Ten Favorite Wines of 2012

As we count down the days until the new year, many of us begin to self-reflect and  set new goals for the year to come.  My goal next year? Tantalize my palate with new and interesting wines.  In the meantime, let’s celebrate the top 10 I enjoyed throughout the year!

1 |  2003 Opus One  |  Napa Valley, California

2 |  2006 Paradigm Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley, California

3 |  2007 Robert König Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder Spätlese Trocken  |  Rheingau, Germany

4 |  2006 Fiddlehead Cellars Oldsville Reserve Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley, Oregon

5 |  2009 Julien Sunier Morgon  |  Beaujolais, France

6 |  2002 Nicolaysen Alisos Vineyard Syrah  |  Santa Barbara, California

7 |  2011 Gerhard Aldinger Untertürkheimer Gips Riesling Trocken  |  Württemberg, Germany

8 |  2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose  |  Provence, France

9 |  2005 Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spätlese  |  Rheingau, Germany

10 | Clos Saron Syrah blend  |  Sierra Foothills, California

Barnyard Brett

2009 Louis Latour Marsannay Pinot Noir, Burgundy, FranceI’m always up for a good barnyard Burgundy.  Brett, short for the yeast Brettanomyces, gives wine a funky barnyard quirk that some find highly offensive. While it is widely perceived as just a flaw, a yeast that spoils wine, some winemakers depend on it to add a unique characteristic to their wines.

I personally love it.

We put this to the test as we huddled around my San Francisco apartment kitchen bar with three tasters – two were bonafide oenophiles, the other was one who knew what he liked – a predictable wine.  While it did take a second to adapt to the wine, the two tasters with quite refined palates who’ve traveled through France and the like, well let’s just say…more for us!  Try it if you like em’ funky.

2009 Louis Latour Marsannay | Pinot Noir | Burgundy, France

Winemaker’s notes:  Ruby red in color with raspberry and earthy aromas on the nose. In the mouth this Marsannay is fleshy and structured and the tannins are mellow but still present. This lasts nicely on the finish.