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Ric’s Most Memorable Wines of 2012

January 19, 2013

Here goes Ric’s choices, based on my tasting experiences in 2012…

Best Unaffordable Red: 1995 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (February). Absolutely superb. At Les Amis and, of course, someone else paid for it.

Best Affordable Red: 1994 Ch L’Evangile (March). The wines of 1994 have taken a long time to come around, and the best hail from Pomerol, of which L’Evangile is truly wonderful. Almost on par with Petrus of the same vintage (not surprising, considering they are adjacent estates), but why shell out extra cash when the difference isn’t significant?

Most Memorable Red: 1988 Ch Troplong Mondot (April). A classic aged claret, memorable because I had it at the best dining venue in New York – Eleven Madison Park.

Best Value Red: 2005 Ch Bernardotte (magnum) (May). It surpasses some of those over-rated classified growths. This is where your smart money should be.

Most Disappointing Red: 2004 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru (March). I’ve stopped buying Faiveley: prices aren’t cheap, and I’ve always felt short-changed by its quality. This Clos de Beze is a poor example of this outstanding terroir.

Worst Red: 2002 Clonakilla shiraz-viognier (January). Mind you, all previous examples of this estate’s flagship shiraz have impressed me deeply, but this 2002 was worse than a supermarket red.

Best Unaffordable White: To be honest, I hadn’t had any that blew my mind and wallet.

Best Affordable White: 2004 J J Prum Graacher Himmelreich kabinett (March). Wonderful. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this immensely.

Most Memorable White2000 Grosset Polish Hill riesling and 2005 Heymann-Lowenstein ”Uhlen Roth Lay” Erste Lage Auslese Gold Kapsule. A tie. The former because I’ve never had a 12-year old Australian dry riesling that was still every bit as heavenly; the latter because I had it at another premier dining venue in New York – Per Se.

Best Value White: 2009 Domaines Leflaive Macon-Verze (July). Tasted several times with consistent notes. Punches way above its weight.

Most Disappointing White: 1988 Ch Rieussec (March). Tasted twice. Consistently disappointing. I’ve stopped drinking Rieussec.

Worst White: None, thankfully.

I must thank all friends and contributors who had so unselfishly made available these wines for tasting. Bon vin et merci beaucoup!

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