Comparing wines from different denominations and making a list in order of preference is remarkably difficult and unnecessary… unless you are selling magazines or have a website!
In true wine critic tradition I have decided to continue making a list of the wines I most enjoyed during this past year.
My list is not based on price, denomination or points given… it is based on WOW factor!
1) La Spinetta Campè Barolo 2016*
1) Cascina Ebreo Torbido! Vino Rosso 2009*
3) Il Marroneto Madonna delle Grazie Brunello di Montalcino 2016
4) Ricasoli 1141 Ceniprimo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018
5) Castello della Sala Cervaro 2013
6) Vecchie Terre di Montefili Anfiteatro IGT 2016
7) Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
8) Giodo Brunello di Montalcino 2017
9) San Polino Brunello di Montalcino 2017
10) Isole e Olena Chardonnay IGT Collezione Privata 2019
11) Istine Le Vigne Chianti Classico Riserva 2017
12) Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum IGT 2016
13) Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano Rialzi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
N.B. ’13' wines are listed as it is my favourite number!
N.N.B. * = Joint n.1
As far as my 'Top Wine of 2021' was concerned, I could not split the first two wines on the list.
They are two wines from the same region: the Langhe, both Nebbiolo, both exceptional, but I doubt if you could find two wines that share so much, and yet are polar opposites.
Cascina Ebreo Torbido! 2009 is a Barolo in all but name, it is a free expression wine, after being declassified due to a difference of opinion between the winemaker Peter Weimer (lovingly and respectfully referred to as ‘Pete the German’) and the Consorzio del Barolo.
Tasting Note Ruby red in colour. Aromatics of red rose petal and warm violet. Red cherry, stewed plum, dry forest floor, black truffle, dark chocolate, dried mushroom, cedar wood and sage. Showing 15% + volume but fruit quality takes care of any concern. Medium to full bodied. Complex with rich textural depth. Balanced. Secondary nuances of liquorice, clove, crushed rock. Progressing to a juicy, clean, fresh long close. A total joy! Points 98 TW
La Spinetta Campè Barolo 2016 A famous name in world wine circles. Giorgio Rivetti extracts a near perfect Barolo from a small vineyard (8.64 acres) at an altitude of 280m above sea level from 70 year old vines.
Tasting Note Ruby red in colour with dark undertones. Elevated rose aromatics. Cherry and blackberry, warm black liquorice, dried rosemary, sea pebble minerality. Rich and rounded. Balanced like the scales of justice. Elegant. Walks across mid palate leaving juicy footprints of ripe fruit with fresh acidity and chewy tannins. Back end showing sweet cigar tobacco and eastern spice. Linear with a long broad finish. Glorious! Points 98 TW
My thanks go to all the winemakers for their expertise and for their generosity, resulting in a very special reviewing year for me.
Wishing you all a safe 2022 and happy wine tasting!