Each year at this time there are two kinds of lists that people are thinking about, the one cobbled together by Ol' Saint Nick and then the copious top 100 lists put out by all the wine publications. There is also the concept of the "shit list" which frankly is not seasonal and is not one that anyone hopes they make it onto. While the most cache goes to the list from Wine Spectator, the Wine Enthusiast and the San Francisco Chronicle also produce Top 100 lists. Here at the Anthem we do not, we simple don't try that many wines in a year, we have day jobs and this blog ain't them. That's okay though because just about everyone else does. So we have aggregated that data here for you. You're welcome.
The Wine Enthusiast
The Wine Enthusiast produces a lot of lists. Some people describe themselves as "list-makers" and so that's probably true of the editors at the Enthusiast. They've got Top 100 Best Buys, Top 100 Cellar Selections and just Top 100 "Regular" I suppose (there are also beer lists by the way). Here's the run down of Top 100 "Regular."
86: 2011 Chehalem Ridge Crest Vineyard, Wind Ridge Block Pinot Noir $50
83: 2009 Gorman Winery, The Bully Cabernet (Red Mountain) $45
75: 2011 Foundry Vineyards, Stainless Chardonnay (Columbia Gorge) $24
70: 2011 Dunham Estate, Lewis Vineyard Riesling $20
64: 2012 Guardian Cellars, Angel Sauvignon Blanc (Red Mountain) $20
54: 2012 Poet's Leap Riesling $20
48: 2011 Kevin White Winery, Fraternite (GSM blend) $20
43: 2010 Bergstrom, Sigrid Chardonnay $80
39: 2010 Maison Bleue, Le Midi Grenache, Boushey Vineyard $35
34: 2010 Pacific Rim, Wallula Vineyard, Biodynamic Riesling $32
6: 2010 Cayuse, En Cerise Vineyard Syrah $80
4: 2012 Trisaetum, Ribbon Ridge Estate, Dry Riesling $24
Notables about this list; the inclusion of the Trisaetum Riesling in the top 5 is something that I'm glad to see. I feel like the Willamette Valley does Riesling so much better than Washington and this is a nod to that. Also the Kevin White blend at #48. Kevin's wines are so good, he's such a good guy and it's $20. That's a great wine for a ridiculous price. The $80 Chardonnay is a bit over the top and not something I'd buy considering so many great Willamette Valley Chardonnay can be had for $25-30.
Also, huge gap between number 34 and 6.
The San Francisco Chronicle
Of all the professional print wine writers, it seems like Jon Bonne at the SF Chronicle has a palate that I gravitate towards. The Chronicle does not rank their wines, they merely list the 100 best wines they sampled that given year. The list is of American wines and so it's pretty much about the wines made on the West Coast. The list is broken up by "genre" which comes off as a little strange. The Chronicle also lists the alcohol percentage of each wine, I think this is a good thing and generally they list wines with lower ABV in their top 100 as they tend more towards acidity less toward ripe to overripe fruit. Of all the lists these are the wines that I'm most likely to look for as a consumer when it comes to wines I haven't been familiar with.
2012 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay $22
2011 Memaloose Columbia Gorge Chardonnay $25
I feel like there's a real miss here, particularly where the Willamette Valley is concerned. The region is produce extraordinary Chardonnay and so to only see one on a list that I consider to be authoritative where what's happening with wine is concerned seems like Bonne whiffed on this one.
2011 Trisaetum Coast Range Estate Dry Riesling $24
2012 Abacela Umpqua Valley Albarino $18
2012 Cowhorn Spiral 36 Applegate Valley White $28
2012 JK Carriere, Glass, White Pinot Noir $20 (This wine is superb.)
2012 Analemma, Atvus Vineyard, Columbia Gorge $25
2012 Teutonic, Laurel Vineyard, Willamette Valley $19
2011 Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve $42
2011 Big Table Farm, Willamette Valley $38
2011Brickhouse, Les Dijonnais, Ribbon Ridge $52
2011 Chehalem, Three Vineyard, Willamette Valley $29
2011 Haden Fig, Cancilla Vineyard, $30
2011 Soter, North Valley $30
2011 Stoller Family Estate, Dundee Hills $25
Cabernet & Merlot:
2010 Betz Family, Clos de Betz, Columbia Valley Red $55
2010 Cadence, Tapteil Vineyard Red $45
2011 Leonetti Cellar, Walla Walla Valley Merlot $75
2010 Scarborough, The Royale, Columbia Valley Red $35
2010 Gramercy Cellars, Walla Walla Valley Cabernet $48
2010 Januik, Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon $55
2010 Revelry Vintners, The Limited Edition Reveler, Columbia Valley Red $35
2011 Andrew Will, Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc $25
Rhone Style Reds:
Not a single Washington wine? Seriously?
Zinfandel & Other Reds
Nothing here either.
The Wine Spectator
In terms of the high profile Top 100 list that honor begins and ends with the highest profile magazine, Wine Spectator. I for one do not find life to be a spectator sport but none the less "the Spectator" as it is known is the biggest of big dogs. Interestingly they actually roll their Top 100 out over the course of a week, revealing a few each day and on the last day numero uno gets unveiled. Overall the Northwest did fairly well including 5 wines in the top 25.
79: 2010 Ken Wright, Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir $55
68: 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Horse Heaven Hills Sauvignon Blanc, $15
57: 2010 L'ecole No. 41, Columbia Valley, Syrah $25
55: 2011 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir $18
51: 2012 Charles Smith, Kung Fu Girl Riesling $12
27: 2010 Spring Valley Vineyards, Uriah, Walla Walla Valley $20
17: 2010 Alexana, Revana Vineyard, Pinot Noir $42
11: 2010 Reynvaan, Walla Walla Valley Stonessence, Syrah $70
10: 2010 Quilceda Creek, Columbia Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon $135
3: Domaine Serene, Evanstad Pinot Noir $65
10 Northwest wines in the WS Top 100 up 1 from 9 the year before.
And with that we close out another list season, except for the whole Santa Claus thing. Many of these wines, because of where they landed on these lists will be difficult to come by. Many of them already are.
Here's the cool kids at New York's PS22 doing Lystomania from the band Phoenix.