Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Pinot Say?
December 14, 2005 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Top 100 Wines of 2005.
posted by The Jesse Helms (58 comments total)

 
1. But I don't wanna withdraw from Iraq.
posted by furtive at 9:36 AM on December 14, 2005


No Fess? I'm outraged.
posted by soyjoy at 9:36 AM on December 14, 2005


Uhm, is it just me or are all these Californian wines?
posted by furtive at 9:38 AM on December 14, 2005


California only, or predominantly, as there are a few Washington wines in the Whites.

And California (and to a lesser extent Australia) are becoming increasingly irrelevant to wine lovers due to high prices for mediocre juice. Spain is the new California. Exciting creative wines attractively priced. The old world is where it's at currently. South of France, all of Italy and Spain are where wine lovers are buying right now.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:41 AM on December 14, 2005


In the annual compilation of our tasting panel's favorites from California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington State

Well, if you want to limit yourself to the American West/Northwest...Jeez.

After doing a double-take, I have to say: Idaho? Seriously? They make wine? To the point where California considers them worthy of competition?

Me, when I'm shopping for wine, I tend to stay as far away from the U.S. as possible, but it's really just a matter of preference.
posted by Gator at 9:43 AM on December 14, 2005


The related article Mommy's Little Helper (about women as wine consumers) is so terrible I don't even know where to begin.
posted by nev at 9:51 AM on December 14, 2005


So long as Conundrum made the list, I'm happy. I wish I cached more of the 2002. Paying 26-30 bucks for the screwtop 2003 just doesn't feel right.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:56 AM on December 14, 2005


The red list is almost completely Californian. The white list much less so. Argyle, WillaKenzie, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia, Elk Cove and Hogue are from Oregon or Washington.
posted by turbodog at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2005


You forgot Poland France!
posted by quarsan at 10:00 AM on December 14, 2005


spain is the new california. portugal is the new spain. ny state is the new portugal.
posted by dorian at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2005


thanks for this list! Gives me some gift ideas for my father...

So all you "new" faithfuls, give us some recommendations!
If you think the list is exclusive to CA and the states (which I don't deny), then how about some additions from Spain and whatever you prefer?
posted by blastrid at 10:24 AM on December 14, 2005


Just got back from a wine tour of the Ynez Valley (à la Sideways) and brought back a case of Fess. Such a tasty wine, I was tempted to pour the spit bucket over my head and guzzle it whole.
posted by TheNakedPixel at 10:25 AM on December 14, 2005


The majority of these wines couldn't compete on an international stage. So perhaps this post should have been called "100 wines that some hardly known Californian journalist at SFGate.com though were reasonable" so serious wine drinkers wouldn't have to wade through the reviews of this bottled creek run-off.
posted by DirtyCreature at 10:45 AM on December 14, 2005


from the country full of insular dickwads that has the "world series" we bring you....
posted by andrew cooke at 10:50 AM on December 14, 2005


".... discovered along her weekend drive to see her relatives in the Calfiornian countryside, along with a few that her out-of-state friends had read about from promotional material and thought were drinkable."
posted by DirtyCreature at 10:53 AM on December 14, 2005


Of the list, I like the Hess Cab and the Russian River Pinot Noirs. I would ignore anything over $25 for the rest of the California list. However...I really like what some of the Washington/Oregon vineyards are doing lately, and they are much more reasonably priced. Chateau St. Michelle, L'Ecole 41 are two of the bigger ones that consistently put out excellent, affordable wines.
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:55 AM on December 14, 2005


TheNakedPixel It's the Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara County.

Try the Lucas & Lewellan wines; their Pinot is good, Shiraz is nice and the '02 Cabernet Franc is great. Frei Brothers '03 Syrah is another very good wine.
posted by X4ster at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2005


Say, unless I'm blind, I don't even see any Idaho wines on the list. Did they just stick "Idaho" in there to mess with people's heads or to see if anyone would notice?
posted by Gator at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2005


HaHaHa
posted by adamvasco at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2005


Your favorite wines suck.
posted by graventy at 12:05 PM on December 14, 2005


The 1999 Roederer L'Ermitage is fabulous. I've got a bottle waiting for a special occasion down the road. The Honig cab is very good too. Those are the only ones I've tried.

