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Spring 2012 WWP Wine Index: Who's Hot? Who's Cold?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

HOT

  1. Kosta Browne
  2. Schrader
  3. Rhys
  4. Rochioli
  5. Dehlinger
  6. Saxum
  7. Carlisle
  8. Littorai
  9. Thomas Rivers Brown
  10. Bedrock
  11. Sojourn
  12. Rosé
  13. Radio-Coteau
  14. Kutch
  15. 2010 French Reds
  16. Peyrassol Rosé 
  17. Scarecrow
  18. Pontet-Canet
  19. Ridge
  20. Moscato
  21. Rivers Marie
  22. Fontsainte Rosé
  23. 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Deals
  24. Pépière Muscadet Briords
  25. Sea Smoke
  26. US Postal Service Shipping Wine
  27. Cru Beaujolais
  28. 2010 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir
  29. 2009 Burgundy
  30. Honig

COLD

  1. Bordeaux
  2. Chardonnay
  3. 2008-2011 Napa Cabs
  4. 2010 California Zinfandel
  5. Sea Smoke
  6. Scarecrow 
  7. Rhys
  8. 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape
  9. Carlisle
  10. Malbec
Rankings determined by what I'm hearing about, reading about, and buying. The Hottest or Coldest entities are ranked No. 1.

A retweet I read the other day by @nvwineandcigar brought back some terrific memories of collecting baseball cards when I was a kid:
"1984 rookie Eric Davis makes his debut and must wear a numberless jersey when Cincinnati forgets to pack an extra road uniforms."
I immediately went up to our attic and got out two medium-sized boxes of baseball cards and other memorabilia that represented the best five percent I collected from 1988-1991. It's unfortunate my interest coincided with a time when a glut of cards flooded the market and the early days of the steroid scandal. These cards could have been worth something otherwise!

Nevertheless we had a great time pouring over the cards.

The piece of memorabilia that brought back the most pleasant memories -- quite unexpectedly -- was an old issue of Beckett Baseball Card monthly. It was the one with the black and white photo of Bo Jackson on the cover in shoulder pads with a baseball bat over his shoulders. I saved that issue, I guess, because it was going to be valuable.

Leafing through the magazine, I was reminded of the many similarities between baseball cards and wine exploration. The price guide, as if anyone could fetch the prices they quoted, reminds me of the numerical ratings at the back of Spectator. The interest in catching cards from rising stars before they became too expensive is similar to discovering hot new producers before their mailing lists are full. The cards are produced each year, like vintages of wine. The list goes on and on.

But the single best page in the magazine, that I'd completely forgotten about, was the Weather Report. A completely arbitrary list of who and what was Hot and Cold. A combination of rising stars, reliable veterans, collectible sets, and disappointing players.

Readers loved to read and react to the list as it was updated each month. You were so savvy to have caught a player before he debuted on the list with a "NR" (not previously ranked). And you were indignant when your favorites fell from glory.

Like it or not, the list seemed to have its finger on the pulse of the hobby. So I thought it would be fun to create the same sort of list for wine.

Should outs to @AndyA3 @MoralBeast @wineduggery and @jmfran1 for sharing their thoughts already.

Methodology


My intent with this list is to capture wine producers/categories/regions/stories that are surging in popularity -or- falling out of favor for one reason or another. Wineries with mailing lists that are hard to crack. Winemakers who seem to have the magic touch. Categories that people are talking about this season. Reliable producers who never seem to fall out of fashion.  Wineries who, if their wines were offered by a retailer, would cause you to stop what you're doing and take note. Wines you hardly ever see at retail.

Categories that are being ignored because they present a hard-to-like style or their value equation doesn't add up. Wineries that are popular with many but risk falling from their lofty perches if they can't continue to deliver.

The Bottom Line

 

I'll acknowledge: This list is biased towards my preferences and the categories I pay attention to. But I tried to include entries I hear people talking about that I don't care for myself.

Next time I update the list I'll provide commentary on the actual picks rather than taking a stroll down memory lane. I hope you enjoy this installment. 

What do you think? What wines are hot lately? Which are cold?

Leave a comment or drop me an e-mail: wellesleywinepress@gmail.com
I'd love to hear from you.

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