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Must Try Wines

It is not so simple to talk about ”must have experiences” – as we move on in life, the idea of ”must have” can be changing dramatically, taking something which was considered divine to something you can literally despise.

Our experiences are personal, and they have value within our view, our picture of the world. This is true pretty much for everything, but this is ultimately true when it comes to food and wine. If someone is strictly a white zinfandel drinker, convincing him or her that this Chateau Latour is a good wine would be an impossible task. Therefore, does it make sense to come up with the list of ”must try wines”? I believe so. This doesn’t have have to be a ”must try” list for everyone, but this is rather a personal belief based on the present relationship with the wine world. By reading books, blogs and magazine articles, talking to people (twitter conversations included), and then doing more reading, talking and thinking (and drinking!!!), this list came by as my personal reflection. These are the wines I would like to experience at least once – nothing more and nothing less.

Few notes about the list. First, it is built by country, and then sub-regions. The primary idea behind including most of the wines you can see on the list is their reputation, which is based on what I read and heard. Yes, majority of the wines in the list are super-expensive, but this just a consequence of their reputation, I guess. Considering that, I also included possible substitutes for some of the wines – some of the substitution suggestions are based on the official (and semi-official) ”second labels” (here’s a link to the post I wrote for The Art Of Life Magazine on the subject of the second labels) – for instance all of the Bordeaux First Growth have their official second label wines (some of them even have third labels now). Some of the other suggestions are simply based on geographic proximity and ownership – for instance, Chateau Hosanna is located next to the famed Chateau Petrus and both are owned by the same owner, Christian Moueix.

And few more points. If you want to get that list in the form of the PDF file, here is the link for you. If you are interested in my logic as to why particular wines and wineries are there – I will gladly explain, just ask a question. If you think there are other wines I should include in the list, let me know – I will greatly appreciate the suggestions. However, if you think that I’m wrong and some of the wines shouldn’t be on this list – well, tough luck – the is is my personal list, and this is the way I see it at the moment.

Without further delay, here is the list. Cheers!

Country/Region
Winery/Wine

Potential Alternative

France

Champagne

Krug Clos du Mesnil Krug Grand Cuvee NV
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay
Salon Le Mesnil

Bordeaux

Chateau Latour Les Forts de Latour
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Carruades de Lafite Rothschild
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Le Petit Mouton
Chateau Haut Brion Le Clarence de Haut-Brion
Chateau Margaux Pavillion Rouge
Chateau Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval
Chateau Petrus Chateau Hosanna
Chateau Le Pin

Burgundy

DRC Grand Cru Échezeaux
DRC Grand Cru Richebourg
DRC Grand Cru La Tâche
DRC Grand Cru La Romanée-Conti
DRC Grand Cru Montrachet

Sauternes

Chateau d’Yquem

Northern Rhone

E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque
Chateau Grillet

Southern Rhone

Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin
Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee da Capo
Italy

Piedmont

Gaja
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Asili
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto

Tuscany

Ornelaia Masseto
Antinori Solaia
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto
Ornelaia Le Serre Nouve, Le Volte
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano

Veneto

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone
Spain

Rioja

1964 Lopez de Heredia “Viña Tondonia” Gran Reserva Rioja

Ribero Del Duero

Vega Sicilia Unico Valbuena 5°
Bodega Dominio de Pingus
US

California

Bryant Family DB4
Colgin Family
Harlan Maiden
Screaming Eagle Leviathan
Sine Qua Non
Alban Vineyards
Saxum

Washington

Cayuse
Quilceda Creek
Portugal
Taylor’s Scion Very Old Port
Australia

Barossa Valley

Penfolds Grange
Seppeltsfield 100 year old Para Vintage Tawny
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