"Serious" wine drinkers are assholes.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:34 PM on December 14, 2005


If you think the list is exclusive to CA and the states (which I don't deny), then how about some additions from Spain and whatever you prefer?

Yes, please. Put up or shut up.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:35 PM on December 14, 2005


The tasting panel panel was primarily from people in San Francisco. Access to California wines was the easiest and it's what most of them are familiar with, no wonder most of these are Californian, let alone being from a San Francisco paper. Also, most French and Italian wines are blends, not single grape, so that would exclude them from most categories. I'll take a nice Barolo from Italy any day, well if I could afford it. Hungarian wines are nice, hard to come by in the States but well work checking out. Tokaji (King of Wines) is a nice dessert wine from there. Furmint is an interesting variety to try.
posted by Meaney at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2005


Here's my list of Top Zinfandels for 2005
-
posted by Meaney at 12:50 PM on December 14, 2005


Yes, please. Put up or shut up.

If you are looking for a US-centric view that thinks the sun shines out of its ass but isn't *totally* blinded by it, this is the place.
posted by DirtyCreature at 1:01 PM on December 14, 2005


Put up or shut up? So much hostility, you need a glass of wine.

Here's why the list is shit; "Not all wines listed are available in all stores and restaurants. Some are made in small quantities, some are sold only to restaurants and others were released early in 2005 and may be difficult to find." In other words, here's the 100 best (Californian) wines you'll never drink.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:15 PM on December 14, 2005


I've had the Hahn Estates Meritage. Good stuff.
posted by gimonca at 1:18 PM on December 14, 2005


I really don't see the big deal in a SF website picking local wines. Californians are deeply patriotic about their wines. Europeans know that there's a great number of fine wines around the world and pick accordingly. I had a superb Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon last week.

Personally I'd rather have a beer.
posted by movilla at 1:20 PM on December 14, 2005


Europeans know that there's a great number of fine wines around the world and pick accordingly.

Actually, in my experience they don't. The English do, the Italian and French don't have the vaguest clue that wine is made more than twenty miles away from whatever town they live in. You'd be hard pressed to get a resident of Beaune to drink a glass from the Medoc, never mind something from South Africa or Sonoma.

Anyway, the whole controversy around this post could have been resolved if some lazy newspaper editor had bothered to put the words "Western US's" before "Best 100 Wines."
posted by Keith Talent at 1:26 PM on December 14, 2005


In other words, here's the 100 best (Californian) wines you'll never drink.

Exactly. I love wine and would like to see more wine-related posts on MeFi, but this is pretty silly.

I really don't see the big deal in a SF website picking local wines. Californians are deeply patriotic about their wines.

Yeah, it's perfectly natural, just as it's natural for somebody's mother to think her kids are the bestest kids in the world. If she put that on a website, though, I'm thinking it wouldn't get posted to MetaFilter.
posted by languagehat at 1:34 PM on December 14, 2005


I think a more apt analogy is if the Village Voice picked the 100 best albums of the year, but excluded any record not made in New York by a New York based band.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2005


Keith, you're right and wrong. Yes, the French don't buy anything else but French, although these days I believe it's more a protectionist stance rather than just purely patriotic.

By English, expand that to British and Irish. Also open to other countries, I feel, are Belgian, Dutch. Err, maybe that's it.

Now where is that beer?

(Is Metafilter up and down?)
posted by movilla at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2005


Actually, in my experience they don't. The English do, the Italian and French don't have the vaguest clue that wine is made more than twenty miles away from whatever town they live in

bullshit. you think the english know more about wine than the french and italians? you're an idiot. sorry to get abusive on mf, but this is arrant nonsense.

