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Dec 25, 2008 10:26 AM

Your 2008 Wines Of The Year

I guess this message is a week premature, but unless something unforseen happens, I will not be drinking any more wines that could possibly make my list this year.

Here are my top consumed wines of '08. This is based SOLELY on my personal enjoyment of the wines and not on "how good" I think they are. (eg. I'm leaving off 1959 Lafite and La Mission and yet including a quirky $68 Barolo on my 'runners-up' list.)

1997 DRC La Tache

Runners-Up (in no particular order):

1959 Latour
2004 Comm. G. B. Burlotto Barolo Vigneto Monvigliero
1991 Leroy Clos de la Roche
2001 Armand Rousseau Chambertin
2005 Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf du Pape "Cuvee du Quet"

2005 Vincent Girardin Corton Charlemagne Quintessence

1985 Fonseca

1995 Salon

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

1959 Lafite
1959 La Mission Haut Brion
2005 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac
2005 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Croix du Bois
2004 Bussola Amarone TB Vigneto Alto
2001 La Spinetta Barolo Campe
2001 Edoardo Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

2004 Beaucastel Blanc
2004 Sighardt Donabaum Riesling Brandstatt S. Dona
2001 Domaine du Chevalier
2006 Dettori Bianco
1989 R. Lopez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia Riserva

1996 Salon
NV Raymond Boulard Blanc de Blanc

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  1. OH MY FRICKIN' GOD!!!!!!!! I have to put this in its own post as it is a response to my post. I just read my post. OH MY GOD!!!... I **LIVE** in Northern California. Whoa. This is the first time I can ever recall not even thinking twice about a CA wine to put on my list! WOW! What has happened to me?

    3 Replies
    1. re: whiner

      I can completely understand. I'm the same way. I live in SoCal, love traveling in NorCal, but to spend time going to Cal. wineries? Meh. My list is also French, but more downmarket: Just about anything from Francois Chidaine and Didier Dageauneu (RIP), the Rhone, South to North (Chateau Gigognan '05 at all price points), modest yet delicious Macon villages, and, my love, Champagne: Pierre Peters NV, Camille Savés NV, Coutier NV, Agrapart all levels, 1998 Elisabeth (Billecart-Salmon),

      Not a single domestic on the list. Shrug.

      1. re: vickib

        I haven't had the '98 Elisabeth yet but the '96 is EASILY the best rose Champagne I've ever had, and one of the best Champagnes I've had, period. Now you've got me wanting to try the '98 even more!

      2. re: whiner

        OOOPS! I just recalled *1* wine from CA that ought to be on the "honorable mentions" list -- 1978 Mount Eden Cabernet (Sant Cruz Mountains)

      3. 2000 Domaine Rapet Corton Pougets - This one I got 5 years ago, shoved immediately to the dungeons due to undrinkability. Now sublime.

        1990 Côte Rôtie by Jean Paul and Jean Luc Jamet . Rated 89 by the Guru. Tasted in a round table of winophiles, judged best CR ever.

        2007 Hospices de Beaune Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Forneret.
        Simply spectacular, quintessential Côtes de Beaune.
        Disclaimer: it's my very own first pièce, 290 bottles . WOW!

        1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Fattoria La Magia, by Fabian Schwarz.
        Very talented 25 yr old 2nd generation montalcinese from the Netherlands.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RicRios

          Don't personally love the Jamet, but I can totally see why it has a cult following. Had the '96 recently. Definitely had years to go.

        2. Wow, very nice list. Wish I had access to wines like that. My wine list for the year is decidedly more humble. I didn't drink much the first half of the year because I was pregnant, and then not much fancy stuff the second half of the year for multiple reasons (the economy, no time, most of my good stuff not yet ready to drink...)

          But here's my list. Most of these wines are under $30.
          1. 2006 Château de Coulaine Chinon Bonnaventure
          This drinks like a bottle at twice the price and is a really wonderful match with a lot of different foods, from meats to roast chicken to tomato-based dishes. Love love love Loire wines.

          2. 2006 Champalou Vouvray
          Wonderful, just wonderful stuff. Vibrant, honeyed, with just the tiniest hint of sweetness, but well-balanced by an ice-cold white streak of minerality.

          3. 1996 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
          Didn't really expect to be impressed by this since I generally prefer grower champagnes, but man oh man was this good. Wish I had enough room to cellar champagne.

          4. 1997 R. López de Heredia Rioja Rosado Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia
          The most remarkable rosé I've ever had. Creamy vanilla, orange oil and wet stone, citrus, apricots, and almonds. Very complex. Very delicious.

