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What were your 'discovery wines' of 2009?

2009 was a banner year wine year for me in terms of wine discoveries. I found lots of amazing new stuff that I had never tried before -- even after 16 years of being passionate about wine.

So I thought I'd share a couple, and meanwhile ask that you guys do the same...what were your newfound loves of 2009 that you had not 'discovered' before?

Here are a few to get things started:

Whites -- Picpoul de Pinet (Southern France) and Albarino (Spain).

Reds -- old vine, artisinal Montepulciano (Italy); Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley.

How about you?

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  1. At Airlie Winery up in Monmouth OR this past summer:
    http://www.airliewinery.com/

    White: Müller Thurgau
    Red: Maréchal Foch

    White: Txakoli (failed to make notes)

    1. I met Lillian and will never be the same.

      6 Replies
      1. re: duck833

        as in the Oregon syrah? What does it taste like?

        1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

          I am a Pinot Head. But I had to try this Lillian made by Maggie Harrison of Antica Terra. She trucks the fruit up from Santa Barbara in refer trucks and makes a very limited Lillian Syrah. She just released the 06 to her list and it is sold out now.

          Nice fruit, balanced syrah with light tannins, long finish. On CT it has received ratings from 93-98. I would give it a rating close to the top CT rating.

          Looking forward to more great things from Maggie!

          1. re: duck833

            I can't say enough great things about Maggie...not only does she make great wine, but we grew up in the same town back in Illinois. Her Lillian is incredible, and like a baby Sine Qua Non. I'm down to my last 2 mags of the '04, but it sure is drinking nice right now. Haven't tapped into the '05's or '06's yet though. Definitely on my must buy list though, as well as Antica Terra. Great wine made by a great diva! Love it! -mJ

            1. re: duck833

              yeah but what's that Antica Terra going for?

              1. re: ibstatguy

                Antica Terra is between $40-$45, and I have seen it for as low as $32. At $32 it is an absolute steal, and even in the $40 range I am still a buyer. I buy direct from the winery, and also pick some up locally.

                Over Christmas, I visited family in Chicago, and I didn't want to check a bag on the plane, so I ended up sourcing from Grand Cru in Arlington Heights. Needless to say, Craig had the '07 Antica Terra in stock, as well as the '06 Lillian. I picked up 2 Antica Terra for Christmas Eve, as well as one for the 27th. Needless to say, it is drinking surprisingly well right now. I was shocked at how well it was drinking. On Christmas Eve I decanted for a few hours at cellar temp in my parents cellar, and I actually found the popped and poured bottle to drink better on the 27th. Very odd. Notes are up on our blog.

                Also popped an '06 Lillian on the 27th, and this wine needs some time, but it opened up very nicely after 2 hours. It is a dark, inky wine which is exactly what I was expecting. Notes on the blog for this as well.

                Also had 3 of both wines shipped home, and they should be here later this week, and I look forward to hiding them in the cellar and revisiting them in a few years. Time will tell, but I think they'll be winners! We'll see! Cheers! -mJ

                1. re: njfoodies

                  thx - for some reason I thought it was much higher

        2. Pecorino - Le Marche

          Sangiovese - I never liked the grape much, until I tasted them at the hands of Fontodi's Flaccianello, Biondi-Sandi's Brunello, and Isole e Olena's Cepparello. I still think these are very notable exceptions to generally overpriced Tuscan wines.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mengathon

            First encountered Pecorino a year or two ago but just discovered the 2008 Pecorino "Villa Angela" (Offida DOC) from Velenosi. A gorgeous, bracing wine and a great buy at C$15.95. www.velenosivini.com/eng/profilo.asp?...

            1. I fell in love with the wines of Paolo Bea.

              1. Biondi Santi is, of course, the very original Brunello. Alas, I haven't had the pleasure

                I have a bottle of Paolo Bea's Sagrantino as well as a 375 ml. bottle of his passito. Have had since my last visit to Montefalco five years or so ago. Still waiting for the correct occasion.

                But my "find" for this year: Went to a tasting a couple of months ago and tried some "Paso e Paso" from Spain and was truly impressed. Asked the pourer the price and it was $5.65! Bought all 3 cases they had. Unbelievable stuff.