Each year, Wine Spectator magazine selects its Top 100 wines, just in time for holiday shopping and sipping. I was given a sneak peek at the Top 10 wines for 2011, so here they are, as selected by the editors of Wine Spectator. Not surprisingly, the list includes a handful of French Rhone and Loire wines and a couple from Italy. Less expected is a wine from Portugal and one from Washington's Columbia Valley. Only one selection is priced under $50. I was very pleased to see one of my favorite wineries represented: Napa Valley's Hall, owned by winemaker Kathryn Hall.
10. Chateau de St.-Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2009 - $58/94 pts.
9. Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Giuraude 2009 - $55/94 pts.
8. Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 2006 - $90/96 pts.
7. Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional Douro 2008 - $55/95 pts.
6. Baer Ursa Columbia Valley 2008 - $35/95 pts.
5. Dehlinger Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2008 - $50/95 pts.
4. Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2006 - $50/96 pts.
3. Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Clos du Bourg Premiere Trie 2009 - $69/96 pts.
2. Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall 2008 - $90/96 pts.
1. And, the Wine Spectator top wine of the year is: Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009 - $52/95 pts.
Looking through the UDABC product listings, the only Top 10 items currently listed in Utah are the Dehlinger Pinot Noir and Hall Cabernet. There is also Domaine Huet Vouvray listed, although not this particular selection. You might have a hard time, however, finding these wines in stock, since inevitably there is a run on the items listed in Wine Spectator's Top 100, and especially the Top 10.
Of the wines here that I've tasted, the Hall Cabernet is especially worth seeking out. There are less pricey Hall Cabernets available, which are also quite delicious.