Best Wines of the Year

Staff Writer
10 exceptional bottles to snag when you can
2007 Terrien Chardonnay
Terrien

2007 Terrien Chardonnay

Food & Wine’s tasting room pros, Ray Isle and Megan Krigbaum, reveal the year's most exceptional wines.

2010 Chateau Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling ($15)
I’ve been going to this winery in Grand Traverse, Michigan, with my parents since I was a toddler, but the quality of the wine has grown significantly in recent years. This affordable Riesling is the result of an experiment begun by winemaker Sean O’Keefe about five years ago. It’s faintly sweet with ripe fruit and great acidity. — MK

2009 Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko ($18)
Assyrtiko, a Greek white wine, tends to have lots of citrusy notes and great acidity—making it terrific with seafood and vegetable dishes. This one, fermented with indigenous yeast in oak barrels, has all that as well as enough richness and depth to go with heartier foods — even some meat dishes. — MK

2006 Raventós i Blanc de Nit Rosé Cava ($22)
Ever since I first met this wine at the bar at Joseph Leonard, I’ve been unable to get my hands on a sufficient number of bottles. I talk incessantly about how much I love it. The lively rosé cava tastes just like those teeny, tiny wild strawberries that only last for a day or two on a sunny lawn and are almost as easy to spot as four-leaf clovers. It’s fantastic on its own and wonderful with food. I could drink it every day. — MK

2007 Terrien Chardonnay ($33)
Winemaker Michael Terrien fashioned this new Chardonnay (this is the inaugural release) with fruit sourced from Hanzell Vineyards, one of California’s greatest Chardonnay producers. He makes the wine using no malolactic fermentation and very little new oak, then ages it several years before release, allowing its innate crisp intensity to develop layers of flavor and distinctive floral aromas. — RI

2008 Occhipinti Frappato ($38)
I was lucky enough to find myself in Arianna Occhipinti’s Sicilian cellar last spring, and this ruby-red wine reminds me so much of that visit. It was a cold, rainy day, and we sat by Arianna’s stone fireplace all afternoon. She is an incredibly serious, diligent person, but there’s also a little glimmer of something mischievous about her, paired with a big, wonderful laugh. This wine has elements of all of that — it’s focused and intense, but with bright, dazzling red fruit. And, happily, it’s sold in magnums as well as the normal bottle size. — MK

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