Anyone who reads me regularly knows the rash I get around scores and Top-Lists about wine–especially when they are timed to enhance the market around holiday and gift-giving time.  But hey, it’s the end of the year and one can’t help but think back on some of the fabulous wines we’ve drank… or drunk… or dranken?  I can never figure out what is the proper word there.  I started thinking about some incredible wines I have had this year and how to put them in a list–but not really a *LIST*.  One not specifying Chardonnay A at position 46 is head-and-shoulders, mathematically better than the poor loser Chardonnay B at position 50.  One way would be to publish this in late-January.  One way would be to not publish a list at all.  Nothing is easier to write than a list.  ALL these wines are at the forefront of my mind–I don’t even need to go back and look at notes or ◊♦♦♦’s.  These are wines which stand out so clearly in my mind–the list writes itself and, speaking of  grades, everything I am remembering WILL NOT be all ♦♦♦ wines.  Wine doesn’t need to fit little shaped-boundaries.  I am going to do it in *categories*.  My categories are not going to fit what you are used to seeing in the fish-wrap, but you’ll get used to it.  No links, no click-bait back to my journal to jack up my hit-count… you dorks don’t need any of that–and I don’t either–this journal is already FAR more popular than I ever imagined.

Non-Napa/Sonoma Cab:  2010 Caldera Cuvee Paso Robles
Napa/Sonoma Cab:  2012 Oakville Winery Oakville.  2010 Longmeadow Ranch
Cab Franc (hard-shouldered):  CARR
Cab Franc (soft-shouldered):  Lieu Dit
BEST OLDER CAB:  2002 Laurel Glen
BEST OLDER PN:  2005 Summerland Vintner’s Select
CURRENT PN:   TUDOR Tondre.  TYLER Bentrock.  TANTARA La Colline.  FAILLA Sonoma.  CHANIN Bien Nacido.
The Failla suggests another category:  NORTH COAST BARGAINS:  Briceland Pinot.  Failla Pinot.  Red Car Syrah.
Bargains NOT Pinot?  Bonny Doon’s Clos Du Gilroy.  Morgan’s Cotes du Crow and G17.  Tensley’s Los Padres Syrah.  BRAVE & MAIDEN UNION.  Gine-Gine.  Hitching Post Syrah.
Speaking of bargains… I LOVE SECOND LABELS:  Soldiers of Fortune.  Ramey Claret.
GRENACHE:  A Tribute to Grace.  A-Non-Ah-Mus.
SYRAH:  Harrison-Clarke.  2007 Qupe Hillside.
PETITE SIRAH:  Le P’tit Paysan 2011.  Saxby.
Stand-out wines from OUTSIDE the US:  2012 Crognolo.  2012 Charles Jouget Chinon.  2003 Montes Folly.
BEST NON-RED’S:  Miraval Rose (stop laughing).  Donkey & Goat Pet-Nat.
BUBBLES:  Graham Beck Brut Rose.  Louis Roederer Brut Premier.  MAYO Brut.

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