Home > Top Dozen, wine > Top Wines of 2013 – Second Dozen

Top Wines of 2013 – Second Dozen

December 22, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Best wines I had in a year”, “my best restaurant experiences”, “top gadgets of the year” – as the year is winding down, the “best of the best” lists are being produced all of the blogosphere and traditional media. Of course, your truly is not an exception – this is the forth year in the row I would like to summarize, share, and maybe even re-live (just a little bit, okay?) the best wine experiences of 2013. And in case you are curious, here are the links for the 2010, 2011, 2012 second dozen and 2012 top dozen.

I really like writing this “Top Wine” posts, as it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the past year in wine and bring back the memories. In a typical year, we are probably going through a few hundred bottles of wine – if I would add all the wines tasted as part of the different events, winery visits, dinners, etc., this number will easily get close to the couple of thousands. How do you select most favorite 20 -something bottles out of all of those wines? I actually have a two-pass approach here. In the pass number one, I simply push my memory to produce the names of the wines which are on top of my mind – and write down those names. The second pass involves going through the label journals. When faced with the bottle of wine, taking the label off, putting it in my journal and adding the notes is my topmost priority. To refresh the memory, I simply go through that journal(s) with the mission of finding most memorable wines. Yes, it is possible that I gave the wine a high rating, but if looking at the label doesn’t trigger the reaction, such wine most likely will not be included into the consideration for the Top Dozen list.

Similar to 2012, I didn’t even try to limit my top list to only 12 wines. The list is split into the first and second dozens, and I think the “dozen” will be treated a bit loosely here – let’s say, a dozen and a few. The actual Top Dozen includes the most memorable (read – easiest to recall) wines of 2013, and the second dozen includes the wonderful wines which I feel I must mention. I will have the Top wine of the year, but otherwise, both lists are not prioritized – this is way too much work to decide that I like the wine #3 a 0.0001% more than the wine #4, thus please don’t look at this list as sorted – this is just the random list of my most memorable wines of 2013.

And now, without further ado, let me present to you Talk-a-Vino Second Dozen+ of wines of 2013.

27. 2011 Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir Franschhoek South Africa – light, tangy, refreshing, thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing wine. It is a quintessential Pinot Noir, with all the smoke, violet and cranberries, packaged in a delicate, effervescent frame.

26. 2005 Jamesport Vineyards Merlot Block E, Long Island, NY – one of the very best Long Island can produce. Powerful, concentrated and dangerous – you just don’t want to put the glass down. A pure delight.

25. 2010 Montesco Passionate Wine Parral, Tupungato, Mendoza – the wine with the soul. The passion, which s part of the name of this wine, is showing in every sip. Powerful and delightful.

24. 2008 Paritua Riesling Central Otago New Zealand – perfectly delightful or delightfully perfect? Clean, balanced, refreshing, light and delicious – all in one package.

23. NV Boroli Barolo Chinato, Piedmont – I think adding aromatic herbs to the Barolo is a stroke of a genius.  Yes, it is more of an after dinner drink than the wine, but you can’t stop smelling your glass, the aromatics are just incredible. Definitely one of my personal discoveries of 2013.

22. 2011 Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma County – beautiful Pinot Noir – clean and perfect. Do I need to say more?

21. 2010 Le Cimate Montefalco Rosso DOC – I had to include at least one of the beautiful Montefalco winesinto the Top list, as Montefalco wines (both Sagrantino and Rosso) where another personal discovery of 2013. Le Cimate was a love from the first sip – powerful, concentrated, lip smacking cherries – delicious.

20. 2007 Mount Palomar Charbono Temecula Valley, California – I probably managed to hit the sweet spot – this wine was definitely at its peak. Layered fruit, concentrated, silky smooth and perfectly balanced.

19. 2012 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir North Canterbury, New Zealand – pure, beautiful and classic. An excellent rendition of Pinot Noir – delicate, but present, elegant, round and perfectly balanced.

18. 2004 Coume Del Mas Quintessence Banyuls Red Dessert Wine – may be a single best (definitely one of the very best) red dessert wines I ever had. Supple dried fruits – prunes, figs – supported by balancing acidity. Outstanding.

17. 2001 Nino Negri ’5 Stelle’ Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG – I love the contrast of the sweet dried fruit on the nose, which you often get from grapes dried under the sun before they are pressed, and full and powerful body of wine. This wine had it all – sweet dried fruit on the nose, and perfectly balanced, perfectly dry palate, tons of pleasure in every sip. Yes, I would gladly repeat the experience again.

16. 1974 Quevedo Colheita Tawny Port – What can beat the taste of 40 years old port? Well, may be a 50, but I can’t tell firsthand. This was absolutely delicious, complex and still fresh, as only the old port can get. Wines of that level make the whole table to go quiet for a moment (or two), and just reflect on life.

15. NV Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru, Ambonay – This wine restored my love and appreciation for the fine Champagne. Somehow, for the most of the year, I was in the mode “Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Sparkling Shiraz – who cares, they are all the same” (okay, may be except the sparkling Shiraz) – the first sip of this wine put a “wow” back into the glass of Champagne for me. This was perfectly complex, with every sip making me crave another one.

14. 2005 Domaine Laleure-Piot Pernand-Vergelesses AOC, Burgundy – it is the wine like this which makes you say “boy, this is the wine I want to drink every day”.  Round, supple, yet effervescent – vanilla, sweet oak, fresh apples – all painted with the light touch, everything is in the perfect balance, everything is present, but so perfectly weaved together, you can only think of this wine a whole. Ouch, I need a sip of it right now…

13. 2011 Niepoort Tiara Douro Branco – this wine should probably be called a “perfect pick me up”. If you are in a bad mood, after a long day, after your boss was the usual jerk, have a glass of this wine. Your body will straighten itself, automatically assuming the perfect posture after the first sip. After the second sip, all the problems will go away, and you will be ready to face a new day or whatever is that you need to face. Delicious.

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There you have it – an extended second dozen of Top wines of 2013. Tried any of these wine? Didn’t try but have something to say? Comment away! Cheers!

To be continued…

  1. PSsquared
    December 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    This is a great list. I enjoy your descriptions. We may be heading to Temecula in March. I will make sure we visit Mt. Palomar. Cheers, my friend!

    • talkavino
      December 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks, Patty. If you are in the area, Mount Palomar is excellent. And another one, small, but true and honest, is the winery called Hart – great wines. Last one I can recommend is Leonesse Cellars.
      Cheers!

  2. PSsquared
    December 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    My favorite wine glass is actually one we got from a tasting at Hart many years ago. And on our last trip, we tried to convince my niece to get married at Leonesse. Beautiful place. MP is the only one I’m not familiar with. Looking very much forward to it. Cheers. 🙂

  3. December 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Happy Holidays, I don’t think I tried any of these wines you mentioned but will seek out the Siduri it sounds great!

    • talkavino
      December 23, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Thanks Suzanne! Siduri is well worth looking for.

      Happy Holidays!

  4. December 23, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that Nino Negro Valtellina. Sounds like a great wine especially for this time of the year. The wine store where I started working recently carries the 2009 vintage so I probably give that one a try instead.

    Happy Holidays!

    • talkavino
      December 23, 2013 at 7:28 am

      when we tasted 2009 in February, it was not ready. I would probably suggest a good decanting session of couple of hours. Let me know how you will like it!

      Happy Holidays!

  1. December 29, 2013 at 9:21 am
  2. December 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

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