          5. 2007 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch!
          This isn't by any means a special occasion wine, but it's probably the one I went back to the most often this year. For barbecues, for tuesday night dinner, for a night hanging out with friends. Fruity and juicy, medium-bodied, with good acidity. Basically, your perfect every day wine.

          1. Okay, I'll try to keep the list small...

            1996 Pierre Peters "Cuvee Speciale" Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
            2000 Leclerc-Briant "Rubis de Noirs" Brut Rose
            NV A. Margaine "Traditionelle" Demi-Sec

            2002 Basserman-Jordan Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Kabinett Trocken
            1998 Darting Durkheimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner Auslese
            1996 Huet "Clos du Bourg" Vouvray Demi-Sec

            1991 Jospeh Phelps "Eisele Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon
            1964 Bersano Barolo Riserva
            1998 Domaine de la Mordoree "Cuvee de le Reine des Bois" Chateauneuf-du-Pape

            1991 Fonseca Guimaraens
            1991 Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas
            1988 Climens

            1. Can't do just one wine of the year. A top-20 list in no particular order, taking into account price.

              '00 Brovia Barolo 'Garblet Sue'
              '05 Sassicaia
              '99 Philipponnat 'Clos des Goisses'
              '04 Nicolas Joly Savennieres 'Les Clos Sacres'
              '01 Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
              '02 Baumard Quarts de Chaume (decanting for a week helps)
              '96 Salon
              '06 Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
              '94 Hanzell Chardonnay
              '04 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, Art Series
              NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
              '01 La Togata 'Azzurreta'
              '05 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage
              '01 Bonserine Cote-Rotie 'La Sarrasine'
              NV Krug 'Grande Cuvee'
              '04 Huet Vouvray Sec, 'Le Mont'
              '05 Eric Texier CDR 'Brezeme'
              '05 Rosenblum Syrah 'Kick Ranch'

              Plus these two, where the cost was zero, hence making the list...

              '89 Trimbach Riesling VT, 'Clos Ste Hune'
              '95 Krug Clos du Mesnil

              7 Replies
              1. re: mengathon

                Great list, mengathon!

                Do you have a tasting note on the '95 Clos du Mesnil? Had you ever had another vintage of it? And how didthey compare, if you had? The only vintage I've had is the '86 (out of magnum) and it is probably the best Champagne I've ever tasted.

                1. re: whiner

                  Sorry, I don't have a full tasting note on the '95 Krug Mesnil. Patching from memory, It was nothing like the NV Krug, which for me is dense, muscular, and at times, overpowering. On the other hand, it is unmistakably Krug. The Krug Mesnil was much more elegant, lighter in texture, yet stronger in primary fresh fruit aromas, and a finish that went on forever. Having had both of these wines in only one vintage and only once probably doesn't help, but it was remarkably reminiscent of the '96 Salon. It also had years and years to go. I think I prefer the '96 Salon (though no way to verify this unless one of you fine CH'ers feels like sending me a bottle of each) as my favorite blanc de blancs experience of all time, but the Krug would be in the top 5.

                  These aren't particularly useful descriptions, I know, but I can't help thinking of the following analogy:

                  NV Krug Grande Cuvee : baseball bat :: '95 Krug Mesnil : ninja sword.

                  I hope that makes sense. I'm terribly sorry it probably doesn't answer your question... =)

                  1. re: mengathon

                    Thanks, mengathon. I appreciate it.

                2. re: mengathon

                  Forgot to add the '05 La Rectorie Collioure to the list.

                  1. re: mengathon

                    Nice. I have that in my cellar, along with that Graillot I still haven't gotten around to drinking. Looks like I might have a good 2009 :)

                    I keep meaning to get some Quarts de Chaume too, but my measly 28-bottle fridge is full. It's a beautiful wine -- I still remember tasting the '02 in 2007 -- it was like drinking morning light.

                    1. re: oolah

                      2005 Loire Reds from many producers including Couly Dutheil Chinon La Baronnie Madeline and the various bottlings by Charles Joguet

                      1. re: oolah

                        Lucky you. I'm out of the Rectorie Collioure, and one bottle left of the Graillot. I'm most likely going to buy a couple of the '06 Graillot, and if they're as good as the '05, I'll probably pop open the '05 soon.

                        The Baumard Quarts de Chaume is going to last a couple of decades. I stocked quite a few. If you and I are still on this board when that puppy is ready to drink, and you can't find any of the '02 on the market at a decent price, lemme know. And since you live in NYC, a little note you might find useful. Crush on 57th street/3rd has a special on the '94 Baumard Coteaux du Layon 'Ste Catherine' at a ridiculous price. Might be worth checking out while we wait for the '02 to mature.