My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012 | TigerDroppings.com

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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


These are my 12 favorite wines from 2012, regardless of price. Next week I will present my list of my 12 favorite wines for under $20.

This year there was no clear cut number one wine for me. In fact, any of the first seven wines on this list could have been number one, and the number eight wine is not far behind the first seven. Numbers nine through twelve, on the other hand, definitely form a second tier of this list. As a point of reference, for those who are interested, I’ll include the rating each wine received in either the Wine Advocate (WA), or the Wine Spectator (WS). Enjoy!


1. Blair Fox Cellars 2007 “The Dare”

Price: $48; 96 points WA. Blair Fox is the head winemaker at Fess Parker Winery. Blair Fox Cellars is his eponymous label. He makes very small amounts of wine, usually just a few barrels of each wine, but what he makes is outstanding. “The Dare” is a blend of his top single-vineyard syrah barrels. This wine will be hard to find, but it’s worth the search.

Lagniappe: try any of the 2008 single vineyard Blair Fox syrahs, like the Tierra Alta Vineyard, Thompson Vineyard, Purisima Mountain Vineyard and Paradise Road Vineyard. Each scored in the 92-93 point range in the WA and they’ll be easier to find than “The Dare.” By the way, the 2008 “The Dare” was not nearly as good as the 2007, so if you do find a bottle of this wine be sure to take note of the vintage.


2. Cuvelier Los Andes 2006 Grand Malbec

Price: $75; 95 points WA. 100% malbec, one publication called this wine perhaps the best malbec of the 2006 vintage in Mendoza. I won’t argue with that. It’s a great wine.

Lagniappe: The 2006 Grand Malbec might be hard to find. The 2009 Grand Malbec is out and it’s almost as good as the ’06 (94 points WA). And at a retail price of $55 it has the advantage of being less expensive. Also, consider the Cuvelier Los Andes 2009 Grand Vin, a blend of 73% malbec, 19% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, aged in French oak for 18 months; price $35; 93 points WA. The 2007 is still on some shelves and it is just as good as the 2009. If you happen to stumble upon a bottle of the 2005 Grand Vin snap it up because it’s even better than the 2009 or the 2007. The 2008 of this wine was an off vintage so I would avoid it.


3. Tensley 2009 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard

Price: $38; 95 points WA. In my opinion Tensley is making the best quality-to-price ratio wines in California right now. This Colson Canyon syrah is a big, powerful wine that is just now starting to hit its stride, but will be even better in 2-3 years.

Lagniappe: Try any of the 2010 single vineyard syrahs that Tenlsey produced. They’ll be easier to find than the 2009 vintage. Tensley 2010 Syrah Thompson Vineyard (93 points WA); Tensley 2010 Turner Vineyard (93 points WA); Tensley 2010 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard (92 points WA); Tensley 2010 Syrah Tierra Alta Vineyard (94 points WS). They each sell for $38.


4. Concha y Toro 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor

Price: $80, although I’ve seen it as low as $50. I think $65 is about the norm; 95 points WA. This is a world-class cabernet sauvignon, better, in my opinion, than any California cabernet sauvignon at anywhere near this price. The 2007 vintage might be easier to find and is almost as good. The 2008 is also out but I didn’t like it nearly as much as the 2006 or 2007.


5. Ojai Vineyard 2008 Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard

Price: $45; 94 points WA. 2008 was not a great vintage for Ojai, but the Roll Ranch Vineyard Syrah proved to be the exception. It is a great wine. It’s the only one of their 2008’s that I’d recommend.

Lagniappe: I recommend any of the Ojai Vineyard 2006 or 2007 single vineyard syrahs you can find. Look for Ojai’s syrahs from Roll Ranch Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Melville Vineyard, or White Hawk Vineyard from the 2006 & 2007 vintages and the Presidio Vineyard Syrah from the 2006 vintage only. I’ve had them all and they’re all great.


6. Lagier Meredith 2008 Syrah Mount Veeder

Price: $55; 95 points WA. This is a cooler weather syrah from Napa Valley. A lovely wine, it shows the beauty and elegance syrah can achieve when produced in cooler weather. The retail price is $55, but I found it here in Los Angeles for $45.


7. Stolpman 2008 Hilltops Syrah

Price: $48; 94 points WA. Year in, year out this is one of my favorite California wines. I actually prefer it to the 100% syrah Stolpman makes called “Angeli” which retails for $68. The Hilltops syrah, grown on steep hillsides in Ballard Canyon, is mixed with 3% viognier.


8. Beckmen Vineyards 2008 Syrah Clone #1 Purisima Mt. Vineyard

Price: $52; 93 points WA. The #1 clone is an Australian clone, so this wine has all the chocolate notes one expects from a great Australian syrah, even though it was produced in California’s Santa Ynez Valley. A big, luscious wine.


