Best New Wine of 2013
Here is a silly one. What was your favorite wine you consumed in 2013 for the first time.
Easy for me and the reason for the thread, it was La Doriane, a Chateau Grillet wannabe that blew away the original. Certainly the finest bottle of Condrieu l have ever had, and one of best dry whites ever as well. Guigal rocks with this one.
What was yours ?
Not a "new" wine per se, and not the most expensive.... but the 1995 Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires was about the most mind-blowing vino for me in 2013.
An 18-y.o. champagne just hitting it's stride, a great expression of chardonnay and as close to a "definitive" French B de B as I've ever had.
2006 Alban Vineyards Syrah Lorraine - USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (12/22/2013)
Mini Offline at Mike's featuring Alban; 12/21/2013-12/22/2013 (Minneapolis, MN): Top five wine of the year and gives new meaning to the phrase LONG FINISH. Consumed 2 glasses over the course of 3 hours. Bacon, blackberries, charcoal, glycerin and exotic spices. Up front heat was a bit of an issue but blew off. This is a big time wine and one that will evolve for a decade or more. This would compare nicely against any of the Big Aussie wines we drank back in November. Outstanding! (97 points)
1990 Château Troplong Mondot - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (4/27/2013)
Right Bank Bordeaux Tasting; 4/27/2013-5/5/2013 (Kevin's House (Minneapolis)): Decant 3 hours. Intense aromas and flavors. Cherry, blueberries, cigar, coffee, menthol and roasted beef. Complex and concentrated wine. Finish goes on for over a minute and the wine is balanced. Could go another decade! Top notch. (96 points)
2005 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spätlese ** - Germany, Nahe (2/23/2013)
Nice sweetness and more like an Auslese wine. Dark gold. Minerals, golden delicious apples, pinneapple and peaches. Nice acid to complement the sweet. Medium to long finish. Will age for a decade and a wonderful effort! 94 plus (94 points)
Perhaps not the best, but my 3 most interesting
new wine varietals/appelations were Chignin-Bergeron
(I had 100% CA Roussane before , but was not even
aware that it could be found in France), white Jongieux
(from Jacquere grape), and red Mondeuse. Of the 3,
I liked best the first two.
I think these are the ones I tasted from Kermit Lynch the other day. Those Savoiard wines were both fascinating and wonderful. I have enjoyed other Jacqueres from Savoy in the past but these took the grape to new highs. The Mondeuse was the real eye opener. Complex, balanced and just plain wonderful. It takes Mondeuse to a whole new level.
Since I tasted them this year they technically don't qualify for this thread.
I'm not sure it was the best, but the most unexpected pleasure came from the 2009 Niepoort "Projectos" Pinot Noir, Vinho Regional Duriense, which I tried side-by-side with the 2006.
A quick bit of background: I don't know how much was produced of the 2006 vintage; I know that only three cases came into the United States, and I was able to acquire two bottles. The first I opened with some friends in the wine trade back in 2011, and the wine was very high in acidity, closed, and very tight. In other words, no one really liked it, and I was disappointed because it showed much better than that when I first tried it. (See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6947... for my initial impression of this wine.) So I put the second one in the cellar and waited . . .
When my wife and I had lunch at Niepoort's Quinta de Nápoles, we were talking to Dirk's then-winemaker Luis Seabra about the 2006 Pinot, and -- when we left -- he gave me a bottle of the 2009 to try along side it.
Some 145 cases were produced in 2009, but I don't know if it was ever available in the US or, if it was, how many came cases were imported. I've never seen it. That said, the winery says this was the second bottling of Pinot Noir, so I am presuming none was made in 2007 or 2008.
The 2006 showed beautifully this time -- gone was the nearly-piercing high acidity and sharpness present when I opened the first bottle. In its place was a wine that reminded me very much of the 1968 or 1976 Beaulieu Carneros Pinot Noirs -- definitely Pinot Noir, but definitely *not* French; fuller, rounder, and more "clumsy" while still being enjoyable and tasty. (By "clumsy," think of a very young, very large puppy with gigantic feet -- she trips, she stumbles, she's a bit ungainly, but she's very adorable and you love her.) The wine was mature, very flavorful, with a long, full finish.
The 2009 was more Burgundian, or perhaps Oregonian, in character. Much more elegant, an enticing perfumed bouquet, and decidedly lighter on the palate, but possessing the elegance and finesse lacking in the 2006 -- think Savigny-les-Beaune, for example, or Benton Lane. This was a charming, flavorful wine that paired beautifully with the entrée of stuffed quail and haricot vert.
Actually, both wines were delicious, but the 2009 was far more stylish, complex, impressive and definitely won the Thunderbird Corollary!
My eye opener from 2013 was the 2009 Jean Foillard Morgon 3.14. I have long enjoyed cru Beaujolais but this one takes it to a new level. A true vin-de-garde that will take a good ten year to peak.
My favorite was the 2001 Vietti Barolo Villero Riserva. Still young but monumental.
Well, to be fair, I never tried Gangloff's "Cuvée Elliot Ness"!¹
But you have to remember that I grew up in the wine trade in Southern California -- my uncle having a "wine shop," in the 1950s through the mid-1980s, when most other people had "liquor stores." As I've mentioned in the past, I started tasting and learning about wines in 1963 at the age of 10; started receiving paychecks at 16; and by 18, I was going to wineries in Napa and Sonoma to buy wine for his six stores.
As far as Gangloff is concerned, I visited him in January 1997 to taste out of barrel (and tank) when I went there with his then-importer, Fran Kysela, M.S.. I was then the Sales Manager of the California wholesaler that represented the wines of Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd.
¹ This was a rather "notorious" wine that was never released publicly, but got reviewed by Parker. Gangloff made a small amount of late harvest Condrieu and tasted Parker on it (he gave it a 96 or a 98; I forget exactly), but in his limited English, Yves tried to explain to Parker that it was "unavailable," but couldn't think of the right word. He said to Parker that the wine was . . . "you know, like Elliot Ness . . . it is untouchable." The result? Parker wrote the review and called it "Cuvée Elliot Ness." Or at least that's what Yves told me. ;^)
Nice stuff coming out of Spain.
In order of acquisition (2013):
2000 Costers del Segre, Castell del Remei Gotim Bru
(Parker:"There is only one word for a wine such as Castell dei Remei's 2000 Gotim Bru ... awesome!") Purchased @ $10/btl...
1994 Ribera Del Duero Pesquera Gran Reserva
2005 Rioja Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva
2007 Ribeiro Rodriguez Vazquez, Luis A.Viña de Martin Os Pasás