My Best Wine Selections From 2018

"As you get older, you shouldn't waste time drinking bad wine." - The Indomitable Julia Childs

“As you get older, you shouldn’t waste time drinking bad wine.” – The Indomitable Julia Childs

 

Join me each Wednesday at 8:30 Eastern for my live Winesday broadcast on Youtube & Facebook

Join me each Wednesday at 8:30 Eastern for my live Winesday broadcast on Youtube & Facebook

Certainly as I get on in years, I too have wholeheartedly adopted the same philosophy as lovely Julia above … there is no time for crappy wine!

Below are the wines I am trying throughout 2018, ranked conveniently for your perusal. Unfortunately I can make no promises that any of these will be available at your local liquor outlet, however mentioning any one of them to a truly knowledgeable sommelier will no doubt lead to a few quality suggestions.

In order for wines to make the list below, they need to have ranked at least 4.0 or more on my own personal scale from 1 to 5, to see which wines did not make the list, feel free to have a look at the bottom of the page.

Wishing you only the very best and most satisfying wine experiences to come, cheers!

 

Every Wednesday night at 8:30 pm eastern time, I broadcast live on Youtube & Facebook sharing a weekly update and a new bottle of wine! I hope you’ll join me for the next Winesday weekly update🍷!

 

Impulsive Culinarian’s Current Best Wine List for 2018

4.7/5 – Chateau Boutisse Saint Émilion Grand Cru 2014
Chateau Boutisse Saint Émilion Grand Cru 2014

Chateau Boutisse Saint Émilion Grand Cru 2014

Country: France

Grape(s): Gamay (85%), Cabernet Franc (11%), Cabernet Sauvignon (4%)

IC Comments: This is an absolutely delicious and sophisticated Bordeaux that I will remember for years to come. Such dry splendour and complex richness, with a lovely finish that makes me feel reminiscent of kingly wines, such an excellent bottle.

 

4.7/5 – Mommesin Grandes Mises Saint-Amour 2015 Beaujolais
​ Mommesin Grandes Mises Saint-Amour 2015 Beaujolais


Mommesin Grandes Mises Saint-Amour 2015 Beaujolais

Country: France

Grape(s): Gamay (100%)

IC Comments: My TOP WINE from 2017, this wonderful vintage is still available in respectable quantities as of this writing in early 2018, so I have to include it here for reference. To paraphrase myself, what the heck is a Gamay grape and where has it been my whole life! What an absolutely wonderful surprise to try this deliciously floral, woody and dare I say slightly sweet Beaujolais Saint-Amour. Since my wine journey began, I slowly felt as though I was approaching a ceiling of flavour somehow; this incredible wine has opened the door to many possibilities to come.

 

4.7/5 – ​G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba 2016
​G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba 2016

​G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba 2016

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Dolcetto (100%)

IC Comments: What a delicious discovery to find a completely different grape, from a different country, in a different yearly vintage, that tastes so unmistakably similar to it’s distant doppelgänger. This near clone of Saint Amour is an instant hit for us and I can’t wait to explore other wines from this delicious Italian producer.

 

4.6/5 – ​​Château de Nages, Vieilles Vignes 2015 Costières de Nîmes
​Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes 2015 Costières de Nîmes

​Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes 2015 Costières de Nîmes

Country: France

Grape(s): Grenache (72%), Syrah (24%), Mourvedre (4%)

IC Comments: Mildly floral and only barely perceptible spice in the nose, with a fresh, dry, tannin feel and lovely medium finish that imparts only a hint if sweet … I f***ing love this wine. It earns all its own points on taste, but gets an additional honourable mention for being UNDER $20. Buy a case or three right now and thank me later!

 

4.6/5 – ​​Chateau St Jean Sonoma Pinot Noir 2013
Chateau St Jean Sonoma Pinot Noir 2013

Chateau St Jean Sonoma Pinot Noir 2013

Country: USA

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: What’s this? A “Chateau” that doesn’t come from France!? Blasphemy!! But in all seriousness, this is such a deliciously fruity, spicy, woody and floral Pinot Noir from Sonoma. I’ve learned much this year about the gentle subtlety of Pinot Noir, but this one has some very distinguished character and I’m certainly a BIG fan … so lucky to find yet another top wine for 2018!

 

4.6/5 – ​Decoy Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2015

Country: USA

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: Dark berries, slightly smokey, beautiful long, light finish, and not too sweet. This incredible Californian Pinot Noir had definitely grabbed my attention. I would serve this at any special occasion where a truly delicious wine is required. Can’t wait to try the slightly older Cab from this producer!