I have never tasted an 'excellent' californian wine that equals an ordinary, oh let's say, Medoc, to make it easy for you.
posted by quarsan at 2:48 PM on December 14, 2005


You need a better wine merchant
posted by Keith Talent at 2:54 PM on December 14, 2005


quarsan, have you ever tried a half-decent Alban, Saxum, Sine Qua Non? They kill 99.9 out of 100 Bordeaux on sight.
posted by shoos at 2:59 PM on December 14, 2005


Yeah, seriously, where have you been for the past 30 years? Belgium?
posted by mr_roboto at 3:00 PM on December 14, 2005


Belgium? Best beer in the world, best chocolate in the world. They know their stuff.
posted by movilla at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2005


Uhh, a certain segment of the population seem to be severely confused about wine however.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:42 PM on December 14, 2005


I'll pile on as well. Quarsan, if you've not tasted a California wine that can stand up to a very good or even great French or Italian wine, you've been drinking the wrong California wine.

Which is not to say that California wines are "better." Or that the California producers don't do some questionable things or sometimes come out with questionable product. Every wine-producing region puts out some bad stuff.

But I suspect you're not really interested in finding good non-French wines, but rather in perpetuating this outdated snooty smug image of France as the only place that makes decent wine. And the bit about "to make it easy for you" makes me think that you're less interested in the product than sneering at well-meaning people.
posted by lackutrol at 3:46 PM on December 14, 2005


Most places in the world, well every place I can think of, has the capacity to make a world class wine in their class of particular regional specialty, even when tehy're not in fashion at the moment. Rutherglen near my mothers place for example is considered by the cognoscenti to produce the finest tokays and muscats in the world, but nobody drinks them much nowadays. Chile, some great wines, same for eNZed, Cali, all over the place.

Wine fashion is a bit of a wank, and areas generally don't actually go up or down in qualtiy much, reputation is far more based on just what's fashionable. The rest is up to individuals in the system, both producers and influential reviewers.

For most people, it's always a matter of price as well. I never normally pay more than $20 a bottle, so I look for value as well. While some of the grand cru french wines remain outstanding, they're just as crap value as what is widely regarded as the best red wine in the world.
posted by wilful at 4:27 PM on December 14, 2005


I prefer French wines in general, but Spanish, Italian, Californian (North and South), Australian, Chilean, Argentine, Hungarian, Washingtonian, Oregonian, and even Mexican have all done the trick in their time.

Anyone who doesn't partake in wines produced anywhere is just missing out on a lot of great wine, period.

Furthermore, supporting your local wine-makers is a good thing. If you live in or near a great wine producing region, regardless of where in the world you are, you would be a fool not to get to know the locally produced stuff. Besides there being so many great wines in the world, it's also a fun thing to do because you can really get to know the winemaker.
posted by cell divide at 4:28 PM on December 14, 2005


Hungarian wines need not be difficult to come by in the states.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:44 PM on December 14, 2005


Well these folk consistently produce some of the best wine in our area . subscription wine!
posted by hortense at 5:02 PM on December 14, 2005


Put up or shut up? So much hostility, you need a glass of wine.

Yes. I do!

In other words, here's the 100 best (Californian) wines you'll never drink.

Unless you live in California! I gotta admit the link was local news, but I'm not complaining cuz I'm local. Thanks for the Wine Spectator link. I didn't know it was free online.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:03 PM on December 14, 2005


What cell divide said AND
Pinot Noir = Oregon
posted by Jikido at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2005


I'm sorry, but any best list that doesn't include Thunderbird just isn't writing for me as a drinker.
posted by maxsparber at 6:26 PM on December 14, 2005


Wine is all a matter of taste so I find these lists rather arbitrary. Unless you often find yourself in conversation with oenophiles, it's pretty useless trivia.

To drink, I prefer my wines white, fruity and dry, so late harvest Germans are tops on my list, but someone else may prefer a buttery chardonnay, or a spicy syrah--nothing wrong with that.

