Best Wines of 2010:
Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor
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)
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.