It's this time of the year when you check your notes looking back to the good (and sometimes the bad wines) you've tasted trying to spot the crème de la crème. There are two obvious ways here; either go for the most memorable wines, the ones that first come in mind when wondering which wine was the best, or go for the ones that got the highest ratings. The second option might work better and be more precise provided that all the wines tasted were rated as well, something not always so easy or fun as it sounds.
I will go for a combination of these two ways since I regret to say that I have not managed to rate all the wines I have tasted this year. I only started doing so the last 4 to 5 months...
2015 was the vintage that made me a Master of Wine and in a proper celebration in an unconventional mafia restaurant I did try two of the world's legendary wines. Lafite 2003 and DRC Richebourg 2004! Both of them were singing, Lafite in a textbook Bordeaux character full of cassis, cedar and mint and Richebourg in an ethereal almost poetic way caressing and comforting but also very much inspiring. And since inspiration gives and extra 2 points my vote goes to this Burgundy masterpiece confirming that Burgundy is the answer although Lafite came very close (99 vs 97).
Nevertheless beyond these epic wines it felt great tasting two amazing Greek wines as well that were complex, rewarding and very much detailed. I could not ask for anything more when I tasted the Gerovassiliou Malagousia from 2010 vintage that had evolved beautifully. I gave it my top rating (93/100) for its creamy, rich texture but also vibrant power it possessed. An awesome wine that makes a statement of the ageing potential of a serious well-made Malagousia.
And then came a Naoussa from own rooted pre-phylloxera vines (for its most part) from the Paliokalias vineyard. This is the Dalamara Vignes Franches 2009, a rare wine produced in just one barrel from tiny yields that was perfumed, refined with amazing depth of fruit and impeccable balance. Evidence I guess of what old vines can provide to a capricious grape variety like Xinomavro. That easily got 95/100 points for its combination of power and finesse.
It was a great year overall and I am looking forward to explore, taste and communicate many more wines in 2016. I will ask Santa of this!
Happy new year
Yiannis (Master and Commander)
From the amazing vertical of Vignes Franches (2006-2013) few weeks ago with notes coming up shortly