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