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Jan 23, 2014 10:12 AM

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 ?

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  1. 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.

    1. Without racking my brain, Liquid Farm Four Chard is definitely a contender as was the Scherrer Sonoma Coast pinot

      1. 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)

        1. 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.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bclevy

            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.

          2. 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 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!