If you trust the palate of wine consumers, you will check the list of Vivino’s 2017 Wine Style Awards winners. The Vivino community is composed of 21 million users and an evaluation of the millions of wine ratings they have submitted over the past year. The best-rated wines in each category are selected (they must have at least a 50 rating from the past year).
The global competition considers wines in 147 categories. French Crémant category made the list of eligible styles for the first time, joining Champagne, Spanish Cava, California Sparkling and Prosecco. Top wines in this style include: Vive-la-Joie Brut from Les Caves Bailly Lapierre; Crémant de Bourgogne Brut from Pierre Laber and Crémant d’Alsace Rosé.
The growing trend for fortified wines was confirmed, with Spanish Sherry-style showing for the first time this year. Portuguese wines are gaining in popularity.
Wine “excellence” is determined “by the people” and includes wine experts and wine newbies.
My Personal Favorites:
• Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs (white from black) Brut 2013. 85 percent Pinot Noir, 15 percent Chardonnay. Barrel and malolactic fermentation.
Pinot Noir is the star in this complex, medium bodied brut sparkler. Fruit selected from the Carneros and Anderson Valley combine with grapes from low-yielding Sonoma and Marin coastal vineyards to produce a deliciously elegant sparkling wine that delivers an important and beautiful mix of a fresh citrus aroma wrapped in complex flavors.
To the eye, beautifully golden highlights and an endless stream of bubbles. The nose detects honey, lemons, limes and hints of grapefruit and orange, mingling closely with almonds. The palate delights with bubbles that last and last, leaving a refreshing memory. Pair with cold poached salmon or steamed scallops.
• Tarapaca Gran Reserva Etiqueta Negra 2014. Chile, Valle del Maipo. Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French and American oak barrels for 14 months.
The Maipo Valley (Chile) is an important wine region in the country’s Central Valley. Because the weather is warm and dry irrigation is frequently a necessity. The soils are high in salinity and low in potassium. The Maipo climate produces ripe, full-bodied reds and whites (i.e., Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc).
Dark ruby red to the eye. The nose is rewarded with hints of cherries, chocolate, wood, leather and deep dark soil after a heavy rain plus an almost mysterious suggestion of cigars and spices. The palate delights in a complex mix of dark aged cherries, and oak barrels. This is perfect for dark cold winter nights, snuggled in a fur rug and a deep leather chair. Pair with roast beef and holiday turkey.
The Zen House on Allen Street, NYC was the venue for media, wine experts and wine lovers to have the Vivino wine experience. In addition to the wide selection of wines from around the world, guest plates were full of treats and charcuterie.
© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.