Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2011

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With much fanfare, Wine Spectator announced its top 100 wines of 2011. Not surprisingly, the list was dominated by American, Italian and French selections, as well as representations from a number of other countries, such as Spain, South Africa and Australia. The majority of wines were in the $50 to $100 range with the top price topping out at $175 and the lowest at $9. There was a wide variety of varietals and styles.

If any grape dominated the 2011 list, it’s the much vaunted Pinot Noir grape (sorry, I couldn’t resist—I love Pinot). I wasn’t too shocked about this as 2009 is being heralded as one of the best vintages ever in the Russian River and the 2008 vintage similarly in Oregon. The top dog this year was the 2009 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir out of the Russian River, which is a mighty fine wine, and three other Russian River Pinots with another in the top five. Plus, there was a Pinot from the Sonoma Coast and another three from Oregon. US Pinot is representing this year!

Every year, the Wine Spectator rises to the challenge of picking the top 100 wines of the year. It’s not as easy or as fun as it sounds. It’s serious business with major impact to the wineries selected. I am impressed by how the Wine Spectator makes sure to represent different wines each year (wouldn’t it be easy to pick your favorite year after year) and selecting wines that appeal to people with varying tastes. Kudos to them.

The Top 100 Wine List comes out every year at just the right time – just in time for the holidays. Take a look at the Top 100 List. In our humble opinion, wine and spirits are the perfect holiday gift. It’s an opportunity to buy your friend or father a bottle of wine or whisky that they really want but wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. It’s so much better than another pair of socks. People remember a special bottle. Let the Top 100 help you in finding gifts for your favorite or not so favorite people. Or, use it as a guide to find some new wines that you like and buy yourself one or two as a holiday gift.

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