My personal wines of the year 2011

The wine that has given me greatest pleasure, over and over, this year has been Chateau Cantemerle 1996.  It’s a classy wine.  A reminder of what Bordeaux is really all about, which isn’t inky 14% powerhouse wines that garner high point scores when critics taste them before they are even bottled.

Now I’m an old-fashioned sort of guy, I enjoy claret, Champagne, Madeira, old Northern Rhones – actually always older wine rather than younger, but one of the most impressive intruiging wines I’ve enjoyed this year is Yalumba Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2006.  A wine with a long history, in a perfect vintage for this Barossa blend.

Champagne wise Lamandier-Berneir terre de vertus remains a firm favourite.

One of the most under-rated white wines in the world continues to be Muscadet from the Loire where 2009 produced some great wines for enjoying now.  And also from the Loire this was very impressive – if too youthful to truly enjoy yet.

And a special mention should go to Australian Chardonnay which is excelling itself lately.  Complex, restrained, single vineyard cool climate Chardonnay with alcohol of 12.5% – that’s not what people think of when they think of Australian Chardonnay, it just goes to show what innovation there still is in the wine industry.

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