Wine Talk

Snooth User: Eric Guido

Your Wine of The Year

Posted by Eric Guido, Nov 23, 2012.

Here I am trying to think of my "Wine of The Year" as well as the runner ups.  I see a lot of forums do this, but it's usually a bunch of impossible to obtain bottles or vintage wines that cost too much for the average person to afford. I find these lists pretty useless, since the best use that anyone could get from a topic like this, is to find some great bottles of wine that they still have a chance to buy.


So what I'd like to ask is, What's your Wine of The Year?

Two simple rules:

1. It has to be a bottle that can still be bought through retail or the winery.

2. It has to cost under $60 (I think that's a good dollar amount for the average enthusiast willing to explore).  Or at least give us your favorite QPR and your favorite sky's the limit.


I'll be posting mine shortly, but I'd love to see what your favorite wines were this year.

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Reply by napagirl68, Nov 24, 2012.

Given your rules:

1. Available for purchase

2. under $60

I  vote for En Garde Winery 2008 Pinot Noir Reserve..... very small lots here, and maybe close to selling out.... but this RRV Pinot is amazing.  Price point ~$55?  Close at least.  Here is a link:

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 24, 2012.

I had to call up my CT notes and went through about 75 or so from this year...many do not qualify, but of the ones that do I can't really single anything out or elevate one wine. 

Maybe I'll have to wait until this SS business is over, it'll give me some more time to reflect and I'll be less likely to give myself away.


Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 24, 2012.

Is it the price range that's restricting you?  Or the available for sale part?

Remember, it can cost $10, $20, $30 and up to $60.  I'm just looking for everyones favorite wine of this year.

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 24, 2012.

There have been not a few good wines from around the world that are commercially available (retail) and do not cost, as they say, a proverbial arm and leg.  It might be fun to pick and choose a wine along the lines you suggest, but perhaps we could modify the requirements by breaking the price ranges up and suggesting one from each.

Also, many of us are a bit regionally biased - not necessarily because we think one region is absolutely superior - but rather, because of proximity or local supply.  I have many hard-to-find examples that would fit the bill, but will restrict to labels we all have a reasonable chance of finding.

I am assuming that's the idea anyway.  I shall review the results of the year and make a suggestion or two, hopefully!

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 24, 2012.

Good point about bias Zuf, that's what I was getting at - there are all kinds of bias that can come in to play. Guess you just have to roll with it.  

Eric, I actually agree with your criteria though the one I might try to stretch is the "widely available" part of it.

Reply by Degrandcru, Nov 24, 2012.

Both my favourites of the year have been from Alvaro Palacios / Priorat:

- Finca Dofi 2001 - Great wine, great year, may have been slightly about $60, maybe $ 80 when I bought it a few years back. A wonderful wine, refined and complex. Too bad I only have one bottle left.

- Les Terrasses 2005 - Little brother of the Finca Dofi, as well a great year. About $ 40 in Mexico. Not as complex as the Dofi, but at this price point a great QPR.

Reply by EMark, Nov 24, 2012.

Yes I have biases.  Who doesn't?

Yes, I am inclined to drink wines that are easy for me to find.  Some might even call them pedestrian.

No, I do not drink many wines that cost over $60.

Notice that I use the word "drink" as opposed to "taste."

If you've consistently read my posts over the last year, and I know there are people who, like me, keep up with all the activity on the Snooth Forum, my choice is no surprise.  I've mentioned it multiple times over the last year.  It fits the dollar requirement  and, while it is not the winery's current release and might be a tad hard to find in a "brick and mortar" retail store, it is easily available at various on-line sites.

So, my admittedly biased, pedestrian selection is Ridge Lytton Springs 2009.

I have also been reading the preference of some here at Snooth for the Ridge Geyserville bottling, and, so, I have been stocking up on those.  I very much look forward to trying them.


Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 24, 2012.

Thanks EMARK, that's a great example.