It might be sacrilegious for a wine snob to read this but I tasted a vintage 1976 Salon Le Mesnil Champagne Brut Blanc De Blancs about 2 years ago and I'd take a $13 bottle of Moscato d'Asti any day. But then, that's just me.
posted by phoenixc at 6:52 PM on December 14, 2005


There is firm empirical evidence to the effect that yeast & other varied wine pathogens die of boredom unless given an interesting environment within which to practice their art. This Le Cuviertautological proposition holds its deepest truth when sun & stone, vine & grape undergo fundamental transmutation into fine elixir via the agency of wild yeast & other similarly feral beasties, rather than via the effete & banal interaction of commercial strains of their distant freeze dried brethren, the latter being so boringly predictable. Thus, at Le Cuvier, the entire process of winemaking is left to the wild beasties, while all human interaction is firmly dedicated to making life interesting & nothing more. from my link

With humble origins in the coastal swamps of Costa Rica, winemaker John Munch enjoys a questionable reputation for his fine work as founder of several curious wine ventures. Mary Fox, partner since 2001, has abandoned comfort & security and some think her senses, for the thrill of attempting to manage the diverse beasties.

What does one gain from mixing these varied bio-forms? Curious synergy for one thing, but most assuredly and unequivocally, one gets rarified wines peppered with gnarly character, wines of fervor, wines which make themselves from grapes of impeccable quality & breeding grown in locations both steep & rough in the limestone hills west of Paso Robles
posted by hortense at 6:59 PM on December 14, 2005


from the link
posted by hortense at 7:01 PM on December 14, 2005


Where's the 2-Buck Chuck?
posted by internal at 7:56 PM on December 14, 2005


The San Francisco Chronicle is a local paper (regional at best). The list isn't trying to be anything it isn't.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:01 PM on December 14, 2005


The English do, the Italian and French don't have the vaguest clue that wine is made more than twenty miles away from whatever town they live in.

Ever been to a French supermarket? If they couldn't sell wine from every region in the country, they wouldn't stock it. Now would they?
posted by Wolof at 10:10 PM on December 14, 2005


A slightly more worldly view from a UK connoisseur
For those Californians or others who gravitate towads the Tenderloin in SF I suggest Bum wines
posted by adamvasco at 11:20 PM on December 14, 2005


In the annual compilation of our tasting panel's favorites from California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington State, it's common for one vineyard to produce three or four standouts on our list.

Given this sentence in the third paragraph of the article, I'd say that at no time were they suggesting these are the best wines of the entire world.
posted by briank at 6:20 AM on December 15, 2005


Then why did they call their piece "Top 100 Wines 2005"?
posted by languagehat at 7:54 AM on December 15, 2005


The real useful wine lists are the ones that tell you which under-10 euro/dollar wines will double or triple their prices within a few years due to their as-of-yet undiscovered qualities. This kind of wine-spotting is a national pastime in Spain and I would be surprised if that wasn't the case in France and Italy as well.

Lists that mix and match $9 bottles with $50+ ones (in random order to boot) don't really make much sense. At all.
posted by magullo at 8:43 AM on December 15, 2005


I prefer my wines white, fruity and dry, so late harvest Germans are tops on my list,

???

I was under the impression that late-harvest wines were at least moderately sweet. At least the ones I've had were.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:30 AM on December 15, 2005


Spätlese (late-harvest) wines can be made either dry or sweet (or in-between); they've traditionally been on the sweet side, but as part of the ongoing attempt to make all wines like all other wines, Germans are more and more tending to produce dry wines, since that's what the international market is said to want. However, to say "I prefer my wines white, fruity and dry, so late harvest Germans are tops on my list" makes no sense as written; maybe phoenixc has been buying dry Spätleses for so long she's forgotten there's any other kind. (Here's a useful German wine glossary, by the way.)
posted by languagehat at 11:42 AM on December 15, 2005


« Older Asimo...  |  Basic Brewing Radio... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments