In a recent post explaining how I use the infamous Robert Parker-ish 100 point scale, I casually mentioned that I had never given a wine that rating. I posted the entry and later went back to check spelling again and read that and…wondered. I had this very vague memory of once having made a list of the top wines I had ever tasted. I quickly thought that, as with most old notes, I had recycled the thing ages ago. Still later, I seemed to remember having once put it online…somewhere. I went into a couple of flies that I’ve dragged along through at least three new computers and found a one-line mention of an ancient web page I once built on one of those early do-it-yourself free blog sites. But didn’t remember the name of it. After an hour of fumbling, I found yet another file that had the name in it. I typed it into the address line, sure that there was zero chance that the site was even in business. Lo and behold…there it was.
In that site was a page in which I had listed 147 wines in two categories: Pre-Millennium and Post-Millennium, each 95 points and higher. And on that list were EIGHTEEN 100 Point wines.
Since my reckoning of “never” is somewhat tangled up in The Pour Fool, I tend to forget that I did write about wine extensively before launching this funky little enterprise. And I did score things, which is one of the reasons that I refused to do it for several years after starting this blog.
After that post, I got 10 emails over three days that basically called BS. As one reader – paulscincyB14 – (love that screen name, for some reason. I don’t know if Paul’s a frequent flyer who really loves his seat or has a man crush on Andy Dalton), “I read The Pour Fool primarily for recommendations and you’ve never once given me a list of the best wines you’ve ever tasted. I know you MUST have some that stick in the memory, so how about posting those, even if they’re not 100 points?”
Okay, Paul, here goes…
These are the wines that were on that list; the original eighteen, plus two that were added just prior to starting The Pour Fool and one that I went back and revised my opinion on, just today. I did mention this wine once in the P-I’s edition of The Fool but, after retasting it a few months ago, decided that the improvement more than merited the perfect score. Of course, these are just drawn from among what I personally tasted. It is NO comment on anything you don’t see here. Nobody can taste everything and every list of 100 Pointers should be taken for what it is: One Person’s Opinion.
Here, then, are the best I’ve ever tasted with numbers that do NOT indicate order of preference:
1. 1995 Peter Lehmann “Stonewell” Shiraz
2. Argiolas “Turriga” 2004
3. Benjamin Romeo “Contador” 2004
4. Teofilo Reyes Ribera del Duero 1994 (tasted in 2000)
5. Chapoutier “La Mordoree” Cote Rotie 1991
6. Chris Ringland Shiraz Barossa Valley 2002
7. Guigal “La Mouline” Cote Rotie, 1999 and 2003
8. Guigal “La Turque” Cote Rotie 1999
9. Joseph Phelps “Insignia” 1997
10. Kapcsandy State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
11. Numanthia Termanthia, Castilla Y Leon 2004
12. Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2003 and 2007
13. Betz Family Winery “Per de Famille” 2011
14. Sine Qua Non ‘The 17th Nail In My Cranium’ 2005
15. Tua Rita Redigaffi Vino da Tavola 2000
16. Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo, Walla Walla 2008
17. Tomasso Bussola Amarone Classico “TB” 2007
18. Giovanni Chiappini Guado De’ Gemoli 2009
19. Ricardo Seghesio “La Villa” Barolo 1997
20. Marchetti “Villa Bonomi” Reserve 2010
21..Vega Sicilia Unico 1990