner at Crush Wine Bar (Crush Wine Bar, Toronto, ON): Popped and poured, following over the next couple hours. Deep garnet in the glass, and more transparent than the Clos des Epeneaux served along side it. A touch of brick is present at the rim. Right from the test pour, I knew this was rocking. The nose burst out of the glass with a perfume of red fruits, a touch of blackberry, campfire, black olive brine, crushed rocks, underbrush, fresh cut grass, earth, cured game and with time, developing some exotic spice notes, subtle coffee undertones and a healthy serving of that illustrious ball sweat. On the palate, this was totally seamless, showing some moderate acidity, and some very light silky tannin on the long finish framed with red fruit, mineral, olive, smoke and underbrush notes. In the mouth, this showed extreme elegance, especially next to the more brute and rustic Burgundy. I was absolutely enamoured with this wine, and could not wipe the stupid grin off my face all night. For my tastes, this is good to go now, although, I would expect this to hold on for many years. (98 pts.)
  • 1983 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 30 minutes prior to service, deep garnet in the glass. Wow…what a stunner this was. An absolutely explosive nose of black cherry, red currants, blackberries, earth, dried tobacco, undergrowth, intense florals, leather, crushed rocks and dried herbs. This is one of those wines where you can keep going back and picking out more every time you stick your nose in the glass. Not surprisingly the palate is aligned with the beauty of the nose, showing an immense richness, while still maintaining a certain level of elegance and finesse; exceptionally balanced, with lifted acidity. The finish is incredibly lengthy, lingering in the mouth with tastes of blackberry, licorice, mineral, earth and dried flowers. Still a touch of grip on the finish of some unresolved tannin. Up against some very stiff competition tonight, this wine takes the cake. Well done, Palmer. While this was very strong out of the gate, with some time in the glass, this faded substantially after the second hour. (98 pts.)
  • 1989 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed over the course of the evening. Deep garnet, bordering on purple in the glass. A fantastic nose of blackberries, licorice, smoke, cured meats, spice, gravel, light florals and cedar. On the palate, very rich dark fruits, complimented nicely by spice, a tough of pyrazine and mineral. Texturally, this is also quite rich, showing a bit of glycerin, however this is balanced by superb acidity, and results in a finish that lingers in the mouth for quite some time. Tannins are not yet fully integrated at this time, although they are quite soft and plush. An extraordinary wine now, but I'd love to revisit this in a few years as the tertiary notes come out a bit more. (98 pts.)
  • 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 20 minutes prior to service, straw colour in the glass. Exuding from the glass are some prominent ripe fruit notes of pineapple, stone fruit, as well as lemon curd, crushed rocks, florals and a light herbal note. The palate is very rich and concentrated, showing a volumptious mouthfeel, but no sense of flabbiness, with a strong streak of acid that accentuates the long citrus, tropical fruit, herb and mineral laden finish that lingers in the mouth. At 17 years of age, this is still drinking very youthfully from magnum, with plenty of life left to go. Absolutely gorgeous. (97 pts.)
  • 1989 Château La Conseillante - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass for the evening. Deep ruby, with a light brick in the glass, showing a lighter wine than its two other right bank counterparts. A perfumed nose of black cherry, red fruits, truffle, earth, cedar, florals, exotic spice blend and a nice funk that adds further complexity. On the palate, very elegant, with nicely balanced streak of acidity, giving way to tastes of tart red fruits, cherries, earth, spice and dried flowers. Almost fully integrated tannin, showing only a slight grip on the moderate plus finish. Overall very feminine, especially compared to the others in this flight, approaching the nature and character of a well constructed pinot noir. (97 pts.)
  • 1990 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass for the course of the evening. Showing a touch more brick in the glass than the 1989s. The character of the vintage shows up immediately, with riper fruit aromas of blackberries, roasted figs, licorice, smoke, gravel, dried tobacco, brine, and exhibiting more tertiary characteristics than its older brethren, with notes of decomposing leaves, leather and earth. On the palate, this is luxuriously textured, with massive amounts of glycerin, showing slightly less acid than the 1989s. The finish here shows great length, rounded out by flavours of dark fruits, red cherries, smoke, herbs, mineral and a touch of game. Another exceptional wine, but while slightly more integrated and developed, lacks the precision and purity of the 1989s. (97 pts.)
