It is always interesting to look back on a year and mull over the pros and cons of life the world and the madness being perpetrated by political elites of all colours and countries who should not be allowed near a whelk stall, but fortunately we have our pastimes, hobbies, loved ones etc to keep us sane and in the case of this community our love of wine, as a very acceptable diversion.
So what were your wines of the year, as with all things the price and label have no real bearing on what actually gave you the most pleasure, other factors kick in, setting, food, company, occasion, all or one can have a profound effect on our choice and memory of that moment.
For me, and I will kick it off, one wine stood out and it was the most expensive which rather makes an oxymoron of what I have already said, but there is a reason and it was not the price nor was it the best wine for me in the year, the '92 Henschke HOG was indeed a lovely wine but for me it was the ultimate reminder of three months spent mainly in Australia over twenty years ago and the memories of my oldest friend now very ill who lives in Adelaide, so a sentimental choice as well as a great bottle of wine.
In white wines the 1998 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese trocken “R” was in a class of its own not just as a superb Riesling but a superb white wine regardless of grape or country.
Pleasant surprise of the year has to be the Rockford Black Shiraz sparkling, stunning wine and I fortunately have another bottle.
But it’s the surprises in the everyday wines we winkle out and try that give as much pleasure in a very different way, that odd bottle that you open and wish you had discovered earlier, in that category there have been a few in the last year, from PeterM getting me to try Pinotage after a gap of some years and finding I liked it especially the Flagstone Truth Tree, Morrisons show stopper NZ SB Mastercraft, the new vintage is untried, some very good Carignans from the WS, and M&S, a terrific Spanish Grenache from Majestic Chapparal, now O/S, the amazing value and high quality Ventoux from TerreVentoux at 4 euros, Sainsburys Stellenberg Cinsault, and many others, these are the affordable everyday joys we drink and that seem to be forever throwing up surprises.
What are yours from last year ?