VIN­TAGE DREAMS

Af­ter re­view­ing close to 12,000 wines last year, james­suck­ling. com de­clared its 100 Wines of the Year. Here, James Suck­ling hones that list down to the Ten Best Wines of 2016, all of which scored 100 points

Malaysia Tatler Best Restaurants - - Wines -

OPUS ONE NAPA VAL­LEY 2013

The great­est Opus ever. Ter­rific aro­mas of crushed black­cur­rant, blue­berry and flow­ers with hints of sweet to­bacco. Roses con­tinue to ex­ude op­u­lence and class. Full body, su­perb bal­ance of ul­tra­fine tan­nins and vi­brant acid­ity. Com­plex af­ter­taste of black fruit and citrus. Ex­tremely per­sis­tent. Will be even bet­ter in 2019 and be­yond. 79% caber­net sauvi­gnon, 7% caber­net franc, 6% mer­lot, 6% pe­tit ver­dot, 2% mal­bec. This will al­ways be beau­ti­ful to drink.

VIÑEDO CHAD­WICK CABER­NET SAUVI­GNON VALLE DE MAIPO 2014

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously de­fines el­e­gance and power. Com­plex aro­mas of blue­berry, black­cur­rant and liquorice. Full body, re­fined and beau­ti­ful. Stun­ning length and com­plex­ity, en­ergy and bright­ness. It has a trans­parency that shows such great­ness and beauty. Half the nor­mal pro­duc­tion. Chile’s first per­fect wine and well de­served. Bet­ter in 2020.

RE­NIERI BRUNELLO DI MON­TAL­CINO RIS­ERVA 2010

A young Brunello with pre­ci­sion and com­plex­ity show­ing vi­o­let, black­berry, tea leaf and min­er­als. Stone un­der­tones, too. Full body, a com­pressed palate and firm and vel­vety tan­nins. Pow­er­ful and long. Truly fan­tas­tic. Breath­tak­ing. Bet­ter in 2018.

MAR­QUÉS DE MUR­RI­ETA RIOJA CASTILLO YGAY GRAN RESERVA ES­PE­CIAL 1986

A tri­umph. An amaz­ing white show­ing roasted pineap­ple, dried ap­ple, flow­ers and hints of lemon curd and al­monds on the nose. Full-bod­ied, closed and tight with amaz­ing depth and beauty. Waxy, salty and creamy. Goes on for min­utes. 21 years in wood, seven in con­crete and about three years in bot­tle. First year since 1978. Viura with a hint of mal­va­sia. I have the same mind-tin­gling sen­sa­tion tast­ing this as tast­ing the 1963 Viña Ton­do­nia Gran Reserva Blanco. 8,000 bot­tles made.

CATENA ZA­P­ATA ADRI­ANNA VINE­YARD MAL­BEC MEN­DOZA FOR­TUNA TER­RAE 2012

In­cred­i­ble pu­rity of mal­bec and clar­ity. So much wild­flower and stone char­ac­ter. Full body, firm, with silky tan­nins and an in­cred­i­ble depth and pre­ci­sion. Tangy acid­ity. Ethe­real; this is the La Tâche of Ar­gentina. A def­i­ni­tion for mal­bec. 3,000 bot­tles made. Try in 2018 on­wards.

DOMI­NUS NAPA VAL­LEY 2013

Fas­ci­nat­ing mul­ti­di­men­sional aro­mas, with black truf­fle, bark, clove, black­cur­rant, citrus and even gin­seng. Full-bod­ied yet re­served and aus­tere, with chewy, pow­er­ful tan­nins that re­main pol­ished and re­fined. The flavours are more umami and savoury. Then there are for­est fruits and blood-or­ange un­der­tones. Goes on for min­utes. A wine to age for a life­time. A new clas­sic.

KRUG CHAM­PAGNE BRUT 2002 TYRRELL’S SHI­RAZ HUNTER VAL­LEY OLD PATCH 1867 2014

Sourced from vines planted in 1867. Pu­rity and fi­nesse—a per­fectly shaped struc­ture and per­fectly pitched ripeness. De­cep­tively silky and se­duc­tive. Has the ripe red and dark plum aro­mas you only find in the best wines from the best ter­roirs. Ridicu­lously silky, sup­ple and yet con­cen­trated style. There is a ripeness and soft, fleshy and en­velop­ing rich­ness through the mid-palate that ex­trudes long into the fin­ish. Drink it now or hold. Im­pec­ca­ble de­tail and depth with a lot of chalky, stony and flinty el­e­ments on the nose and a very fresh edge. There are aro­mas of lemon rind, lime juice and a lime cus­tard all at once, com­ple­mented by a re­strained hazel­nut-like edge. Un­der­tones of brown mush­rooms, chalky min­er­als and lemon leaf. The palate has a core of in­tense, con­cen­trated chardon­nay framed within a pow­er­ful phe­no­lic struc­ture that will un­der­pin the fu­ture of this Cham­pagne. Flaw­lessly fresh and as per­fect as it gets.

FRANZ HIRTZBERGER RIES­LING WACHAU SINGER­RIEDEL SMARAGD 2015

An aro­matic mas­ter­piece with fine lemon and lime pith, grape­fruit and ripe white nec­tarines and peaches. A lot of sweet aro­mat­ics. It’s salty and smooth, el­e­gant, pre­cise and shows a deeply rich palate with great bal­ance and power. It’s long and su­per con­cen­trated, and acid­ity has the fi­nal say. Per­fect ripeness. Thrilling to drink now, but wait for 5+ years for this to reach per­fec­tion.

GAJA BAR­BARESCO SORI SAN LORENZO 2013

Ma­jes­tic aro­mas of crushed berries, meat and or­ange peel. Full body, lots of pow­er­ful yet ripe tan­nins and ex­quis­ite fruit. Amaz­ing depth and den­sity. They mac­er­ated a lit­tle more than nor­mal be­cause the fruit was per­fect. A clas­sic neb­bi­olo that re­minds me of the great 1996. Don’t touch for five to 10 years.

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