Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Top 10 2006 Wines - A Special Report by Ralph Del Rio Wine Correspondent -Great Wines and Great Values

By Ralph Del Rio, Wine Correspondent

2006  Has come and gone and there were a lot of great and memorable wines. I found a lot of values from Australia. Big Blockbuster types...I also found great values from Spain and Eric Solomon's group of wines in particular kept me quite interested in Spain. There is going to be good things to come in the new world.

My Picks for 2006 contain two overriding things to keep in mind. They are all excellent in their own right and are also obtainable which in many case it's not easy to find wines that you are reading about in the magazines.

So here list for the best of 2006

2004 Yangarra Estate Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvèdre McLaren Vale Cadenzia
I enjoyed the Shiraz as well. This wine with its dark chocolate, anise, herbal essence and raspberry bouquet.  Nice flash of peppercorn spice too.

2003 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta Colchagua Valley

A dark inky figgy wine. Can stand up to the best of the Bordeaux and Napa Cabs. Big tannins with juicy red fruit, plums, cherries, and coffee notes. Nice sweet vanilla spices on the finish

2006 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough

Loaded with fresh Grapefruit and gooseberry an outstanding wine tropical fruit hints…also fresh cut grass, lemon grass. Like a benchmark!

2003 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Arcus Estate  

Big Pinot Noir from Oregon! Totally as good as the best of Burgundy. Deep ruby color. Burnt Cherry Pit and cola flavors, blackberry, licorice and a touch note smoke. Pretty Nose! It’s that Blackberry!

 2004 Green Point Shiraz, Victoria Australia

White Pepper with spicy nose. It’s this spice that keeps bringing the nose back. It’s not a Pinot! It’s a Australian Shiraz with  Elegant mouthfeel, almost plush, deep with nice length. This is a very smooth wine but totally awake.

2004 Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache, Barossa Valley South Australia

Beautiful nose, full bodied fruity, long, very classy wine that has structure. A Shiraz that can pair well with a lot of European food. You sense it. So much going on with the fruit flavors. Great, grilled steak wine.

Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Sublime Demi-Sec NV, France

Great zip to this superior non-vintage demi-sec, exploding with candied citrus fruits and barbecued pineapple and a handful of nuts. Goes down nice; Before a meal. After a meal.

2004 Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma

The 2002 was a knockout Zin for me. This one reminds me of it with its lush briar patch feel and Spicy, blackberry fruit. It has structure too. It’s balanced though and the tannins integrated, good stuff, layers.

2003 Provenence Cabernet Sauvignon

Excellent! With it’s ripe, blackberry flavors, licorice and chocolate caramel with a hints of vanilla and toast. It’s rich and has that cocoa powder dust sensation that Rutherford is known for. Get this just for that sensation!

2004 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Great acidity mixed with big tannins. Right up front for a Pinot Noir. This is intense but it has this relaxing feel to it. It’s inviting. You get black cherry, raspberry fruit that's in your face and persistent, ending with sense of wet rain.

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