My Top Ten Wines of 2020

To say this was a down year in wine would be an understatement. Only one offline and little desire to spend more than $40.00 on a bottle of wine produced my worst top ten of my wine career. But the show must go on and here it is:

  1. 2010 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (1/30/2020)
    Mixed Offerings at Kenwood (Kenwood Restaurant, Minneapolis): This wine was unfortunately at the end of the tasting but the star. Finished a glass at home. Holly Cow!!! White pepper, stone, blueberries, cherry, dust, black olives and earth. Concentrated and long finish. This is a top 10 for sure for 2020! Cheaper than Cayuse and is as good! Wow!
    Day 2: Not as good. Lost the intensity. This is a consume on day 1. (95 points)

2. 2014 Davenport Cellars Mr. B – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (9/7/2020)
Day 1: This is the best bottle of the lot. Best QPR in my life. Blueberries, minerals, dust, wood, spice, menthol and dark chocolate. Long finish and concentrated. Balanced wine!!! 94 points
Day 2: Not as good but solid. Spice, blueberries, wood, menthol and dark chocolate. Big style wine but great. 92 points
Recommendation: One of the few bottles of Mr. B that went down on day 2. Drink now to 2026. (94 points)

3. 2013 Penfolds Shiraz St. Henri – Australia, South Australia (3/31/2020)
Day 1: Some fine sediment on this bottle. Decant. Black pepper, blueberries, blackberries, spices, Eucalyptus and dark chocolate. An absolute stunner. Wonderful example of an Aussie Shiraz that is not over the top and this wine is balanced. 93 points
Day 2: Such a great wine and a benchmark for Australia when it comes to balance. While not Northern Rhone certainly great in its own right. Black pepper, spices, blueberries, earth, soy and dark chocolate. The Eucalyptus is very subtle. Medium plus finish and delicious. 93+
Day 3: A bit smoother on day 3. Fine sediment in the glass. Black pepper, spices, blueberries, earth and dark chocolate. Eucalyptus has dissipated. Medium plus finish. 93 points
Day 4: Wow even better! Really nice fruit blueberries, blackberries and cherry. Earth and black pepper and medium plus finish. Balanced and beautiful wine. 94 points
Recommendation: These are drinking really well right out of the gate. Could also cellar for a decade. (94 points)

4. 2000 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1/30/2020)
Mixed Offerings at Kenwood (Kenwood Restaurant, Minneapolis): Top 3 wine! Garrique, funk, stone, spices and earth. Featuring raspberries and cherry. Very balanced and drinking well. Medium plus finish. Got some likes at the tasting. (94 points)

5. 2007 Arcadian Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (3/20/2020)
Day 1: Rockstar!!! Funk, menthol, gravel, raspberries, rose petals and exotic spices. Medium plus finish. Wonderful! This wine is in its sweet spot. Drink now to 2022. 94 points (94 points)

6. 2012 Montes Syrah Folly La Finca de Apalta – Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (2/1/2020)
Day 1: Very nice. Was expecting a fruit bomb but not the case. Crushed pepper, bramble, blueberries, exotic spices and rose petals. Medium to long finish. Super concentrated wine and well made. This should age for another decade. 93 points
Day 2: Drinking well featuring plum, blueberries, crushed rock, bramble, spices and floral notes. Beautiful finish to this wine and decant acidity. A real winner for the under $40.00 I paid for it. 93 points
Day 3: Very similar to day 2 and this wine should drink well for a while.
Recommendation: Decant a few hours and enjoy or cellar until 2028. (93 points)

  • 7. 2010 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (1/11/2020)
    Vikings were Bad but the Wines were Good!: Great showing. Love seeing the synthetic cork closure. Minerals, shells, lemon and spice. Polarizing acidity and medium plus finish. This wine should age for another 5 years however it is excellent now so unless you have several bottles left drink on the shorter end of that time frame. Wow my note from 15 said too young and revisit in 4 years. Well five close enough. (93 points)

  • 8. 2009 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (3/18/2020)
    Day 1: Pop and pour and excellent! Perfumed wine featuring wood, mild dill, raspberries, strawberries, minerals and dried herbs. Medium to long finish and nice acidity. This is a winner! 93 points
    Day 2: Good but not quite the intensity of day 1. Dill, wood, dried herbs, earth and minerals. Medium plus finish. 91 points
    Day 3: For sure this is a pop and pour wine. I like it but compared to day 1 not nearly as good. Lacks the fruit from day 1. 90 points
    Recommendation: Normally I find the Ardanza gets even better on day 2 and 3 but not this vintage. I would drink these on the younger side through 2024. 93 points
  • 9. 2016 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG (9/27/2020)
  • Day 1: Pop and pour and not very drinkable. Needs a heavy decant on day 1. No score.
  • Day 2: Wonderful and full of life. Wood, cherry, floral, mild spices and perfume. Good acidity and medium finish. 92 points
  • Day 3: A bit more wood along with cherry, floral, spice, perfume and celery. Medium finish. Food wine! 91 points
  • Recommendation: Heavy Decant or hold until 2025 and beyond. Long term ager. (92 points)
    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REJa2hUndtQ (93 points)
  • 10. 2016 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (5/1/2020)
    Day 1: Peaches, slate, pear and honey suckles. A tasty treat but lacks a bit on the acidity component otherwise would be a higher score. Will see how this evolves on day 2 and 3. 91 points
    Day 3: Very nice with peach, slate, pear, honey suckles and minerals. Very vibrant wine and a solid. 92 points
    Recommendation: Should age for another decade. (92 points)

The only reliable top 10 in the Twin Cities Market!!!

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