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Happy New Year!

A brief look back at wine in 2009.

Cheers to all and Happy New Year! This year, if anything was for sure, was that time went by with the blink of an eye and the dawn of 2010 is upon us. 2009 was, well, an interesting year to say the least. In many ways it was not interesting, C’est la vie!

One facet that was interesting was of course the wine drinking and tasting. We also had some very memorable meals and will highlight 5 of those meals, as well as two top 10 lists of the wines from this year. One list bearing no price that includes some legendary names and some legends in the making. The other list is a value list of those wines I found delivered the best value for under $20. Together we made 2009 more wine savvy! Let’s make 2010 even better!


Top 10 Wines 2009 1) 1997 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri 2) 1977 Château Lafite Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac 3) 1990 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon France, Champagne 4) 2002 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley California, Napa Valley 5) 1995 Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon Saint Felicien Edicion Unica No 1 Argentina, Mendoza 6) 2007 Herman Story Grenache “On The Road” California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County 7) 1989 & 1990 Château Bahans Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan 8) 2003 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60 France, Northern Rhône, Cornas 9) 1997 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon California, Napa Valley 10) 1997 Niepoort Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Top 10 Value Wines 2009 1) 2007 J.L. Chave Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur $15-20 France, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône 2) 2006 Viña Cobos El Felino Cabernet Sauvignon (formerly Cocodrilo) $17-18 Argentina, Mendoza 3) 1992 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon $N/A USA, California 4) 2006 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico $16-20 Italy, Tuscany, Chianti Classico 5) 2007 Clos de los Siete (Michel Rolland) Clos de Los Siete $14-18 Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco 6) 2007 StellaGrey Napa Valley Red $20 California, Napa Valley 7) N.V. Sokol Blosser Evolution No. 9 $14-$17 USA, Oregon 8) 2007 Bodegas Castaño Monastrell $7-8 Spain, Murcia, Yecla 9) 2004 Château D’As $15 France, Bordeaux, Graves 10) 2007 Domaine de la Chesnay Côtes du Rhône $6 France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Top 5 Dining Experiences 2009 1) Blue, Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Chef: Eric Ripert Flawless, modern French cooking with classical roots – seafood inspired. The Surf & Turf Lobster could be the best thing I ate all year. Amazing tasting menus for local sourced and the Le Bernardin menu – we had both! 2) La Toque, Westin Verasa, Napa, Napa Valley, CA Chef: Ken Frank Sommelier: Yoon Ha Practically splitting hairs having them at #2. The BEST wine service I have ever had with the wine & food pairing tasting menu: Potel Vosne-Romanee, Corison, Keplinger, Ladera, Royal Tokaji, Duck, Wagyu beef, Matsutake, Foie Gras, and Antelope 3) Campiello, Naples, Florida Chef: Jay Sparks Best chicken I have had in forever, airline cut, wood burning oven. Amazing lively scene in downtown Naples 4) The Brasserie, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Beautiful presentation, Talented cooking, Attentive & Stellar service, Colonial Island Setting 5) Craft, Manhattan, New York Chef: Tom Colicchio Best Carrots in a restaurant, Hen of Woods mushrooms, Duck, Steak, Octopus! TIE 5) Keens Steakhouse – Mutton Chop, solid wine choices, the Scotch list is longer then the wine list! Below I will list a few of the tasting notes from the top wines listed above and add some pictures! A toast to a Safe and Happy New! May 2010 be healthy & most prosperous to you and yours! Cheers, Tom

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