Well, it looks like I didn’t have a single one of Wine Spectator’s Top wines for 2006, but did manage to have some good wine this year nonetheless. So I’m issuing my own Top 10 list.
Reds, especially Pinot Noir, dominate my list this year. Most of them are from the U.S., though not all California. My own state of Mass. and the Pacific Northwest are represented too. I did enjoy a number of good wines from Spain, France, Italy and Argentina, but tended this year when spending a bit more to go for American regions and producers I know pretty well. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to drink more wine…specifically wine from areas I’m not as familiar with.
The first three are my favorites; after that the list is in no particular order. They are generally in the $15-$30/bottle price range. I’ve linked to articles and sites with more info on each bottle. I’m serving a special Napa Cab that I got for Christmas tonight with dinner, so there may be a late breaking addition before the ball drops. Anyway, enough chat, the envelope please…
Conn Valley Vineyards 2003 Napa Valley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon This one is fresh in my mind as this Christmas treat was enjoyed with last night’s New Year’s Eve dinner. This rich, complex wine evolved as we enjoyed it.
La Bete Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard 2003 I’d have to go with this Oregon pinot as my top wine for 2006. A wonderful blend of fruit and rich earthiness, was a great match for a spicy duck dish I had at Meritage.
Ravenswood 2003 Teldeschi Zinfandel This zin from Dry Creek Valley is a close 2nd for my top 2006 wine. The first words that come to mind in describing this wine are character and complexity. It has blackberry and cherry fruitiness, balanced by an oakiness and a bit of spice. A symphony of flavors coming together for a wonderful taste.
2001 Mercurey 1er Cru “Cuvee Carline” Domaine Lorenzon: A medium-bodied pinot with plenty of fruit, nice balance and a bit of heft. Coming from the unheralded Burgundy village of Mercurey, a good buy.
Philip Staley Petite Syrah 2001 I had this early in 2006, and just remember it was a very good version of this grape that I like a lot!
Westport Rivers 2002 Brut Cuvee RJR I’m pleased to be able to include a wine from right here in Mass. on my list! If you haven’t gotten your sparkling wine for New Year’s yet and can get your hands on this or something else from Westport Rivers, I encourage you to do so!
2003 Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir I discovered in 2006 that New Zealand can be a good source of reasonably priced pinto. This one is my favorite, with lively fruitiness and a touch of wood in the background, giving it a degree of complexity.
Simi 2004 Sauvignon Blanc Dry and crisp, with nice mineral undertones.
2003 I’M Chardonnay We enjoyed a number of good Sonoma chardonnays this year, this is the one I managed to write down to add to the favorites list. This “naked” or unoaked chardonnay has vibrant fruitiness, hints of melon and lemon, with a nice little touch of butter.
Graziano 2004 Zinfandel This zin from Mendocino has a nice blackberry taste with a bit of pepperiness, and some complexity as well.
Whatever is on your list, I hope you enjoyed a nice bottle or two in 2006, and enjoy a few more in 2007! And if you have suggestions as to what should be on our wine lists for 2007, please let us know. Cheers!