  • 1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (3/24/2012)
    The Northern Rhone Dinner (Chave, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Rostaing, Tardieu Laurent) (Patrick's House): Quickly decanted for sediment and served immediately, followed for approximately two to three hours. On the nose this showed gorgeous blue fruits, dark fruits, florals, iodine, smoke meats, spice, pepper, fresh herbs, earth, decomposing leaves and briny olive. On the palate, dark fruits, blue fruits, olive, earth, and spice. Perfectly balanced acidity, tannin and fruit concentration. This is a beast of a wine and has a very lengthy complex peacock finish, with layers upon layers of different notes on the palate. This huge wine, but not overdone and totally destroyed the 1989 that was consumed alongside it. I'd love to revisit this one in ten years. (97 pts.)
  • 1989 Château d'Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (9/15/2012)
    Tasting Group Dinner Series (1 of 6) / Andrew's 28th Birthday (Red Room, Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario): Popped and poured, followed in the glass over the next few hours. Medium, nearing deep golden colour in the glass. Gorgeous nose of honey, beeswax, spice, white florals, dried apricot, burnt sugar, lemongrass, and some light terpentine, mushroom and earth, showing a bit of age, despite overall, being quite youthful. On the palate, this really shines, very elegant and understated, while maintaining an immense richness, showing exceptional balance, and a massive finish characterized by notes of honey, botrytis, cloves, dried fruits and creme brule, that just glides across the palate with ease. A beautiful wine, and a wonderful way to set the stage for the reds. (97 pts.)
  • 2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (3/15/2012)
    Popped and poured, followed over 6 hours. Deep dark purple in the glass with huge concentration. This wine was rocking right from the first pour, bursting out of the glass with plums, cherry, red fruits, truffle, cedar, earth, chocolate with hints of undergrowth, fresh ground coffee and herbs. On palate, exceptional, rich mouthfeel, with massive, but incredibly balanced structure. Strong acidity provides an excellent counterbalance to the huge ripe fruit, and there is a ton of beautifully silky tannin. A lot of power in this wine, but it is done with such grace and elegance. I was quite shocked to see on the label that this was 15%. While you sense the richness, it never seems heavy due to the alcohol content, and I didn’t catch any heat on the nose or palate. A wonderful wine. (97 pts.)
  • 1971 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru (11/24/2012)
    Once in Lifetime...: From magnum, decanted approximately 20 minutes prior to service, deep ruby with a light brick at the rim. This was re-corked in 1998 by the Chateau, so extraction of the cork was not an issue. Inspection of the cork shows branding as expected. This wine just soars from the glass, with explosive aromas of red fruits, spice, dried herbs, cured meats, fresh cut grass, crushed rocks, olive brine, brown sugar, damp earth and mushroom. You can tell from the nose that there is a good amount of stem inclusion here. On the palate, an immense richness and depth of flavour, with tastes of red and black cherries, pomegranate, brine, minerals, spice and herbs, that round out the very lengthy finish. What a treat this was to taste – truly a once in a lifetime experience. (97 pts.)


HONOURABLE MENTIONS; RED:

1899 Château Lafite Rothschild
1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart
1900 Château Latour Grand Vin
1989 Château Montrose
1989 Château Palmer
1993 Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux
1991 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage
1989 Château Le Tertre Rôteboeuf
1995 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée
2001 Château Pavie

HONOURABLE MENTIONS; DRY WHITE, SPARKLING, SWEET:

2008 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet
1921 Château d'Yquem
1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
1998 Krug Champagne Brut
1997 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs


I'm feeling a bit lazy and given that fact that I had all of these wines as well and agree with Andrew's scores...i'm just going to defer to AML.....I like his list Cool
 
Posts: 1141 | Registered: Apr 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I suck at lists like this as I can’t remember what I have had over the last 2 months let alone a year! That said, the best wine to touch my lips this year was hands down the 1991 Guigal La Mouline. I don’t know what perfect tastes like, but this has to be close.
 
Posts: 6566 | Location: OC, CA  | Registered: Aug 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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