Random thoughts on the world of wine, presented in no particular order.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 10 of 2009

Looking through my notes for the year, the following are my favorite wines of 2009 (note: not highest scoring wines, some of these are on the list for their quality to price ratio).

  • 10: Mendoza Station Torrontes 2008. For under $6, it's a crisp, clean white from a region best-known for it's heavy reds, and it's insanely tasty. One of the very few wines that I've bought more than one bottle of this year.
  • 9: San Andrea in Colle Il Rosso 2007. One of the best inexpensive Tuscan IGT's that I've had. Period. Again, one that I bought more than one bottle of; the perfect pairing for this one is a couch and a TV! Roughly $9.
  • 8: Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico. My favorite Prosecco of the year, wonderful white peach and spice notes, surprising intensity and complexity out of a wine that most people think of as Champagne's poor cousin, showing how Prosecco can really stand on it's own. About $18.
  • 7: Pertois-Moriset Grand Cru Champagne. Breathtaking blanc de blancs, from Le Mensil Sur Orger (home of Champagne Salon, and where Krug sourcers their Chardonnay). A surprise; generally I dislike blanc de blancs, as they're so think and over-acidic, but this one has a bit more weight on the palate, and the acidity is better balanced. Hard to find (only 250 cases were imported), but a great argument for RM Champagnes. A steal at $35. As a note, they also make a vintage -- the current release is the 2000, pictured, but it's even harder to find, as only 75 cases came into the US.
  • 6: Titus Chardonnay 2007. Opulent, plush Chardonnay from Carneros. This is a Rombauer-esque wine for half the price; wonderful ripe golden delicious apples, vanilla, and buttercream. They only make about 500 cases of this a year, but if you can find one, a bottle should set you back about $20, even though it's worth more.
  • 5: Coelho Pinot Noir Paciência 2006. When I tasted this, my immediate reaction was "so, this is why people keep going on about Oregon pinot..." It was spicy, full, and absolutely, insanely tasty. Fairly small-production (Coelho makes about 2500 cases a year), and $35.
  • 4: Château Doisy-Védrines 2005. An absolutely amazing Sauternes, powerful, with spot-on characteristics of the type -- including the "gym sock" note in the nose. At just under $40, it's a pricey dessert wine, but with some blue cheese or pate, it's an amazing experience and I highly recommend it.
  • 3: Pierre Amadieu Grande Romaine Gigondas 2006. It's like mature Châteauneuf-du-Pape, at half the price. Gigondas is my favorite "hidden gem" appellation of the Rhone, offering wonderful wine with the power and depth of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but since it's not as well-known, the wines from there cost less than half. This one was $22.
  • 2: Thorne-Clarke William Randall Shiraz 2005. A monster of an Aussie shiraz, but amazingly well-balanced. Is it over-the-top, huge wine? Yep. Do I want another bottle? Yep. Expensive, at about $40, but worth it.
  • 1: Château Haut-Bages Libéral 2006. One of Wine Spectator's top 100, and I can agree with that assessment. A rich, deep, chewy wine, one with a breadth and complexity that I found amazing. Young now -- I'd say drink 2012-2020. The most expensive wine on the list, at $45, and worth every penny.
What would your top 10 of 2009 be?

Image from Austin Keys, used under Creative Commons Sharealike 2.0.


  1. Nice wine write up!
    Just a fellow wine lover.....

  2. Always love your taste in wine! Doesn't hurt that you really know your stuff!