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Most Interesting Wines Of The Year | 1 Wine Dude

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The Most Interesting Wines Of 2014

Vinted on December 11, 2014 binned in Most Interesting Wines of the Year

The Most Interesting Wines of the Year – some of the more thought-provoking discussion here on these virtual pages have come courtesy of this annual list, compiled with a not insignificant amount of effort on my part in looking back on the crap-ton of wines that I had the pleasure (mostly, anyway) to have tasted over the last twelve months.

2013’s incarnation of the MIW list was expanded, and broken up into two parts (you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here). Regrettably, I did not have the bandwidth to offer an expanded list for 2014, so I’m reverting back to the Top Ten format for this go-round. Once again, the list offers some surprises (three Chardonnays? WTF?!??), and many wines at high-end price points (you ought to be used to that by now, right?). Napa Valley, the U.S. South, Sonoma Coast, Portugal, Oregon, Italy, France, Hungary, and Spain are all represented herein (some more than once).

As for the selection criteria, once again nothing has changed in this incarnation of the MIW list: these are not the “best” or “highest rated” wines of 2014, they are the wines I tasted from 2014 which most stuck with me during the entire year, those that I felt offered the most geeky, thought-provoking experiences. Please note, these are not necessarily wines released during the year, they are releases that I tasted during the year. Also, I once again attempted to select only wines that you’d have at least some modicum of hope of obtaining. Reactions, whether of the bitching/moaning variety or the exaltation variety, are of course all welcome.

Enjoy!…

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The Most Interesting Wines Of 2013, Part Two

Vinted on December 19, 2013 binned in Most Interesting Wines of the Year, wine review

Aaaaaaaannnnd… here they are!

I give you the Top Ten Most Interesting Wines of 2013, as determined by my mouth, brain, and what amounts to my dark little tortured soul. For the preamble and the wines that made the newly-expanded 20 through 11 slots of this round-up, see The Most Interesting Wines of 2013, Part One.

I will add only this to the sentiments of that previous preamble: if you hate the fact that the budget picks were few and far between in the first half of this year’s MIW list, you are really gonna hate the top ten. Sorry, but this isn’t a budget buying guide, peeps; it’s a romp through the stories, emotions, joys and sorrows of 1WD throughout the past year, and a highlight of those wines that I think combine both context and quality in ways that made me remember them months and months after the finishes had left the caves of my olfactory cavities (obviously, their fascinating memory-nasal-cave-paintings remained… okay, whatever, that analogy is really odd). Some of these top ten selections are stupidly pricey; but they’re also ridiculously interesting wines, the kind of stuff that one geek urges another to try if they’re ever presented with the opportunity and inclination.

Oh, and a bit more fodder for ya… the top five are almost entirely expensive, white, or dessert wines (or all three)! You are free to flame me to your dark heart’s content.

Enjoy the long, strange trip…

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The Most Interesting Wines of 2013, Part One

Vinted on December 12, 2013 binned in Most Interesting Wines of the Year

Almost unbelievably, it’s time for the annual 1WD tradition of selecting The Most Interesting Wines of the Year.

In some ways, with my back out of commission for nearly eight months, 2013 seemed like a long painful slog through semi-frozen sludge wearing nothing but flip-flops. But when it was on, 2013 was really *on*; it was an amazing year in which I travelled some of the world’s most gorgeous wine regions and tasted through thousands of some of the its best (and worst) offerings.

In 2012’s MIW round-up, I lamented that so many interesting wine picks don’t make the annual list, and that the traditional selection of ten wines seemed restrictive. Based on a few twitter and Book of Face conversations, a lot of you felt the same way, some going to the extreme of suggesting that I come up with a Top 100 list, a-la Wine Spectator, to which I had to respond with a humble, flattered, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek response that I’ll summarize briefly as “are you f*cking nuts?!??”

This year, I’m bending somewhat to those dual pressures, and am expanding the Most Interesting Wines of the Year list from ten to twenty, the first part of which is presented below, and the second half (containing the Numero Uno spot, which last year went to the 2007 Henschke Hill of Grace) will be presented in exactly one week.

As for the selection criteria, nothing has changed in this sixth annual incarnation of the MIW list: these are not the “best” or “highest scoring” wines of the year, they are the wines which most stuck with me during 2013, those that I felt offered something intangible in geeky, thought-provoking pleasure. As in the past, these are not necessarily wines released in 2013, they are (reasonably) recent releases that I tasted in 2013. I also attempted to only select wines that you’d have at least some hope of obtaining (whether at a restaurant, auction, shop, or otherwise – no attempt is made to set a cut-off price point, however). As I wrote last year, reactions, exclamations, bitching/moaning, exaltations, and the like are all welcome.

But most of all, I just hope you enjoy these in the geeky, competitive and fun way in which the list is intended (for previous incarnations, peruse the 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 & 2008 MIW versions)…

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The Ten Most Interesting Wines Of 2012

Vinted on December 20, 2012 binned in best of, Most Interesting Wines of the Year, wine review

A vintage Sekt, a northern-Italian inspired Napa white blend, a Vintage Port from a sleeper of a producer in a not-so-sleeper of a year, and a single vineyard, old vine Chilean Malbec. All have taken the #1 spot in previous “vintages” of the 1WD Most Interesting Wines of the Year list. Believe it or not, the MIW list is now in its fifth consecutive incarnation, and it sure as hell ain’t getting’ any easier to produce each year!

Both the number and quality of wines that I sample increases exponentially each year, and so the competition (such as it is) for those that stand out as somehow being the most special in some way/shape/form increases dramatically as well.

Having said that, there’s a crap-ton of very good, but not very memorable wines out there… and I tasted a LOT of those to get to the ones on this top ten list.

Having said that, I feel somehow emotionally cheated with the list I’m presenting to you today… because so many excellent wines that I tasted in 2012 are missing… wines that could have been on here if it were a top 25 or top 50 list.

This list, as long-time 1WD readers already know, is not a “best of” or “highest rating” or “circle jerk” comparison (no mater what the PR folks do with it!). It’s intended to be a list of wines that stood out, to me, as being particularly interesting, high quality and full of complexity; an attempt to shine an additional spotlight on vino that I found to be among the most compelling drinking experiences I had this year.

A few more moments of preamble: these are not wines released in 2012 (though I try to favor recent releases, so that you have a chance of actually trying them), they are wines that I tasted in 2012.  Not all the wines I tasted in 2012 qualified – the wines have to be at least somewhat available (also so that you have a shot at trying them). Things got expensive again this year; not sure what that says about me, or the wine biz in general, but not all of the vino on this list is stratospherically priced (though a few are – sorry, I gotta call this stuff as I see/taste it!).

I invite you to take a gander at previous vintages of the Top 10, to see how things have evolved over the last five years: 2011, 2010, 2009 & 2008. Reactions, exclamations, bitching/moaning, exaltations, and the like are all, of course, welcome. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the walk down 1WD memory lane.

Oh, yeah – and this year, at one spot in the list we have a tie, so technically there are eleven wines in the list (go ahead… flame me up for it… you know you wanna…).

Enjoy!…

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