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Month December 2013

Top 100 Wines of 2013 – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

This was another great wine year.  I have said in many past videos that we “live in the best of wine times” which can be thought of in terms of quality, artistry and availability.  My top 100 I hope is always unique and very different.  It is not what you might find in a mainstream wine media publications.  I think it is unique and varied.  Wines from Corsica, Ontario, Okanagan Valley, Slovenia, Hungary, and beyond.  These wine represent some of the best wines that may not be part of the “usual suspects” but highly polished and integrated and lyrical wines.

This is a a ranking of top 100 in no particular order.  It has been a great year of exciting and Look forward to 2014.

1. Abacela Umpqua Valley Estate Tempranillo – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)
2. Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza Red Wine – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

3. Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella – 2008 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)
4. Alma Rosa Sta Rita Hills La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)
5. Atlántico Sur Single Vineyard Uruguay Tannat – 2006 – 9.5 (95/100 Pts)

6. Beauregard Santa Cruz Mountains Zinfandel – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)
7. Beauregard SCM Regan Vineyard Pinot Gris Orange Wine – 2012 – 9.1 (91/100 Pts)

8. Bellingham The Bernard Series SMV Red Wine 2011 – 9.5 (95/100 Pts)

9. Beni di Batasiolo Barolo – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

10. Big Basin Alfaro Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

11. Bott Csontos Furmint – 2011 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

12. Bott Határi Hárslevelű – 2011 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

13. Bodgea Bouza Montevideo Albariño 2012 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

14. Bravium Beau Terroir Vineyardd Carneros Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

15. Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Dragonfly Block Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

16. Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Sundance Block Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

17. Canard-Duchêne Brut Authentic Champagne NV 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

18. Charles Heidsieck Brut Rosé Réserve – NV – 9.5 (95/100 Pts)

19. Chateau De Maligny Chablis Vieilles Vignes – 2010 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)  –

20. Cockburn’s Vintage Port – 1955  – 9.6 (96/100 Pts)

21. Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 2009 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

22. Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

23. Delamotte Blanc De Blancs Brut Champagne – 2002 – 9.6 (96/100 Pts)

24. Di Majo Norante Molise Aglianico Contado Res – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

25.  Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine Rosé – 2012 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

26. Domaine De La Verde Vacqueyras – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

27. Domaine de Marquiliani Vin de Corse Rosé – 2012 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

28. Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Reserve Pinot Noir – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

29. Ferrari Brut Rosé NV – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

30. Formidable Mendocino County Merlot – 2009 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

31. Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Magnificat Red Wine – 2010 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

32. Frick Dry Creek Valley Counoise – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

33. Frick Dry Creek Valley Syrah – 2005 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

34. Furthermore Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

35. Graham’s Vintage Port 1966 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

36. Hand of God Old Vine Mendoza Malbec – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

37. Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

38. Haywire Okanagan Valley Gamay Noir – 2011 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

39. Hedges Red Mountain Red Wine – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

40. Henry of Pelham Ontario Short Hills Bench Estate Riesling  – 2008 –  9.3 (93 /100 Pts)

41. HHV Block 3 Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

42. J Late-Disgorged 2004 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

43. J. Cuvee XB Extra Brut NV -9.3 (93/100 Pts)

44. James Cole Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2010 – 9.4 /100 Pts)

45. Kabaj Goriška Brda Amfora 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

46. Kabaj Goriška Brda Rebula 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

47. Kabaj Goriška Brda Sivi Pinot – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

48. Klinker Brick Bricks & Mortar Lodi Red Wine – 2011 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts) James Melendez

49. La Rochelle Russian River Valley Pinot Meunier – 2012 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

50. Lange Twins Centennial Lodi Zinfandel – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

51. Maverick Okanagan Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 2011 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

52. Merry Edwards Olivet Lane Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

53. Merry Edward Estate Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

54. Merry Edwards Meredith Estate Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

55. Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel – 2005 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

56. Monte del Fra Amarone della Valpolicella – 2008 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

57. Montepedroso Rueda Verdejo – 2012 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

58. Mud House Golden Terra Central Otago Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

59. Murrieta’s Well Livermore Valley Zarzuela Red Wine – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

60. Nico Tanya’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Fiano – 2012 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

61. Nino Franco Primo Franco Prosecco Superiore DOCG – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

62. Nino Franco Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

63. Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin – 2008 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

64. Painted Rock Estate Red Icon Okanagan Valley Red Wine – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

65. Papale Primitivo di Manduria – 2008 – 9.3 – (93/100 Pts)

66. Patricia Green Croft Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2007 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts

