Saturday, January 6, 2018

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines for 2017 - available now in British Columbia - but not for long!

Move quickly if you want to taste some of the best wines in the world - available in BC Liquor Stores and some private wine stores!

The Wine Spectator magazine has recently published its annual Top 100 Wines of 2017 - and at least five of them are on BC Liquor Store shelves - the Wine Barbarian is here to tell you what they are - and where to buy them! 

Private stores may be selling these and other Top 100 wines - check your favourites. 

The full Wine Spectator list for 2017 is available without a subscription.  And I recommend looking at the 2016 list as well through that link - there are a number of Top 100s from that year in BC Liquor Stores!

But hurry - the 2017 Top 100 Wines are already disappearing fast - and will go even more quickly once this post is up!

The Wine Spectator Top 100 list is an interesting compendium - it's NOT the absolutely highest scoring wines in the world - that would be both prohibitively expensive as well as extremely inaccessible.  

Top Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone Valley, cult California, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Tuscany and other wines run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars a bottle - and are in very short supply with many produced in the mere hundreds of cases.  

So the Wine Spectator criteria are more sensible: the choices are based on "quality, value, availability and excitement," they note.

Having tasted most of these already - I heartily agree!  

Without further ado, here are the wines that are available right now in BC Liquor Stores - and I have linked to the product page that shows availability at stores throughout BC along with the BC price.

But be warned - they are disappearing faster than the Angels' Share in a winery!  The notes in quotes are from the Wine Spectator, with my comments if any following: 

#11 - 96 points Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2012 - Our 40th Harvest - Tuscany, Italy

"Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouth coating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. 

Best from 2021 through 2035. 10,000 cases made."

Tasted this beauty in November and bought several bottles immediately - before it was chosen for the Top 100.  Brunello provides much more value than Bordeaux these days and this one is simply a beautiful wine.  

Despite the advice of opening it starting in 2021 I'd try one decanted for 30-60 minutes now - you may snap up even more!

It costs $57 plus tax at BC Liquor Stores.  

Quantities are very limited now - about 300 bottles in 38 stores province-wide. 

#25 - 92 points Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Non-Vintage - Anderson Valley, California, USA

"A voluptuous and expressive sparkler, with floral red apple, brioche and cinnamon spice aromas and rich, vibrant flavors that finish on a luxurious note. 

Drink now through 2018. 80,000 cases made."

I have not yet tried this one but it is always very good - $47 plus tax at BC Liquor Stores

Another hurry up wine - about 300 bottles in just 20 stores across BC right now.

#40 - 90 points Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - Marlborough, New Zealand

"Succulent, fleshy peach and nectarine flavors are accented by Key lime, mango and ruby grapefruit notes.

Shows nice intensity on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. 589,000 cases made." This NZ SB is a stunner from a region that regularly produces fantastic, tropical fruit bomb wines! 

And at a mere $16.99 plus tax at BC Liquor Stores you should buy a case!  

There are several thousand bottles at 182 stores as of today.

#41 - 90 points Bodega Garzón Tannat Reserva 2015 - Uruguay 

"Well-sculpted, with dense, rich flavors of dark plum, dried blackberry and dark currant that are supported by firm tannins. 

Christmas pudding and rich savory notes show on the finish. 

Drink now through 2022. 12,000 cases made."

I have several bottles but haven't cracked one yet - and I should at a mere $24.49 plus tax at BC Liquor Stores.  

There are about 800 bottles at 49 stores.

#56 - 91 points Domaines Dominique Piron La Chanaise Gamay 2015 - Morgon, Beaujolais, France

"This ripe, light- to medium-bodied red sports layers of pure blackberry, cassis and damson plum, edged with licorice, floral and apricot details.

Tangy, mouthwatering acidity highlights the mineral and spice details on the long, lightly grippy finish. 

Drink now through 2020. 13,000 cases made."

I have greatly enjoyed this wonderful wine coming from my favourite region of Beaujolais - Morgon - made with Gamay Noir grapes.  It is medium bodied - Morgon wines tend to be the most powerful of the Beaujolais region but this is not the biggest, merely one of the best! 

Will go great with most meals but don't overwhelm it with really spicy food.

The price is right - $26 plus tax at BC Liquor Stores - but availability is very limited now - partly thanks to me!  There are about 200 bottles left in 15 stores - mostly outside Vancouver.

UPDATE:  One new Top 100 wine is available - at the private Kitsilano Wine Cellar store - and possibly others.  Quantity unknown; price is around $60: 

#43 - J.-A. Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 - Burgundy, France-

"A sleek, stony version, this white exhibits lime blossom, apple, mineral and subtle spice flavors. Energetic, resonating on the long, citrus- and mineral-infused aftertaste. Drink now through 2024. 4,500 cases made."

So that's the list for now - some additional Top 100 2017 wines will likely come into BC Liquor Stores and private stores in the weeks and months ahead as vintages change on the shelves - and that's a cautionary note - make sure you check the year on the bottle before buying! 

I also should add that last fall before the Top 100 came out and this beautiful wine from a fabulous winery got rated #2, I found and bought two bottles - it may, if you are very lucky, be available at a private liquor store or in Washington State - but I wouldn't bet on it. 

#2 - K Syrah Powerline Estate 2014 - Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA
"A knockout Syrah, precise and impeccably built but explosive with personality.  Smoky roasted meat and floral blackberry aromas combine with bold, supple flavors of dark plum, pepper and liquorice. The tannins are big but polished. Drink now through 2024. 1,319 cases made."

Make me an offer and we just might share it! ;-0  Cheers and enjoy whatever Top 100 Wines you can find! 

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