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The Top 100 Wines of 2002: 86-100


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.

86. SIMI Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 1999  90 points, $25

Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt draws from nearly 600 acres of estate-owned vineyards and a small portion of purchased Alexander Valley fruit to craft this red. Labeled Cabernet Sauvignon, it also contains Merlot (14 percent) and Cabernet Franc (8 percent). 50,000 cases made.

87. PENFOLDS Shiraz South Australia Kalimna Bin 28 1999  90 points, $24

During its early vintages in the 1960s, Bin 28 was a vineyard-designated wine from Kalimna, a site owned by Penfolds. Although it still includes Kalimna fruit, the blend now draws on Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Padthaway, with smaller amounts from Clare Valley, Adelaide Plains and Langhorne Creek. 13,000 cases imported.

88. CHÂTEAU SOCIANDO-MALLET Haut-Médoc 1999  90 points, $26

This cru bourgeois estate has produced consistently fine wines since its purchase by Jean Gautreau in 1969. The wine, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, is made from 100-plus acres of estate vineyards on well-drained, gravelly soils. This is Sociando-Mallet's Top 100 debut. 21,665 cases made.

89. BROTHERS IN ARMS Shiraz Langhorne Creek 2000  92 points, $34

Brothers Tom and Guy Adams established this winery in 1998 (previously, they sold their grapes to other wineries). Winemaker David Freschi makes Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This marks the first appearance for Brothers in Arms in the Top 100. 1,000 cases imported.

90. TESTAROSSA Chardonnay Santa Barbara- Monterey Castello 2000  91 points, $26

Founded in 1993 by Rob and Diana Jensen, Testarossa has quickly established itself as a vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir specialist. For the Castello Chardonnay, winemaker Ed Kurtzman sources fruit from Bien Nacido, Michaud and Sleepy Hollow vineyards, and others. 2,466 cases made.

91. FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO Greco di Tufo 2001  90 points, $18

This Campania estate, established in 1986 by Vincenzo Ercolino and his wife, Mirella Capaldo, enlists the help of Ercolino's brothers Mario and Luciano and consulting enologist Ricardo Cotarella. Made from the Greco Bianco grape, this white is a blend of fruit from three vineyards on stony, volcanic soils. 66,650 cases made.

92. TERRABIANCA Toscana Campaccio 1999  90 points, $31

This winery, founded in 1997 by Roberto Guldener, has more than 300 acres in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, planted to several grape varieties. The Campaccio is Terrabianca's flagship wine, made by consulting enologist Vittorio Fiore from a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. 10,415 cases made.

93. BENI DI BATASIOLO Barolo 1998  90 points, $30

Beni di Batasiolo combines grapes from its nine estates with purchased juice to produce about 160,000 cases a year, a large production by Piedmont standards. Fiorenzo Dogliani, who purchased the winery with his brothers and sisters in 1978, runs the operation. 20,000 cases made.

94. ALVARO PALACIOS Priorat Les Terrasses 1999  90 points, $25

This is Priorat pioneer Alvaro Palacio's négociant wine. It's named for the stony, slate-soiled, terraced vineyards in the heart of the tiny Priorat appellation, from which Palacios purchases grapes; the vines range in age from 10 to 100 years old. The wine is a blend of Grenache (50 percent), Carignane (40 percent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10 percent). 18,000 cases made.

95. EUROPVIN-FALSET Montsant Laurona 2000  90 points, $21

Launched in 1999 by Priorat producer René Barbier and importer Christopher Canaan, Europvin-Falset offers modern-style reds. The Laurona is a blend of Carignane, Grenache, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its opulence and luscious fruit will please fans of New World wines. 4,300 cases made.

96. CHÂTEAU MONTROSE St.-Estèphe 1999  90 points, $38

Dating from the 1820s, Montrose has been under the ownership of the CharmolŸe family since 1896. Current proprietor Jean-Louis CharmolŸe oversees the traditional winemaking. The estate's 168 acres of vineyards close to the Gironde estuary are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (65 percent), Merlot (30 percent) and Cabernet Franc (5 percent). 18,715 cases made.

97. BODEGAS MAURO Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y Leòn 1999  90 points, $32

This wine is made by former Vega Sicilia winemaker Mariano Garcia; he and his sons, Alberto and Eduardo, are owners of the estate. Mauro owns 74 acres of Tempranillo, Grenache and Syrah vineyards within the Ribera del Duero DO, but does not belong to the consejo regulador, hence the Vi-o de la Tierra classification. This wine sees a combination of French and American oak, of which no more than 10 percent is new. 13,000 cases made.

98. PIO CESARE Barolo 1998  92 points, $60

Pio Boffa took the reins of his family winery in 1978, at the age of 21. Although the firm is rooted in tradition (his great-grandfather founded Pio Cesare in 1881), Boffa introduced small French oak barrels in 1985. The '98 Barolo, a fine sequel to the classic 1997, can be enjoyed now but has the staying power to age 20 years. 7,200 cases made.

99. LEONETTI Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 1999  93 points, $77

This is the first vintage of this wine to carry the Walla Walla appellation, a result of recent vineyard development by Leonetti owner and winemaker Gary Figgins. The wine is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Petit Verdot, made from fruit sourced from the Mill Creek Upland, Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Windrow vineyards. 2,329 cases made.

100. ISOLE E OLENA Toscana Cepparello 1999  92 points, $60

Paolo de Marchi and his wife, Marta, oversee this Tuscan estate. Cepparello is a super Tuscan made from Sangiovese selected from the winery's 105 acres of vineyards in the Chianti Classico area. De Marchi could have called the wine Chianti Classico, but felt the image of the appellation wasn't equal to the quality of this wine. 4,250 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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