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The Top 100 Wines of 2002: 56-70


Posted: December 4, 2002

Top 100 Overview | Wine of the Year | 2-10 | 11-25 | 26-40 | 41-55 | 56-70 | 71-85 | 86-100

Click on each wine's name to see its original tasting note.

56. CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Marqués de Casa Concha 2000  90 points, $14

Winemaker Marcelo Papa handles the Casa Concha line for this large Chilean winery. The fruit comes from the same Puente Alto vineyard that supplies Concha's high-end Don Melchor Cabernet, as well as Vi-a Almaviva. The wine matured 14 months in a combination of 1-, 2- and 3-year-old barrels. 24,500 cases made.

57. DOMAINE DROUHIN Pinot Noir Oregon Laurène 1998  93 points, $55

Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy's Maison Joseph Drouhin, and his daughter, Véronique, established this Oregon winery in 1987. In 1992, Laurène was born -- both the wine and Véronique's daughter (the wine's namesake). It is made from a selection of estate-grown grapes, which have consistently made wines of depth and balance. 1,700 cases made.

58. DUNN Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 1999  93 points, $65

Dunn Cabernets are complex and concentrated wines. Winemaker Randy Dunn makes the ultimate in Howell Mountain Cabernets; they are intense and tannic wines that have the potential to age 30 years or more. Dunn has been making these characteristic wines since 1979, when he left Caymus to create his own winery. 2,000 cases made.

59. POGGIO ANTICO Brunello di Montalcino 1997  93 points, $58

This estate was created in 1984 and is currently run by Paola Gloder (whose parents were the original owners) and her husband, Alberto Montefiori. Under the aegis of consulting enologist Carlo Ferrini, this Sangiovese is aged four years prior to release, with a minimum of two years in oak. 5,380 cases made.

60. LUNA Merlot Napa Valley 1999  91 points, $32

Winemakers John Kongsgaard and Kelly Wheat practice "co-fermentation" to make their wines. Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes are fermented together to allow the flavors and tannins to mingle and integrate right after harvest, as opposed to fermenting them separately and blending them later. A small amount of Sangiovese is added. 6,400 cases made.

61. BODEGAS ESMERALDA Chardonnay Mendoza Catena Agrelo Vineyards 2000  90 points, $17

Nicolás Catena, winemaker José Galante and vineyard manager Pedro Marchevsky have put this winery at the head of the pack in Argentina. The fruit for this wine comes from vineyards at an elevation of 3,100 feet, located in the Luján de Cuyo district of Mendoza. The name of the winery was recently changed to Bodega Catena Zapata. 14,000 cases made.

62. OMAKA SPRINGS Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2002  90 points, $17

Owners Geoff and Robina Jensen and winemaker Ian Marchant draw on 145-plus acres of estate vineyards planted in 1989 in Marlborough's Omaka Valley. This bottling also contains some Sémillon. It marks Omaka's debut in the Top 100. 7,000 cases imported.

63. JACKSON Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2001  90 points, $15

Owner John Stichbury first planted vines at Jackson Estate in 1988, and the vineyards today total 90 acres. Winemaker Martin Shaw and viticulturist Geoff Woollcombe use fruit from these Wairau Valley vineyards to make this 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc. This is Jackson's first Top 100 appearance. 10,000 cases made.

64. ALLEGRINI Veronese Palazzo della Torre 1998  90 points, $18

Marilisa, Walter and Franco Allegrini own and manage this estate, and are respectively responsible for the sales and marketing, vineyards and winemaking. This single-vineyard wine blends Corvina (70 percent), Rondinella (25 percent) and Sangiovese (5 percent). Sangiovese is not permitted by the DOC, thus the less-prestigious Veronese IGT designation. 14,000 cases made.

65. S. ANDERSON Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District 1999  92 points, $30

Founded in 1971 by the Anderson family, S. Anderson was once better-known for sparkling wines, but lately its still wines are attracting attention. The Cabernet is made from 100 percent Stags Leap District grapes, both estate-grown and purchased. Cliff Lede purchased the winery earlier this year. 1,473 cases made.

66. ÉRIC TEXIER Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2000  92 points, $39

Born in Bordeaux, Éric Texier moved to Lyon in 1979. After studying enology in Bordeaux and working with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget in Burgundy, he began making his own wine in Mâcon in 1995. Texier began buying grapes and making wine in Châteauneuf in 1999. This 2000 is a blend of 75 percent Grenache and 25 percent Mourvèdre. 1,220 cases made.

67. LOUIS M. MARTINI Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso Vineyard Family Vineyard Selection 1999  93 points, $50

The Martini family once owned more than 600 acres of vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties. The Monte Rosso Vineyard, purchased by Louis M. Martini in 1938, comprises 250 acres spread across the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains at an elevation of 1,000 feet. It is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, with many of the vines 30 to 50 years old. This historic winery was recently purchased by wine giant Gallo. 1,365 cases made.

68. CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE-DR. LOOSEN Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica 2001  90 points, $20

Named to honor Beethoven's Third Symphony, Eroica is a winemaking collaboration between Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen in Germany's Mosel region and Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Erik Olsen. The grapes are harvested at night to obtain fruit flavors that echo the mineral notes and freshness of a German Riesling. 10,000 cases made.

69. CHÂTEAU D'ARMAILHAC Pauillac 1999  90 points, $24

Purchased by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1934 and now owned by his daughter, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, this fifth-growth consistently outperforms its classification. With an ample production from 120 acres of vineyards, and a moderate price, the wine represents one of the best values of the '99 Bordeaux vintage. 16,000 cases made.

70. NEWTON Claret Napa Valley 1999  90 points, $22

Owner-winemaker Sue Hua Newton chooses grapes for her claret from among the young vines on the estate's 560-acres of vineyard in order to make an accessible wine with soft tannins. The vineyard is located on the eastern slope of Spring Mountain. 9,800 cases made.

Top 100 Overview | Wine of the Year | 2-10 | 11-25 | 26-40 | 41-55 | 56-70 | 71-85 | 86-100

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