Wine Spectator has released it’s top 100 wines of 2017. The top ten wines were announced over the course of the last week with 1-2 wines announced daily in videos available on winespectator.com.
Wine Spectator has been publishing the Top 100 wines each year since 1988. According to the WS website, the selection criteria include quality as measured by WS score, value for money and availability of the wine in terms of quantity made and imported to the US. Wines receiving a 90+ point score from WS are considered for the Top 100.
A personal favorite on the list this year is #5, Château de St.-Cosme Gigondas 2015. This wine is from Gigondas, an area in the Southern Rhone of France. This wine is what you often hear referred to as a GSM, which is wine primarily made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes. The blend for this wine is 70% Grenache and about 14-15% each of Syrah and Mourvedre. This is dark and intense wine that is great for winter. When the Top 10 wines were first released you could buy this wine on wine.com for $42. When I started drafting this article the regular bottles were gone and wine.com only had magnums (double bottles) for $85 plus shipping. As I finalize and publish this article today, it’s all gone at wine.com which is a perfect reflection of the demand created when a wine makes the WS Top 10.
Bonus Item: checkout the following link if you want to know how to pronounce Gigondas: Pronounce Gigondas. Now back to the Wine Spectator Top 10.
The #1 Wine for 2017 is from a grape that seems to have taken a decade long beating, Merlot. If you’ve been into wine for a while you are no doubt familiar with the movie Sideways. It is almost impossible to see a Merlot as #1 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 and not think of the famous line from our hero Miles, “I’m not drinking any f’ing merlot.” For those not familiar, check out the clip, but please excuse the language: I am not drinking any F’ing merlot. It seems like this clip was the moment when the world started slamming Merlot and picked up Pinot Noir. I hope this ranking can be the moment we quit caring if Merlot is cool or not.
Duckhorn has been crushing it literally and figuratively with Merlot for almost four decades. The story has it that founder Dan Duckhorn really got into Merlot during visits to Pomerol and Saint Emillion. These are two regions on the right bank in Bordeaux, France that tend to use more merlot in their wine blends. Duckhorn has been a benchmark and champion for merlot for decades and their Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot 2014 is Wine Spectators #1 Wine for 2017. We’ve enjoyed our share of Duckhorn merlot and even had merlot from the Three Palms Vineyard produced by Sterling 15 years ago, but we’ve yet to experience this wine. We can’t wait. Congrats to everyone at Duckhorn! Learn more about this great winery at The Duckhorn Story.