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 tried throughout 2017, ranked conveniently for your perusal. Unfortunately I can make no promises that any of these will still 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 needed 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!
Impulsive Culinarian’s Current Best Wine List for 2017
4.7/5 – Mommesin Grandes Mises Saint-Amour 2015 Beaujolais
Grape(s): Gamay (100%)
IC Comments: 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.
4.6/5 – Chateau Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande 2010
Grape(s): Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (3Cabernet Franc (10%)
IC Comments: 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 – Tridente Tempranillo 2014
Grape(s): Tempranillo (100%)
IC Comments: Don’t be daunted by the very earthy nose at first, this amazing Spanish red is just fantastic. Nice coffee/chocolate finish but not too sweet, currently my unmatched favourite so far.
4.5 / 5 – Chateau Ramage La Batisse Haut-Medoc 2010
Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (50%)
IC Comments: Wow, such a lovely dry Bordeaux, this slightly pricey French 50/50 cabernet sauvignon / merlot is a deliciously complex vintage with leathery cedar tones and a delicious medium finish. Full bodied yet very sophisticated, this wine will definitely make a comeback to our wine fridge … if still available!
4.5 / 5 – Quinta Da Romaneira Douro Reserva 2010
Grape(s): Touriga Nacional (55%), Touriga Franca (45%)
IC Comments: This incredible Portugese Douro Reserva is a pleasure to behold. Such a subtle non-descript nose with ripe fruit, mild chocolate and coffe in the palette. I truly believe I’ve found a new benchmark in this lovely 2010 vintage and will be keeping an eye out for other productions from Christian Seely and company.
4.5 / 5 – Chateau La Cardonne Médoc 2009
Grape(s): Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Cabernet Franc (5%)
IC Comments: Wow, if Maison Blanche felt like coming home, La Cardonne 2009 is like curling up in a lush comfy sofa in front of a roaring fire … what a beautiful well-rounded wine with perfect finish and beautiful old-world class; there is literally nothing wrong with this wine. I’m starting to think that Bordeaux, Merlot & Medoc is my true path!? Not de-throning Tridente but certainly a dead-on tie for first, but only if its decanted for at least an hour before serving!
4.5 / 5 – Finca Decero Malbec 2014
Grape(s): Malbec (100%)
IC Comments: Wow! After trying the Finca Decero Cab and discovering that the same Argentinian producers had a slightly younger Malbec available, I couldn’t wait to try. Not surprisingly, the dark purple gorgeousness of this fruity and woody, yet dry and medium-bodied 100% Malbec was music to my mouth. Could be the reason I like Bordeaux blends with Malbec so much … have I found my new favourite grape?
4.5 / 5 – Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2011
Grape(s): Sangiovese (33%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet (33%)
IC Comments: 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!
4.5 / 5 – Joseph Faiveley Morgon Les Charmes 2013
Grape(s): Gamay (100%)
IC Comments: An incredibly complex and beautiful Beaujolais made from 100% Gamay grapes, this dry French red has such an intriguing floral nose with such a mysteriously satisfying spicy taste but a very short finish. It’s fruity but not easily identifiable as one taste alone. Further investigation reveals that this producer has a very high quality repertoire, what a treat to enjoy an incredibly satisfying entry-level product of theirs for under $25!
4.5 / 5 – Chateau Maison Blanche 2012
Grape(s): Merlot (80%), Cabarnet Sauvignon (16%), Cabarnet Franc (4%)
IC Comments: Having developed my palette on catchy new world California Cab blends, I soon “graduated” to Spanish Rioja and began exploring the more subtle and slightly temperamental grapes thereof. Trying this incredible old-world Medoc with such a sophisticated woody and dry fruit blend of Merlot with a hint of Cab, made me feel like I finally came home to the wine I was supposed to enjoy, what an incredible bottle; almost my new fav but not yet overthrowing the mighty Tridente!
4.5 / 5 – J.L. Chave Selection Mon Coeur 2015
Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon (95%), Petit Verdot (5%)
IC Comments: Wow, an awesome contender from California! This screw-top cab was SURPRISINGLY worth decanting and unexpectedly showed off some very sophisticated flavours for such a young New World vintage, definitely great value for the low price.
4.4 / 5 – J.L. Chave Selection Mon Coeur 2015
Grape(s): Syrah (60%), Grenache (40%)
IC Comments: At first dry, then very surprisingly magnificent. Deep and rich but not over-powering. This lovely French Syrah/Grenache blend grew on me quickly and became a new favourite after just a few sips. So glad to have found a Syrah-laced blend that I finally enjoy!
4.4 / 5 – FInca Decero Cabarnet Sauvignon 2013
Grape(s): Cabarnet Sauvignon (100%)
IC Comments: This deliciously dry Argentinian cab is a lovely mature wine that I could enjoy with almost any meal, such sophisticated taste and a medium finish, I enjoy every drop of this lovely cherry-coloured vintage.
4.4 / 5 – Dehesa La Granja 2008
Grape(s): Tempranillo (100%)
IC Comments: This beautiful Spanish 100% Tempranillo is the next best edition from Spain I’ve been looking for! Left to breathe in the decanter for 30 minutes this absolutely refreshing bottle is one of the only other truly memorable Spanish productions I’ve come across (after trying MANY!). A lovely dark purplish amber with a dry & woody finish, perfect … and MUCH better than its younger brother El Vinculo (see below)
4.4 / 5 – Pétalos Bierzo 2015
Grape(s): Mencia (95%), Local Varietals (5%)
IC Comments: Who knew that there was yet another Spanish grape I could be so fond of! Made from 95% Mencia grapes this delicious Bierzo is a very welcome addition to the IC arsenal. Full bodied yet light and refreshing all at the same time, just my style and certainly will buy it again.