 ZUFRIEDEN, if you want to break it up more, go for it.  I'll probably end up doing a regional or varietal report before the end off this year.


The scary thing is how difficult it is for us to name our favorite wine, when it has to be available for sale and under $60.  Makes you wonder how much great wine fits that description? 

Reply by outthere, Nov 24, 2012.

The availability part is getting me. By the time I'm ready to drink it the wine has long since sold out.

Secondly I buy 90% of my wines direct from the producer since most don't have a retail presence or that presence comes at a premium. That kinda keeps my choices at a minimum for this thread. But I'll try.

Red: 2006 Lagier Meredith Mt Veeder Syrah

White: 2009 Agharta Catalysm (Marsanne, Viognier, Rousanne blend) $65, so shoot me! Still available from the website though.

Reply by GregT, Nov 24, 2012.

"I have also been reading the preference of some here at Snooth for the Ridge Geyserville bottling, and, so, I have been stocking up on those.  I very much look forward to trying them"

Emark - try them now! Don't stockpile something you don't know - what if you end up hating it?  As a general rule, Geyserville tends to be a bit less structured than Lytton, and in fact, I used to prefer it but as I've been going thru a series of Lytton that I have from the 1990s, I think I'm becoming a convert to the Lytton. Had a 95 for Thanksgiving and it was great.  Also had a Paso Robles that was fine until the Lytton came around.

Reply by EMark, Nov 25, 2012.

Will do, Greg.  Thanks.

Reply by GregT, Nov 25, 2012.

And let us know your thoughts on one vs the other. Those two are the benchmark Zins from Napa. Only reason I have more Lytton now is because we drank most of the Geyserville!

BTW, a great value, or what used to be a great value, is the Ridge Three Valleys. It's about $10 less than the others, sometimes it's even under $20, and in a couple of blind tastings, I've preferred it. It's a nice wine, never mind a nice Zin, and I always forget about it but it's one of the better $20 wines around IMHO.

Reply by outthere, Nov 25, 2012.

 "...Those two are the benchmark Zins from Sonoma...

FIXED!  ;)


Reply by GregT, Nov 25, 2012.

Holy crap! I can't believe I did that. No idea why I wrote Napa - I meant California and know better. Sheesh.



Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 25, 2012.

Ridge Three Valleys is a great QPR suggestion, thanks Greg.  it's been a while since I had that wine but it always delivers.


I'm a huge fan of the Ponzo Vineyard Zin from Ridge.

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 25, 2012.

For white I'm going to go with the 2011 Liquid Farm white Hill Chardonnay ($38), with the 2011 Donhoff  Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett ($25) as runner up. Both outperform their price points, are very well balanced, and have a little upside.

Reply by Ivesreeves, Dec 1, 2012.

For those who love an earthier, old world wine, allow me to nominate 2008 LEONE D'ORO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO FIGLI D'ITALIA. You get a bevy of earth favors with every sip, ranging from leather to tar to tobacco leaf. All for about 20 dollars a bottle. That's my pick for this year.

Reply by Eric Guido, Dec 1, 2012.

Thanks for the recommendation Jon, I was looking into the Liquid Farm Chardonnay and I think I'll have to find a bottle to try.

Reply by JonDerry, Dec 1, 2012.

Didn't know you drank much Chardonnay Eric, but yeah it's a really nice lineup and grower resource they have going in a perfect spot for these grapes. They increased production in 2011 and it's good to see the quality hold the line from the previous year and get even better.  2011 CA Chard may be a good thing to follow with it being such a cool climate year.

And IvesReeves with the vino nobile, suddenly this is the Snooth wine of the week. Will have to find a way to get some of this stuff, seems an incredibly good value at $20, and it's widely available.

Reply by Eric Guido, Dec 5, 2012.

I try to explore everything out there and when I here Chardonnay made in a old-style California way, I'm interested.  I've loved some old Cali Chards, before the massive oak invasion.

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