 

4.6/5 – ​Tenuta Belguardo Serrata Toscana 2015
Tenuta Belguardo Serrata Toscana 2015

Tenuta Belguardo Serrata Toscana 2015

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Sangiovese (80%), Alicante Nero (20%)

IC Comments: ​This lovely Maremma Toscana red is absolutely delicious. Medium bodied with just the right amount of woody, floral spiciness and a lovely light finish. A new favourite to be sure.

 

4.6/5 – Chateau Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande 2010
​ Chateau Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande 2010


Chateau Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande 2010

Country: France

Grape(s): Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Cabernet Franc (10%)

IC Comments: ​My second favourite wine from 2017, this vintage is still remotely available in well-stocked shops. Having said that however, good luck finding out Anything about Paul Quié & the vineyard responsible for this incredible Bordeaux. It’s one of my new all-time favourites, the fabled Tridente-killer, and I can’t find out ANY details about it! Will need to have a good talk with sommelier to find out more details. Wow, this is unbelievable wine.

 

4.6 / 5 – ​Bodegas Tridente Tempranillo 2015
​Bodegas Tridente Tempranillo 2015

​Bodegas Tridente Tempranillo 2015

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tempranillo (100%)

IC Comments: ​Just as delicious as it’s 2014 predecessor, I am such a fan of this full-bodied powerhouse Spanish red. Excellent spice and richness with a beautifully elegant long finish. This vintage seems to have a slightly less earthy nose, but it’s every bit as wonderful as I remember.

 

4.6 / 5 – ​Chateau de Barbe Blanche 2012 Bordeaux
Chateau de Barbe Blanche 2012 Bordeaux

Chateau de Barbe Blanche 2012 Bordeaux

Country: France

Grape(s): Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%)

IC Comments: ​Such a deliciously sophisticated Bordeaux with just a hint of spice, a beautifully complex dark berry palate, and a perfect medium finish that would be the most delectable compliment to almost any dish … this is the perfect twin to Chateau Bel Orme, and its not even a 2010!!

 

4.5 / 5 – ​Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2010 Rioja
Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2010 Rioja

Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2010 Rioja

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tempranillo (92%), Maturana Tinta (5%), Graciano (3%)

IC Comments: ​This absolutely delicious Spanish gem was a welcome discovery. Medium/Full bodied with sophisticated spice, smokiness & oak, tempered with delicious dark berries and a hint of citrus. What an excellent return to Rioja!

 

4.5 / 5 – ​​Conte Brandolini d’Adda Vistorta 2011 Merlot
Conte Brandolini d’Adda Vistorta 2011 Merlot

Conte Brandolini d’Adda Vistorta 2011 Merlot

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Merlot … aka: Friuli Grave in Italy (100%)

IC Comments: ​This is such a beautifully sophisticated wine! Very mild and dry with a hint of woody, earthiness and only a barely perceptible peppery cranberry taste lingering in the background. Round it all off with a long, dry finish and I’m hard pressed to rank this any lower than 4.5. I’m trying to be tough this year but it really is spectacular! I really miss Merlots.

 

4.5 / 5 – ​​Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015
​Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015

​Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015

Country: France

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: Such a deliciously sophisticated pinot noir. As I learn about the subtleties of this particularly mild grape I see the potential in finding a truly well produced vintage … and this is by far one of my favourites to date, the proverbial Grandfather of Pinot Noir!

 

4.5 / 5 – ​​Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015
Felino Merlot 2013

Felino Merlot 2013

Country: Argentina

Grape(s): Merlot (100%)

IC Comments: What a bittersweet discovery this is. I’ve been a fan of sophisticated Argentinian reds ever since I began this delicious journey, with producers like Finca Decero leading the charge. This deliciously fruity yet polished Merlot with a subtle spice, some delicious mild smokiness and a long medium-bodied finish makes me want more … alas it comes from out of town and I likely will never try it again. Parting is such sweet sorrow!

 

4.5 / 5 – ​Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2011
​Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2011

​Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2011

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Sangiovese (33%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet (33%)

IC Comments: ​Number 8 from my 2017 list, this excellent vintage is definitely still available in great numbers in early 2018. This Tuscan red reminds me so much of the Decero Malbec, or even Maison Blanche … but with the addition if this beautiful floral sensation in the finish, truly delicious with a wonderful sweet start, but a mild finish with sophisticated nose. Will certainly be buying this one again, and again!

 

4.4 / 5 – ​​Erath Pinot Noir Oregon 2015
Erath Pinot Noir Oregon 2015

Erath Pinot Noir Oregon 2015

Country: USA

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: Dark cherries and slightly sweet but mild and light all at once. What a lovely find … and its from Oregon! I have some new found respect for US wine after tasting this bottle and will certainly enjoy this again soon.

 

4.4 / 5 – ​Cusumano Sàgana 2014
Cusumano Sàgana 2014

Cusumano Sàgana 2014

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Nero d’Avola (100%)

IC Comments: This Sicilian red is an absolutely delightful vintage, just a hint of sweet but with a long dry floral finish. This punchy red with hints of cherry, plum, some smokiness and even a few dry herbs for good measure, will definitely be a regular addition to my wine rotation.

