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10.27.2007

Tasting the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries for 2007

wstop100_2007.jpgThere are public wine tastings and then there are public wine tastings. The difference between the good ones and the bad ones can be quite dramatic. The bad ones are in crappy locations, are poorly organized, offer no food, and only mediocre wines. The good ones are, well, just the opposite -- nicely organized, well catered, and offer great wines. And the best ones? Well, they throw in a jazz quartet, and all you can eat oyster bar, a dessert bar, and wines that sometimes retail for hundreds of dollars, if you can find them. All of which nicely describe the annual Wine and Spirits Top 100 Winery tasting.

Like many of their peers in the magazine world, Wine & Spirits publishes an annual award issue, in which they celebrate what they think are the Top 100 wineries around the world, based on the quality of their wines. Regular readers know that I'm no fan of such lists, which I generally find to be meaningless. Thankfully the Wine & Spirits list doesn't actually rank these wineries from 1 to 100, which would be inane to say the least. They just publish an issue with profiles of each and list their high scoring wines (which presumably got them on the list to begin with).

But more to the point, the magazine also happens to put on a tasting where all 100 of these wineries are invited to pour the wines that were rated highly by the magazine, and it ends up being one hell of a tasting.

Though I'm not one for awards, I'd be tempted to give the Top 100 tasting a ribbon for the best food offered at any public wine tasting, and it's certainly the only one I've ever been to that has a live Jazz soundtrack.

I don't really get to enjoy either, apart from a brief snack here and there, as I'm there to taste literally every wine, and see what I think of the entire lineup. Which is, of course, what follows below.

Most wineries brought only 2 wines apiece, at least one of which was their top scoring wine from the magazine's ratings this year. I've divided my tasting notes into white (including sparkling and rose wines) and red, and grouped them by score, as usual.

Enjoy.


White Wines

WHITE WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9.5 and 10
2004 Joh. Jos. Prüm Spätlese Graacher Himmelreich Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2005 C. von Schubert Spätlese Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
2006 C. von Schubert QbA Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Superior, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
2005 Joh. Jos. Prüm Auslese Goldkapsel Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
NV Krug Brut Grande Cuvee Champagne, France
1985 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rare Vintage Rose Champagne, France

WHITE WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9 and 9.5
1995 Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc des Millenaires Champagne, France
2004 Domaine Weinbach Altenbourg Cuvee Laurence Gewurztraminer, Alsace
2006 Domaine Weinbach Schlossberg Cuvee Ste. Catherine L'Inedit Riesling , Alsace
2005 Dr. Loosen Beerenauslese Urziger Würzgarten Riesling , Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
2004 Flowers Andreen-Gale Cuvee Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, California
2005 François Chidaine Clos Habert, Montlouis sur Loire, France
2005 François Chidaine Le Bouchet Vouvray, Loire Valley, France
2004 Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
2005 Karl Lagler Smaragd Spitzer 1000 Eimerberg Riesling, Wachau, Austria
2004 Louis Jadot Premier Cru Gouttes-d'Or, Meursault, Burgundy, France
2004 Morey-Blanc Grand Cru Les Renardes , Corton, Burgundy, France
2005 Nigl Kremser Kremsleiten Riesling , Kremstal, Austria
2005 Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay , Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
2005 Prinz zu Salm-Dalberg Kabinett Schloss Wallhausen Riesling , Nahe, Germany
2004 Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
2006 Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria
1996 The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Aszu 6 Puttonyos Nyulaszo, Tokaj, Hungary
1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut La Grande Dame Champagne, France
2001 Wenzel Ruster Ausbruch Saz, Burgenland, Austria

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling, Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Columbia Valley, Washington
2006 Concha y Toro Terrunyo El Triangulo Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc , Casablanca Valley, Chile
2005 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile
2006 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand
2005 Domaine Huet Demi-Sec Clos du Bourg, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France
2006 Dr. Loosen Kabinett Bernkasteler Lay Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
2006 E. Guigal La Doriane Condrieu, Rhone Valley, France
2006 Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford, Napa, California
2005 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
2005 Iron Horse Native Yeast Chardonnay, Green Valley, Sonoma, California
2005 J. Hofstätter Kolbenhof Gewurztraminer, Alto Adige, Italy
2005 Karl Lagler Smaragd Steinborz Grüner Veltliner, Wachau, Austria
2006 McCrea Boushey Vineyard Sirocco Blanc, Yakima Valley, Washington
2005 Nigl Privat Riesling , Kremstal, Austria
1999 Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Special Club Premier Cru Champagne, France
2006 Prinz zu Salm-Dalberg Spätlese Schloss Wallhausen Roxheimer Berg Riesling , Nahe, Germany
2000 Roederer Esate L'Ermitage Brut, Anderson Valley, California
2005 Schiopetto Pinot Bianco , Collio, Italy
2006 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Grüner Veltliner , Kamptal, Austria
2005 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc, Paso Robles, California
1995 The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Aszu 6 Puttonyos Mezes Maly , Tokaj, Hungary
2005 Villa Matilde Falanghina, Falerno del Massico, Italy

