deVine Thoughts

November 18, 2008

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:28 pm

WSTop100Author: Dirk Chan

The Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2008 was revealed on Monday and the searching and buying has begun in earnest. deVine has secured many wines from this much anticipated list: See the available Top 100 Wines here..

Some of the wines on this list are extremely limited and will be gone within days, so please visit the store or order online asap  to avoid disappointment. We are holding back eight wines in anticipation to the two Wine Spectator Top 100 tastings we have scheduled for Jan 15 and Jan 17/2009.

GuiraudThere will be wines in these two tasting that will only be available for sale for the attendees. Some of the wines we’ve held these back since the summer months. As for the actual Top 10 wines – they will be scarce indeed, as they have become the hottest ticket.  Some, like the 2004 Pio Cesare Barolo will not arrive till next year, others on the list like the 2005 Vieux Telegraphe was available earlier this year, and we can only hope a second shipment arrives later on.

The list itself is eclectic but perhaps a reflection of the economic times with a lot of wines costing less than $30 on the list, and relatively only few expensive wines by comparison to other years. Every country got some representation, but France did not dominate as expected – sure there were numerous Bordeaux, but surprisingly, there was only one red Burgundy, a couple of Alsace whites, and only one Sauterne.  Even more surprising, Beaucastelthere was only three Australian wines.  Alas, for Canada, a historic event – the first ever Canadian wine to be named to this illustrious list, the 2006 Vidal Icewine from Konzelmann in the Niagara Peninsula (big congrats!!).

Our advice is to shop early to grab a bottle or two from the best of 2008. How about getting enough bottles to execute your own Wine Spectator tasting at home for your family and friends? If all else fails, attend our second session of the WS Top 100 tasting here..


  1. Looking forward to tasting some of the Top 100. Sad news today from California though…Mat Garretson, a well-respected Rhone Ranger, is hanging up his boots and moving on. Sign of the times I guess. Enjoyed his visit to the store 2 years ago!

    Here are my thoughts on another recent excellent buy from DeVines….>

    TN: `05 Cote Grenache Noir Domaine Lafage, VdP des Cotes Catalanes.

    Good natural cork, opened an hour but not decanted. $22 Cdn and 15% alc. Winery is right on border with Spain and owner also has “Las Rocas Garnacha” wines in his portfolio. Catalanes appellation is centred on Rivesaltes.

    Color. Dull ruby-purple best description. Not a lot of depth in the centre, some lightish watery purple on the rim. Tough to figure out!

    Nose. No such problem here! Very nice aromatics with violets, red berry fruits, plum, cherry and tinge of oak.

    Palate. Initial mouthfeel entry is juicy, crisp acidity, great fruit balance, strawberry, cherry and raspberry.
    First day low tannins but structure built up overnight revealing a firmer wine. Some jam here too, might be described as a more “modern” style but I like it. Has lots going on here, especially on second day. Not sure about length of time in oak but its influence is there….sort of!
    Gonna have to try this again in 6 months and report back.

    Food was pork scallopini with wild mushroom sauce.

    Comment by Bob Parsons — November 25, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  2. I posted the following TN (on a US wine forum) on my new purchase last night.

    TN: `07 Wachenheimer Riesling Kabinett feinherb, Weingut Georg Mosbacher Pfalz.

    Visiting my fave winestore downtown (DeVines) last night, came across at least ten new German wines so picked this one for this months lively Wine Focus. (Some references on a US forum of late regarding some very good Mosbacher impressions).

    Good natural cork, $22 Cdn, 11% alc, A.P.# 5112066 01108.

    Color. Deepish straw, no green.

    Nose. Peach, lime, apple, some minerality. Very attractive, no gasolein.

    Palate. Some light spritz on the initial entry, dryish when quite chilled. Very good acidity, medium-bodied and plenty going on here.
    Some servers at the Grill thought too much acid but I disagree. They have to understand there is more to life than Piesporter! Jesting of course, have trained them well.
    Apple, citrus, good length. Fair basic flavors, hint of minerality here, I prefer quite chilled. Very nice balance, entry-level wine not bad! There is some sweetness closer to room temperature.

    **** not quite so tart on day 2. Wonder about recent travel shock but pretty tasty.

    Comment by Bob Parsons — November 29, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  3. Looking forward to the Top 100 tasting in the new year! Thought bloggers might be interested in this Ghemme I picked up the other night. A Nick rec.

    TN: `00 Ghemme Bianchi, Piedmonte.

    One of this years highlights was an `02 Gattinara from Travaglini so was expecting some great things from this one, sitting on the shelf side-by-side!

    $27 Cdn, good natural cork, 13% alc, opened and decanted one hour plus. No sediment noted, Colle Baraggiole vineyard.

    Color. Very dull red-ruby, thin watery bricking tones on rim. Quite transparent, can see thumb easily.

    Nose. Very bold with tar, roses, cherry. No funk, nicely evolved.

    Palate. Initial mouthfeel entry is “this needs more time to open”.
    100% Nebbiolo, nice dry smooth feel , some maturity here for sure. Brief hint of tannin on the finish but not dried out. Fellow taster thought ” tar and cherry come to mind”. Some cigar-box and brief hint of chocolate.
    I served this slightly chilled on second night which was a plus. Juicy, good acidity, not at all astringent. Excellent buy on my behalf, no real experience with this appellation.

    Food was pork cutlets with a roasted tomato sauce. Perfect match I thought.

    Comment by Bob Parsons — December 8, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  4. Bob – thanks for sharing your tasting notes on the Ghemme. Sounds like it’s ‘right up my alley’.

    Last year, I picked up a bottle of the ’00 Ghemme Bianchi at deVine and have yet to taste it. Might have picked this up on staff recommendation (invariably right on target).

    Interestingly, I’ve pulled the bottle out of my cooler several times, but for one reason or another, have always ended up putting it back in favour of something else.

    Can’t wait to get to it, now more than ever!

    Comment by Robert — December 15, 2008 @ 11:38 pm

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