2022 End of the Year Wine Thoughts

I already did the 2022 Worst Wines of the Year, 2022 Best Wines Under $30 & 2022 Best Wines of the Year & 2022 Twin Cities Wine Shop of the Year.

Here are some more end of the year wine thoughts.

Winery Discovery of the Year

  1. Result of a Crush. I like so many others made the mistake of thinking this was a 2nd label project that would not offer 1st label quality and as the expression goes better late then never. I have to thank Trevor Moon from Walla Walla for getting me over to the the tasting room. In less than six months I have made up for this by tasting a ton of their wines. Here are the 35 wines tasted and by the way best wine club in the US. Buy a case in the fall and one in the spring. They pick these wines and offer free shipping! (That is minimum $4 a bottle). Then you pick any case of their inventory and still free shipping on a case. My cost is exactly $24.60!
  1. Tercero. I have discussed wine with Larry Shaffer on Wine Berserkers for years and maybe on the old Squires Board but can’t remember that long ago and have never sampled them. My brother visited Larry last spring and sent a six pack. Excellent quality wines. Tasted 4 of 6 and all stellar. Normally would have easily been one.

2021 Tercero Trilogia – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (6/22/2022)
Day 1: Solid effort and 4/4 on Larry’s wines at least 92 points or higher. This is refreshing on a hot summer day. Minerals, lemon, orange rind, stone, unripe peaches and floral notes. Medium finish. 92 points
Day 2: Getting more minerality on day 2 and again refreshing wine on this 90 plus degree day. Orange rind, stone, lemon, floral and tropical fruit. Medium finish and good acidity. This is another stellar wine from Larry. 92+ points
Recommendation: An excellent value from Larry at Tercero. (92 points)
2016 Tercero Grenache Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (6/9/2022)
Better on Day 2 or 3!; 6/2/2022-7/5/2022 (3 Day Wine Review World Headquarters, Minneapolis, MN): Day 1: Now this is a cool wine! I love the Delille Chaleur Estate but this might be even better. Stone, lemon drops, floral, orange rind, minerals and unripe peaches. Super finish and concentrated wine. The best white wine I have tasted this year. 94 points
Day 2: Stone, floral, flint, lemon drops, orange rind, honey suckles and unripe peaches. Nice acidity and gorgeous wine. Can’t believe this is under $25. 94 points

One of the best domestic whites I sampled this year! 94 points

Day 3: Flint, minerals, orange peel, spice, unripe peaches, floral and lemon. This wine has not missed a beat from initial opening. 94 points
Recommendation: Buy! One of the better under $30 wines in recent memory and will drink well through 2028. (94 points)
2014 Tercero Grenache Larner Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (5/12/2022)
Day 1: Small red berries, mild funk, spice, violets and chalk. Flavorful and nice acidity. Drink now to 2025. 91 points
Day 2: Small berries, spice, earth, mushrooms, menthol, funk and violets and minerals. This is wonderful on day 2 and a nice improvement. 93 points
Day 3: Similar to day 2 and encouraging for additional cellaring time. My initial drink now was 2025 but this should go to 2030.
Recommendation: Buy! (93 points)
2017 Tercero Carignane – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (5/7/2022)
Day 1: First Tercero wine I have tasted and certainly won’t be the last. Been sipping this all day and really balancing out this evening. Nice smoke, red berries, roasted meats, mild spices, underbrush and floral notes. Very tasting and medium finish. Highly recommend this wine. (Screw Cap) 92 points
Day 2: Not as intense and features sour red berries, mild spice, floral and underbrush. Solid but recommend day 1 for sure.
Day 3: Nice and a bit better than day 2 but lacks the roasted meat and smoke of day 1. More sour red berries, floral, underbrush and dust on day 3. Still good. 90 points
Recommendation: This is an outstanding pop and pour wine. Drink now to 2027. (92 points)

Best Under $15.00 Wine of the Year.

No brainer. The CEO of the sale of Davenport. ME! Should have kept it a secret.

  • 2014 Davenport Cellars Mr. B – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (7/20/2022)
    Day 1: Sadly 2nd to last bottle. Powerful wine with Bing cherries, plum, spice, mild oak and spices. Was just in Walla Walla this past weekend and very few Cabernets I tasted were this good and they sold for far more.
    Day 2: Think Barnett Rattlesnake Hill. Dark fruits featuring blueberries, plum, cherry along with spice, floral, dark chocolate and minerals. Not even close when it comes to the best wine value of all time. Again don’t focus on the price focus on what is in the glass. 94 points.
    Day 3: Hello. Tested Positive for Covid and thank goodness didn’t lose smell and taste. This rivals any Napa Wine and 3 Day Wine Review put this wine on the map! Blueberries, plum, spice, dark chocolate, minerals, spice, dust and Bing Cherries. Can’t explain how good this is and no critic rated this. Off the charts and the biggest promotion in 3 Day Wine Review History. 95 points
The Icon of wines under $15.00

2. St. Cosme. Paid right around $15 on sale at Thomas. Sadly 2021 vintage now.

2020 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône
 – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (12/15/2022)
Day 1: Continues to shine. Bramble, raspberries, scorched earth, floral and minerals. Just an easy drinking wine that might improve with time but just great now!
Day 3: Nice fruit showing through featuring boysenberries and cherry. Spice, floral, minerals and earth. Picks up some bramble character on the finish. A very well-made wine. 91 points
Recommendation: Buy it! (91 points)

