Top 100 Wines for 2016 – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy


As in my top 100 yearly wines it is never easy–always a hard thing to do but also a highlight of stunningly gorgeous wines.  I complete a yearly top 100 because I taste several thousands per year and not all of them are the same of course.  I was privileged to have traveled as much as I did this year.  I looked at past 100s over time and I do say they vary in terms of where the wines are coming from.  This year I have had the best year of tasting French and Italian wines.

I stepped foot on ground in the following countries this year: Italy, Vatican City, The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, and the UK.  I was able to taste for the first time wines from Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland.   The wine scene, of course, is alive and lively in all of Europe.  I knew when I was in Puglia for example that I would be tasting a lot of wines that unfortunately will never hit US shores.  I was delighted to taste sparkling wines and rosé wines from Puglia.  I did get considerable experience tasting Champagne.  A delight to taste so many wines–and with ease to find Brut Nature or Extra Brut unlike in my home base of San Francisco.  I found so many grower Champagnes and I was able to taste Drappier Quattor IV – which is a rarity unto itself–incorporating the four official white wine grapes of Chardonnay, Vrai Blanc (Pinot Blanc), Petit Meslier, and Arbanne.  The wine is memorable and I listed on my top 100 for 2016.  I loved that I was actually able to taste Petit Meslier and Arbanne from the vine and that Michel Drappier is committed to growing these wine grapes.  I also very much liked walking his vineyards and having him give the tour.

I never list number one has the highest ranking wine of the year–so please read this as a set of wines. Some publications have that hierarchy but I don’t believe in doing that.  You might just look at point scores as a guide as to what is “number 1” but I caution against that as so many wines/varieties and regions cannot be compared to other wines/varieties and regions. It makes no sense to do so–it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.  This list is in Alphabetical order.

I hope you get to taste some of these wines!

Wishing you a great 2017!

  1. A Vita Cirò 2013 – 93 Points
  2. Acquiesce Lodi Belle Blanc 2015 – 92 Points

3. Almaviva Puente Alto Red Wine 2013 95 Points

4. André Clouet Brut Nature NV 93 Points

5. Balleto Sexton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 92 Points

6. Benati Nerello Mascalese 2012 93 Points

7. Benoit Lahaye Champagne Blanc de Noirs NV 93 Points

8. Biondelli Franciacrota Brut NV 92 Points

9. Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant Central Coast Red Wine 2012 93 Points

10. CARO Mendoza Red Wine 2013 94 Points

11. Casa Caterina Cremont Blanc de Blanc 2007 Brut 93 Points

12. Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV 94 Points

13. Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru NV 94 Points

14. Champagne Bruno Paillard NPU 2003 95 Points

15. Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Les Couarres Extra Brut NV 94 Points

16. Champagne Drappier Grande Sendrée Cuvée 2008 94 Points

17. Champagne Drappier Quattuor Blanc de Quatre Blancs Brut NV 94 Points

18. Champagne Dumagin La Cuvée 17 93 Points

19. Champagne Etienne Calsac L’Echappée Belle Extra Brut NV 94 points

20. Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée de Reserve 94 Points

21. Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée Prestige Millesime 2011 95 Points

22.Champagne Gaillimard Pere et Fils Cuvée Quintessence – 94 Points

23. Champagne Gaillmard Pere et Fils Cuvée Grande Reserve Chardonnay Brut NV 94 Points

24. Champagne J. de Telmont OR 1735 94 Points

25. Champagne J. de Telmont Sans Soufre NV 93 Points

26. Champagne Jean Vesselle Demi-Sec Rosé Cuvée Friandise 93 Points

27. Champagne José Michel & Fils Brut Pinot Meunier 93 Points

28. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Longitude Premier Cru Extra-Brut – 94 Points

29. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru Extra-Brut 94 Points

30. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Terre de Vertus Premier Cru Non-Dosé 95 Points

31. Champagne Larmandeier-Bernier Vieille Vigne du Levant Grand Cru Extra-Brut 2007 94 Points

32. Champagne Lepreux-Penet Bulles Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs NV 93 Points

33. Champagne Maillet Exception Blanche Millésimé Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV 93 Points

34. Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Millésimé 2008 94 Points

35. Champagne Mailly L’intemporelle Grand Cru Cuvée Millésimé 2009 – 94 Points

36. Champagne Mailly Les Enchansons Grand Cru Cuvée Millésimé 2000 – 95 Points

37. Champagne Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Brut Rosé – 94 Points

38. Champagne Pascal Doquet Diapassion Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV 93 Points

39. Champagne Philippe Gonet Extra Brut 3210 Blanc de Blancs NV 94 Points

40. Champagne Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV 94 Points

41. Champagne Vilmart & Co. Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or 2010 93 Points

42. Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf de Pape 2012- 94 Points

