WS 2012 Top 10

Now that WS has started with the "Countdown " on the website, it's time to start with the speculation. I'll start with two or three wines.

If you search the database for wines rated in 2012, and filter for those wines that rated 96 or higher, with at least 5,000 cases, and cost less than $90 a bottle, you find that only two wines meet the criteria: 2009 Guirard 96 points at $60 and 11,000 cases, and Vieux Donjon 96 points at $66 with 8,000 cases. That's not to say wines at a higher cost or less production won't beat them out, but those other high scoring wines don't have the "availability and value" if they cost more and/or have smaller production.

As a longshot for the Top 10, but one with a good "X" factor, is the 2010 Evening Land Pinot La Source, $60, 95 points. However, it's production of only 971 cases works against it. Again using the database filters for ALL 2009 and 2010 Oregon pinots, you'll see WS rated 461 wines, and only three of those had a rating of 95 points, with none higher.

Other guesses?????
Original Post
CA Pinot and Syrah the last 2 years, a modestly-priced WA the year before that as a kindness to the proles. And the year before that, something from Chile?

So we now have on the market 2 vintages of the century from Bordeaux and all the news is about the Asian market and how they're building replicas of French Chateaux in China, etc.

I'm thinking WOTY is going to be a Bordeaux. Other than that, Tom did a great report on Rioja recently and I'd expect to see something from there on the list too.
The 2009 Beringer Knights Valley Cab Reserve (94) is a good top 15 candidate.

The 2010 St. Cosme Gigondas should make the list (95) at $41. Or something from them as it looks like they killed it this vintage.

I would expect the list will be seasoned with 2009 Bordeaux too.
quote:
Originally posted by Swade:
The 2009 Beringer Knights Valley Cab Reserve (94) is a good top 15 candidate.

The 2010 St. Cosme Gigondas should make the list (95) at $41. Or something from them as it looks like they killed it this vintage.

I would expect the list will be seasoned with 2009 Bordeaux too.


The 2009 Knights Valley regular bottling got 91 pts so that might make as well as it's under $20 at costco.
quote:
Originally posted by Swade:
The 2009 Beringer Knights Valley Cab Reserve (94) is a good top 15 candidate.

The 2010 St. Cosme Gigondas should make the list (95) at $41. Or something from them as it looks like they killed it this vintage.

I would expect the list will be seasoned with 2009 Bordeaux too.


Haven't taken delivery yet but I was able to order 4 of that St. Cosme for $28.95 each.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
here's hoping a pinot hits #1


Yeah.... I hope the top 100 is chock full of California Pinot Noir and Shiraz. As long as nothing I'm interested in buying is in the top 20, I'm good.

PH


Good odds that the Calera Central Coast 2010 93pts and under $25 may be in the top 20. I take it you don't like their single vineyards. Razz
Good call on the Calera, Merenge. That's a good bet.

2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Cab Sauv (you may recall it's 2005 older brother was WOTY) received a 93. Mixed reviews from others. I'll be interested to see if it is in the mix. Well, maybe not interested..., but if it makes the list HS must have stood behind it.
I used to wait with baited breath for the Top 100 and try to predict and see what I had purchased. Then it became a bit of a joke, and to be perfectly honest, I don't give a rats a$$ anymore and I don't chase. I think I've learned to trust my own palate (and those of board members) and don't fall prey to the marketing and hyperbole of the media.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I used to wait with baited breath for the Top 100 and try to predict and see what I had purchased. Then it became a bit of a joke, and to be perfectly honest, I don't give a rats a$$ anymore and I don't chase. I think I've learned to trust my own palate (and those of board members) and don't fall prey to the marketing and hyperbole of the media.


+ 1
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I used to wait with baited breath for the Top 100 and try to predict and see what I had purchased. Then it became a bit of a joke, and to be perfectly honest, I don't give a rats a$$ anymore and I don't chase. I think I've learned to trust my own palate (and those of board members) and don't fall prey to the marketing and hyperbole of the media.

I'm not sure anyone is going to rush out to buy the wines, whatever they are. I mean, they're already on the market for the most part and if anyone's interested, they could just buy them today. It's not like an appearance on the list should make the wine more desirable suddenly. I think people are just speculating on the thinking that goes into the list. That said, I don't see a CA Pinot on top again, although given the love, I'm sure there will be one in the top 10.
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
I'm not sure anyone is going to rush out to buy the wines.....It's not like an appearance on the list should make the wine more desirable suddenly.....


Being on a list shouldn't make a wine more desireable, unless you're a point/award/medal chaser. That said, purchases and pricing are definitely affected by this list, particularly the top 10.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
I'm not sure anyone is going to rush out to buy the wines.....It's not like an appearance on the list should make the wine more desirable suddenly.....


Being on a list shouldn't make a wine more desireable, unless you're a point/award/medal chaser. That said, purchases and pricing are definitely affected by this list, particularly the top 10.

PH


exactly!

/me strokes the WS #1 1984 Caymus SS, my precious
I bought a handful of the 2001 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova BdM from Premier Cru a few weeks before the list came out that year when putting together a couple mixed cases of this vintage. Paid $40 apiece. The price subsequently spiked to around $250 or so within a few weeks. Avg. Cellartracker cost: $133. Average WineSearcher list: $218. LOL

PH
For the last 5 years every WOTY was $80 or less, 95+ pts, and 950+ cases (but typically around 5,000). Running that screen (with 1000+ cases) for wines tasted blind this year we have 18 wines. Interestingly 5 are CdP's, and as the last French WOTY was 2007, they may go that route. However, not a single 2009 Bordeaux made that list of 18. The simple reason is that you can't buy a 95-pt Bordeaux for less than $95 (WS retail, for what it's worth anyway). I am sure some 2009 Bordeaux will make the top 100, but I doubt we'll see one at #1.
Maybe some would consider it point chasing, but the list can be a good way (like reading WS ratings, blog entries, etc) on picking up on new wines you might have otherwise overlooked.

Also, it can be a good way to expose friends to better wines if they like wine but don't actively pursue it as a hobby. Every year I give wine as Christmas gifts to a select group of friends and look for quality, good QPR wines, and a couple of years ago was able to tell them the Seghesio Zin in the box was among Spectator's top 10 wines of the year. It made it a little more interesting to them, and a couple of them actively sought it out at their local shops.

So while I don't go hunting down a wine just because it's on the list, that doesn't mean the list doesn't have it's uses.
quote:
Originally posted by Winesteven:
So your thoughts on my pick of the 2010 Le Vieux Donjon, at 96 points, $66, and 8,000 cases?


I'd say it's a great bet to crack the top 20, but probably not #1.

Comparing the highest rated wine in the screen (with 5000+ cases) for the past 5 years to where it actually ranked we see:
2011 Top 100 - 2006 Campogiovanni Brunello - #4
2010 Top 100 - 2007 Dow Vintage Port - #14
2009 Top 100 - 2006 Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio - #5
2008 Top 100 - 2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes - #4
2007 Top 100 - 2005 Clos Des Papes CdP - #1

So only in 2007 did the highest rated wine which fit the screen actually take WOTY honors.

No real value in this analysis except that if you really like any of those 18 producers I'd buy the wine now as opposed to waiting for a possible price spike in a few weeks... because the only certainty with a WOTY is that the price will increase drastically. Drink what you love!
As far as individual wines, I have no clue. I haven’t read the tasting note section in the back of WS in years so I don’t know what wines scored well. That said, I would think 09 Bordeaux, 09-10 Rhone and 09-10 Burgundy should do well since the vintages were well liked. Ditto for 06 riserva in Brunello and 06-07 for piedmont. Not sure about CA-WA as I don’t pay much attention to the vintage ratings there.
quote:
Originally posted by RedLoverJim:
Maybe some would consider it point chasing, but the list can be a good way (like reading WS ratings, blog entries, etc) on picking up on new wines you might have otherwise overlooked.

Also, it can be a good way to expose friends to better wines if they like wine but don't actively pursue it as a hobby. Every year I give wine as Christmas gifts to a select group of friends and look for quality, good QPR wines, and a couple of years ago was able to tell them the Seghesio Zin in the box was among Spectator's top 10 wines of the year. It made it a little more interesting to them, and a couple of them actively sought it out at their local shops.

So while I don't go hunting down a wine just because it's on the list, that doesn't mean the list doesn't have it's uses.
It’s a very good point and one we discuss every year on this thread. Getting the average joe to put down the yellow tail and start drinking more fine wine is a good thing and I think this list helps do that to some degree. I also think the list is cheapened a little when something like Columbia Crest is rated number 1. Nothing against CC, but was that really the most exciting wine of the year?
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
I also think the list is cheapened a little when something like Columbia Crest is rated number 1. Nothing against CC, but was that really the most exciting wine of the year?


If you work for Columbia Crest, then I bet it was! Smile
2009 Clos de Oratoire from St. Emillion at 94 for $40 would be a good bet. They have been focusing on value and accessibility.

