Here's an update from my friends at the Cork and Barrel wine shop in Lawrence on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 List for 2007. Since they do business in Kansas, this list focuses on which of the Top 100 wines are available for sale in their shop in Kansas. It looks like many of the winners have already sold out nationwide, with the next vintage replacing them on store shelves.
I know many people think that Wine Spectator has become too commercial, but it is still fun to speculate which wines make the grade each year.
I think my big take away from reading this is:
1) How do I get a job on the Wine Spectator's tasting and judging panel?
2) I need to print this list and carry it with me to look for some of these when shopping in KC.
3) 2007 seems to be the year the world awoke to realize the greatness of Chateauneuf-du-Papes wines, I must learn more about them.
4) Finally, don't be a slave to what the experts say about wine, try them and make up your own mind.
These lists and others are an interesting way of seeing what "experts" in the wine industry think is worth drinking, and it can be a good place to start or discover a new favorite. But if you won't even try a bottle of wine unless Wine Spectator has blessed it with a 90 or above, then you could be missing out on one of the wonderful things about wine . . .discovering one that you personally like and would recommend to others.
Perhaps, you will find a hidden gem that no one has discovered yet, or one that has meaning because you drank it on your honeymoon, or perhaps it is always available, priced right, and never fails you during your Holiday parties.
I like the way Dan writes about wine, very straightforward, businesslike, friendly and informal. He seems like a man, I could drink some wine with.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Blomgren <email@example.com>
To: Our Loyal Wine Friends!
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 10:24 AM
Subject: Wine Spectator's Top 100
It's that time of year when the Wine Spectator's Top 100 list comes out. For those of you that have seen the list, it's on the Wine Specatator's website, you know how diverse this year's list is. We could sit here and debate for countless hours the validity of the list, but let's not do that. Let's just say for the 1000's of wines they try to be picked in the Top 100 is quite a feat.
I did some quick math on this years Top 100. The average price this year for a bottle in the Top 100 is $42.00 with the average score for the Top 100 being 92 pts.
I will only mention the wines available here in Kansas.
#1: Wine of the Year - Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005, which is not available in Kansas. Four of the Top 20 wines are Chateauneuf-du-Papes, so now might be a good time to try one if you haven't already.
I have the 2004 Chateau de Beuacastel (96 pts Wine Spectator) in the store (Cork and Barrel in Lawrence) now if interested in trying one of the perennial power Chat-du-Papes. ($105.99)
#2: Ridge Santa Cruz Chardonnay: sold out
#4: Antinori Tignanello 2004: sold out
#5: Two Hands 2005 Shiraz Bella's Garden, available at Cork, 23rd and Iowa location only. $59.99 per bottle, 19 bottles available.
#6: Chateau Leoville Las Cases: sold out
#9 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004: $125 as printed by Wine Spectator. I have not seen our pricing yet, but it should be close to this. Wine arrives in about a week.
#14: Jos. Jos. Prum Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2005: sold out
#20: Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape: sold out
#22: Amisfield Pinot Noir 2005: sold out
#23: Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Alta 2004: sold out
#24: John Duval Entity Barossa Valley 2005, 94 pts, $39.99 a bottle, 12 bottles available at Cork, 23rd and Iowa only.
#35: Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc Sonoma 2005: sold out. Selling 2006 now.
#36 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2006, 91 pts, $14.99 a bottle, available Cork, 23rd and Iowa only.
#44 Rubicon Estate Zinfandel Edisione Pennino 2004, 93 pts, available for order $36.99 per bottle.
#45 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Hormigas Reserva 2005, 92 pts, 10 bottles available at Cork, 23rd and Iowa only $28.99 per bottle.
#57 Thorn-Clark Shiraz Shotfire 2006, 91 pts, 45 bottles available at Cork, 23rd and Iowa, $19.99 per bottle.
#70 Delille D2 2004: sold out
#71 Columbia Crest Merlot Grand Estates 2004, 90 pts, 49 bottles avail Cork, 23rd and Iowa, $11.99 per bottle.
#72 Yellowtail Reserve Shiraz 2005: sold out
#82 Loring Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard 2005, 92 pts, 16 bottles available at Cork, 23rd and Iowa, $49.99 per bottle.
#84 d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab 2006: sold out
#90 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Tres Picos 2005: sold out
#91 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2005: sold out
#100 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: sold out
So there you have it. A couple of things are worth saying here. Please keep in mind that ALL wines reviewed throughout the year are available for Top 100. Sold out wines were probably tasted and reviewed earlier in the year, and now we are shipping the next vintage. On the Caymus Napa Cab 04 (#100 wine) we are actually already sold out on the 05 vintage as well. Gotta go. Go Hawks!!!!