67. Quinta Cruz Clement Hills Bokisch Vineyard Graciano – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

68. Quinta do Vesuvio – 1994 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

69. Rocca di Montemassi – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

70. Rosa d’Oro Clear Lake Primitivo – 2011 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

71. Rustico Okanagan Valley Old Vine Zinfandel – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

72. S.A. Prüm Beerenuaslse – 2001 9.6 (96/100 Pts)

73. S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese – 2005 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

74. S.A. Prüm Wehlener Ereste Lage Old Vine Riesling – 2004 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

75. Schäfer-Fröhlich Vulkangestein Nahe Trocken Riesling – 2011 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

76. Sequoia Grove Morisoli Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

77. Seven Directions Okanagan Valley Rosé – 2012 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

78. Skinner El Dorado Syrah – 2008 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

79. St. Amant Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel – 2012 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts) –

80. Stepping Stone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé – 2012 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

81. Steven Ken Folkendt Vineyard Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

82. Steven Kent Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon – 9.3. (93/100 Pts)

83. Steven Kent Lineage Livermore Valley Red Wine – 2010 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

84. Strying Ribbon Ridge Estate Pinot Noir –  2009 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

85. T Vine Mt. Veeder Grenache 2010 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

86. T Vine Frediani Zinfandel 2010 – (93/100 Pts)

87. Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel – 2010-  9.3 (93/100 Pts

88. Tantalus Okanagan Valley Old Vine Riesling – 20- 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

89. Tinhorn Creek Okanagan Valley Cabernet Franc – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

90. Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench Red Wine – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

91. Tantalus Okanagan Valley Natural Brut – 2010 – 9.3 (93 100 Pts)

92. Tercero Watch Hill Grenache 2009 – 9.3 -(9.3 /100 Pts)

93. Theniot Brut Champagne NV – 9.3 (9.3/100 Pts)

94. Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

95. Trigrammaton Nova Vineyard Yolo County Cabernet Franc – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

96. Unison Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

97. Waits-Mast Oppenlander Vineyard Mendocino Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

98. Warres Vintage Port 1970 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts)

99. Yves Leccia Domaine D’e Croce Patrimonio Vermentino – 2011 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts)

100. Zonin Amarone Della Valpolicella – 2008 – 9.3 – (93/100 Pts)

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Wishing you the best in 2014 in wine and all adventures!

Drop me a line!  james@jamesthewineguy.com

James Melendez

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

About: James the Wine Guy – James Melendez is the world’s largest producer of published wine videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

He has been a Food and Wine Marketing Manager at a large US multi-state retail chain.  He is a San Francisco-based wine writer, videographer, educator and judge.   He has been on both sides of the pouring table and loves what wine is and does to bring friends and family closer.  An fan of history and a great appreciator of everyone involved in making wine.

****

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

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Wine Without Borders (A Bit of Prohibition Still Lingers) – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

While Prohibition ended 80 years ago it still lives in on many ways.  Post-prohibition does allow for distribution of beer, wine and spirits, however, ABC (alcohol beverage control) laws have been overly controlling and are a direct result of the repeal.  Often I remind those around that while in this post prohibition period there are approximately 40,000 ABC laws where a great majority of these are ridiculous laws.   Required mark-ups, colour of price label, screw cap allowance, non-allowance of sales or discounts, regulatory required markups and the sundry list goes on and on.    There is probably no other consumer product category with more regulation.  There is no such thing as a free market in the US as it relates to beer, wine and spirits distribution as prices are manipulated by regulated barriers.

Some people point to Canada as it relates to cross provincial barriers are the worst examples in first world nation-states but to be fair while they may be prohibitive but are no match for the overly complex, overly ridiculous laws and regulations in the United States for cross state exchange of wine, beer and spirits.

Prohibition was a grand failure, a constitution amendment of the absurd and a generator of so many more negative social consequences that linger on ad nausem.  I wonder what would have happen to the wine industry if prohibition would not have happened.  There is considerable vibrancy in the wine producing community which has nothing to do with ease of doing business in the overly controlled world of ABC as there is no ease of doing business in this era.  In 2013, we still have US states that are Franchise distribution states, dry or mixed dry counties or zones.    The repeal of prohibition gave too much control to states who controlled every aspect.  More so states now in 2013 do not have the a reason to have exceedingly controlling laws–in this era of online information about wine, beer and spirits and makes price points transparent on each computer screen.  Awareness and knowledge may not bring change immediately but will someday bring much needed reform.

When I tried recently ordering a wine from a producer in another state I could not as the producer did have the right permits.  Ultimately there may be little incentive to get a permit to a potential state that may not purchase enough wine to sustain the cost of the yearly permits.   What this means in the bigger picture is that there will not be a level playing field.  This is one area where reform is certainly needed hence wine without borders is my advocacy.

I do think that end of prohibition was a great day and I hope someday real reform of ABCs will happen.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKGOOGLE+VIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBETUMBLR