Just Out: Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2012

So, it’s that time of the year once again: today venerable Wine Spectator magazine published their Top 10 Wines of 2012… according to them, of course! 🙂

In a nutshell, these are the comments I would like to share with you about this year’s top rankings:

  • Shafer Vineyard‘s Relentless Napa Valley 2008 (a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah grapes) is Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year 2012
  • Only 3 U.S. wines made it to the top 10 (2 from California and 1 from Oregon), down from 4 last year, although one of them was picked as Wine of the Year 2012
  • Only 1 Italian wine made it to the top 10 scoring the ninth place and 94 points (Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona‘s Brunello di Montalcino 2007 DOCG) compared to 2 last year
  • France put 4 of their wines in the top 10, up from 3 last year
  • Just like in 2011, 9 of the top wines are red and only one is white (and, just like last year, the only white wine in the top 10 is a sweet wine)
  • Syrah is present in variable percentages ranging from 100% down to 10% in all of the top 4 wines, with the Wine of the Year being a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah (note that, despite the name, the latter is a separate grape variety from Syrah, which comes from a cross between Syrah and Peloursin vines) and in the third place there being an Australian Shiraz (100% Syrah grapes)

For more detailed information, please refer to Wine Spectator’s Website. I hope you are fortunate enough to get to enjoy one of the top 10 wines of this year!

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About Stefano

I am a photographer and an ISA certified sommelier. I contribute to two blogs, Flora's Table (the fine cooking and wine blog - www.florastable.com) and Clicks & Corks (my photography and wine blog - www.clicksandcorks.com). My photography Web site is at www.LightQuill.com
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2 Responses to Just Out: Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2012

  1. Jeanette says:

    Hi Stefano! I hope you & Francesca had a marvelous New Year! When I read this piece, I couldn’t help wondering why more whites didn’t make the list? Do you suppose it’s a question of fashion? Also, I would love it if you would write a bit about Pinot Grigio and Chianti this year. They’re both wines I enjoy, but I feel very ignorant about them & would love to learn more:-)

    • Stefano says:

      Hi Jeanette! Thank you for your comment 🙂
      Even in the preceding three years, WS has only included one white wine in their top 10, so it is kind of a consolidated trend. My sense is that red wine tends to do better than white in this kind of rankings because (generally speaking) it is more complex than white wine and therefore tends to have an edge in the nose and mouth of the taster. Probably it would make more sense to have two separate “top 10” lists, one for reds and one for whites so that each type “competes” against its own peers. Having said, I would not read too much into WS’s selections, as there may be many unknown variables and factors influencing the decision of which wines make their top 10 list and which others do not.
      Regarding Pinot Grigio and Chianti, I will certainly add them to my list of future posts and I hope I will be able to offer a few pointers: thank you for your request and stay tuned for my write ups 🙂
      All the very best

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