MY TOP 10 WINES OF 2016
Chateau d’Yquem 2009 99 points
Hard to say that this was better than the 2011 and vice versa, for different reasons these two wines have an inner light… lingering, powerful, rich, restrained, fine, expansive, sure… so many words. Unmisseable.
Chateau d’Yquem 2011 99 points
What can be said here… Compared to the 2001 (confirmed by Sandrine Garbay), this was an astoundingly fresh and complex wine, stratospheric in its flavour explosion in my mouth, and going the distance through the finish. Even to the lay person this is an exceptional wine: thought provoking, smile inducing and exciting. I mean this is a seriously cool wine.
Pierre Peters ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs 2008, 99 points
Nervously close to perfect. I can’t think of a thing I would add or take away to this complete wine. It is walking on a tightrope of acidity, tension, expansive minerality and restrained fruit. There is finesse and power here at once. Devastatingly, my one and only bottle. But worth it. INCREDIBLE.
Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996, 99 points
What more could I want from a champagne? Tight, refined, powerful… delicate flavours of citrus peel mingle with the signature crushed coffee grounds and oyster shell. Lingering and rendering me somewhat speechless, before inspiring a (largely ineloquent) monologue dominated by fricative consonants and punctuated by laughter…
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2008, 98 points
Dazzlingly great, if not young. But surprisingly awake and even mellifluous now.... bright and spicy, layered and complex but satisfying and approachable... restrained, structured, abundant fruit – this is why we drink nebbiolo.
Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose 2002, 98 points
Our anniversary wine. Dark salmon in colour, more illuminated orange than I expected, dried rose petals, pomegranate, sautéed strawberries, blood orange, hints of star anise, crushed pink peppercorns…. Structured, rich, complex, exciting and ageing so gracefully. Wow.
Penfolds Grange 2012, 98 points
Well I never thought I’d use this word with Grange on release: restraint. “Oh it’s like the o4!” was my first thought. This I think, is the greatest Grange on release. Savoury fruit, mulberry, ripe raspberry, hints of blackcurrant, salted black liquorice, spicy pepper, clove, star anise – it’s moorish. This is desperately moorish. And elegant. Restraint and spice. YES.
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 1986, 98 points
Ageing more gracefully than I am. Superb example of Margaret River Chardonnay – 30 years old! I wouldn’t say this had more time left in it, but I will say it was the very best version of itself – all things in place and world class. So proud to be WA born and bred.
Ulysse Colin Les Roises Blanc de Blancs NV, 97 points
One of four blanc de blancs at dinner, this being tiny production (3600 bottles annually), single vineyard in that even thought this is a NV BdBs, the reserve wines are from this vineyard, and the Burgundy barrels used for maturation are also isolated to this vineyard. The most full bodied, complex champagne I think I’ve had. Seriously like Burgundy but it just happens to have bubbles and a wicked acid line.
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2014 97 points
As usual, the nose here is super refined, a clear balance of fruit, and oak, and spice. A thoroughbred wine with a length of flavour that shimmers, the fruit has exceptional clarity, it is fine and spiced... Length of flavour without bulk. Elegance. Longevity. Purity and precision. Crystalline. Length without brawn.