To celebrate 40 years of Decanter, 40 of our staff and contributors have chosen their favourite wine of 2015. Here our contributors give their pick.
The wines below have been chosen as part of Decanter’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Based in Friuli Venezia Giuliam and has written on Italy for Decanter since 1989
Aquila del Torre, Oasi, Friuli Colli Orientali, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy 2013
The Oasi vineyard is stunning – possibly the most beautiful in the whole of Friuli Venezia Giulia. This wine is made from Picolit, an impossible variety. In a good year it might make 10, perhaps 12 berries in a bunch: small round, translucent gold. In this vintage Aquila del Torre made two barriques of a wine which is dry, yet not dry; sweet, delicate but firm with an exquisitely nuanced complexity.
Price £58.93 (2010) Hedonism
Ch’ng Poh Tiong
Decanter’s Asia correspondent and publisher of Singapore’s The Wine Review
Quinta do Noval, Douro, Portugal 2004
Intensely liquorice, juicy cherries, plums and the perfume of a garrigue shrubland. Rich and full bodied without being heavy. That is the grace and genius of a great terroir. The stubborn freshness keeps stalking the opulent fruit. Produced from specially selected parcels of new and mature vines of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão and Touriga Franca. About 1,000 cases are made annually and, since that first vintage, only 2006 was not produced. Incredibly, it took Quinta do Noval almost 300 years after its founding in 1715 to realise it was capable of producing such an impressive table wine. Better late than never!
Price £30 (2008) Berry Bros & Rudd, Milroys of Soho, TheDrinkShop.com
Clive Coates MW
Author and Burgundy expert and has written for Decanter since its inception
Maison Ponsot, Le Montrachet, Burgundy, France 2010
In 2010 Laurent Ponsot of Domaine Ponsot in Morey-St-Denis managed to buy some Le Montrachet grapes. From this he made 388 bottles and 30 magnums. In June he brought a bottle to a dinner at Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne. The wine is amazing: the best white Burgundy I’ve had in a decade. Ripe but austere, delicate but powerful. Pure and marvellously harmonious. It will only be sold as part of a mixed case of 12 Ponsot grands crus and just 30 of these are destined for the UK.
Price N/A UK www.domaine-ponsot.com
One of Australia’s leading wine critics and has been writing on wine since 1983
Cullen, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia 2002
I last tasted this four years ago and it hasn’t tired at all since then. It was served at my wine club’s annual Classic Aussie wine dinner and voted by many as wine of the night. The bouquet is a riot of honey, roasted hazelnut, buttered toast and creamy yeast. A complex, voluptuous, mature wine with wonderful flavour and superb texture. Nothing anorexic here: it’s full-throttle yet retains refinement and real energy.
Price £49.75 Exel Wines
Regular Decanter contributor, newspaper wine columnist and lecturer
Alheit Vineyards, Cartology, Western Cape, South Africa 2013
Sourced by Chris and Suzaan Alheit, this is a remarkable, youthful Cape blend of rare, dryland bush-vine Chenin Blanc from Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary Hills and Kasteelberg with 12% very old-vine Semillon from Franschhoek. Subtly herb- and honeysuckle-scented, there’s a honeyed note to its complex, opulent quince, pear and stone-fruit richness which is tempered by a mouthwateringly long, dry finish.
Price £25-£31 AC Gallie, H2Vin, Handford, Harrogate Fine Wine, Hedonism, Love Wine, SA Wines Online, St Andrews Wine Co, Swig, The Secret Cellar, Woodwinters
Regular Decanter contributor and award-winning wine writer
Schloss Gobelsburg, Riesling Ried Heiligenstein Erste Lage, Kamptal, Austria 2013
Heiligenstein is a geological oddity, different to its surroundings and apparently unique in Europe; it’s one of those rare terroirs that unmistakably marks its wines. Riesling grows on the dry, rocky, upper terraces, and Gobelsburg’s winemaking brings out all the austere purity, the saltiness, tension and limpidity of the site. Imagine a filigree laser beam.
Price POA Clark Foyster
Awarded Australian wine writer, judge and author of 14 books on wine
Penfolds, Bin 95 Grange, South Australia 2010
The 60th release of Australia’s most famous wine ranks in the highest echelons of the greatest vintages of this illustrious label – the first current-release Australian table wine that I have scored 100 points. It’s testimony not only to an idyllic season but to Penfolds’ vast vineyard resources and exacting attention to every detail. This company is at the top of its game, producing wines the likes of which we have not seen since the heady days of Grange creator Max Schubert himself.
Price £390-£500 Berry Bros & Rudd, Bordeaux Index, Cadman, Edgmond, Frazier’s, Harrods, Hedonism, Laithwaite’s, Millésima, ND John
Food, wine and travel writer and photographer
Nikoladzeebis Marani, Tsolikouri Nakhshirgele, Imereti, Georgia 2013
I love wines that make you question the status quo. This beautiful, amber-coloured white is made – as many of Georgia’s best wines are – in qvevri (large traditional clay vessels buried in the ground). Ramaz Nicoladze produces it from 100-year-old Tsolikouri vines in the Imereti hills of central Georgia, with three months of stem-free skin contact. The wine’s exotic notes of spice, apricots and tea ride with exciting energy to a finely tannic, elegant finale and go just wonderfully with foo.
Price POA Georgian Wine Merchants
Tim Atkin MW
Awarded writer and photographer and a leading critic on South African wine
Mullineux, Olerasay, Swartland, South Africa NV
South Africa’s sweet wines are massively underrated, but this new solera-system straw wine from Chris and Andrea Mullineux may change all that. I was the first journalist to taste this sticky beauty at the winery in May and it is a revelation. It’s a blend of seven vintages of Mullineux Straw Wine, made from Swartland Chenin Blanc. Rich and exotic, with notes of pineapple, burnt toffee and peach, it’s viscous and sweet at 260g/l of residual sugar, yet still supremely refreshing.
Price £28-£30/375ml Handford, Swig, Vin Cognito
Long-time contributor to Decanter based in California
Burn Cottage Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand 2013
A visit to new Zealand culminated in dinner in Queenstown. There, this wine – a collaboration between Colorado wine retailer Marquis Sauvage and Californian Pinot savant Ted Lemon, hit on all notes: plump black fruit, spice, suave tannins, seamless and with scintillating acidity. I can still taste it.
Price £40-£64 AG Wines, D&D, Exel Wines, Handford, Harvey Nichols, Hedonism, Noel Young, The New Zealand Cellar, Vin Cognito
See also: Favourite wines of 2015 picked by Decanter staff, Decanter contributing editors and Decanter World Wine Awards judges.