The bests of 2014
Over the course of the year I have had the privilege to taste a lot of good wines, not always cheap and not always great. The vintages that I have tasted, from 1999 to 2014, have stirred up different feelings about the direction of wine and winemaking in Australia and overseas. In Australia, it’s pretty certain that quality is rising across the board. Now is not the time to overcapitalise on some of the things we do best – Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon among them. Instead of pushing it too hard, we should keep in mind that everything that is hard to come by makes the chase all the better when you get it. Keeping yields to an appropriate level, focusing on quality product and most importantly, keeping the conversation around Australian wine growing.
For international wines, we are becoming more aware of subregions and regions that we never considered wine could come from. Probably the biggest talking point in the back half of the year has been lesser-known varietals, and how they can be harnessed alone or in a blend. We should be proud of our wine achievements and for me, high quality sparklings can maybe give us an edge in an area with a few less competitors.
So here goes, my best wines of the year. These are based only on wines I have tasted and blogged about, and I have only listed the top 3-5 in each category, depending on tied scores. There are a great, great deal more wines that I am yet to taste or have not tasted that could have been on the list. With that in mind, here they are.
House of Arras E. J. Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling 2002 (Tasmania) – 97 points
Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999 (Champagne) – 96+ points
Clover Hill Blanc de Blancs 2008 (Tasmania) – 95 points
Clover Hill Prestige Cuvée 2001 (Tasmania) – 95 points
Champagne Paul Bara Millesime 2005 (Bouzy) – 95 points
Others tied on 94 points:
Jansz Rosé Vintage 2010, Arras Rosé 2005, Pipers Brook Vintage 2008, Josef Chromy Vintage 2008 (read all about them here), Barringwood Classic Cuvée 2011 (all Tasmania).
Dr Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett 2013 (Mosel Valley) – 94+ points
Moores Hill Chardonnay 2013 (Tasmania) – 94+ points
Tamar Ridge Chardonnay 2012 (Tasmania) – 94 points
Bream Creek Late Picked Schönburger 2010 (Tasmania) – 93+ points
Fox Gordon Princess Fiano 2012 (Adelaide Hills) – 93 points
Fox Gordon King Louis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Barossa Valley) – 96 points
Bellevue Estate Shiraz 2012 (McLaren Vale) – 96 points
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2012 (South Australia) – 95 points
Chateau Laforge 2007 (Saint Emilion) – 94 points
Teusner ‘The Gentleman’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Eden Valley) – 94 points
Others tied on 94 points:
Fox Gordon Hannah’s Swing Shiraz 2010 (Barossa Valley), Leeuwin Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Margaret River), Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz 2010 (Barossa Valley)
As you can see there’s been some amazing wine consumed this year, and may it continue. A happy Christmas shopping period awaits you!