Best Wines of the Lunar Drinking Year – Year of the White Rabbit 2011

Must-Have Wines of the Lunar Year - Year of the White Rabbit 2011

The Year of the Dragon begins at 6.24pm, February 4th 2012: To which the Wandering Palate draws a line in the cellar/tasting-notebook and presents a retrospective account of the standout wines of the drinking year – the 2011 lunar drinking year – Year of the White Rabbit.

Why the lunar year?

Notwithstanding I reside in Asia, the nucleus of my ideologies revolve around a back to nature approach with wine, food and the environment – sustainable, organic and biodynamic principals that have its roots in ancient feng shui and Chinese gardening that have evolved over the eons yet pivotal today.

So not only do I care about the planet, I have gone lunar!

This digest is the distillation of all the wines The Wandering Palate has assessed at trade tastings around the world, some of them mammoth annual events, others more intimate tastings, retrospective vertical line-ups, professional workshops, new release luncheons and dinners. Throw in the occasional wine judging appearance, regional wine celebrations or symposiums and assiduous assessing at the resident tasting bench as well as countless home dinners and frequenting of restaurants. Most importantly, the continuous vineyard visits, unquestionably the most enlightening, grassroots way of interpreting wine and its regional and cultural nexus.

Whilst these extraordinary wines are benchmarks of genuine artisan vignerons and highly expressive of terroir or ‘sense of place’ encompassing the unique qualities of their region and micro-climate, there is also an underlying message in adjudging beyond the merits of the individual wine – it is a proclamation of the winery and dedication to environmentally sustainable-viticulture and perhaps most importantly, outstanding price/quality rapport.

Ultimately, the goal is to promote underappreciated wines or wine styles and to inspire further discovery and adventurism in your wine consumption.

A point of difference, this is a retrospective account, thus not conjecture or tarred by commercialism in trying to promote what is about to be released. That said many of these wines are quite likely to be current releases in Asia or available on the secondary market worldwide, if you look hard enough. More importantly, it is the winery itself that you should be directing your curiosity sampling the current vintage, or an older one for that matter.

This is an unashamedly subjective selection but motivated by objective goals and by no means intended to be definitive; besides, the more you know about wine, the more realize how little you know about wine!

All the wines that have made it this far have been tried over a meal, as you would normally enjoy them moreover, their intended purpose.

There are no scores, a flawed and soulless methodology that I detest. At the end of the day, the most significant wine critic in the world is you, for my part is only to stimulate a thirst for real wine.

Tasting notes and extended articles on each wine/winery/region will be posted over the coming month, click on each heading accordingly.

Cheers! Curtis Marsh – The Wandering Palate

Most Auspicious Wine for Chinese New Year 2012 – Year of the Black Water Dragon year

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2009 – Waipara, New Zealand

Best Wine of the Year

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montipulciano 2001 – Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Best Red Wine of the Year

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2009 – Waipara, New Zealand

Best White Wine of the Year

Domaine Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis AC 2009 & 2010

Best Rose of the Year

Champagne Jacques Lassaigne Rose de Montgueux Extra Brut NV – Montgueux

Best Champagne of the Year

Ulysse Collin Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2007 – Côtes des Blancs

Best Sparkling Wine of the Year

Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle 2007 – Central Otago, New Zealand

Best Sweet Wine of the Year

Chateau Climens 2007 – Barsac, France

Best Wine with Cheese of the Year

Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Moelleux 1997 – Loire Valley, France

Best Fortified Wine of the Year

Emilio Lustau Centenary Selection Pedro Ximenez Murillo – Jerez, Spain

Biodynamic Property of the Year

Felton Road – Central Otago, New Zealand

Defining Wine Moment of the Year

Dinner with Jancis Robinson and Nick Lander

Winery of the Year

Gembrook Hill – Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Vigneron of the Year

