What are your best wines?

I mean best both in the sense of your personal favourite, and wines that are generally accepted as being very good.

The one wine that I have enjoyed consistently over the decades is the Sauvignon Blanc from Montana in New Zealand. Not only is it deliciously fresh and fruity, it’s very affordable too: under £6 here in the UK.

I was a wine merchant in the '80s and I have been fortunate enough to have drunk some very special wines. Sadly, no more. So, at a more elevated level:

I don’t think too many people would argue that one of the greatest Rhone wines is Paul Jaboulet’s 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle. Back in the '80s, I could pick it up at about $50 a bottle. Just out curiosity, I googled it today, and recently a six bottle case sold for $60,000. $10,000 a bottle! :eek:

Great claret traditionally has been considered to benefit from a lot of bottle age, and I have enjoyed many old bottles. But I tasted the 1982 Chateaux Latour and Mouton Rothschild from the barrel at the chateaux; I will never forget the huge mouth filling explosions of flavour. If any Dopers have tasted these recently, I’d love to know how they’ve developed. And if you’re going to drink them, so hello to them fro me. (I can’t afford that sort of wine any more. I see that it’s over £1000 a bottle.)

I’m a great fan of sweet wines, and I have been lucky enough to have drunk many fine Sauternes. But one sweet wine that made me stop in my tracks, and think ‘wow’ was a 1976 Hugel Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles. (Now a not unreasonable - in comparison to the above - £40 a half bottle.)

Last year I found Red Truck, a Californian company that makes some *very *tasty reds.

I’m also partial to Toasted Head, also from CA (I really like those Californian wines), which is rich and thick with a sort of spiciness to it.

Since you mentioned Paul Jaboulet, I’ll mention his “Parallel 45” Cotes Du Rhone. I’ve been drinking it for well over 10 years and it’s been very consistent. A good everyday wine, still under $10 after all of this time (prices in NJ and NC.)

Well I’m biased of course, but Penfold’s Grange Hermitage.

Other than that it’s pretty hard to just pick one. There are plenty of world class wines here (Barossa) available only at cellar door and ergo virtually unknown. I bought some Grant Burge cab sav and sparkling rose type wine last week. I’m happy with both of those.

I drink mostly whites- my favorites are Cakebread chardonnay, Inama soave, Scarbolo pino grigio (there’s a white and a pink- I like them both, but I like the white better), Bennet Family chardonnay, and Louis Latour chardonnay. I used to get the oss bottle of Cakebread Reserve, which was very good, but really not worth the extra $$. I haven’t seen a bottle of the reserve for a few years, though.

2007 Chateau Ste Michelle Gewurztraminer, Columbia Valley caught my attention and sells for around $10 a bottle. Sweet and medium dry.
2007 Folie a Deux Meange a Trois, a California blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and Chenin Blanc for around $14 a bottle. Love the bouquet and taste of the Muscat.
2006 Louis Martini, Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon around $15 a bottle. Liked it so much I bought a case.
2006 Bogle Vineyards Petite Sirah around $12 a bottle. Jammy fruit with a little of that toasty oak taste.
2007 Marassou Pinot Noir around $11 a bottle. Cherry, grape jammy with a spice kick.

Yep, I like California wines. I don’t think it’s wise, though, to make recommendations of a brand name without including the year. The year is important as it reflects the weather, harvest, fermentation and all of the dozens of critical elements that produce a specific batch. What’s good one year may taste like crap the next year.

I wannnnaaaa go to Miaaaammmmiiiii!

I think that bias for Grange is perfectly understandable. :slight_smile:

A bit OT, but I’ve loved wines from the Bendigo region (particularly Passing Clouds). Do you know if the vineyards round there have been affected by the fires?

I have to disagree when referring to brands. One of the points of a brand is its consistency. It’s made to a particular style. When it’s a vintage wine, as much as a particular year’s weather allows, of course. Often the brand blends vintages to balance out the variations the climate causes. Sometimes - in the case of cheap brands - it means the wines will be bland and unexciting, but in the case of, for example, the Montana wines in my OP, it guarantees a high quality level.

When it comes to individual wineries, such as those you list, I agree with you.

Sadly the area that’s always been under-represented in the UK is north American wines. I’m not quite sure why.