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The Top 10 Wines of 1997


Posted: January 17, 2002

Wines of the Year 1997

AFonseca Vintage Port 1994 and BTaylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1994

AHold on to your hat. This is the best Fonseca since 1977, and it's probably even better than that classic vintage--more like the breathtaking 1948. Mind-blowing, with masses of color, aroma and fruit flavor. Smells like fermenting berries, boasting loads of crushed grape, violet and berry character. Big, full-bodied and very sweet, with tons of tannins and a sweet finish. Tannic and huge, it's a long-term, great Port. Best after 2012.

BIn a word, superb. It's full-bodied, moderately sweet and incredibly tannic, but there's amazing finesse and refinement to the texture, not to mention fabulous, concentrated aromas of raspberries, violets and other flowers. Perhaps the greatest Taylor ever, it's better than either the 1992 or the 1970, though it's very like the '70 in structure. Best after 2010.


* All prices listed are release prices only.

1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

The 1997 Top 10
Rank Wine Score Price
#1 FONSECA Vintage Port 1994 100 $55
#1 TAYLOR FLADGATE Vintage Port 1994 100 $55
#3 JOSEPH PHELPS Insignia Napa Valley 1994 96 $70
#4 ARAUJO Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Eisele Vineyard 1994 96 $60
#5 ROBERT MONDAVI Chardonnay Napa Valley Reserve 95 $30
#6 CHÂTEAU D'YQUEM Sauternes 1990 97 $160
#7 CLOUDY BAY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 1996 94 $17
#8 BODEGAS REYES Ribera del Duero Teófilo Reyes 1994 95 $25
#9 CAYMUS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1994 95 $36
#10 SAINTSBURY Chardonnay Carneros Reserve 1995 93 $30

1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

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