2008 Conterno Fantino at 95 for $96 might be a good sentimental pick to make the top 100 because the patriarch passed away this year. They have a history of sentimental picks and for wineries that are celebrating big anniversaries. That might help Calera above too since their release is an annniversary (35th) release wine.

I don't buy based upon the List, but sometimes it does heighten my awareness of some wineries and make me do some research, which is fun. It's fun to speculate when the stakes are so low.
quote:
I also think the list is cheapened a little when something like Columbia Crest is rated number 1. Nothing against CC, but was that really the most exciting wine of the year?


+1 - and I would add the 2011 Kosta Browne WOTY selection as another "yawn" example. We continue to purchase Kosta Browne since my wife likes the wine. However, in my opinion the wine is certainly not the most exciting wine of the year for a serious wine consumer.
Thanks for your comments, and your guesses. We are always interested in seeing others' thoughts about their most exciting wines of the year. That's ultimately the goal of our Top 100 list -- to stimulate conversation about the year just past, and which wines really got people excited. RedLoverJim hit the nail on the head.
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by RedLoverJim:
Maybe some would consider it point chasing, but the list can be a good way (like reading WS ratings, blog entries, etc) on picking up on new wines you might have otherwise overlooked.

Also, it can be a good way to expose friends to better wines if they like wine but don't actively pursue it as a hobby. Every year I give wine as Christmas gifts to a select group of friends and look for quality, good QPR wines, and a couple of years ago was able to tell them the Seghesio Zin in the box was among Spectator's top 10 wines of the year. It made it a little more interesting to them, and a couple of them actively sought it out at their local shops.

So while I don't go hunting down a wine just because it's on the list, that doesn't mean the list doesn't have it's uses.
It’s a very good point and one we discuss every year on this thread. Getting the average joe to put down the yellow tail and start drinking more fine wine is a good thing and I think this list helps do that to some degree. I also think the list is cheapened a little when something like Columbia Crest is rated number 1. Nothing against CC, but was that really the most exciting wine of the year?


I understand your statement about CC being #1 being a let down and am trying figure out my opinion on the matter. I think it is pretty exciting that a producer that makes 100000s of cases a year can produce a world-class, affordable wine. I am on the Kosta Browne waiting list and I work with the distributor at my restaurant and can't get any of it in an shape or form so what good is it? It doesn't make it any worse of a wine but it sucks a little. Its like when I read about a wine in WS insider that was 98 points but imported 1 case. ONE case. It might as well of been an unicorn cause there is no chance of that making its way to Michigan, that's for sure. I guess what I am getting at is that accessibility and QPR are pretty exciting sometimes.
quote:
Originally posted by GoBlue2002:
For the last 5 years every WOTY was $80 or less, 95+ pts, and 950+ cases (but typically around 5,000). Running that screen (with 1000+ cases) for wines tasted blind this year we have 18 wines. Interestingly 5 are CdP's, and as the last French WOTY was 2007, they may go that route. However, not a single 2009 Bordeaux made that list of 18. The simple reason is that you can't buy a 95-pt Bordeaux for less than $95 (WS retail, for what it's worth anyway). I am sure some 2009 Bordeaux will make the top 100, but I doubt we'll see one at #1.


An interesting wine this year is a WA merlot, Pedestal Merlot Columbia Valley, 95 pts, 1994 cases, $55 per btl. If you search all Merlots-all prices, all years since WS kept ratings, receiving a 95 or better, you'll find only five. One received top honors(Paloma 2001) in 2003 top 100. Two others are basically blends and before that, you go back to 1992 for Leonetti.
Could crack the top 3.
I still can't believe the 2003 Leoville Barton didn't get WOTY a few years back. Protesting the list ever since!! jk...

Have no idea who's going to win but maybe a Bordeaux? Another vintage of the lifetime! Are Australian wine sales lacking? Maybe WS can name an Australian wine as WOTY to give them a boost.
Glenn - that CC wasn't the regular bottling was it? It was the Reserve. And that wasn't really a bad choice. They've never said that the WOTY has to be the very best wine they had all year; there are other factors. And the idea that CC consistently turns out good and sometimes really good wines at reasonable prices - that's not all that bad. The Guigal CdP was also WOTY once and that's basically a negociant wine. So the CC is quite defensible IMO. Setting aside of course, the entire idea of a wine of the year!
Bump.

I tend to think 2009 Bordeaux for number one. It's usually got to have at least a 95 score to get the one spot. The other factor with process is I bet there is some horse trading by the editors and Molesworth already has about four wines he covers in the top 9. Bordeaux is really due though and there would be a lot of candidates. Canon la Gaff or Smith Haut Lafitte.

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