I can’t tell you how many hundreds of wines I’ve tasted this year. Wait, that sounds snobby. In truth, I’m privileged to be able to sample and evaluate wines all around the world – and sometimes I even get to drink them.
Evaluating wines in a region often leads to too many great experiences to mention, as in the myriad Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino wines tasted in Italy last February. And the increasing number of striking Prosecco DOCG wines I discovered at Vinitaly in April. Here in the US, a Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon parcel tasting was full of complexity; another day brought several vintages of smooth and rich Chateau La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Not to mention the dozens of sparkling wines from Champagne and other parts of the world I sipped this season for our multi-part “Countdown to New Year’s Eve.”
Below, my list of (other) top wines may look rather random; they are a representation many of the best wines I happened to have this year. There’s no one particular region or grape variety that dominates. The wines range in price from under $10 to hundreds of dollars a bottle. Very simply, I made notes of wines that grabbed my attention when I tasted them. What they all have in common is balance, along with remarkable aroma and flavor elements.
NV Champagne Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve: fresh, lively, poised and multifaceted – and biodynamic