While I know there are a few big drinking days left this year, I’ve very much hit reflection mode this afternoon. Simple question (ha!) - What are your personal top 3 wines of the year? Can be any combination of quality/price/situation/whatever other factors you’d like.
It’s been an odd choice for me this year. As you’ve probably all picked up my taste in wine tends to be in the PIGS part of the world (as a Greek friend describes it) so to find two wines from the Rhone in my list is as much a surprise to me as to anyone.
I’ve waxed as lyrically as my mediocre vocabulary will allow me to about this. Wine number one is unquestionably the 2014 St Cosme Cote Rotie. It was the point in lockdown number one where we decided **** it, let’s just drink the good stuff combined with me getting a new decanter for my birthday. It was clearly at the very start of its drinking window and I know a lot of people would consider it infanticide, but wow. Tar. Graphite. Sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack (thankfully no fishing boats).
Celebrating out 6th year together we cracked open the only 2014 we had in; a 2014 Exhibition Hermitage Blanc, which I got in my Lockdown Mystery Case (fancy-pants edition). This is a wine! (who knew?). Lovely fresh and dried white peach, hazelnuts and lemon on the nose. Incredibly rich/glycerolly with all that plus melon, white flowers and musky notes on the pallet, really long finish with a surprise pear note at the end. Did what the exhibition range is supposed to (in my book) as it was a great “typical” Hermitage Blanc. The only slight downside to this is it was a typical Hermitage Blanc and both of us occasionally went silent trying to work out the complexity of it all rather than sitting and enjoying our dinner/company. As good a celebration as was possible this year.
Wine number 3 is more familiar territory for me. Gravonia 2009. I am a full fledged member of the cult of Gravonia. It’s one of my all time favourite wines, so why does it make this years top 3 (again? it might have been in the list last year too!)? My friend Ryan’s birthday! We over to Borough Market, Ryan and his wife walked over to Borough Market. We bought cheese and bread and ham. We had a picnic! It was the first time we’d seen people we knew in person for such a long time!
There’s plenty of others that could have made this list: Conde de Haro on sheer volume, Most of the rest of the mystery case, Bin #005, the 2010 Gravonia I drank on zoom for my birthday (wasn’t as good as the 2009), the Domaine Barou Viognier which was the first EP bought wine I actually got to drink, everything that went into my @strawpig mixed case, the 1979 Chablis from the “is it dead?” tasting, the 2020 bottling of the Tio Pepe En Rama Fino.