Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 25 Wines of 2012, A Special Report by Wine Correspondent's Ralph Del Rio

By Ralph Del Rio, Wine Correspondent

It is important to be able to find a wine if you are going to be singing its praises; otherwise it becomes pretty difficult to make your case. Now let’s let all those cult and collectible wines not count for the purposes of this list. I’ve said it before, How good can a wine be if not many people can taste it or afford it and of course that's a double edge sword. There are many wines that the only way you will be able to taste is to go to your neighborhood wine tastings or to go to wine conventions and things like that. You have to be on the lookout.  Let’s face it, some wines you just have to bite the bullet and pay for the pleasure and there are a few on this list of course.

In my opinion accessibility is significant and the ability to be able to put the pen to paper(or get it on your mobile device)some good notes and if you can get the feedback from others who are tasting with you; makes it possible to communicate your perception on judging the wine.

There are different approached to scoring some rely on telling you about the terroir and the soil and what the year was like for the wine, what the winemaker did to make the wine shine and also comparing it to previous years. Other reviewers go straight for the aromas and flavors.

I like to consider the wines feel and overall makeup including the nose, aromas, tastes and finish. Whether the wines are actually available for purchase. I like to hit what I like to call the 'mezzo territory' that often happens when you taste, looking at the breadth versus the smallest nuance, so the regular person can say 'Yeah, I understand where your coming from'. As with any list there's always good ones that get left off, nonetheless...without any further interruption, here are my top 25 wines for 2012.

2009 La Fleur de Board Lalande de Pomerol  France

2009 Monsanto Chianti Classic Riserva Italy

2010 Mollydooker  Carnival of Love Shiraz  Australia

2010 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Clark and Telephone Vineyard California

2009 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac France

2010 Turley Zinfandel Paso Robles Pesenti Vineyard California

2010 Bodega Norton Malbec Mendoza Reserva Argentina

2010 Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling (Mosel)

2009 Chateau La Vielle Cure, Fronsac France

2010 M. Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Les Vignes de Bila Haut France

2009 Cayuse Syrah Walla Walla Valley Cailoux Vineyard Washington

2009 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley Reserve California

2010 Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay Columbia Valley Indian Wells

2010 Chateau De St. Cosme Gigondes France

2009 Chateau Haut Bergey Pessac-Leogneon Bordeaux

2008 Joseph Phelps  Insignia Napa Valley California

2008 Le Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Valley Perigree Seven Hills Vineyard Washington

2009 Chateau Haut Bages Liberall Pauillac France

2009 Andrew Will Horse Heaven Hills Champoux Vineyard Washington

2010 D' Arenberg Mclaren Vale Footbolt Shiraz Australia

2008 Echeverria Reserva Syrah Maipo Valley

2009 Cadence Red Mountain Coda

2009 Dabilano Nebbiolo d’ Alba Marghe Italy

2009 Cuvaison Pinot Noir Napa Valley California

2009 Chateau Corton Grancy, Louis Latour Aloxe Corton France