My top memories of 2019 certainly had a lot to do with wine and sharing it with family – especially my wife The Wine Goddess – family, friends and new acquaintances.
This list of 30 wines reflects the best memories of those instances and not the value of the wine. I remember these moments and cherish them because of the people who were with me and shared the experience. The wine, I believe, served to enhance the adventure whether we where grilling a steak on the deck, sitting out in the backyard pergola, enjoying dinner at a restaurant, or tasting a new wine at a seminar or event.
Still, most of the wines on my list have their own story to tell. They wouldn’t add to my story if they weren’t good in the first place. I’ll leave it at that.
I could rank them 1 to 30, but I would prefer to list them in no particular since trying to say one was better than the other just works to diminish the moment in time when they were opened, shared, and enjoyed. That’s what counts. I’d rate all those moments No. 1 – and I’m looking to have more of them in 2020!
Here is the list:
L’Ecole No. 41 Ferguson 2014 – A superb Bordeaux-style blend from Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla.
Volpaia Chianti Classico 2015 – Wonderful sangiovese cherry.
Goldschmidt Vineyards Plus 2012 – Big tasting, luxurious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Arthur Metz Cremant D’Alsace – Creamy, elegant sparkler.
Feather 2014 – A gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon from Long Shadows Vintners.
Doubleback 2010 – Incredible flavor from Walla Walla.
Poggio Alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino 2004 – Fifteen years old and still banging the drum.
Chateaux Montelena Chardonnay 2015 – A Napa Valley favorite.
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2013 – One of the year’s best.
Il Borro 2015 – A Super Tuscan that lives up to the standard.
Cortes di Cima Reserva – A stunning Alentejo DOC Portugual wine tasted at the winery.
G.D. Vajra Albe – A 2009 Barolo that keeps the light on for all comers.
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore – When I tasted it at a wine event I almost sunk to the floor. Spectacular.
Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012 – A Napa Valley gem from the legendary To Kalon vineyard.
Travaglini Gattinara 2013 – A classic cool climate Barolo from northern Piemonte.
Aperture Chardonnay Napa Valley – This Jesse Katz creation is creamy and clean at the same time.
Dunham Cellars Pursued by Bear 2011 – Full, rich, bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla, WS.
Bruno Paillard Extra Brut Champagne – Golden yellow, frothy mousse, crisp and charismatic.
Caino Rose` – A dry Spanish rose` that drinks like a wine of wonderful substance.
Carpinetto Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano Riserva 2011 – Worthy of respect for its complexity.
Kishor Vineyards Viognier 2016 – From Western Galilee Highlands, a spicy, elegant white.
Double Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 – Fabulous 2nd label from Schrader Cellars that lives up to the prestige.
Pedestal, Long Shadows Vintners – Dense, blue fruit in this silky Merlot-driven blend.
Carol Shelton Coquille Blanc 2014 – Paso Robles winemaker known for rich Zinfandel crafts a knockout white.
Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco – Chill and thrill to its sparkling red fruit flavors.
Sassicaia 2015 – Sets the standard of excellence for Super Tuscans.
Corte di Giso Irpinia Falanghina – What ancient Romans treasured is still embraced today in Campania.
Herdade do Esporao Reserva – A tangy, dry, polished Portuguese white blend that soars.
Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru 2014 – The Alsatian electricity is this bottle could light up Brooklyn.
Lachryma Christi del Vesuvio – “Tears of Christ” white wine rises from Campania’s volcanic ash with mighty minerality.