Friday, December 18, 2009

2009: Top Ten Wines Over $50

Welcome to my third, and last, Top Ten Wine List. I have already posted my Top Ten Wines Under $15 and Top Ten Wines Over $15. It is now time for my Top Ten Wines Over $50.

Like the prior lists, it includes wines that during the past year I have both enjoyed very much and which I found to be particularly compelling for various reasons. They stand out for some particular reason above the other wines I tasted this past year. Each wine on this list is linked to my more detailed prior review.

The wines are not listed in any particular order and all are definitely worth your consideration. These are not every day wines, but those worth a splurge, those for special celebrations. These are intriguing wines for wine lovers who want to amaze their palates. Please note that the actual price of the wine may vary in your area.

1. 2006 Margalit Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Israel ($90)
An exquisite and hedonistic wine which also shows that Israel can make wines comparable to high-end Bordeaux.

2. 2005 Albino Armani Casetta Vallagarina "Foja Tonda", Italy ($56)
Made from the rare Casetta grape, this reminded me of a fine Burgundian Pinot Noir.

3. 2005 Col Solare, Washington ($59.99)
An amazing Cabernet which is more French than California in style. Silk smooth with lots of complexity.

4. 1964 Gonzalez Byass Vintage Oloroso Sherry, Spain ($95)
A rare vintage sherry, it was mellow and smooth with an intriguing blend of delicious flavors with a finish I never wanted to end.

5. 2005 Vodopivec Vitovska Classica, Italy ($64.99)
Made from a grape new to me, Vitovska, and made in an amphora, this white wine is fascinating and a wine geek's dream.

6. Boyden Valley Vermont Ice Red, Vermont ($65)
Made from Frontenac, a hybrid grape, this is an exceptional ice wine, one of the best I have tasted in a long time.

7. 1985 Antonio Cerri Boca DOC, Italy ($58)
A rare Nebbiolo wine from a tiny region of Italy, which still has plenty of life and is reminescent of a fine Burgundy.

8. 2003 Massa Vecchia Querciola, Italy ($67)
An organic Tuscan wine, a Sangiovese blend, with a sublime taste, which evolves over time.

9. Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition, France ($53.99)
A Grower's Champagne that is predominantly Pinot Meunier, giving it a more exotic taste.

10. 2003 Sean Thackrey Andromeda, California ($80)
From one of my favorite wine makers, this is not your typical Pinot Noir, a reflection of the eccentric genius of the wine maker.

Once again, Italy dominates with four wines on this list. I don't think there is any particular reason for this except that Italy is producing many fascinating, quality wines. There are three U.S. wines yet only one is from California, and it is not your typical California wine. The other two include a local wine, from Vermont, and one from Washington.

Like my Over $15 List, this list is diverse, with Sparkling Wine, White, Red, Sherry and Dessert Wines. There are intriguing wines being produced in all varieties and styles.

If you have some of your own recommendations, please add them to the comments.


The Wine Whore said...

I like how I've never had any of the items on your list! You should seriously put your lists and reviews together into a PDF... it would help me search for new selections while shopping! :)

Richard Auffrey said...

Well, maybe we will work on that.

The Wine Whore said...

Sweet! :)