Tuesday, December 07, 2010

San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2010 Highlights

Finally  - I met Jon Bonné a few weeks ago after following his tasting notes, articles and opinions just about everywhere I could "read" him. He knows his wine and I learn from him all of the time.  Here are a few highlights from his "Chronicle Top 100 Wine 2010" that I have a soft-spot for...delicious!

2008 Lioco Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($45):
Lioco's goal is to frame the potential of outstanding vineyards, and Heintz is such a profound Chardonnay spot that it yielded two wines in this list. With zero oak influence, this shows a vivacious citrus edge, with a woodsy aroma of heather amid pineapple, focused mineral and honeyed pear and apricot. Heintz can yield tricky results in some years, but this is as pure as it gets. 

2009 Arnot-Roberts Campagni-Portis Vineyard Old Vine Sonoma Valley White Wine ($30):
Who could make a cult hit out of weird white wines? Forestville's Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts seem to. This blend from a historic Sonoma site is a tribute to California's old field blends - a mix of Gewurztraminer, Green Hungarian, Trousseau Gris and more. An orange-blossom accent leads to greengage plum, ginger, lanolin and ripe pear, tied together with a nervy acidity. Complex and heady, it keeps drawing you back to the glass, testament to the virtues of blending white grapes.   

2008 Hirsch Vineyards M Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($45):
Though wildfires prompted many wineries to skip a Hirsch designate in 2008, Hirsch itself stood firm, producing the M (usually a second tier) as its top wine. New winemaker Ross Cobb has finessed a blend dominant in old Pommard and Mount Eden clones that's packed with pleasing wild strawberry fruit and layered minerality.  

2008 Donkey & Goat Four Thirteen El Dorado Red Wine ($32):
Jared and Tracey Brandt's take on a traditional Chateauneuf blend (with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise) from three Sierra foothills sites shows tremendous energy and depth. Bright strawberry fruit accented by balsam, sweet pepper and wild garrigue, completed by a darker mineral note. 

2008 Gramercy Cellars Walla Walla Valley Syrah ($45):
Master sommelier Greg Harrington is establishing himself as a major star in Washington state with stupendous wines like this one. A gorgeously elusive scent, something like pepper cookies. Refined aromas of white pepper and mace, a savory mouthful of bright blackberry fruit and a velvety texture add up to a stellar effort.  

Please take time to read over Jon's complete TOP 100 here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/wine/top100-2010/intro  Cheers - Ali

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