Top New Releases of the Year

Unveiling my 2011 wines of the year


It’s time to unveil my 2011 wines of the year, new release edition. As you’ll find over the next several days, I’ve broken down my list by variety or region to make it a bit easier to follow. These are lists of wines I want to taste again. Yes, they are among the most highly rated wines that I’ve tasted this year, but they are mostly wines that have left me with the feeling that I had not gotten everything I could have from them, thus they got added to my wish list.

While these are my wines of the year for 2011, they are not my “best of” wines. “Best of” implies that these wines are somehow better than the alternatives and I simply don’t believe that. Next year, with more time to plan, I’m going to have to re-evaluate how I compile these lists. Whether or not value should play a role in these decisions is just one of the considerations I need to pay more attention to.

Photo courtesy Grossworks! via Flickr/CC
Any other things I should think about? Tell me. I’d love to hear from you all and have you share your top 10 lists. Will there be any overlap? Will we be able to find people whose palates align? These are all the interesting and unintended consequences of compiling your own user-generated lists.

So give it a try. Add your list to the comment field on this thread and keep your eye out for my Top 10 2011 lists. In honor of our current GTiChardonnay, I’m kicking off the list with my top five domestic Chardonnays!

Watch out for the following lists rolling out once a day for the next week! And stay tuned as we announce our 2011 Winery of the Year in February!

Coming this week:

Top 5 Whites
Top 5 Reds
Top 5 Cabernets
Top 5 Domestic Pinot Noirs
Top 5 2007 Barolo

Mentioned in this article


  • I know it'd be more challenging but I'd really like the above list further broken down by under $20, that which I would drink daily or serve to wine drinkers, and those over $20 for my cooler or more sophisticated palates.

    Jan 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM

  • Breaking the wines down based on cost is an excellent idea. Almost any reasonably informed wine drinker can pick out a great bottle of wine for $50. A great bottle under $20 however is a lot more difficult. In that regard, I think the Macon-Villages by Louis Jadot is the best Chardonnay on the market for the price. I just can't believe you can still get it for around $11 when bought by the case. And, I do that pretty often!

    Jan 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

  • Snooth User: KLOgden
    1025644 0

    I also like the idea of breaking down by price - under $20 or 30 and those above $20 or 30. But, it does make the list a bit more effort to put together... I'm looking forward to seeing the Top wines!

    Jan 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

  • Coming from Brazil, where any imported wine costs 3-4 times than what you pay in USA, the only good white you can get for less than 30 bucks is white vinegar!!!!!
    Any how,
    2 best chard of the year:
    1) montrachet 2002 from etiene Sauzet
    2) bienvenue batard montrachet 1996 from Leflaive
    3) Chablis Grand cru 1995 (la chablisienne)
    Have a good one

    Jan 25, 2012 at 7:07 PM

  • I had a feeling the list would be Californian only to begin with....

    Don't quit when you reach Nevada!

    Favourite Chardonnays
    1. Domain Fontaine Gagnard 1er Cru Maltroie 2007,
    2. Gaja Rossj Bass Chardonnay (tasted at tasting), 2008
    3. Puligny Montrachet 2009 JM Boillot
    4. Morton Estate Chardonnay , New Zealand, 2009

    Top 3 are expensive, Morton Estate about 14 UK £ in our high tax, bossy country England.

    Macon Villages is a good bet as starchase1 says, at the under $20 mark. I have found that chepaer aussie chardonnays qulaity has gone down past few years while the bourgognes have cleaned their act and are less prone to vegetal aromas and smelly corks/bottlenex, and have gone up.

    Jan 26, 2012 at 4:53 AM

  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 10,462

    Greg, I have been thinking about "Wines of the Year," and your comment about a re-evaluation of how you compile next year's list. At first I was disappointed that you weren't, even this year, sticking to "best" wines. After I thought about it, however, I have to agree with that philosophy. The concept of there being a "best" wine is just silly.

    Here is my suggestion: a list of "Favorite" wines. In the announcement of this list you would provide a detailed descripion of how each wine made it. You get to invent the parameters of judging, and you can change on the fly. Obvious parameters would include:

    -- Tastes great.
    -- Has potential for aging.
    -- Superb expression of the fruit or of the land.
    -- Excellent match for a food.
    -- Excellent without food.
    -- Great Value
    -- Cheap (different from value)
    -- Less Filling

    OK. the last one was tongue in cheek, unless you're planning on announcing Favorite Watery American Beers.

    It difficult for me to provide my list of Chardonnays from 2011. The three that I remember were:

    --Barnett, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros, 2009
    --Beringer, Private Reserve, Napa Valley, 2008
    --Lewis, Napa Valley, 2009

    No intersection at all with your selections. I have not had the opportunity to try the ones that you have highlighted. I will, however, try to look for them.

    Yes, I'm in the California rut. Unfortunately, the examples that I tried last year from Burgundy, New Zealand, Argentina, Washington and, more than likely, other regions were pretty nondescript. I agree that is my loss.

    Jan 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

  • minha bebida especial gosto muito, tradicional e muito saborosa caipira de vinho hhhhhhhhhhhhhhummmmmmmmmmm!!!!!
    qualquer tipo e qualquer hora vinho p\ mi é muito bom !!!!!

    Jan 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

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