2012 Top 100 Wines


Wine Spectator released its Top 100 wines of 2012 in its latest issue of which 4 of our wines ranked in the top 10:


Wine Spectator 2012 Top 100
no 4 98 points
Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape 2010
Wine is in the blood of the Avril family, winegrowers in the Southern Rhône since 1600. But quality at this 80-acre estate has steadily improved since winemaker Paul Avril took over from his father, Vincent, in 1987. His massive 2010 earns the winery a spot in our Top 100 for the sixth time (including Wine of the Year in 2007). Sourced from more than 20 different plots of low-yielding vines, this red blends 80 percent Grenache with equal parts Syrah and Mourvèdre, vinified in ceramic-lined vats and aged in large wooden foudres for up to 12 months.

no 5 96 points
Château Guiraud Sauternes 2009
This blend of 65 percent Sémillon and 35 percent Sauvignon Blanc comes from 35- to 40-year-old vines on a 316-acre property co-owned since 2006 by Robert Peugeot (of Peugeot automobiles), Olivier Bernard (Domaine de Chevalier), Stephan von Neipperg (Canon-La Gaffelière and others) and Xavier Planty, the estate’s longtime general manager. Planty, who oversees winemaking, strives for low yields; the vines usually average nine-tenths of a ton per acre, about half the legal limit in Sauternes. While 2009 was a banner year for red Bordeaux, the region’s sweet wines are impressive, too-the best vintage since 2001.

no 6 95 points
Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2009
Léoville Barton has been in the Barton family since 1836, but under Anthony Barton, who took over from his uncle in 1983, the estate significantly improved quality. Though still actively involved, Barton recently passed ownership of the property to his daughter, Lilian Barton Sartorius. The property’s technical team includes consultant Eric Boissenot and cellar master François Brehant, who ferment this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend in traditional wooden vats and age the wine for 18 months in oak barrels, of which 50 percent are new.

no 7 94 points
Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Shea Vineyard Estate 2009
In 1989, owner Dick Shea left a career on Wall Street to pursue his interest in wine, purchasing 200 acres of land in the Willamette Valley and planting it to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Shea sells grapes to some of Oregon’s top producers, and in 1996 started making his own wine. The 2009 Estate bottling blends Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones from various portions of the sprawling vineyard and is fermented in both stainless steel and wooden tanks.