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Untangled Vine

An attempt to sort through all things wine. Specifically of, and about, but not limited to: Food and Wine in Toledo, Ohio. Plus the day to day musings of a Wine Distributor...

If you want to know I think- in year-end countdown style.

Making a list, checking it twice…

I couldn’t possibly be asked to compile a complete list of the top wines of 2005 without bias. I represent many brands, and that tends to dominate my tastes, as well as with what I have the most familiarity. I have instead compiled 3 separate lists, each representing the 3 most common intentions of anyone buying wine. Unfortunately, for every wine included, there were 3 excluded that could have made the list. So with all due respect to High Fidelity:

Top 7 “best wines at this moment” from 2005
7. 2001 Casa de la Ermita Crianza- A perfect blend of old world and new world. Dark fruit dominates, but so well structured, it gets better the second day of being opened
6. 1999 Novy Page-Nord Syrah-just enough age on this wine right now to show the beauty and elegance of a well-made syrah
5. 2002 Billaud Simon AC Chablis- This wine shows what a little purity of fruit can do for Chardonnay. No oak (of course) this wine has almost a salinity and savory quality to it.
4. 2004 Siduri Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir- This is the best wine I’ve had from this promising vineyard in Santa Rita Hills. It has layers of dried and fresh red fruits, almost indescribably complex!
3. 2003 Jaffurs Thompson Vineyard Syrah- Power and perfume. Exotic aromas and a length of fruit that is fantastic
2. 2002 Renard Peay Vineyard Syrah- This wine is remarkable. It shows elegance and power. It is almost driven by a touch of acidity, you’d swear it was old-world with Grenache.
1. 2003 C.G. di Arie Southern Exposure Zinfandel- One of the best Zinfandels I’ve ever had! This is a wine that has elegance and relatively low alcohol for a Zin. Almost drinks like a dense Pinot Noir. This is from the old Grandpere Vineyard fruit that put Renwood on the map.

Top 5 “wines to cellar” from 2005
5. 2003 Gypsy Dancer A & G Estate Pinot Noir- 10 years later, somebody in Oregon actually channeled the spirit of Burgundy
4. 2001 Andrew Geoffrey Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain- Dense, chewy, fine grained tannins. Will age with structure and grace.
3. 2003 Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Auslese Riesling- I could have put together a list of my top 20 favorite Richter wines, I chose this wine because of it’s obvious sweetness, yet searing acidity. This wine showed beautiful apple, pear, citrus and baking spices. A life-changing wine
2. 2002 Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Syrah- Hands down-the best Domestic Syrah I’ve ever tasted, and for a Syrah freak, that is heady praise. And yet…
1. 2002 Chave Hermitage Blanc-o.k., someone forgot to tell Jean Louis that 2002 was a rotten vintage! This is a wine that I couldn’t possibly put into words. If you haven’t tasted a Chave Hermitage Blanc, you are missing an important part of your wine education. A blend of Marsanne and Rousanne with a little (or a lot) of age will completely change your expectations. The alcohol that drives the structure seems to prop this wine up year in and year out. A waxiness that coats, soothes and conveys indescribable flavors is the only quality I feel like I can put into words.

Top 5 “everyday wines” from 2005
5. 2003 Henry Poiron Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie- I’m a sucker for a great Loire white, or 2.
4. 2003 Henry Pelle Sancerre- In my humble opinion, everyone else in the world that is making Sauvignon Blanc should just pull up their roots and bow to the king of this now marginalized wine! Whew, Flowers, limes, custard, all good.
3. 2003 Pablo Padin Albarino- Wine geek wine, almost like drinking orange-glazed honey cake, but with no sweetness.
2. 2001 Chateau Perray Jouannet Anjou- Cab Franc at it’s most quaffable. You’d swear it was a great Cru Beaujolais!
1. 2002 Eric Ross Struttin Red Zinfandel Blend- Zinfandel that is dominated by Fruit and Acidity, not alcohol. A novel concept in and of itself, this wine is buoyed by long hangtime and 20% merlot. I swear I could drink this wine everyday and be happy.
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At 12:22 PM, Anonymous tami said...

i just came across your blog - it's good stuff! i agree with the C.G. di Arie Zin. I discovered this stuff about 7 months ago and its now on wine lists all over Atlanta. I'm a Zin freak...and this is one of my faves.

I'm also with you on the Novy Syrah.

I'm interested to try the Henry Pelle Sancerre as Sancerre has become one of my favorite types of white wine as of late. Finding them in Atlanta is difficult..much less finding one thats great.

Thanks for all the good info. I'll keep checking in on your blog :)

Merry Xmas!    

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