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In response to Purple's post...I'll start this thread.  No need for a bottle of wine if I were to win (doubtful).  I do think and agree we should talk a bit more about wine and leave the politics aside for the most part, as nothing posted here is changing anyone's position.  Here Goes:

(1). Luc Morlet: From Peter Michael to his own winery now...I just love the way he makes wine.  Powerful but not obnoxious...the fruit shines through and has great complexity.  And he can do it all...from Chard to Desert wine.  And he does Cab Franc very well.

(2). Thomas Rivers Brown: Schrader and almost everything else he touches.  Seems to hit my palate just right.  Not manipulated or overly ripe (pruney...hate that)

(3). Philippe Melka.  Hard to follow what he is making in Napa anymore...but he has made some stunning wines.  The 05 Matisse was just fantastic.

There are many more...but the thread was top three.

Cheers.

  

 

Original Post

For me, it breaks down as follows:

Domestic - Cathy Corison of Corison. Her style is  the Napa style that appeals to my palette  

Italian - Roberto Moretti of Querce Bettina.  The freshness he can coax from Sangiovese is different than most in Montalcino 

French - Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages (although he has turned over the reigns to his son Jean-Charles). I have loved this wine from the 1989 vintage. 

This is a difficult question to answer because, unlike in CA, all of my favorite wineries do not really share winemakers.  So then the question is largely about how much you want to count "uphill battle".  Eg.  There is no question that Denis Bachelet is my favorite producer of the wines he makes -- and one of my two favorite Burgundy producers not known for using a high percentage of stems.  But, even though I'd take one of his Charmes over any other Charmes (by a lot) that doesn't mean I would necessarily take it over a Dujac Clos St Denis (probably qualitatively similar, imo) and certainly wouldn't over a La Tache.

 

But, in the "doing more with less" vantage, I will say Denis Bachelet is one.

 

In terms of being a "little guy" capable of taking on (and often surpassing) legends, Anselme Selosse.

 

In terms of nailing how the terroir should be presented, Jean-Paul Jamet is first to mind.  Differently, Giacomo Conterno (RIP) and Fabio Alessandria should also be recognized here.

It's an interesting question.  I guess the only way I could consider answering it would be based on which wineries I tend to buy and consume the most of.  If that were the case, my top 3 would be:

1) Morgan Twain-Peterson at Bedrock would be the runaway winner. I drink everything he makes for the most part, but his syrahs are my go-to bottles

2) Thomas Rivers Brown at many places, but for me it would be his work with his label Rivers-Marie, specifically cabs and chardonnay

3) Mercedes Lopez de Heredia at her family's winery, though I had to look that one up.  

Andy Erickson at Favia would probably right there with LDH, but I stopped buying their wines just due to the fact that the prices crept up pretty high over the past few years, but I love everything that he makes at Favia, especially his stuff from the Amador County area.  

@longboarder posted:

For me, it breaks down as follows:

Domestic - Cathy Corison of Corison. Her style is  the Napa style that appeals to my palette  

Italian - Roberto Moretti of Querce Bettina.  The freshness he can coax from Sangiovese is different than most in Montalcino 

French - Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages (although he has turned over the reigns to his son Jean-Charles). I have loved this wine from the 1989 vintage. 

All three are simply outstanding indeed.

Not sure who is making Raveneau since Francois died in 2000 (?) but their wines always hit my palate well. Anselme Selosse certainly belongs in the conversation. 

I feel the same way as Sunnylea - two are obvious choices for me, the third is tough.

Klaus Peter Keller - I've never had a disappointing Keller wine, and the best ones I've had are the very best white wines I've ever come across. 

Andrea Costanti - produced my epiphany wine, and continues to make wonderful, classical and age-worthy Brunello in every vintage. 

Third place would be a tight competition between the winemakers at Elio Grasso, Lopez de Heredia, and several Bordeaux winemakers (Montrose, GPL, Rauzan Segla...).  

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