Sommeliers know wine. And F&W’s 2016 Sommeliers of the Year—the ranks of whom range from a former opera singer to a tiny wine-shop-within-a-restaurant owner to a restaurant-group powerhouse—really know wine. As you can imagine, they’ve tasted some amazing bottles. We asked them about their standouts from this year, and their answers include a World War II-era bottling, a rare find from Abruzzo, Italy, and an outstanding Australian Chardonnay.
Here, their picks for the best wines they had all year:
- 17 Wine Resolutions for 2017 from Top Sommeliers
- 7 Instant Sparkling Wine Cocktails
- 7 Brilliant, Under-the-Radar Wine Picks from a Top New York Somm
Christopher Bates, FLX Wienery/FLX Table, Finger Lakes, NY
1945 Domaine Huet Le Haut Lieu Vouvray Moelleux was one of the most moving old bottles I've ever had. The aromatics were both youthful and burnished, the structure crisp, but warm. The wine was layered and detailed and enveloping, with intensity but lightness as well. The wine was beautiful, but the experience of trying it was even better. Understanding the struggles that not only the world but also France and Gaston Huet were overcoming while this wine was at the beginning of its life, I got to taste the energy and work and passion that was put into bringing this wine into fruition. It's amazing!