My#1 Wine of the Year-A Napa Cab!
My#1 Wine of the Year 2010 (from all the wines I have tasted this year) I have never chosen a wine to take that honor and had no intention of doing so until just a few hours ago, when one of the most gorgeous and delicious Napa Cabernets crossed my desk and entered into my glass. I swirled and the color was, as predicted, dark and ruby, no big deal, I had expected this. Then I sniffed and Wow! Did this stuff smell so good! Correction, this cab smells incredibly good. Pure and fine with notes of ripe cherries, cassis and so on and so! On the palate, it simply didn't lay there, it electrified the palate with the same kind of "particles" that helped "my" or "our" San Francisco Giants win the World Series! So I thought to myself, can I really do this?
In 2010, I had tasted in the neighborhood of 8,000 wines (a few thousand wines did not make my spreadsheet, and may be under some mattress in Argentina, Chile or France). They could even be hidden under the Willie Mays statue at AT&T Park in San Francisco. In my travels to wine regions near and far, I have tasted so many excellent wines, so how could I simply give one wine this stand alone place in the annuals of my tasting notes? Because.
The '07 Sequoia Grove Cabernet is the wine that made me stop in my tracks and shout in the BevMo! Corporate Headquarters. A little voice in my brain (fueled by the desire from my palate) to talk about this miracle wine. After tasting close to 300 ultra-premium American Cabernets in the last two months, this the cab that finally pushed the magic button and separated itself from the crowd. No it doesn't dazzle one with extract or heavy oak, it simply stayed true-to-form. Isn't it about time that a well balanced, elegant, not over-the-top cab make it to the top of the mountain. At $39.99 (ClubBev $34.99), this wine is more than simply an incredible Christmas gift, it is a treat for the serious wine lover and the cellar below. I fully expect this wine to grow into a magnificent wine with a half-a-dozen years in the cellar. But for those of you who must, the wine tastes pretty fine now. You've got to add this to your cart or come into BevMo! and bring this puppy home! It is already trained to please the palate!
Wilfred's Top Ten Holiday Picks 2010
Here we are, already in December and What is the burning question for those who love wine? Holiday picks for both the dinner table and for gifts, perhaps? With so much wine in the marketplace, how does one decide? In a year, in which I tasted somewhere between 6,000 to 8,000 wines (forgive me for the wide range, I still have notes from January that are scribbled on tally sheets that I have yet to input into my comprehensive spreadsheet), but I know where to find the notes when I need them. Over the year, I tasted wines under a wide variety of situations from vendor presentations to blind tastings up to 200 wines in a day. Just this year, I subjected my team to an eight-hour, 174 wine, blind tasting of ultra-premium Cabernets. Needless to say, they weren't happy about the duration of the event, not to mention their purple-stained teeth. So back to the subject at hand: What to buy for the holidays? I have drawn from my notes and have selected my TOP TEN HOLIDAY PICKS 2010. These wines drawn from thousands of wines are my hands down best of the season.
#1 Wine: 2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon- Superb ripe fruit flavors, exquisite balance and nicely textured on the palate (94 points). #2 Wine: 2002 Joseph Perrier Cuvee Josephine Champagne- Gifted, well balanced, creamy with lots of ripe apples (98 points). #3 Wine: 2008 Gypsy Boots Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir- Incredible purity, abundant, red fruit flavors; incredible finish. (97 points). #4 Wine: 2009 Main & Geary Petite Sirah- Wow, pure grapey flavors, fantastic textures; ultra long finish (93 points). #5 Wine: 2007 Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay- Fine balance; enticing core fruit and minerality; seductive yet crisp (92 points). #6 Wine: 2008 Chateau de Brandey- my favorite Bordeaux value of the year; loaded with ripe red fruit; 100% Merlot, no oak at all (92 points). #7 Wine: 2008 Stuhlmuller Vineyards Chardonnay- Scored big in our blind tasting of 74 wines; bright, white fruit flavors; energetic finish (91 points). #8 Wine: 2009 Trailhead Sauvignon Blanc- Beautiful, melon and citrus flavors; long finish (91 points). #9 Wine: 2007 Grandes Serres Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cour des Papes: Way good; great vintage in the Rhone Valley; loaded with ripe fruit flavors (92 points). #10 Wine: 2008 Chateau Le Tetre Roteboeuf Saint-Emilion- Francois Mitjavile is a genus, very pure red fruit with minerals, long and delicious.
So there you have it, this list of 10 wines represent my best to you. While this kind of thing (picking the Top Ten Holiday Picks is often a beauty contest, this is one contest that is really a thing of beauty. Happy Holidays, see you in 2011, Wilfred