Wed 31 Dec 2014

Pierre Mansour: My Top 10 Wines of 2014

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Pierre MansourIt is a great privilege to be part of the Buying Team here, tasting thousands of samples a year from the world of wine. As a buyer, objectivity is key: it is our job to choose wines that meet members’ high expectations of quality, value and style.

As a drinker though, I choose my wines on my personal taste, and it is with this in mind that I have made this concise selection of Top Wines of 2014. This is the third year I have done this blog and we have had some great feedback from members: not all have agreed with my selection, but isn’t that the point of wine? There is no wrong or right when it comes to personal taste.

So, here it is, in no particular order, a selection of 10 wines that have, quite simply, provided me with the utmost drinking pleasure in 2014, putting aside price and availability.

Pedroncelli Friends Sonoma County Red 2012 (£7.95 per bottle)
A rare example of California offering genuine value for money and a great find by new Society buyer Sarah Knowles. Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a blend of many grapes: the wine is delicious and boldly fruity and would appeal to fans of zinfandel.

• The Society’s Exhibition Old-Vine Zinfandel 2004
I bought this from The Wine Society in 2008 (for £8.95) and held a few bottles back for fun to see how it might age. It has held up particularly well, retaining its richness whilst the flavours have become savoury with age – almost Italian in a way.

• Meerlust Rubicon, Stellenbosch 2009
This lives up to its reputation in 2009- an exceptional vintage from this classic Stellenbosch estate. Elegant, intense and complete. One for the cellar.

Earth and Sky Naoussa Thymiopoulos 2011 (£19.50 per bottle)
A really classy red from Greece which is both individual in flavour and fine in structure.

Salvaje del Moncayo Garnacha 2012 (£7.95 per bottle)
This light, fresh and juicy garnacha is a house favourite. It stands out for its simplicity and moreish fruit: not for those who like their Spanish garnacha with big bruising flavours.

• Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan 1989
A legendary wine that treads a fine line between harmony and intensity. Understated yet long, tightly woven and remarkably detailed in its flavours. Extraordinary.

La Rioja Alta 890 Seleccion Especial Gran Reserva 2001 (£75 per bottle)
The epitome of traditional-style Rioja from this five-star vintage.

Alfred Gratien Blanc de Blancs 2007 (£35 per bottle)
A gentle, round and exquisite Champagne from Nicolas Jaeger’s first full vintage as Chef de Caves.

• Domaine Henri Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet Prermier Cru Clos de la Mouchère 2010
Outstanding, broad and elegant Puligny which shows why Burgundy is the spiritual home of chardonnay.

• Gonzalez Byass Amontillado Cuatro Palmas 2014 bottling
Over 40 years old, this dry amontillado has a level of complexity that bless just a few wines in the world.

Pierre Mansour
Society Buyer

View Pierre’s top wines of 2013
View Pierre’s top wines of 2012

Comments

  1. Clive Warren says:

    Greetings from Burgundy, or should I say “Greetings from chardonnay”?

    • Martin Brown says:

      Greetings from eagle, or should I say ‘Greetings from eye’?
      Many thanks for spotting!
      Martin Brown
      The Wine Society

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