3. Remy Ferbras Cotes du Rhone $11.44 at Thomas on case purchase.

  • 2019 Rémy Ferbras Côtes du Rhône – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (12/12/2022)
    Day 1: Nice again and great value for $11.44. Spice, floral, clay, red currants and pepper. Medium finish. Great everyday drinker that offers more than the price. 90 points
    Day 3: For a $12 wine this sure held up well on day 3 and was a bit better. Black pepper, floral, minerals, iron, clay and earth. Complex wine for the money. Nice finish. 91 points
    Recommendation: One of the better Cotes du Rhone’s for the money. (91 points)

Best Wine Under $25.00

  • 2017 Result of a Crush Syrah The Unnamed Series – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (11/4/2022)
    Day 1: Exotic spices, sweet bell peppers, black pepper, earth, black olives, tar and roasted meats. Outstanding on the pop and pour and super complex wine. As good as the last bottle. 93 points
    Day 2: This is the closest to an actually Reynvaan wine you can get without spending $75. Very few would know the difference in a blind tasting. Black olives, spices, tar, roasted meats, violets, earth and stone. Concentrated wine with a really long finish. Complexity overload for $25. 94+ points
    Day 3: By far the best of the 18 and 19 in comparison. Holding outstanding form on day 3. Black olives, dust, tar, roasted meats, violets, earth, stone, blueberries, red currants and white pepper. Super long finish and wine of the year almost for sure. Reynvaan wine for $25 for sure. 95 points
    Recommendation: I just ordered 8 more so have at it. (95 points)

Best Overall Wine & 3 Day Transformation of my Career!

  • 2010 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah The Contender – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (12/3/2022)
    Twin Cities Wine Club Washington State Bordeaux & Syrah Tasting (Edina, MN): Day 1: So the highest rated wine in the tasting via Cellar Tracker and even myself who brought it had it at last place of the tasting. The 2017 Result of a Crush Syrah dominated it. Black olives, spice, floral and stone. Elegant but not concentrated enough.
    Day 3: This is why I do the 3 Day Wine Review and transformation of the year!!! Not showing well at the tasting and took home a glass and didn’t drink any day 2 but day 3 holly cow! Black olives, tar, truffles, cigar ash, stone, dark currants, white pepper, complex spices and gravel. Not only is the most amazing 3 day wine change in a long time it might end up being wine of the year. 97 points
    Recommendation: Buy!!! This wine needs some serious more time in the cellar. Day 1 not much going on but day 3 one of the best Syrah experiences to date. (97 points)

Honorable Mention: K The Deal

  • 2017 K Vintners Syrah The Deal Sundance Vineyard – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope (10/15/2022)
    Day 1: No review.
    Day 2: This is not even close to the experience this past summer, but I also had a 94-point Kevin White and 96 Reynvaan early in the week. A bit tight featuring black pepper, earth, mild spices and blue currants. Medium finish. Nothing wrong with the wine but just lacks complexity. 90 points
    Day 3: Why you never give up on a wine. This offers green olives, white pepper, earth, blue currants, dust, spice and tar. Medium plus and concentrated. Amazing the evolution of wine over time and again why I doubt the accuracy of wine critics when they do their pop and pours. This tasted nothing like this on day 1 hence the no score. 93 points
    Recommendation: Hold until 2025 or later. (93 points)

Most Disappointing Wine Shop

For sure Surdyk’s wins. Prices are up and quality on their sale is at an all time low. Not sure what is going on over there but I will be avoiding them in the future. I even emailed them about my concerns and nothing back. For goodness sakes they had a Veuve Clicquot Cheese Basket for $200!

Really many others disappointed this year including Sunfish Cellars, WineStreet Spirits (one good sale back in January) and especially South Lyndale Liquors a former wine shop of the year.

Best Facebook Wine Group

Let’s Talk About Northwest Wines

Pretty active group that promotes wines from the Northwest. Most of the posters are knowledgably and it is my favorite place in the world for wine. Very positive for a Facebook Group and if members could post some more notes on the wines that would make it even better.

Honorable Mention is my Group The Napa Valley Wine Geeks. Started this year as a joke of the Napa Valley Wine Group which is a group that thinks Caymus is good wine. Check us out and join!

NV Matters (Non-Vintage)

Worst NV comparison. So it does matter on the disgorgement date of a Sparkling Wine as it is similar to a vintage on a regular wine. No one in the world of wine has promoted Roederer Anderson Valley like me. My wife drinks one bottle per week and that is it so I have a ton of tasting notes on it. The disgorgement date of 9/2020 is off the charts but the newer one 2/2022 is one to avoid. Might be one of the worst NV Sparkling wines I have tasted in a while. Here is evidence.

  • NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (12/31/2022)
    Disgorgement date 2/2022 is an easy pass. Two bottles and this one is much worse. Tastes like a Gruet which I can’t stand. Chalk, lacks fruit, dust and a bitterness to it. Please look before you buy on the neck of the bottle as I am the biggest promoter of this wine probably in the world but avoid! (80 points)
  • NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (12/27/2022)
    Well day 3 and still solid. Normally these don’t make it to day 3 but still plenty of bubbles. Lemon, lime, spice, sour apple, pie crust, minerals and chalk. Another outstanding effort and yes Sparkling wine can make it to day 3 and still be vibrant and expressive.
    Disgorgement date: 9/2020 (92 points)

Best Wine Festival

Well only went to one this year but for $400 for 3 days how can you beat the Walla Walla Syrah Festival. See earlier posts on the event: day 3, day 4, day 5. Here is the information for next year’s event.

Best Customer Service Twin Cities

Haskell’s and not even close. I don’t buy a lot from them but they are responsive and replace or refund bottles without hesitation.