This past year’s Top 10 was my best ever with some gems at great prices. Here’s what hasn’t sold out… yet!
94 Points, James Suckling
This one has always been my go-to for entertaining – I just hand everyone a glass upon arrival. The new batch of 2019 Barmes Cremant has just landed featuring a lot of freshness and energy, with a beautiful nose of green apple and Anjou pear with tinges of honey, white nuts and white flowers. The fruit is near perfect, richly concentrated with a creamy texture. The finish is endless, with the tiniest of bubbles, with a zippy acidity that makes it perfect with seafood.
Once again dialing up fruit from 1000-1500ft in elevation in the Dundee Hills, Chad’s 2021 is juicy, laser focused and roaring out of the gates. Chad tells me that similar wines (very similar wines) off this vineyard are raising their prices up to $55/bottle from $45 this year due to 2020’s lost year. But where most people are raising prices to recoup last year’s losses, the CHAD Pinot Noir price is somehow lower. A true gift from our favorite winemaker.
94 Pts, Wine Enthusiast – 94 Pts, Jeb Dunnuck – 93 Pts, James Suckling – 93 Pts, Parker’s Wine Advocate
“From the team of Nicolas Glumineau at Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, the 2018 Château De Pez is a gorgeous 2018 that should be on every Bordeaux lover’s radar (and should be a great value as well). Notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, candied violets, and graphite define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, rockingly polished tannins, terrific purity, and a great finish. It’s terrific and is going to have 15-20 years or more of longevity.” -Jeb Dunnuck
Wines from this winery often go for FOUR figures; well over a thousand dollars per bottle and basic bottlings off this particular vineyard typically retail for $350. This is one of the great vineyards of Stag’s Leap – but somehow Ry Richards was able to weasel out six barrels – as long as he never reveals his source. This is a knock-out Cabernet Sauvignon, perfect with grilled beef or with just a hunk of cheese. And with a little help from Ry, Nicholas Wines customers can enjoy a price way, way below market value for a wine like this.
Robert Foley’s Shelter Cabernet Sauvignon is our most popular Cabernet and finally returns after a few year hiatus. Dark purple on the rim, with aromas of black fruits, smoked meats, baking spice and a touch of sweet oak. It’s a big, round full-bodied wine with a nice acid backbone and a long, smooth finish. You can definitely drink these now (at this point, they’re seven years old) but there’s still a life ahead of them so tuck several away for a few more years.