To celebrate 40 years of Decanter, 40 of our staff and contributors have chosen their favourite wine of 2015. Here our contributing editors give their pick.
The wines below have been chosen as part of Decanter’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Brian St Pierre
Decanter contributing editor and restaurant reviewer
Ridge, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz, California, USA 2011
A trip to California was bookended by two ‘clash of the titans’ tastings – bold and brawny Zinfandels, and handsome but overbearing Cabernet Sauvignon. In between, and startling, was Ridge’s 2011 Estate Cabernet, the junior sibling to the esteemed Monte Bello. Startling because it was an anomaly – elegant, vibrant and engaging, firm but not obdurate, its modulated oak a grace note, persistently but lightly lingering on the palate then, and still in memory now. Perfect with our dinner, and a reminder of Cabernet’s many charms.
Price £40-£43 Berry Bros & Rudd, Selfridges, Vin Cognito, Wholefoods
Decanter contributing editor who specialises in food and wine matching
Domaine Lucci, Wildman Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2010
With its handmade, childish label set at a rakish angle this is probably the bottle classic wine lovers would be least likely to pick up. Its cloudy, unfiltered contents, too, may look alarming but be brave! The delicate sweet fruit and seductively silky texture of this utterly unconventional Australian Pinot is sublime. All the thrill of a great Burgundy without the price-tag. Drink with duck or calves liver and sage.
Price £25-£32 Les Caves de Pyrène, Ministry of Drinks, Wine Bear
Decanter contributor, award- winning author, writer and judge
Domaine Weinbach, Sylvaner, Alsace, France 2014
Many great wines require mogul bank accounts; yet a wine that sent shivers down my spine this year will cost you only £15. Domaine Weinbach in Alsace has been making Sylvaner from its walled Clos des Capucins vineyard for almost 50 years: the 2014 is an absolute gem. Taut, mineral and pure, it’s not just everything a great Sylvaner ought to be, but it’s also very faithful to the grape variety. Colette Faller, owner of Domaine Weinbach, passed away this year. One sip of this wine won’t make you forget Poggio di Sotto’s 2010 Brunello di Montalcino or the 2014 Château d’Yquem, but it will bring a smile to your face and keep Faller’s memory alive. Therein lies wine’s magic.
Price £15 Justerini & Brooks
Writer and author and Decanter contributing editor since 1996
Stadlmann, Zierfandler Mandel-Höh Trockenbeerenauslese, Thermenregion, Austria 2009
A true rarity, as only 82ha of Zierfandler remain, almost all in Austria. This TBA concentrates its essence. Aromas of oranges and caramel, and then a magical interplay of sweetness and high acidity, a silky texture, intense, grip and amazing length.
Price N/A UK www.stadlmann-wein.at
James Lawther MW
Decanter contributing editor, author, lecturer and tour guide based in Bordeaux
Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes, Les Impénitents, Morgon, Beaujolais, France 2013
A truly distinctive wine produced from 100-year-old Gamay grown in the Javernières section of the Côte du Py in Morgon (granite, clay and manganese soil). It has astonishing density and clarity of fruit, as well as incredible finesse. Smooth but powerful tannins and great vibrancy make it an extraordinary wine. Only 4,000 bottles were produced.
Price £18.95 Berry Bros & Rudd