My Favorite Wines of 2014

Plus a few winemaker friends pick their favorites of the year
Dec 10, 2014

There just aren't enough days in the year to drink all the good wine. Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2014 is always my go-to list, but I also have personal favorites. They aren't necessarily the highest-rated, but these wines left an impression with me for all sorts of reasons—the mood I was in, the people I was with, the food I was eating. Some I tasted blind, others I didn't. 

Narrowing the list to just 10 was the real challenge; the order is alphabetical. subscribers can read more detailed reviews by clicking on the links.

Bedrock The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley 2012 (95 points, $42)
A knockout red that's a modern take on the hearty old California field blends.

Bouchard Père et Fils Clos Vougeot 2006 (93, $200)
Dark and brooding on release, it's starting to bloom now.

Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County 2012 (91, $24)
A great Zin at a great price.

Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 (93, $90)
Fleshing out after 10 years in the cellar. Rich, supple and earthy.

Failla Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2012 (88, $34)
Sleek and wonderfully complex, with notes of citrus, mineral and oyster shell.

Gaja Langhe Sorì San Lorenzo 2011 (94, $500)
What power, yet loads of finesse.

Krug Brut Champagne Grande Cuvée NV (95, $179)
Champagne doesn't get much better.

Le P'tit Paysan Mourvèdre San Benito County Rosé Pierre's Pirouette 2013 (91, $19)
A dry California rosé that puts many French pinks to shame.

Prats & Symington Douro Chryseia 2011 (97, $55)
A wine that truly shows the Douro is making rockin' still wines.

Turley Zinfandel Napa Valley Hayne Vineyard 1994 (95, $27)
Remarkably bold and youthful for a 20-year-old wine.

I also asked a few California winemakers to name their favorite wine of the year. You'll notice not one wine is from California. This is a worldly wine bunch, of course, and perhaps a tad shy about picking one friend's wine and ignoring another's. Either way, it's a fascinating list.

Adam Lee, Siduri and Novy, Sonoma County: Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhone Les Garrigues 2012 ($49)

Philippe Melka, Melka, Napa Valley: Château Gracia St.-Emilion 2010 (91, $171)

Justin Smith, Saxum, Paso Robles: Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie La Landonne 2010 (96, $160)

Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards, Russian River Valley: Olivier Leflaive Meursault Charmes 2011 (94, $105)

Mike Officer, Carlisle, Sonoma County: Dow Vintage Port 2011 (99, $82)
(Officer swears he fell in love with this wine before Wine Spectator named it the No. 1 Wine of 2014. He wouldn't lie, I'm pretty sure.)

What's your favorite wine of 2014? I'd like to hear.

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