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Wines of the Year 2018

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 ?


Short list of two for me…
A Stephane Tissot oxidative 2015 Savagnin, which must be the most complex, layered white wine I’ve ever drunk. And a JJ Prum 2012 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett, astonishingly light and delicate while still tense and full of life, both stunningly good wines


Very true! Just read a very thoughtful piece on this very subject by Andrew Jefford in this month’s Decanter.

As for special wines of 2018- there seem to be too many to mention! there has been many discoveries - as well as confirmed choices - which delighted me in 2018. If I had to ‘home-in’ on the very special ones, that either left a really deep impression, or invited me to an unknown territory I would say they were…


Johanneshof Rotgipfler Satzing 2016 - which cemented my love and appreciation of Austrian wines.

Auzells, Costers del Segre 2017,- a delightful wine, full of zing.

Three Choirs Silver Jubilee, 2017, yes yes yes to English wines!

Gewurztraminer Réserve Grand Cru Eichberg, Léon Beyer 2012, Alsatian Gewrutz just the way I like it!

Planeta Cometa, 2017 - which blew me away with its complexity and utter deliciousness

Adega de Pegões Colheita Seleccionada, Península de Setúbal 2017, a beautiful, pure and complex wine, at a ridiculous price! It really opened my eyes as to how good white Portuguese wine can be!


Château de Beauregard, Moulin-à-Vent 2015- Gamay showing just how fabulous and layered it can be. I wish I bought more of this!

Sendiäna Rouge 2014, blew us away with its layers of flavour, complexity and suave finish. Must explore more Lebanese wine in 2019…

Arbin Vin de Savoie Mondeuse ‘La Belle Romaine’ Château de Merande 2015, wild, spicy and different.

Château La Fleur Pétrus, Pomerol 2007, OK- I am unlikely ever to buy this one, but it was quite something to taste it! Felt like a stolen moment with a bit of an icon…


Domaine de la Mordoree, Cuvee “REINE DES BOIS”, 2016 - Wow! a wine to convert any rosé sceptic!

Corse Calvi Clos Culombu Rosé 2017, ditto!

There were so many others, it feels unfair to only highlight the above… I would say that every wine- even if a bit disappointing, or not quite what I wanted or expected it to be - still feels like a bit of luxury and privilege to open, sniff and taste.

Looking forward to seeing what 2019 would bring… :slight_smile:


I have purchased a number of wines that I’m expecting to be stand outs for me but not for a few more years.

This year two wines that probably made the biggest impression on me were both from regions I’d not previously tried but have now bought more of for the future and both were following recommendations on this forum thanks guys! They are also both Rhones and I have been on a bit of a Rhone discovery expedition this year.

My first Gigondas impressed me no end and I have more of this and others now laid down or on EP.

My second ‘discovery’ was Cote-Rotie and though most are rather outside my normal budget there are one or two a little more accessible:

This is the one I tried and was very impressed with but sadly there is no more available from TWS. I do, however, have some Saint Cosme on order on EP and am keeping my eye out for new arrivals on the TWS list.



It just did so much over three nights - tasted completely different day by day and even hour by hour - this I think is why the northern Rhone catches people’s interest.


This site has some interesting lists with a possibility to nominate ‘dud of the year’. Some surprising selections in that category.

And I am sure we could all add some duds as well, a sort of Rotten Tomatoes for wine, I think you may have started another thread Richard !

I’ll be posting my WOTY there too shortly.

As I’m sure will others who crossover forum.

This wonderful Alsace Riesling that we bought some years ago at the Lille wine fair

With an honourable mention for the bottle of Bollinger champagne I enjoyed with family on my birthday, gifted by my brother.

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I always find it hard to pinpoint a small selection of wines which I found standout. These are just a few which I have very good memories of this year.
Trimbach, Pinot Gris Réserve personelle
Clonakilla Shiraz, Viognier 2010
Stags Leap , Cabernet Fay 2012
Stags Leap Karia Chardonnay 2016
Dermot Sugre Dr. Brendan O’ Regan cuvée

There were many many more, but these made a big impression.


And I thought I knew my South Downs wineries!
I’ve never heard of the Dermot Sugrue winery! I have some good memories from (slightly weird) times spent in Storrington, so will definitely be checking this wine out! :+1:

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He’s the chief winemaker for wiston so as far as I know he uses those facilities.

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And sounds like he was also the winemaker for Nyetimber for a while… and studied oenology in Plumpton college… I’m truly curious now! :blush:

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Well to encourage your curiosity even more, he named the Dr. Brendan cuvee after his great uncle who “invented” duty free in Shannon airport . This is where it all began.

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Can one ‘invent’ duty free?!! :thinking:
Still, what a nice tribute!

Totally, apparently it was the first place it was introduced in an airport .:smile:

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The best sparkling wine I tasted last year was made by Sugre.


I’ll go with that Clonakilla Leah, one of the great Australian wine stories…

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I also have a bottle of that, you reckon I can drink now (and then potentially buy more)?

Yes, although I’m sure it will improve with some ageing.