The year 2016 is rapidly closing in on 2017 … thus it’s time to look back.
I do taste a lot of wines and it would be easy to take the best rated wines of the year and make a top 10 list. Wine is however much more than just points and ratings – its about timing – is the wine ready to taste or drink?, is the setting and the ambiance good or even great?, is the moon right? … a lot of parameters influence and define a great wine moment.
My top 10 wine moments this year is:
Domaine de la Romanée Conti, La Tâche 1990 – the quality of the wine alone is enough to merit this list, and served at a good friends 50 years birthday with some great people did not make it worse.
Domaine Ramonet, Montrachet 1993 – this is a slightly overlooked vintage for the whites in my view, but the best are both refined and very delicate … and the Montrachet from Ramonet was a perfect example for this vintage.
Domaine Nicolas Faure, Aligoté 2014 – the visit to this estate was a precious moment, as it sort of defined what Burgundy should be all about .. making the most of the terroir and respecting the grape variety. I could mention several of the other wines tasted on this occasion – they were all magnificent – but the aligoté was in a sense unique due to the old vines, the location and the purity and unusual refinement. Aligoté deserves a revival in my view – and no better place to start than the Faure 2014.
Domaine Dujac, Clos St. Denis 1976 – in perfect condition tasting rather more like 1978 than 1976 – i.e. none of the somewhat hot notes found in so many 1976s. This is what one hope for – trying to cellar and mature red Burgundies. When we are talking 40 year old wines there are no such thing as great wines – only great bottles.
Domaine Eva Fricke, Lorchhäuser Seligmacher Riesling QbA 2015 – a revelation from Rheingau. A very terroir driven Riesling that offers a quite unique display of defined slate soil and pure Riesling flavours – a both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure – when the moon is right.
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, Bonnes Mares 1986 a fully mature Burgundy from a lesser year – showing just beautifully at age 30 .. this was treat, and shows that even lesser years do have a great ageing potential. Most Burgundian wines are drunk way too early, and at least 10 years of cellaring should be mandatory for the red Grand Crus (and even the 1er crus) – and preferably 20 years or even more when we are talking the big guns.
Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault Chevalieres 1996 – at age 20 this Coche village was still fresh and vibrant and almost youthful .. a tribute to a great vintage and a even greater producer. In a time with premox problems its a real treat to get a wine like this.
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Echezeaux 2010 – a young wine but one or the most gratifying tasted in 2016 … hedonistic in the best sense of the word … underlining that the best wines from Echezeaux deserve the Grand Cru status more than several other Grand Crus. And no note here .. just enjoyed the wine after tasting a few other of the wines at the top of this list.
Domaine Georges Roumier, Les Amoureuses 2002 … a rare bird and like many 2002s quite developed – not mature though – a delightful glass with, if not all, then some of the sensual complexity one hope for from a Les Amoureuses. The 2002 vintage is starting to show .. La Tâche and DRC Richebourg showed well and maturing in April, thus indicating that its a vintage for medium term enjoyment.