Sunday, January 18, 2009
Eric Steinberg's Top Wines of 2008
1. 1985 Ch. L’Evangile (Pomerol)
2. 1985 Ch. Le Tertre Rotebouef (St. Emilion)
3. 1989 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Premiere Trie Moelleux
4. 1990 Weingut Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Auslese #8
5. 1991 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Batterieberg Spatlese
6. 1994 Weingut J.J. Christoffel Ürziger Würzgarten Spatlese
7. 1997 Ridge Vineyards York Creek Zinfandel
8. 2004 Condado de Haza (Ribera del Duero)
9. 2005 Weingut Clemens Busch “Vom Roten Schiefen”
10. 2005 Sbragia Family Winery Andolsen Vineyard Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
I’ve already posted some comments on Wine Tasters about wines #1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9.
#2: Medium ruby color with some browning at edges, Big bouquet packed with fruit and a caramel overtone. After some initial bitterness the wine becomes smooth, with a very distinctive taste and good intensity. Superior Bordeaux, even if it lacks the elegance of #1.
#5. 1991, which was not a stellar vintage in the Mosel, was Georg Immich’s swan song, as he left the estate after the vintage. This is a wine I have admired since first tasting it in Germany in 1993. When I tasted it a couple months ago, it was deep gold, almost copper colored, with a rich fruity nose, a taste that reminded me of nuts and a dry finish. In sum, it was in the typical Immich style but perhaps atypical for Mosel Rieslings.
#8 and #10. These two wines were tasted on the same occasion and overshadowed a number of other good wines, including a very young and robust 2005 Cap de Faugeres. Condado de Haza is owned by Alejandro Fernandez, whose Pesquera was among the first Ribera del Duero wines to gain international acclaim. In the last 10 to 15 years I have had a number of Condado de Haza wines but I don’t remember a single one that was nearly as impressive as the 2004. It has a very rich, spicy taste but still with the elegance and complexity I associate with traditional Tempranillo wines. The Sbragia wine, from the winery of the long-time winemaker at Beringer, is one of the most attractive California Cabernets I have had in a long time. Because of its spicy and berry taste, as well as the influence of new wood, it’s a seductive wine. Yet, it has depth, structure and lasts in the mouth. Of the many wines tasted that evening, it was my favorite.