First saw wine made at age 7, became a Master Gardner and now my favorite plant is Vitis vinifera. Published wine reviewer, teach wine appreciation at the local school district. And at my old age completed some WSET levels just because I love all things wine. I pour wine for various distributors, have worked with chefs pairing wine and food at corporate events and do private home parties too. Between events, I meet with winemakers in various states and countries.
“Grapes are the most noble and challenging of fruits”. Malcolm Dunn, Head Gardener to the 7th Viscount Powerscourt, c 1867
France: When I traveled & tasted thru Bordeaux in 2010, the winemakers were excited about the 2010s. So was I. I often heard the description “2005 plus plus.” Most of Europe does not irrigate, so rainfall and vintage years are very important. I mention this now as a reminder because some 2010s will soon be hitting the shelves. My advice: stock up. The year was so good you can get bargains without having to spend on top Chateaus.
Oregon: From Wine Spectator comes the news that Oregon pinot noir currently on the shelves (2010) is the best of 2009, 2010 and 2011 though all three years are good. Watch for the 2012s which should be spectacular.
Spain: Again from Wine Spectator comes the recommendation that Riojas from 2004 ad 2005 are great vintages. I have to agree, and I’m glad I stocked up. Many noteworthy bodegas are still on the shelves, and are bargain priced. And they can be aged. Buy several.
California: (Sonoma Valley) Too soon to be buying them now, but be on the lookout for Sonoma Zins, Cabs & Pinots. I visited several wineries in October of 2011 and winemakers were excited about it being one of their best quality years in recent memory.
The WineMizer in California
Washington: In character, I think, a mid-point between the fruit forward wine of California and the finesse of France. I like Washington wines and Wine Spectator reports the area had one of the best vintages (2012) in memory, very much like wonderful 2008. Take note & watch for these when they’re released.
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