Must Have Wines of the Lunar Drinking Year 2009

Must-Have Wines of the Lunar YearThese wines are the standouts of the 2009 lunar drinking year.

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 principles that have evolved through Pagan farming to Chinese gardeners 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.

Best Wine of the Year
Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2006 – Central Otago, New Zealand

Best Red Wine of the Year
Conti Costanti Rosso di Montalcino 2005 – Tuscany, Italy

Best Rose of the Year
Riecine Rose 2008 – Lamole-Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

Best White Wine of the Year
Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2007 – Nelson, New Zealand

Best Sparkling Wine of the Year
Benoit Lahaye Rose de Maceration NV (2007) – Bouzy, Champagne, France

Best Sweet Wine of the Year
De Bortoli Noble One 2007 – Riverina, Australia

Best Fortified Wine of the Year
WJ Grahams – Douro, Portugal – 1977 – 1985 – 1994 – 2003 – 2007

Vigneron of the Year
Blair Walter – Felton Road, Central Otago, New Zealand

Biodynamic Property of the Year
Cullen Wines – Margaret River, Western Australia

Best Vineyard Accommodation
Chateau La Lagune – Bordeaux

Most Underappreciated Wine Region
Mornington Peninsula – Victoria, Australia

Best Wine of the Year from the Cellar
Fontodi Flaccianello IGT 2001 – Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

Best Discovery of the Year
Azienda Agricola Forteto della Luja – Loazzolo, Piedmont, Italy

Best New Winery of the Year
Peccavi – Margaret River, Western Australia

Pinot Noir Fix of the Year – most affordable with requisite pinosity
Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir 2008 (made by Chard Farm) – Central Otago, New Zealand

Most Consistent Best Value Wine
Magpie Estate Call Bag Mourvedre Grenache 2006 – Barossa Valley, South Australia

New Zealand – Red Wine of the Year
Trio of 2007 Hawkes Bay Syrah Stonecroft – Te Mata Estate Bullnose – Trinity Hills Hawkes Bay

New Zealand – White Wine of the Year
Ostler Audrey Pinot Gris 2008 – Waitaki, North Otago

Australia – White Wine of the Year
Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay 2007 – Margaret River, Western Australia

Australia – Red Wine of the Year
Yabby Lake Pinot Noir 2006 – Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

South Africa – Wine of the Year
Eban Sadie Family Palladius 2007 – Swaartland, South Africa

USA – Red Wine of the Year
Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2007 & 1997 Calera Reed Vinyard – Mt Harlan Pinot Noir – Central Coast, California

USA – White Wine of the Year
Littorai “Charles Heintz Chardonnay 2007 – Sonoma Coast, California

Best Bordeaux of the Year
Château Malartic-Lagravière 2005 – Pessac-Leognan

France – White Wine of the Year
Alex Gambal St. Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents Chien 2007 – Burgundy, France

France – Red Wine of the Year
Domaine Pierre Clavel La Copa Santa 2005 – Coteaux du Languedoc

Austria – Wine of the Year
Jurtschitsch Gruner Veltliner Kaferberg 2007 – Kremstal, Austria

Germany – Wine of the Year
Georg Breuer Schlossberg Riesling Grand Cru 2007 – Rheingau

Italy – Wine of the Year
Felsina Berradenga Chianti Rancia 2005 – Tuscany

Spanish – Wine of the Year
Dits del Terra Priorat 2004

Wine Accessory of the Year
Winesave – user-friendly canister of 100% Argon that keeps wine perfectly for months

Wine Bar of the Year
Gerald’s Bar – Melbourne

Wine List of the Year
Frangipani – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sommelier of the Year – Asia
Zachary Tay Jun Yang – Fifty Three, Singapore

Asia region – Wine Merchant of the Year
Artisan Cellars – Singapore

Asia region – Specialist Importer of the Year
Magma – German Specialist

Asia region – Most Dynamic Wine Marketer of the Year
Michael Thurner – Austrian Fine Brands

Best – Most Dynamic Wine Educator in Asia Region
Lim Hwee Peng – WineCraft Marketing

Favourite Wine Website of the Year
Max Allen – Red White and Green – Biodynamic wines

Most Trusted Authority on Wine of the Year
Allen Meadows – Burghound

Best Wine Storage in Asia
Crown Cellars – Hong Kong

Best Service for Wine Air-Freight in Asia Region


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

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