 

4.3 / 5 – ​Zaha Malbec 2014
Solarea Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015

Solarea Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Montepulciano (100%)

IC Comments: Reminds me very much of Sangiovese with a quality of spice and puckered tannins but a medium sweet finish. Such lovely contrasts I would certainly get this vintage again.

 

4.3 / 5 – ​Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon le Py 2014
Morgon Le Py 2016 Beaujolais

Morgon Le Py 2016 Beaujolais

Country: France

Grape(s): Gamay (100%)

IC Comments: Whenever we go back to France we win, even if they have no Chateau to precursor their effort this delicious Beaujolais is still quite a tasty addition to our repertoire. A lovely young Morgon, great right out of the bottle too!

 

4.3 / 5 – ​Heinrich Blaufränkisch 2015
Heinrich Blaufränkisch 2015

Heinrich Blaufränkisch 2015

Country: Austria

Grape(s): Blaufrankisch (100%)

IC Comments: With just a bit more character than Cloudline, this light and refreshing Austrian red has piqued my interest in the Burgenland region. I’m now curious to explore, and maybe even yodel!

 

4.3 / 5 – ​Almirez Toro 2015
Almirez Toro 2015

Almirez Toro 2015

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tinta de Toro (100%)

IC Comments: Such a beautifully full-bodied Spanish Toro, reminiscent of Tridente but with slightly more liquorice than I prefer. Nevertheless, it is a delicious bottle

 

4.3 / 5 – ​Zaha Malbec 2014
​Zaha Malbec 2014

​Zaha Malbec 2014

Country: Argentina

Grape(s): Malbec (90%), Cabernet Franc (8%), Petit Verdot (2%)

IC Comments: ​Nice and dry with mild tannin finish. A non-sweet fruity Argentinian with great character but not overpowering, very nice bottle.

 

4.3 / 5 – ​​​Villa di Capezzana 2013 Carmignao
Villa di Capezzana Carmignao 2013

Villa di Capezzana Carmignao 2013

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Sangiovese (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%)

IC Comments: What a delicious full bodied Italian red from such a great year for that region. Although pricey it is worth the investment, which I have found to be rare in my more expensive vintages so far. Excellent long finish with dry and slightly spicy flavours … great bottle!

 

4.3 / 5 – ​​​​Adegas Guimaro Mencia Joven 2016
Adegas Guimero Mencia Joven 2016

Adegas Guimero Mencia Joven 2016

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Mencia (90%), Caino Tinto (5%), Souson (5%)

IC Comments: Medium bodied slightly sweet with a lovely spice and wonderfully dry medium finish. Very distinct the Mencia grape, and this young vintage is a great addition to the repertoire, certainly would buy this again.

 

4.2 / 5 – ​​​​Cloudline Pinot Noir 2016
​Cloudline Pinot Noir 2016

​Cloudline Pinot Noir 2016

Country: USA

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: ​One of my first light-bodied wine experiences with low sugar and very subtle palate, this easy-going pinot noir is delicious and completely unobtrusive. The very gentle flavours perceptible are lovely, and while I personally rather a more full-bodied vintage, this is a bottle I would share with any would-be wine enthusiast.

 

4.2 / 5 – ​​Chateau Combel La-Serre 2015 Cahors
Chateau Combel La-Serre 2015 Cahors

Chateau Combel La-Serre 2015 Cahors

Country: France

Grape(s): Malbec (100%)

IC Comments: Certified organic as of the 2015, the vineyard of this young & charismatic Julien Ilbert are an of a very impressive sort. ​
Subtle dark berries and licorice with a dry medium finish, this slightly fruity but very sophisticated Malbec is wonderful on its own and would be stellar with duck or beef. The 2015 vintage is apparently a vast improvement over its 2014 cousin and I would certainly enjoy this again.

 

4.2 / 5 – ​​​​​Vega Montàn Adria Bierzo 2010
Vega Montàn Adria Bierzo 2010

Vega Montàn Adria Bierzo 2010

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Mencia (100%)

IC Comments: What a lovely Spanish Bierzo, light to medium bodied with a snazzy little smoky spice … a light wine with character, love it!

 

4.2 / 5 – ​​​​​Cuarto Dominio Chento 2014 Malbec
​Cuarto Dominio Chento 2014 Malbec

​Cuarto Dominio Chento 2014 Malbec

Country: Argentina

Grape(s): Malbec (100%)

IC Comments: ​​​​This delicious malbec from Argentina is a bit less sweet than I am used to but still has all the right qualities to make this an intriguing part of my 2018 collection. Slightly spicier and more fruity than its Finca Decero cousin bit very lively just the same; this is a great bottle.