WHITE WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8.5 and 9
2006 Aveleda Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal
2005 Boutari Moschofilero, Mantinia, Greece
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne, France
2004 Chehalem Ian's Reserve Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2005 Dutton Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
2006 Gaia Thalassitis , Santorini, Greece
2006 Grgich Hills Fume Blanc, Napa Valley, California
2001 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut , Green Valley, Sonoma, California
2006 Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
2000 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage Rose Champagne, France
2004 Morey-Blanc Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne , Corton, Burgundy, France
2005 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay , Carneros, Sonoma, California
2005 Qupe Bien Nacido Reserve-Block Eleven Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, California
NV Roederer Esate Brut, Anderson Valley, California
2005 Schiopetto Blanc Rosis, Venezia Giulia, Italy
2005 Zaca Mesa Roussane , Santa Ynez Valley, California

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2006 Grosset Watervale Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia
2006 L'Ecole No. 41 Seven Hills Vineyards Semillon, Columiba Valley, Washington
2004 Morande Edicion Limitada Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon , Maipo Valley, Chile

WHITE WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8 and 8.5
2006 Aveleda Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde, Portugal

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
NV Hidalgo Amontillado Napoleon, Jerez, Spain
NV Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana , Jerez, Spain


Red Wines

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2004 Betz La Côte Rousse Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington
2002 Capafons-Osso Mas de Masos Priorat, Spain
2000 Masi Campolongo di Torbe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy
2003 McCrea Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain, Washington
2005 Telmo Rodriguez Real Mountain Wine, Malaga Molino, Spain
2004 Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma

RED WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9 and 9.5
2004 Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, California
2005 Beckmen Purisma Mountain Vineyard Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley, California
2005 Betz Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington
2004 Bravante Trio, Howell Mountain, Napa, California
2004 Bravante Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa, California
2004 Castello di Volpaia Riserva Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
2001 Ceretto Prapo Barolo, Piemonte, Italy
2001 Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
1999 Collemattoni Riserva Vigna Fontelontano Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
2004 Dashe Old Vines Louvau Vineyard Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
2004 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2004 Emilio Moro Malleolus Ribera del Duero, Spain
2004 Flowers Frances Thompson Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California
2003 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon , Napa Valley, California
1998 Massolino Riserva Vigna Rionda Barolo, Tuscany, Italy
2001 Massolino Margheria Barolo, Piemonte, Italy
2004 Peay La Bruma Syrah, Sonoma Coast, California
2005 Peay Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California
2004 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, South Australia
2003 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Luigi Einaudi , Langhe, Italy
2004 Quinta de Roriz Porto, Portugal
2005 Reverie Cabernet Franc, Diamond Mountain District, Napa, California
2003 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
2004 Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa, California
2004 Shafer Relentless , Napa Valley, California
2005 Storybook Mountain Antaeus, Napa Valley, California
2005 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge, Paso Robles, California
2002 Taltarni Victoria Cephas, Pyrenees, Spain
2005 Tamarack Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington
2004 Tamarack Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington
2004 Telmo Rodriguez Altos de Lanzaga Rioja, Spain

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2005 Cadence Bel Canto, Red Mountain, Washington
2003 Capafons-Osso Masos d'en Cubells, Priorat, Spain
2002 Carmen Wine Maker's Reserve, Valle del Maipo, Chile
2002 Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile
2004 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
2004 Dashe Old Vines Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Sonoma
2005 Delas Freres St. Esprit Rouge Cotes du Rhône, France
2003 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District Napa Valley, Napa, California
2004 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2003 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France
2003 Fidelitas Optu, Columbia Valley, Washington
2003 Frog's Leap Cabernet, Rutherford Napa, Napa
2005 Leonetti Merlot , Columbia Valley, Washington
2003 Louis Jadot Côte du Py Château de Lumière , Morgon, Burgundy, France
2004 Lucien Le Moine Premier Cru Les Amoureuses, Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy, France
2003 Masi Costasera Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy
2001 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
2004 Montes Purple Angel, Colchagua Valley, Chile
2004 Numanthia-Termes Numanthia Toro, Spain
2002 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia
2003 Poderi Luigi Einaudi I Filari Dolcetto di Dogliani, Italy
2004 Qupe Bien Nacido Hillside Estate Syrah, Santa Maria Valley, California
2005 Raptor Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2004 Reverie Cabernet Sauvignon, Daimond Mountain District, Napa, California
2003 Storybook Mountain Seps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
2004 Trapiche Viña Victorio Coletto El Peral Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
2004 von Strasser Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District, Napa
2005 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California