4.3 / 5 – J.L. Chave Saint-Joseph Offerus 2014
Grape(s): Syrah (100%)
IC Comments: Certainly one of the most sophisticated wines I’ve had the pleasure of trying; dry, full-bodied, intriguing and delicious. Surprisingly complex for a 100% Syrah, yet so simple and refreshing as well. I smell and taste subtleties that seem overdone in other wines, but Offerus somehow seems to get them all just right, spicy, cigar, fungal, floral, but all super light and perfectly married … love it.
4.3 / 5 – Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Country: USA (California)
Grape(s): Cabernetr Sauvignon (90%), Other Varietals (10%)
IC Comments: A surprising return to California of all places. This delicious organic cab was a welcome delight to enjoy. Very fresh without being too fruity, a nice earthy nose … like a distant cousin of a Spanish Tempranillo almost. Beautiful wine, worth having again for sure … and its organic!
4.2 / 5 – Jerome Quiot Ventoux 2015
Grape(s): Carignan(30%), Grenache (30%), Cinsault (20%), Syrah (20%)
IC Comments: Such a lovely Grenache and Syrah blend, still full-bodied enough to keep up with my classic Rioja craving, but at the same time refreshingly mild and fruity. An unexpected new favourite from France.
4.2 / 5 – Aranleon Bles Crianza 2014
Grape(s): Monastrell (60%), Tempranillo (30%)
IC Comments: This delicious organic wine is a crisp blend done in the Crianza style. The lovely fresh fruit dominates in true new world fashion, but is still intriguing with hints of spice and an almost tobacco-like flavour hidden among the fresh dark fruitiness. Quite lovely … and organic!
4.1 / 5 – Umberto Cesari Vintage Collection Sangiovese 2014
Grape(s): Sangiovese (100%)
IC Comments: A mysterious and refreshing Italian 2014 (from the producers of renown Liano cab), with flavours of cherry, licorice, tobacco and big bold juicy red fruit. Lovely full-bodied finish, I like this wine and will definitely buy it again.
4.0 / 5 – Cortes de Cima 2012
Grape(s): Aragonez [Portugese version of Tempranillo] (50%), Syrah (40%), local varieties (10%)
IC Comments: A very lovely Portuguese blend of Aragonez & Syrah that I find to be absolutely refreshing and delicious; perfectly balanced fruit and spice but unmistakably full-bodied and warm, a lovely wine indeed.
4.0 / 5 – Chateau Pesquié Quintessence 2015 Ventoux
Grape(s): Syrah (80%), Grenache (20%)
IC Comments: Well, I did ask the sommelier for something ‘different’, and that’s exactly what I got! Such an earthy and dark nose on this, even after breathing for an hour or so. This Syrah/Grenache blend is noticeably spicy with liquorice and dark berry flavours, which seem a bit much at first, but after a couple glasses the finish becomes so rich and woody, truly a fun transformation. I think I’m saying you have to finish the bottle to really enjoy it lol!
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 2017, 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.
Wishing you much delicious success with all of your wine tasting adventures.
Other Wines I’ve Tried This Year
- 3.9 / 5 – Chateau La Raz Caman Cotes de Bourdeaux 2013
- 3.9 / 5 – Château le Puy Bordeaux 2014
- 3.9 / 5 – Atteca Garnacha 2014
- 3.8 / 5 – Tres Picos Barsao Garnacha 2015
- 3.8 / 5 – Blau Carignan/Garnacha/Syrah 2015
- 3.8 / 5 – Baron De Ley Rioja Reserva 2012
- 3.6 / 5 – Alsace Pfaff Black Tie Pinot Gris 2016
- 3.5 / 5 – Emiliana Novas Syrah Mourvedre 2014
- 3.4 / 5 – Muga Rioja Reserva 2013
- 3.2 / 5 – Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2011
- 3.1 / 5 – El Vinculo Crianza 2012
- 3.0 / 5 – Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2012
- 3.0 / 5 – Aponte Reserva 2008
- 3.0 / 5 – Massaya Terasses de Baalbeck 2013
- 2.5 / 5 – Luzon Monastrell Organic 2016
- 2.5 / 5 – Monte Ducay 2010 Gran Reserva
- 2.4 / 5 – Pilheiros Douro 2012
- 2.4 / 5 – Château Paul Mas Clos Des Mûres 2015
- 2.3 / 5 – Macho Man Monastrell 2016
- 2.3 / 5 – Ontañón Rioja Reserva 2005
- 2.2 / 5 – La Atalaya Del Camino 2014
- 2.0 / 5 – Domaine de Beaurenard Rasteau 2014
- 1.6 / 5 – Piccini Brunello Di Montalcino 2011
- 1.5 / 5 – Otazu Premium Cuvee 2013
- 1.3 / 5 – Conde Valdemar 2010 Rioja
- 1.2 / 5 – Malbec-Merlot Ciclos Icono 2013
- 1.1 / 5 – Cosme Palacio Reserva 2010
- 1.0 / 5 – Faustino I Rioja Gran Reserva 2005