 

4.2 / 5 – ​​​​​Cennatoio E All’Omo Il Vino 2016 Sangiovese
​Cennatoio E All’Omo Il Vino 2016 Sangiovese

​Cennatoio E All’Omo Il Vino 2016 Sangiovese

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Sangiovese (100%)

IC Comments: ​​​​​Light bodied with subtle spice and a very gentle palate, this delightful Sangiovese from Tuscany is an airy, low sugar alternative to our 2018 lineup. Akin to the pinot noirs gracing this year’s collection, this Italian vintage is a welcome find.

 

4.1 / 5 – ​​​​Château Clarke Baron Edmond de Rothschild Listrac-Médoc 2012
Château Clarke Baron Edmond de Rothschild Listrac-Médoc 2012

Château Clarke Baron Edmond de Rothschild Listrac-Médoc 2012

Country: France

Grape(s): Merlot (70%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%)

IC Comments: ​​​This incredibly sophisticated wine makes me believe that there is an entire new world of wine waiting for me … unfortunately it probably costs a lot more than I’m used to spending. This $40 bottle reminds me very much of the Offerus St Joseph with its complex & sophisticated bouquet. Fresh fruit, liquorice, caramel, fungal, spicy, woody … so much going on here. This enormous potential convinces me that a great year near Pauillac (Ramage La Batisse is literally just up the road from Listrac-Medoc) is going to be a gold star for me; very nice find.

 

4.1 / 5 – ​​Château Lamartine Cuvée Particulière 2014 Cahors
​Château Lamartine Cuvée Particulière 2014 Cahors

​Château Lamartine Cuvée Particulière 2014 Cahors

Country: France

Grape(s): Malbec (90%), Tannat (10%)

IC Comments: ​A beautifully full-bodied wine, but dry with a hint of spice, great for sipping on its own and certainly worth letting breathe first. My second taste of a Cahors vintage and certainly feeling like I’m 2 for 2 so far!

 

4.0 / 5 – ​​​Vietti Percbacco Nebbiolo 2014:
Vietti Percbacco Nebbiolo 2014

Vietti Percbacco Nebbiolo 2014

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Nebbiolo (100%)

IC Comments: ​Not entirely my style of wine, yet this dry, medium-bodied and fruity Italian red has a lovely long finish and is still a very respectable addition to the repertoire.

 

4.0 / 5 – ​​​Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014:
​Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

​Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Country: USA

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon (100%)

IC Comments: ​​Full bodied and delicious … rumoured to be dry but I found it to be quite sweet, very close to McManis in flavour in fact. A good bottle from the Alexander Valley in California that I would gladly drink again.

 

4.0 / 5 – ​​​Azienda Agricola COS Frappato 2016 Terre Siciliane
​Azienda Agricola COS Frappato 2016 Terre Siciliane

​Azienda Agricola COS Frappato 2016 Terre Siciliane

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Frappato (100%)

IC Comments: ​​What a nose! Truly unlike any wine smell I’ve encountered before … it’s not gross, but it certainly is extremely unexpected … almost like it should be highly combustible somehow. The taste however is completely delightful and even more enjoyable because of the unlikely intro. A fun Italian wine that I would certainly buy again.

 

4.0 / 5 – ​​​​​Leon Beyer Pinot Noir 2015
Leon Beyer Pinot Noir 2015

Leon Beyer Pinot Noir 2015

Country: France

Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)

IC Comments: ​​​​Fruity with a hint of cherry, this characteristically dry Alsace wine is a lovely light and refreshing vintage with a beautiful amber tinge. Certainly a new addition to our pinot noir list of wines to enjoy.

 

What A Great Year For Wine Tasting!

So there you have it folks, my ever-evolving list of the best wines I’ve tried in 2018, and would strongly recommend to anyone who is interested in enjoying good full-bodied red wine with friends. Cheers!

 

Let’s Talk About Wine

Every wednesday night at 8:30 pm eastern time, I broadcast live on Youtube, Facebook, Periscope and Twitter, sharing a weekly update and a new bottle of wine! I hope you’ll join me for the next Winesday weekly update🍷!

Also, be sure to drop me a line at your favourite social hangout with any wine suggestions you think I should try.

YOUTUBE
INSTAGRAM
Facebook
Twitter

Wishing you much delicious success with all of your wine tasting adventures.

 

Other Wines I’ve Tried This Year

  • 3.9 / 5 – ​Quinta Do Infantado 2013 Douro
  • 3.7 / 5 – ​Gaba Do Xil 2015 Mencia
  • 3.2 / 5 – ​Chateau Soleil 2010 Bordeaux
  • ​3.1 / 5 – Oyster Bay 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2.4 / 5 – Michel Rolland 2010 Bordeaux