So many good wines and only 365 days to drink them. That's what makes it tough to pick the best wines of the year. My go-to list of course is Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2013, but I also have my personal favorites. These are wines that left an impression on me for many reasons: where I was when I tried it, who I was with, the meal that went along. They aren't necessarily the highest-rated wines, to be sure.
I narrowed my favorites of 2013 to 10 wines. The order is alphabetical. WineSpectactor.com subscribers can read more detailed reviews by clicking on the links.
de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (96 points, $120)
Dark and brawny, with a great core of crushed plum, loamy mineral and mesquite.
de St.-Cosme Gigondas 2010 (95, $41)
Jam-packed with character, showing dark blackberry, riveting acidity, a blaze of singed iron.
Pinot Noir Carneros 2010 (95, $72)
Rich but elegant and vibrant, with black cherry and sandalwood notes.
Hartford Court Pinot
Coast Far Coast
Vineyard 2009 (92, $75)
The ripe plum and blackberry fruit is intense and vivid.
Roederer Brut Champagne Cristal 1990 (94,
A bubbly that has aged brilliantly. It's mature but still vibrant and expressive.
Père & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte 2006 (97, $725)
Maturing beautifully but still years of life.
Latour Corton-Charlemagne 2010 (92, $120)
Sheer elegance, with rich apple, lemon and mineral flavors.
The Tempest Napa Valley 2010 (92, $75)
A rare California Merlot blend that has focus, richness and muscle.
Scherrer Zinfandel Alexander
Vineyard Old And Mature Vines 2011 (94, $34)
Who says great Zin has to be ripe and over the top? A seamless, red with great structure.
Zinfandel Paso Robles Dusi Vineyard 2011 (95, $42)
Rich and powerful, but focused like a laser.
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.
Michael Browne, Kosta-Browne, Russian River
Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex 2010
Easton, Terre Rouge and Easton,
Serafino Rivella Barbaresco 2008
Hall, Patz & Hall, Sonoma
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva 1990
Lee, Siduri and Novy, Sonoma
Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie La Landonne 2009
Loring, Loring Wine Compay, Santa
Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996
Officer, Carlisle, Russian
Pierre Usseglio Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul 2010
Passalacqua, Turley Wine Cellars, Napa
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino Rosso Etna, Sicily 2007
Soles, Roco Winery, Willamette Valley:
Dow Vintage Port 1961
Weyrich, Roederer Estate, Anderson
Jean Jacques Confuron Chambolle Musigny 1987
What's your favorite wine of 2013? I'd like to hear.