While we always eagerly anticipate Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines (and we do have many of them on our shelves), this year, we thought it would be fun to make it a little more personal … Introducing Kenny and Sharon’s Top 20 Wines of 2018!
20 Dom. St Vincent Brut NV, New Mexico $13.99 American bubbly made in the champagne method by a French Champagne family…but in New Mexico, since 1984! Green apple, citrus and mineral. An all time favorite going back to Native Vine days.
19 Catena Alta Chardonnay ’15, Argentina $35.99 Full blown Napa/Sonoma style Chardonnay at a fraction of the California price. Baking spices, baked apple, tropical fruit, creamy mouth feel.
18 Terlano Pinot Bianco ’17, Italy $19.99 From Italy’s northern Alto Adige region, with hints of pear, raspberry, lime, chamomile and lemongrass…it’s what Kenny keeps in his fridge at home.
17 Clos Noly Pouilly Fuisse ’17, France $25.99 Chardonnay from the warmer area of France’s Burgundy region, resulting in tropical flavors balanced with acidity. Apple and orange blossoms on the nose; ginger, citrus and orchard fruit in the mouth.
16 Pierre le Grand Crozes-Hermitage Blanc ’16, France $22.99 Marsanne/Roussanne blend from France’s Northern Rhone full of spiced pear, apricot and wild flowers! Great holiday celebration wine!
15 Berdugo Verdejo ’16, Spain $14.99 Beautifully intense nose explodes out of the glass, with citrus and ripe fruit.
14 Ch. Lamothe Castera Bordeaux ‘16, France $16.99 This Cabernet-blend is a great value and an easy gateway into the wines of one of the world’s most famed wine regions. Full of red berries, dark berries and mocha.
13 Kanonkop Kadette ’17, South Africa $14.99 This is a blend of Cabernet and S. Africa’s unique Pinotage grape…think smoky black fruit!
12 Gai’a Thalassitis Assyrtiko ’17, Greece $33.99 This is like a drinking in the warm, salt-laced air of Santorini but in the form of cold, razor crisp white wine…take a sip and escape.
11 Mauritson Dry Creek Zinfandel ’15, California $22.99 Old-school Zin with lots of cherry, pepper and maybe even a little hint of licorice (the good kind!).
10 Sabine Godme Brut Reserve, France $39.99 Small production Champagne at a steal of a price! Smoke, hazelnut, mineral and flowers.
BONUS WINE Bermejos Rosado Listan Negra ’17, Canary Islands $23.99 We couldn’t resist adding this bonus wine to the list. It’s rose from volcanic soils of Spain’s Canary Islands, with pretty red fruit, lots of minerality and island attitude…and it’s in a really cool bottle. Disclaimer…there’s not much remaining.
9 The Ned Pinot Gris ’17, New Zealand $13.99 Partial skin contact gives this lovely Pinot Gris a beautiful salmon tinge…baked apple, persimmon and ginger…getcha’ some!
8 Dom. Bernier Chardonnay ’17, France $10.99 Lovely Chardonnay from France’s Loire Valley, but in soils that mimic Chablis. This wine is crisp and steely…you can actually taste the Chardonnay’s apple and pear characteristics, and not a bunch of oak, vanilla and other mumbo jumbo.
7 Li Veli Verdeca “Askos” ’17, Italy $19.99 Made in Southern Italy’s Puglia region (the heel of the boot) from an ancient, indigenous varietal, showing tropical fruit, citrus, pear and fresh spices…if you know someone that likes Pinot Grigio, this will blow them away.
6 Lions de Suduiraut Sauternes ’14, France $39.99 A second wine from famed dessert wine producer Suduiraut, this is tart and sweet at the same time, full of dried pineapple, honey and spices. Pairs heavenly with cheeses, particularly blues! This is a steal for high quality Sauternes. If you are not sure what Sauternes is?….think Ice Wine!
5 Croix Wood Estate Zinfandel ’16, Napa $48.99 Wow, if you like really big and really jammy you are in for a treat. Parker’s description of “blackberry, black forest cake and Indian spices” about sums it up.
4 Suertes del Marques 7 Fuentes ’15, Canary Islands, Spain $21.99 We are in love with the wines grown in the volcanic soils of the Canary Islands. This red blend of local grapes is fruity and earthy at the same time, topped with a dash of black pepper!
3 Janasse Terre Agile Cotes du Rhone Village ’16, France $24.99 The grapes for the wine a grown just across the street from those that can be labeled Chateauneuf du Pape, with many of the same flavors and depth, but at a fraction of the price.
2 Penley “Phoenix” Cabernet ’16, Australia $19.99 Beautiful Cab that is dark and inky with lots of black fruit and silky tannins…also on the Wine Spectator list, so don’t wait too long on this one.
1 Chappellet Napa Cabernet ’16, California $79.97 Stick your nose in this wine and the Napa Wine Angels (insert trademark symbol here) start to sing and sprinkle fairy dust on you…it really does smell that pretty. If you like big, round Napa Cab don’t be foolish enough not to try this one…or you can try their Mountain Cuvee. At about half the price you still get lots of singing Wine Angels.