It’s that time of the year when lists are compiled and outstanding results are recognized. In the film industry, we are getting close to the Academy Awards being announced. In the sports arena (shout out here to the Kansas City Royals!), MVPs are called out and recognized. As you well know, the same is true for wine. Right now, Wine Spectator is revealing their top 100 wines of 2015. They started the roll-out the week of November 9th starting with the Top 10 wines – working down to #1.
This year, that top spot went to a Napa Valley wine. It is Peter Michael’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Au Paradis. The score from Wine Spectator is 96 points, and the price per bottle is $195. This is only the 5th time that a Napa Valley Cabernet has owned that #1 ranking.
“A small, previously little-known vineyard in Napa Valley’s Oakville District has produced a wine that epitomizes the modern style of Napa Cabernet. Au Paradis is the newest offering from Peter Michael Winery. This producer’s stellar reputation was built on wines grown in Sonoma County, but the 2012 bottling of Au Paradis proves its deft touch extends to Napa. The wine speaks of its site, farmed and vinified to perfection by an experienced team capturing the brilliance of a bountiful vintage.”
I know that, while there were almost 2000 cases made, I will probably not find this wine for that price. It has been snapped up.
So why should you even care about this Top 100? It is relevant for the sheer fact that the criteria they use to compile the list are based on quality, value and availability. It doesn’t make sense to talk about great wine if you can’t find it. I appreciate that. While you and I may not be able to find all of these wines in their top 100, it does give you insights into top wineries and different varietals. It gives you a level of confidence to try their wines. Drinking wine is an exploration, and this is a great way to expand your experience with different varietals and producers.
Starting Monday November 16th, the entire list of 100 wines will be available to access on- line. This is available to all – free of charge — for a limited period of time.
Check out the list, note the different wines and wineries. It is a great way to expand your palate and see how it has evolved. You may also find some of the wines on the list, and they make an excellent path to new experiences in wine.