RED WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8.5 and 9
2004 Amavi Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington
2005 Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington
2000 Bodega Weinert Cavas de Weinert, Mendoza, Argentina
2004 Cadence Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington
1998 Ceretto Bernardot Barbaresco, Piemonte, Italy
2004 Chateau Potelle V.G.S. Zinfandel, Mt. Veeder, Napa, California
2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon , Columbia Valley, Washington
2004 Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah, Clarendon, Australia
2003 Delas Freres Marquise de la Tourette Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France
2004 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District, Napa, California
2005 Dutton Goldfield McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California
2003 Fidelitas Cabernet Sauvignon , Walla Walla Valley, Washington
2005 Il Roncal Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
2000 J. Hofstätter Steinraffler Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy
2003 Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California
2003 Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Napa Mountain Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
2004 L'Ecole No. 41 Ferguson Commemorative Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington
2000 Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain
2003 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain, California
2003 Mazzei Tenuta Belguardo, Maremma Toscana, Italy
2004 Montes Folly, Apalta Valley, Chile
2005 Raptor Ridge Yamhill Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2005 Trapiche Broquel Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
2001 Villa Matilde Camarato, Falerno del Massico, Italy
2002 Wenzel Bandkräften, Burgenland, Austria
2004 Zaca Mesa Z Three Cuvee, Santa Ynez Valley, California

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2004 Bella Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
2003 Bodega Weinert Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
2001 Boutari Grande Reserve, Naoussa, Argentina
2004 Chateau Potelle V.G.S. Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder, Napa, California
2004 Chehalem Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2004 Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache, Clarendon, Australia
2006 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile
2004 Craggy Range Le Sol Gimblett Gravels Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
2004 Gaia Agiorgitiko , Nemea, Greece
2003 Il Roncal Pignolo, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
2004 Livio Felluga Merlot, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
2001 Marqués de Cáceres Reserva, Rioja, Spain
2003 Morande House of Morande, Maipo Valley, Chile
2004 Navarro Correas Ultra Limited Release , Mendoza, Argentina
2005 Quinta de Roriz Prazo de Roriz, Douro, Portugal
2001 Ramon Bilbao Reserva Rioja, Spain
2004 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
2001 Ruffino Tenuta Greppone Mazzi Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
2005 Ruffino Tenuta La Solatia Chardonnay, Toscana, Italy
2005 Taltarni Shiraz, Heathcote, Australia

RED WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8 and 8.5
2004 Bella Big River Ranch Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Sonoma
2004 Navarro Correas Alegoria Gran Reserva Limited Release Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
2004 Ramon Bilbao Crianza, Rioja, Spain

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
2004 Concha y Toro Terrunyo Block 27 Peumo Vineyard Carmenere, Cachapoal Valley, Chile

Comments (8)

10.27.07 at 4:52 PM

Looks like a great time if nothing else!

vinothekid wrote:
10.28.07 at 7:22 PM

Wow - great rundown - used it today in a "wine buzz" article on Wine News Review.

Phil McGarr wrote:
10.29.07 at 2:04 PM

Thanks Alder, That was a fun event and it's not often that we get such a solid breadth of variety under one roof.

10.31.07 at 1:33 PM

Hello Alder,

Interesting about Dashe Cellars Zinfandel I have not reviewed them. Hey thanks for the advice on starting a Wine Blog! It has taken about 6 months to really take off! Last week I did a search on Rosso and Blanco FFC's new spot over in Geyserville, (old Chateau Soureign)to see if they had a web site up yet. It came back my Blog was listed 3 out of 19,000 funny I am not sure why? This was on MSN, anyway thanks! Excellent review of so many wines, it is hard to remain objective when tasting that many a lot of spitting! Wow, I am amazed at your endurance! Thanks Again!

Tom wrote:
11.03.07 at 7:53 AM

Sad to see Iron Horse and Chehalem offerings falling to the middle of the range here. They're my two favorite places consistently. But nice to see Tablas Creek and Amavi on these lists - they're also things I've consistently enjoyed. Also...is it rough to taste all those Rieslings and Gewurzs then move to Chardonnay? I'd think it would be a palate-killer...

dprescott wrote:
11.03.07 at 5:17 PM

Well I'm impressed . . . . Were you able to taste all of these wines in 2 hours? I'd be interested in learning more about your approach to assessing them adequately given your time constraints--very difficult task.

What a great line-up.

Veronica wrote:
11.07.07 at 3:22 AM

Bravante rocks! :)

06.15.10 at 10:56 AM

I wonder who would have been able to taste all the wines to rate them, nevertheless great line-up.

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