s5002191.jpgGrapelive Best of 2007

by Kerry Winslow

I am going to reflect on just a few of the highlights of 2007 and then we can move on, as this year looks set to be a great one all ready. I must say on every front wine is getting better and better, which makes find that really special wine a bit harder, but gives the public a higher standard of options now. The French continue to regain some of the lost ground and even with the horrible exchange rates are getting fantastic wines to the USA. I know that Bordeaux prices are crazy right now, but I have found some great values in other regions of France, especially in the Loire. Italy too is jamming with amazing regional and village wines coming in from places as diverse as Sardinia and the Alto Adige, as well as better known areas like Tuscany and Piedmont. This last year I really came to understand and love German Pinot Noir, known there as Spatburgunder, and still go nuts for a Mosel Riesling. Here at home, I have many new favorites and keep getting blown away by new producers all the time. So here is my TOP TEN of 2007.

1. 2005 Tablas Creek Esprit du Beaucastel Rouge, 95 Points (great wine and still under $50) 2. 2005 Francois Raveneau Chablis Clos, 96 Points (Priced in the don’t ask range, but is fantastic at any price) 3. 2005 Reverdy Sancerre Rouge, 93 Points (this is a lovely Pinot Noir and it is about $25) 4. 2006 Martin Alfaro Pinot Noir “Deer Park” Santa Cruz Mountains, 93+ Points(A true lush and polished Pinot, and only about $35) 5. 2001 August Kesseler Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Rheingau, 94 Points (An amazing mineral laced Pinot true to its Terroir and a Burgundy rival, and though price at near $125, it is just too cool not to include) 6. 2005 Deux Montille Auxey-Duresses White Burgundy, 93 Points (A pure and beautiful wine and at under $40 it’s a real value) 7. 2005 Telan Quarz Sauvignon Blanc, Alto Adige, Italy, 94 Points(Maybe the best Sauvignon Blanc ever, next to Dagueneau, about $55, but worth it) 8. 2005 Robert Foley Claret, Napa Valley 96 Points(What can I say? It rocks) 9. 2005 Parsonage Village Vineyard “Cuvee Rocco” Syrah, Carmel Valley Estate, 97 Points(A monster wine that blew me away, and this was tough, because the other Parsonage 05’s were rock stars as well) 10. 2005 Jennifer Pandol Vineyards Pinot Noir “Schultze Vineyard” Santa Cruz Mountains, 93-94 Points(A look to the future, as she made only 20 cases or so and never released it to the public, but the 2006 looks be right up there, and going to be released this spring/summer)

This really was hard and of course there were many others that could have easily been on this list, but I’ll go with it and hope that you get a chance to taste a few of these selections. Now it is on the next exotic nectar!
Happy hunting and enjoy the journey.

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