43. Chenowith Green Valley of RRV Pinot Noir 2012 93 Points

44. Concha y Toro Don Melchor Puente Alto Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 94 Points

45. Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut Rosé NV 92 Points

46. Coolshangh Vineyard Okanagan Valley Chardonnay 93 Points

47. COS Pithos Bianco Siliica 2013 92 Points

48. Daniel Dampt et fils Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons 2015 93 Points

49. Domaine Carneros La Terre Promise Carneros Estate Pinot Noir- 2013  93 Points

50. Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2014 93 Points

51. Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru “Valmur” 2014 95 Points

52. Domaine William Fèvre Premier Cru Fourchaume Chablis 2014 – 94 Points

53. Emeritus Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2013 94 Points

54. Emile Beranger Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 94 Points

55. Franciscan Estate Cuvée Sauvage Carneros Chardonnay 2013 – 93 Points

56. Fumanelli Valpoliclla Classico Superiore 2013 – 93 Points

57. Galafarm Moravia Svatovavřinecké 2012 93 Points

58. Garfano Simpotica Rosso Salento IGP – 2013 93 Points

59. Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 94 Points

60. Gotsa Babaneuri Valley Mtsvane ’13 94 Points

61. H&H Malvasia Madeira 20 YO – 94 Points

62. Vaglio Massa I Fratelli Negroamaro IGP Salento 2014 94 Points

63. Jean Claude Bessie Chablis Grand Cru 2014 94 Points

64. William Fevre Chablis Premier Cru Fouchaume 2014 94 Points

65. Vinařství Krásná Hora Pinot Noir, Moravia 2014 93 Points

66. Kindzmarauli Kakhetian Royal 2013 93 Points

67. La Chablisienne Les Preseuses Chablis Grand Cru 2010 94 Points

68. Louis Roederer Brut Millésimé 1980 95 Points

69. Louis Roederer Brut Nature – 2009 9.5 Points

70. Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 96 Points

71. Marchesi Fumanelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2013 93 Points

72. Marchesi Fumanelli Terso Veneto White Wine – 2014 92 Points

73. Maruli Tenuta Pardiga Rosato Copertino DOP – 2015 93 Points

74. Mattina Fiore Edna Valley Albarino 2015 92 Points

75. McCay Lodi Abba Yyd Grenache 2012 94 Points

76.Michael Shaps Monticello Honah Lee Vineyard Petit Manseng 2014 – 93 Points

77. Mila Vuolo Colli di Salerno Aglianico 2007 93 Points

78, Muhr-van der Niepoort Samt & Seide 2012 – 94 Points

79. Negroamaro Bianco Puglia IGT “Rocci” 2014 93 Points

80. Nottingham Cellars Livermore Valley Casa de Vinas Micro-Lot Reserve Cabernet Franc ’13 93 Points

81. Patricia Green Freedom Hill Vineyard – 2014 93 Points

82. Piero Mancini Vermentino di Gallura 2015 92 Points

83. Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV 93 Points

84. Plenus Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT 2014 93 Points

85. Rare Wine Co.Historic Wine Series Baltimore Rainwater Medium Dry 93 Points

86. Samuel Tinon Birtok Dry Tokay Furmint 2014 94 Points

87. Samuel Tinon Szent Tamás Dry Tokaj Furmit 2015  93 Points

88. Sea Smoke Sea Spray SRH LD Blanc de Noirs 2012 92 Points

89. Bojt Egri Csillag 2015 93 Points

90. Shumi Tsinandali Georgia Dry White Wine 2014 – 94 points

91. Terre del Principe Pallagrello Nero Casavecchia Terre del Volturno ’12 93 Points

92. Tommasi della Valpolicella Amarone Classico – 2001 – 94 Points

93. Tre Tomoli Rosa Susmaniello IGT 2015 93 Points

94. Troon Applegate Valley Black Label Vermentino 2014 93 Points

95. Valenta Nitrianska Slovakia Rizling Vlasšky 2015 92 Points

96. Vasco Urbano Livermore Valley The Sherif GSM 2013 93 Points

97. Vega-Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero 2008 – 95 Points

98. Vega-Sicilia Valbuena 2011 Ribera del Duero 2011 94 Points

99.. Vine Cliff Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 92 points

100. Waits-Mast Pinot Noir Blanc 2014 94 Points



James the Wine Guy

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

© 2016 James Melendez / 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 GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 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, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
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2 Responses to Top 100 Wines for 2016 – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

  1. Pingback: #WineWednesday Spotlight #70: Gotsa Mtsvane

  2. Pingback: Top 100 Wines of 2018 – James Melendez | James the Wine Guy

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