Sunday, December 5, 2010

Red's Top 5 - 2010

It’s that time of year isn’t it. There are plenty of ‘best of’ lists for 2010 popping up, so I thought I’d do a little list of my own.

To clarify, my Top 5 consists only of wines that I have sat down and consumed over a couple of hours and sometimes over a couple of days, more often than not with food. I have tasted many wonderful wines at tastings this year, not least of which was the Langton’s Classification V tasting. However, I find mass tastings, or tastings where you only have a short period to assess the wine, an inherently fraught process, with the distinct possibility of overrating or underrating a wine. As such, wines tasted at wine tastings have not been considered.

So on to my Top 5. These are not necessarily my 5 highest rated wines (though they all have scored well), but more importantly they are wines that were genuinely memorable and enjoyable. In alphabetical order they are –

2007 Juniper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River) – 4.5 Stars – A beautifully complex Cabernet of impeccable structure that demands 10 years in the cellar. The 2008 should be one to look out for as well.

2005 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (South Australia) – 4.5 Stars – This is a wine that ticks all the wrong boxes for some wine cognoscenti in that it’s

- a multi-regional blend
- from warm climate regions in South Australia
- made by Penfolds, who are owned by Fosters

For me however, it ticked all the right boxes in that it just tasted so good. Wonderful intensity on the palate and the best 389 I have tried from the noughties.

2006 PHI Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley) – 4.5 Stars – I’ve had plenty of very good Pinot this year, but this one brought home the bacon. Wonderful complexity with its lovely balance between sweet and savoury flavours. I'm looking forward to seeing how this wine shapes up from the brilliant 2010 vintage in the Yarra.

2007 SC Pannell Nebbiolo (Adelaide Hills) – 4 Stars + – One of my most passionate wine hopes is that Australia will discover regions and sites that consistently produce world-class Nebbiolo. This wine has me very optimistic that we are well on the way to doing this. If you haven't had much Nebbiolo, or find Barolo in Australia too expensive, then this wine is highly recommended.

2009 Teusner the Dog Strangler Mataro (Barossa Valley) – 4 Stars – The relative cheapie in this top 5 was beautiful to drink with its complex spice, and as a single variety Mataro provides interest to boot.

All in all, five quite different wines but all wines that at some point provided that moment of true sensory pleasure that is all encompassing and is what drinking wine is ultimately about.



Anonymous said...

Red, I like the idea you chose wines that you have enjoyed drinking, not just tasted.

Andrew Graham said...

All reds? After the man himself :)

Em, Tom, Hannah and Abby said...

Have you deliberately chosen quite a few different varieties and regions? (only cab gets two spots, and one is a cab/shiraz blend?) and no one region is represented more than once.

Chris Plummer said...

I MUST get round to trying that 2009 Dog Strangler. You've just put it at the top of my must buy list Red :)

Red said...

Sean - Thanks. Yes, it's an important point of difference (not just in terms of this list but more generally in discussing wine).

AG - yes i thought it appropriate. ;-) On a serious note, there were some Whites in contention for the Top 5, but more often than not it is red wines that provides me with the greatest pleasure.

Em, Tom, Hannh & Abby - There wasn't anything deliberate in terms of regions or varieties. Surprised myself in a way that my Top 5 was not just a list of Margaret River Cabernets, but in reality that's the beauty of wine isn't it. The quality and variety of Australian wine is quite exceptional in my opinion.

Chris - Just do it. :-)

Chris Plummer said...

Just did it! And great call!

Now looking forward to Brown's list....


Brown said...

:-) Chris - I have been disappointed with the 4L Casks released this year, so no top 5. Maybe a top 3 ;-)

In all seriousness, I am making a list and checking it twice.



Brown said...

PS - I have had a glass and several tastes of the 09 Dog Strangler, though had a few bottles of the 08 this year. From a tougher vintage, very impressed with the 08 and the 09 as well. Lets say that one of my top 5 (or a special category) will include a Teusner. ;-)

Tino82 said...

Great article mate!!! I remember I tried that 2007 Juniper Estate a while ago and it was brilliant!!! Congratz for the blog and let me invite you to visit mine

Red said...

Thanks Tino. 07 Juniper Cabernet was a bit of a revelation for me this year

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