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Best Wines of 2010

F&W's editors taste thousands of wines every year. Here, their most memorable bottles of 2010.

Best Wines of 2010:
Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor

Château Palmer Historical XIXth C. Wine ($250)

Château Palmer Historical XIXth C. Wine ($250)

I was fascinated by this re-creation of a long-lost style of Bordeaux, from one of the region's greatest châteaus.

2007 El Pecado ($80)

2007 El Pecado ($80)

Spain's Ribeira Sacra region is remote, gorgeous and a source for brilliant reds. This complex, violet-scented Mencia blew me away.

2008 Hermann J. Wiemer Magdalena Vineyard Riesling ($36)

Context always helps: I had this bottle while playing cards upstairs in a restaurant in Chinatown with a group of friends from the wine business. But that doesn't diminish the wine, which is proof once again of how New York's Finger Lakes region is capable of producing Rieslings worthy of being poured side by side with the best of Germany and Austria. It's powerful and sleek, with white peach and citrus notes and a lingering finish.

2001 Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial ($55)

I first had this vintage of Ygay at a Rioja event in New York; I had it again at a tasting at Pebble Beach Food & Wine in April; and I liked it so much that I then poured it at my seminar on the great reds of Spain at our Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, in June. It is classic Rioja from a great vintage, and exemplifies everything that makes Rioja so appealing: silky cherry fruit, a kind of spicy earth note that suggests the Spanish terrain, and enough age (this is the current release) that all of its flavors and structural notes are in perfect balance.

Best Wines of 2010:
Megan Krigbaum, Associate Wine Editor

2008 Alice et Olivier De Moor Chablis Rosette ($38)

This minerally Chablis is from one of my favorite producers in the region, and it's also from an exceptional year.

2008 Man O'War Syrah ($22)

2008 Man O'War Syrah ($22)

My money's on New Zealand as the next go-to spot for exquisite Syrah, like this luscious, peppery bottling from Waiheke Island.

Best Wines of 2010:
Kristin Donnelly, Associate Food Editor

2009 Les Vin Contés Poivre et Sel ($19)

I love the happy berry fruit and slight spice in this blend of Gamay and Pineau d'Aunis, two light bodied red grapes that both grow beautifully in the Loire Valley. The Pineau d'Aunis from 60-year-old vines gives the wine a distinct peppery note, which inspired its name.

2006 Parr Selections Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley ($55)

Many California Syrah taste the same, but this bottling from superstar sommelier Rajat Parr of RN74 and the Michael Mina group is everything Syrah should be: Meaty and spicy with dark, mysterious fruit. It's pure pleasure to drink.

Best Wines of 2010:
Lawrence Marcus, Associate Digital Editor

2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon ($25)

Marcel Lapierre, who died this year at 60, was the Beaujolais iconoclast who started a movement in the region toward making world-class wines. The 2009 is a perfect example: It's thoroughly delicious, ageable and affordable.

2006 Paolo Bea San Valentino ($33)

This Italian blend delivers an amazing amount of flavor on a rock-solid structure. My bottle's tart, tarry, violet-inflected flavors didn't reach their peak until it had been open for nearly 48 hours.

Plus: More Top Wines

Published December 2010
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