Spectator Surprises with Wines 10 through 6

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wine Spectator began revealing their Top 10 wines of 2012 today and there were more surprises than ever. Of the 5 wines revealed only 1 was guessed in our Scoop the Spectator 2012 contest - a shockingly low number.

Here are the 5 wines revealed today, along with some commentary on each along with Wine-Searcher links...

10. Achával-Ferrer
Malbec Mendoza Finca Bella Vista 2010

95 points / $120
1,250 cases imported

Surprising because Spectator tends to favor wines south of $100 for attainability purposes, plus Argentine Malbec is a value driven category so this pick is seems particularly strange. Where's the value?

Wine-Searcher from $88.99

9. Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona
Brunello di Montalcino 2007

94 points / $60
3,750 cases made

A bit of a surprise because it didn't hit 95 points. But $60 is a good price for a really nice bottle of Brunello and thanks to healthy availability it can be had south of $40. Definitely buy a bottle of this one.

8. Beringer
Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley Reserve 2009

94 points / $45
3,602 cases made

This one was the only one that wasn't a surprise. In their 2009 Napa Cab report this wine sticks out like a sore thumb in a good way. It's hard to find a 94 point rated 2009 Napa Cab for less than $100 let alone less than $50. Expect this one to vaporize quickly. Buy buy buy!

7. Shea
Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Shea Vineyard Estate 2009
94 points / $40
3,555 cases made

I think this was the most surprising of the surprising picks because none of the wines from the heralded 2008 vintage made the Top 10 and now a 2009 makes the list? Crazy.

The availability, at least according to Wine-Searcher, is a bit quirky. I'd expect to see more of this wine around given its production level. Maybe they've moved on to the 2010s by now? I'd be up for trying some. < $40 for a 94 point Oregon Pinot Noir is hard to find. Shea puts out a classy bottle of wine.


6. Château Léoville Barton
St.-Julien 2009

95 points / $105
21,000 cases made

Okay, this one wasn't a huge surprise in hindsight either. Bordeaux isn't cheap but the metrics here stack up well and the wine is still available.


I'd expect one more 2009 Bordeaux in the Top 5 (Pontet Canet maybe?) but I'd be really surprised if less than 2 2009 Rhones were in the Top 5.

So as of now, Joe C is in the lead for the $200 Amazon gift card courtesy of Grapes the Wine Co.

Further Reading:

Check back tomorrow as Wine Spectator reveals wines 5 through 3 tomorrow.


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