Best I Tasted in 2009

2009 was a big wine year for me; I’m building my wine palate, knowledge, and cellar.  These are the wines I scored over 90 points in Cellartracker.  They are not all the wines I loved, as I had wine I did not track, these are only wines I purchased for home consumption.  Out of 70 wines I tracked, 12 scored 90 or more.

I won’t be scoring any wines tonight, I’m just enjoying the evening with friends.  All the best anyone reading this for a fantastic 2010!

2006 Bodega Cateana Zapata Chardonnay

I gave this 91 points, great melon and citrus fruit with good acidity, minerality, and little oak.  I don’t remember exactly what I paid, but it was under $20.

2005 Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza

91 points.  Cedar, tobacco, black fruit (cherry?) on the nose, a little wet earth, maybe. Leather,  tobacco, more fruit on the palate, very smooth texture, long finish. I really, really like this, and I feel pretty good about this wine with anything from pizza to grilled beef. For the price ($9.99), I don’t know that I’ve had much better

2006 Ramsay Sauvignon Blanc

91 points.  Fantastic, citrus, melon, great acid, lots of flavor, I love this wine!  Don’t remember where I got it or what it cost.

2005 Artesa Elements

90 points.  Boy, this is good wine. Nice fruit on the nose with some oak/tannic/cedar smells. Flavors are fruit forward, dark fruits, some plum, then wonderful (but not overwhelming) oak and cedar and tobacco. This wine screams for grilled meat.  Paid about $20 for this and bought half a case in May.  I have one left.

2005 Michel Gassier Les Piliers

91 poins.  WOW! On the nose, some fruit, but a little closed. On the palate, subtle fruit (cassis, blackberry, plum), oak, tannins. A big flavor, but not big fruit. I really like this, the balance is awesome with no flavor really overpowering anything. Nice finish. Perfect with grilled ribeye.  Paid about $15 for it.

2004 Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa/Sonoma)

90 points.  Wonderful wine. Nose is dark fruit and some oak.  The dark fruit carries over to the palate, with some pepper and oak; very well balanced, velvety smooth, good tannins, nice finish.  At $22, this is a steal.

2008 Sobon Estate Viognier

90 points.  Citrus and minerality on the nose with slight floral notes.  Taste of light citrus, minerality is outstanding, a little peach, even a little green flavors, nice aciditiy. Complex. Nice finish.  Matched it up with a sausage risotto.  The wine holds up to the richness, and the acidity cuts right through the creaminess of the risotto.  This is a great wine, and will match up to foods that might be a little hard to pin down, sausage, rich poultry stews; but it wouldn’t overpower a salad, I have to say.  Seems like it would be very versatile.  At $15, it’s on the high end of an every day white, but when you aren’t sure if your normal white will hold up to your food, this will.

2007 Crane Lake Sauvignon Blanc

90 points.  Citrus nose, rich.  Citrus: lemons and grapefruit, very acidic, but refreshing at the same time.  Pretty complex, with a long finish that makes you want another sip.  Would match up very well with shellfish (scallops!), a hearty salad (ceasar!).   At $7.00, this is a fantastic value.

NV Rabbit Ridge Petite Syrah Le Lapin

90 points.  Fantastic, dark friut on the nose, big fruit on the palate, with nice tannins and structure, pepper, a little smoke.  $11!

2008 Domaine Bonfils Vin de Pays d’Oc Mas de Chabert

91 points.  Very pretty golden color.  Tight nose, some pear and apple, a little floral, a little green, some minerals.  Wow, this is good. Wonderful texture, almost creamy or “thick”, nice pear and apple, a little green, a little lemon, good minerality, very nice acid.. this is wine for food, anything from a light fish to chicken, maybe even a heavier cream sauce that you’d think would go with chardonnay.   I really like this wine, and it’s $10.

2000 Château La Cabanne

91 points.  Lots of red fruit on the nose, some vanilla and spice.  Lots of great fruit, very smooth, and soft, almost “fuzzy”.  Wonderful.  $30.

2007 Domaine de la Charbonnière Vacqueyras

92 points.  Blueberries, spice, some leather on the nose, maybe some pepper.  Lots of bright fruit, along with a good shot of pepper, nice tannins, nice structure, very smooth, dry.  Some heat on the finish, but I think that’s more the spice/pepper than it is the alcohol.  $29.

A note on ratings:  I use the 100 point rating for Cellartracker, even though my palate is still developing.  As a statistics geek, I know that the variability in scores works itself out as the number of scores increases.  However, my score may not be yours, or Robert Parker’s.  I much prefer to use a 5 point (or star, or whatever you want to call it) scale, as it more represents my reaction to wine, which is more simple than a 100 point scale represents.  All of these wines would have rated at least a 4.


About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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