Jim Clendenon – Au Bon Climat

Best Winery Restaurant

Pegasus Bay – Waipara, South Island, New Zealand

Most Underappreciated Wine/Region

Vouvray – Loire Valley – Marc Bredif Vouvray 1996 – Loire Valley, France

Best Wine/s of the Year from the Cellar

1993 Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir – Leongatha South, Gippslands, Australia

Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas 1990 – Southern Rhone Valley, France

Best New Discovery Vineyard of the Year

Bella Ridge Estate – Swan Valley, Western Australia

Most Profound Wine Experience of the Year

Asia Symphony of Flavours – Burghound in Asia – Singapore

Pinot Noir Fix of the Year – most affordable with requisite pinosity

Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir 2008 – Central Otago, New Zealand

Most Consistent Best Value Red Wine

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2007 – Rhone Valley, France

Most Consistent Best Value White Wine

Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2008 – Kumeu, North Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand – Red Wine of the Year

Mount Edwards Pinot Noir 2009 – 3 cuvees – Central Otago, New Zealand

Morrison Vineyard – Lowburn

Muirkirk Pinot Noir – Bannockburn

Stevens Vineyard – Gibbston

New Zealand – White Wine of the Year

Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2009 & 2010

Australia – Red Wine of the Year

Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir 2009 – Leongatha South, Gippsland, Australia

Australia – White Wine of the Year

Giaconda Aeolia Rousanne 2008 – Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

USA – Red Wine of the Year

Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir 2007 – Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA

USA – White Wine of the Year

Peter Michael La Carrière Chardonnay 2010 – Knights Valley, Sonoma County

France – White Wine of the Year

Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive 2005 – Alsace, France

France – Red Wine of the Year

Chateau Chauvin 2005 – St. Emilion, France

Austria – White Wine of the Year

Huber Grüner Veltliner Berg 2009 – Traisental, Austria

Austria – Red Wine of the Year

Moric Neckenmarkt Blaufränkisch Alte Reben 2007- Mittelburgenland, Austria

Germany – Wine of the Year

Donnhoff Riesling Neiderhauser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese 2010 – Nahe

Italy – White Wine of the Year

Villa Russiz Sauvignon 2009 – Collio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Italy – Red Wine of the Year

Sandrone Barbera d’Alba 2009 – Piedmont, Italy

Spanish – White Wine of the Year

Bodega Naia Naiades Verdejo (Old Vines) 2007 – D.O. Rueda, Valladolid, Spain

Spanish – Red Wine of the Year

Conde de Hervias Reserva 2004 (Old Vines); D.O.Ca Rioja, Spain

Wine Accessory of the Year

Riedel Mamba decanter

Wine Bar of the Year

Terroirs – London

Wine List of the Year – Asia

Iggy’s – Singapore

Sommelier of the Year – Asia

Khun Cha – Conrad Hilton Koh Samui

Wine List of the Year – Europe

Les Ambassadeurs – Hotel de Crillon

Sommelier of the Year – Europe

Simeray William – Les Ambassadeurs – Hotel de Crillon

Wine Merchant of the Year

Liberty Wines, UK

Asia region – Wine Merchant of the Year

Best Cellars – Thailand

Asia region – Specialist Importer of the Year

Sensus Wine Studio – My Little Spanish Place – Singapore

Most Dynamic Wine Marketer of the Year

Nigel Greening – Vigneron/Proprietor

Most Dynamic Wine Industry Person on the Rise

Shalom Chin – Sommelier – Singapore

Best – Most Dynamic Wine Educator

Georg J Riedel

Favourite Wine Website of the Year

The Prince of Pinot

Most Trusted Authority on Wine of the Year

Andrew Jefford

Best Reference Wine Book of the Year

Cool Climate Wines 媒体资料白葡萄酒经典 by Michael Thurner & Susie Wu

Wine Book of the Year (Global)

A Hedonist in the Cellar – Jay McInerney ISBN-10: 1400044820


By Curtis Marsh | Wine Feng Shui | Related to: , |

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