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The Top 100 Wines of 2001: 71-85

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
#71 FRANCISCAN OAKVILLE ESTATE Magnificat Napa Valley 1997 91 $35
Magnificat, a Cabernet-based blend, represents the jewel in the crown for this large winery that owns more than 200 acres of vineyards in Oakville. Recently bought by wine giant Constellation Brands, the Franciscan portfolio also includes the Mount Veeder and Estancia wineries. 11,500 cases made.
#72 BRANCOTT Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Reserve 2000 90 $17
Brancott Vineyards is the brand name for New Zealand wines sent to America by Montana Wines, New Zealand's largest wine company. This is the second consecutive year in the Top 100 for Brancott. 12,000 cases made.
#73 PAUL JABOULET AÎNÉ Crozes-Hermitage Les Jalets 1999 90 $14
A family-owned négociant house, Jaboulet produces 26 different Rhône wines from 228 acres of estate vineyards, and purchased grapes. This wine comes from vineyards with the same stony soil as Jaboulet's well-known Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, but younger vines. 7,415 cases made.
#74 ST.-URBANS-HOF Riesling QbA Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 1999 90 $10
Located in the town of Leiwen, this estate was founded by the Weis family shortly after World War II. Run today by Nik Weis, St.-Urbans-Hof currently owns 86 acres of vineyards, plus operates a restaurant, Landhaus St.-Urban. Great value. 4,000 cases made.
#75 BODEGAS ESMERALDA Malbec Mendoza Catena Lunlunta Vineyards 1999 90 $20
Nicolás Catena, along with winemaker José Galante and vineyard manager Pedro Marchevsky, has established Bodegas Esmeralda as Argentina's qualitative leader. This is only the second time Argentina has cracked our Top 100, with both wines coming from Esmeralda. The Lunlunta vineyards were planted 60 years ago, and this wine receives 100 percent French oak (75 percent new) for one year. 9,900 cases made.
#76 PENFOLDS Shiraz Coonawarra Bin 128 1998 90 $22
Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz debuted in 1962, and in 1980 the type of oak used for it was changed -- from American to French, about one-quarter of which is new. The grapes come from the Penfolds vineyard in Coonawarra. Under the direction of chief winemaker John Duval, Penfolds has over the years placed 13 wines in our Top 100. 82,489 cases made.
#77 TRIMBACH Riesling Alsace Cuvée Frédéric Émile 1997 93 $40
For their "Fréddie Émile" Riesling, Trimbach draws on two grands crus vineyard sites -- Geisberg and Osterberg -- whose oldest vines were planted in 1941. Of the last nine vintages we've reviewed of this wine, seven have scored outstanding or better. 3,500 cases made.
#78 CHALONE Chardonnay Chalone 1999 91 $31
Chalone Vineyard, which occupies a rare, single-winery appellation, has been producing Chardonnay since 1960. The late Richard Graff built the winery and oversaw its expansion in the '70s and '80s. Today, the wines are made by Dan Karlsen. 24,310 cases made.
#79 CHÂTEAU PLINCE Pomerol 1998 92 $30
This small château (only 20 acres of vineyards) dates to the 19th century. This is the best Plince we've tasted since the '82, and another example of how the 1998 vintage favored the Right Bank. Only 20 percent new oak is used here. 3,830 cases made.
#80 LAWSON'S DRY HILLS Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2001 90 $14
Ross and Barbara Lawson had already been growing grapes for 10 years when they decided to start their own winery in 1992. Winemaker Mike Just has helped Lawson's produce consistently good Sauvignon Blanc. 19,000 cases made.
#81 MULDERBOSCH Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2001 90 $22
South Africa enjoyed an excellent vintage in 2001, particularly for Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Mike Dobrovic has been turning out one of the region's top Sauvignon Blancs for a while now, and this is Mulderbosch's debut in the Top 100. 11,000 cases made.
#82 CHÂTEAU LA ROQUE Coteaux du Languedoc Pic 90 $13
Owner and winemaker Jack Boutin runs the show for this Languedoc property, which traces its history back to the eighth century. La Roque produces red, white and rosé wines; this particular cuvée is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. 4,300 cases made.
#83 VIÑA ALMAVIVA Puente Alto 1999 91 $91
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc is the price leader for Chile -- but the quality is in the bottle. Born of a joint venture between Chile's Concha y Toro and Bordeaux firm Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Almaviva has scored outstanding in every vintage since its debut 1996. 12,000 cases made.
#84 QUINTA DO NOVAL Late Bottled Port 1994 90 $21
While this Port house is best-known for its Vintage Port and Vintage Port Nacional, don't overlook its LBV. Managing director Christian Seely and winemaker António Agrellos produce this wine from a blend of estate-grown and purchased grapes. 10,000 cases made.
#85 FATTORIA DI FELSINA Chianti Classico Berardenga 1999 90 $23
On the southern border of the Chianti Classico area, in Castelnuovo Berardenga, lies the Fattoria di Felsina. The majority of its 185 acres lie within the Classico appellation. Managed by Guiseppe Mazzocolin, Felsina produces one of Tuscany's top Chiantis. This is the sixth appearance for Felsina in the Top 100. 14,165 cases made.

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

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