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The Top 100 Wines of 2001: 41-55

Our annual roundup of the year's most exciting wines

Posted: January 16, 2002

1-10 | 11-25 | 26-40 | 41-55 | 56-70 | 71-85 | 86-100

Rank Wine Score Price
#41 LOUIS BERNARD Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2000 91 $11
The négociant Les Domaine Bernard was created in 1976; 1996 witnessed the birth of the Louis Bernard label. General manager François Dauvergne and winemaker Jean-François Ranvier work closely with about 50 different growers in the Northern and Southern Rhône. Acquisition by Boisset in 1998 brought new capital for upgrading the winemaking facilities. 40,000 cases made.
#42 WOLF BLASS Riesling South Australia Gold Label 2000 91 $12
Wendy Stuckey, senior white-winemaker, sources grapes for this aromatic Riesling from more than 200 acres of estate-owned vineyards in the cool-climate Clare and Eden valleys. Both areas have established reputations for growing good Riesling. 7,000 cases made.
#43 LEASINGHAM Shiraz Clare Valley Bin 61 1998 91 $15
Leasingham's high-end Classic Clare 1998 (92, $35) is a beauty, but we chose to spotlight this Bin 61 for its combination of quality, price and availability. Winemaker Kerri Thompson draws on Shiraz from two of the estate's four Clare Valley vineyards for this bottling. 15,000 cases made.
#44 BERINGER Chardonnay Napa Valley Private Reserve 1999 92 $35
Always one of California's best Chardonnays, Beringer's Private Reserve has the added distinction of wide distribution. Several vintages of this wine have graced our honor roll; the 1994 earned Wine of the Year status in 1996. 20,000 cases made.
#45 ST. SUPÉRY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1997 91 $22
The Skalli family of France acquired land in California's Pope Valley and began planting vineyards in 1982. Today, St. Supéry cultivates more than 675 acres of vines on three estates in the Pope and Napa valleys. The Dollarhide and Rutherford vineyards are the source of this Cabernet. Winemaker Michael Scholz sharpened his skills in his native Australia before joining St. Supéry in 1996. 29,317 cases made.
#46 FOPPIANO Petite Sirah Sonoma County 1998 91 $20
Foppiano Vineyards has been a Sonoma fixture for more than 100 years. Current proprietor Lou Foppiano enthusiastically promotes Petite Sirah, a variety bottled by the winery since the 1960s. Though the grape's heritage is still in dispute, its berry and briery flavors are distinctive, and this wine is a great example of its type. 8,000 cases made.
#47 THORNBURY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2001 91 $17
Given the quality of its wines, like this Sauvignon Blanc, it's hard to believe Thornbury's first vintage was 1998. Winemaker Steve Bird sources grapes from three different Marlborough vineyards to achieve the complex fruit flavors he seeks. 8,900 cases made.
#48 CHÂTEAU FAUGÈRES St.-Emilion 1998 91 $20
In 1987, the late Péby Guisez, a film producer, decided to try his hand at winemaking; his widow, Corinne, is now in charge, and with Château Faugères' 1998 vintage, the estate appears in the Top 100 for the first time. The Château grows Merlot (70 percent), Cabernet Franc (25 percent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5 percent), all of which are used in the blend of this wine. 9,580 cases made.
#49 BODEGAS MONTECILLO Rioja Gran Reserva 1994 91 $23
This Spanish red delivers both quality and value. Winemaker Maria Martinez-Sierra uses 100 percent Tempranillo, aging it in French oak for four years for the Gran Reserva, which is a selection of the best lots from top vintages. 20,000 cases made.
#50 GEORGES DUBOEUF Moulin-à-Vent Aged in Oak 2000 90 $16
Moulin-â-Vent's granite and manganese soils lend structure to its wines, giving this cru unusual aging potential for the Beaujolais region. This oak-aged Gamay often stands out in Duboeuf's range of more than 30 Beaujolais. It's not just the new oak, which adds spice -- the bright, fresh berry flavors alone are worth the price. 12,000 cases made.
#51 BELLE PÈRE & FILS Crozes-Hermitage Les Pierrelles 1999 92 $19
Until 1990, Albert Belle and his son Philippe belonged to a cooperative. Now, they themselves bottle the production of their 47-acre estate, 25 acres of which form the basis for the Les Pierrelles. The alluvial soils support 25-year-old vines, while up to one-quarter new oak may be used for maturation. 5,415 cases made.
#52 PIERRE USSEGLIO & FILS Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999 93 $29
Now run by Pierre Usseglio's sons Jean-Pierre and Thierry, this domaine recently expanded to include holdings in such well-known vineyards as La Crau, Serres and La Bedine. The 1999 vintage, made from 75 percent Grenache along with Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Muscardin, is the first wine from this domaine to make our Top 100 list. 3,750 cases made.
#53 KENDALL-JACKSON Chardonnay Monterey Great Estates 1999 92 $29
Owner Jess Jackson has built one of the most important winery portfolios in California. For this wine, winemaker Randy Ullom used grapes from the Hacienda, Clark, Rincon and Puente del Monte vineyards and aged them in French oak barrels (50 percent new) for eight months. 4,029 cases made.
#54 BODEGAS LAN Rioja Viña Lanciano Reserva 1996 92 $35
Bodegas LAN produces this single-vineyard Rioja from a blend of Tempranillo and Mazuelo grapes. Its 1995 vintage was the No. 64 wine in last year's Top 100. 15,000 cases made.
#55 CHÂTEAU MONT-REDON Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2000 92 $30
Located in the northwest corner of the highest plateau of the Châteauneuf appellation, Mont-Redon uses its 200 acres of vineyards to produce both white and red Châteauneuf. The white, which comprises a blend of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne and Picpoul, is fermented in stainless steel and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. 6,665 cases made.

1-10 | 11-25 | 26-40 | 41-55 | 56-70 | 71-85 | 86-100

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