9. Dragonette Cellars 2010 Long-Aged Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $38; 93 points in both WA & WS; My favorite white wine of the year and the only white wine on this list. This is 100% sauvignon blanc, with half of the grapes coming from the Vogelzang vineyard and half coming from the Grassini Family vineyard, both located in the new Happy Canyon AVA. The wine was stored for 18 months on its lees in a mix of new and used French oak.


10. Enzo Bianchi 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $50; 91 points WA; From Mendoza, Argentina, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec. I bought several bottles of this wine on sale for $30 a bottle and I’m much more comfortable recommending it at that price than I am at the $50 retail price tag. Not a great wine, but a very good one.


11. Dragonette Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir Black Label

Price: $75; 92 points WS. I liked this wine a lot, but it’s not worth the $75 in my opinion.

Lagniappe: Try the other pinot noirs from Dragonette, like the 2009 or 2010 Presido Vineyard ($54); 2009 or 2010 Santa Rita Hills ($42), or the just released 2011 Ampelos Vineyard ($54). Each scored 91 or 92 points in the major wine publications and their price tags are easier to swallow.


12. Foxen 2009 Range 30 West:

Price: $36; 92 points WS. I tasted through the wines at Foxen earlier in the year and this was one of the two wines that really stood out for me. When I think of Foxen I think of pinot noir and syrah, but this is actually a Bordeaux blend of 52% merlot; 48% cabernet sauvignon. A very pleasant, very drinkable wine.







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Bear Is Dead
LSU Fan
Monroe
Member since Nov 2007
3508 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Do you like Syrah?





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wiltznucs
South Florida Fan
Apollo Beach, FL
Member since Sep 2005
7592 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


I'll have to check some of these out, I've got the Mollydooker Winemaker's Dozen arriving this week. Very excited and a great deal if you havent checked it out...


This post was edited on 12/5 at 11:55 am


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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

Do you like Syrah?
I do, but it's also the best value in the world in expensive wine. Check out the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines list that was just released last month. The top 4 wines are syrah, and the list is dominated by syrah or syrah blends. For the life of me I can't figure out why this wine hasn't caught on more with the general wine drinking public.

When you get into less expensive wines, it's a different story. My list next week of the top 12 wines under $20 doesn't have any syrahs on it.






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Panny Crickets
LSU Fan
Fort Worth, TX
Member since Sep 2008
1273 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Love your reviews and insight. Thanks, L.A.!







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Cosmo
UNO Fan
glassman's guest house
Member since Oct 2003
63418 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


How about a top 12 under $20 Scrooge McDuck?





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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:


How about a top 12 under $20 Scrooge McDuck?
quote:

Next week I will present my list of my 12 favorite wines for under $20.






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Cosmo
UNO Fan
glassman's guest house
Member since Oct 2003
63418 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


I dont read good





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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

Love your reviews and insight. Thanks, L.A.!
Thanks Panny.







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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3161 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Not one old world wine in your top 12?





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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

Not one old world wine in your top 12?
My preferences definitely run to new world wines. There were some Italian wines on last year's list, but none this year.






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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3161 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Syrah is a favorite here as well. Will need to give some of those a try.





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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

Syrah is a favorite here as well. Will need to give some of those a try.

Happy hunting.







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LouisianaLady
USA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2009
54041 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Awesome list to bookmark. Can't wait for the top under $20 :)





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Contender54
LSU Fan
the Enn Oh
Member since Jan 2009
322 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


Great post.

I tend to forget about Syrah, but when I do open one, I'm reminded that I shouldn't overlook it.
Example, John Duval's Eligo. Great stuff






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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

Awesome list to bookmark. Can't wait for the top under $20 :)
Thanks LL. I had a lot of fun compiling the list and writing it up.






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plawmac
Member since Dec 2007
3210 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


As usual, great post and list! Really enjoy syrah, and will start hunting for a few you listed. More whites on the under $20 list?





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Boondock544
USA Fan
Member since Sep 2009
1405 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


I def wrote down that list and put it on my fridge. Where did you purchase these wines? BTW, one of my new fav wines this year was Joseph Kent's View Carre Blend (white). Retail $25-30, as well as the Supernatural SB from New Zealand, very dry considering its a SB, but very good.





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Neauxla
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
28825 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


I don't spend that much on wine since I don't know jack about wine.





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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
37399 posts

re: My 12 Favorite Wines of 2012


quote:

As usual, great post and list! Really enjoy syrah, and will start hunting for a few you listed. More whites on the under $20 list?
Thanks plawmac. And yes, there are 4 or 5 whites on the under $20 list. There's a lot of good white wine out there in that price range.







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