Brian Winzor's Best Wines of 2008
by Brian Winzor
(Oaklands Park, South Australia)
About 2 years ago this website made me realise that for about the last 30 years I had been drinking Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and blends thereof.
I realised that I new nothing about a hundred or so other varietal wines, so I decided to remedy this, and decided to first work my way through the various varietal red wines, and then move on to the whites.
Over the last 2 years I have with several exceptions tried wines from at least 3 different makers in the following red varietals:
Aglianico (2), Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Durif, Grenache, Lagrein (2), Malbec, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot, Sagrantino (1), Sangiovese, Saperavi,
Tannat, Tempranillo, and Zinfandel.
Also, over the last 18 months I have been sporadically holding with interested friends a wine tasting for a particular varietal red wine, and I try to obtain wines from at least four different regions to increase the diversity of styles.
The wines are tasted blind, and each person scores each wine, and at the end of the night the scores are tallied up, a winner declared, and the then the debate begins. The winners of the varietal nights held so far are:
Cabernet Franc - Di Fabio 2000 (McLaren Vale)
Durif - Morris 2003 (Rutherglen)
Malbec - The Islander 2004 (Kangaroo Island)
Petit Verdot - Pirramimma 2003 (McLaren Vale)
Zinfandel - Nepenthe 2005 (Adelaide Hills)
The following wines are my Top Ten of alternate varietals for 2008.
Di Fabio 2000 Cabernet Franc
Morris 2000 Durif
Gapsted 2004 Ltd Release Malbec
The Islander 2004 Malbec
Scaffidi 2003 Nebbiolo
Pirramimma 2003 Petit Verdot
Domain Day 2003 Saperavi
Nepenthe 2005 Tempranillo
Coolangatta Estate 2006 Tannat
Nepenthe 2005 Zinfandel
The biggest challenge I find is locating enough different labels of a particular varietal. The major wine retailers in Adelaide often don't stock the more obscure varietals, so I have found it means many hours of searching through various websites to find them. I always start with Vinodiversity and then move on from there if needed.
Hope the above is of interest,
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