Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009: Top Ten Wines Over $15

Welcome to my second Top Ten Wine List. Yesterday, I posted my Top Ten Wines Under $15 and now it is time for my Top Ten Wines Over $15. Like the prior list, 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 might be more unique wines or just excellent values for the price. 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. Though I have tasted some exceptional wines during the past year that cost over $50, I did not want to include them here. I wanted this list to be more user friendly, to provide some less expensive options that would appeal to a greater audience. Please note that the actual price of the wine may vary in your area.

1. NV Cascina Chicco Arcass, Italy (about $45)
A unique dessert wine, made in the passito style, from the Arneis grape.

2. NV Apfel Eis Apple Ice Wine, Massachusetts ($25)
A locally produced dessert wine with a compelling apple taste.

3. 2007 Shinn Estates Cabernet Franc, Long Island, NY ($38)
Just an exceptional wine, sure to please even those who are not partial to Cabernet Franc.

4. 2008 Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina, Spain ($19.99)
A slightly effervescent Rosé that impressed me with its taste. A great food wine too.

5. 2005 Montaribaldi Barbaresco "Palazzina", Italy ($29.99)
An excellent value Barberesco with a delicious, complex taste.

6. 2008 Adami Gardino Prosecco, Italy ($20.70)
Bursting with flavor, this is one of the best Proseccos I have ever had. Cheers!

7. 2008 Ca' Del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino, California ($20)
With an exotic flair, this interesting white wine will please almost any palate.

8. 2004 San Martino Barbera d'Asti Superiore, Italy ($29)
A smooth, balanced and complex wine that is perfect for Italian cuisine.

9. Emilio Hidalgo Marques de Rodil Palo Cortado Especial, Spain ($46)
An amazing sherry, a perfect after-dinner drink with its caramel and nutty flavors.

10. 2007 Mont Gras Quatro, Chile ($17.99)
An intriguing blend with flavors of bacon, ripe plum, vanilla, and blueberry.

Italy dominates this list with four wines. 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 are more local, Long Island and Massachusetts, which is similar to my list from yesterday.

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

I have plenty of other recommendations for wines at this price point on my blog. There are top notch wines from countries all over the world, made from an incredibly diverse selection of grapes. Seek out wines outside of your comfort zone. Explore the multitude of diversity in the wonderful world of wine. I am sure your search will lead to new favorites.

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


Hampers said...

Thanks for sharing the 2009: Top Ten Wines Over $15. I like 2008 Ca' Del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino. It was nice going through your blog.

The Wine Whore said...

Great post! Now I just need to get to the store and start picking some of these up!


Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,

Its Lauren from North End Scene. Are you interested in writing a food or wine piece for the spring? I cannot contact you through your email for some reason. Please email me at if interested. Thanks!

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks for your kind words Hampers, and glad you enjoy the Albarino too.

Thanks to you as well Randy, as usual.