I guess saying that 2011 was not as eventful as 2010 would be understating it a little. Although one must still put up with some of the aches and pains of old age there was nothing very serious to deal with other than a slight weight issue. Seems I have found the pounds that were lost or misplaced during the early part of the year. I did get back into the gym, but have been delinquent since Thanksgiving. I should be back on track after the holiday season.
The year has been the most successful year yet with this blog. There were more postings than I really wish to do, but that also meant there were more wines being enjoyed. I was able to find wines from many of the more obscure regions of the world and will probably continue searching others in 2012. A likely start may be a semi-sweet red wine from the great State of Alabama. A gift from my niece who now resides in Birmingham.
Each year, at least for the past three, I have been tasting new wines.(At least new to me). This past year was no exception. For white wines, I found a few new favorite's with Albariño's from the Rias Baixas region of Spain, a Rkatsiteli from my favorite region, the New York Finger Lakes, a Torrontes from Argentina and a nice wine from Turkey made with the Sultana grape. I also enjoyed an Ice Wine for the first time and a couple of Finger Lakes bubbly's.
New reds were just as interesting. I'll start with a Xinomavro from Macedonia and a blend of Kotsifali and Mandilaria from the Isle of Crete. The Cuvee d'Amour from Dr. Frank's and a Baco Noir from Hudson Valley were outstanding and also enjoyable was a very nice red blend from Algeria. I am now looking very much forward to doing more of the same in 2012.
Now I get to pick my favorites from 2011. I did this last year on my Year in Review 2010 with little difficulty, but this time around, there were many excellent wines to chose from. So, here goes.
Best Rosé - Every visit I made to a Finger Lakes winery this past year, I tasted a dry Rosé, brought quite a few home and enjoyed each and every one. BUT, the best this year is from Long Island. Shinn Estate Vineyards Rose` 2010. Pleasant aromas, nice mouthfeel with lots of red berry and some watermelon. A delightful blend of Merlot and Cab Franc.
Best White - This was the most difficult to choose. The Albarino's and an excellent Vino Verde from Portugal were among the best, but Finger Lakes Riesling's are still my favorite and choosing one of them is almost impossible. This year's best though is the Damiani Wine Cellars semi-dry Riesling 2010. Aroma's were plentiful with honeysuckle, pineapple, apple blossom, some peach and citrus, a fruit filled taste and a very long finish. One of the best ever.
Best Red - For me, this was definitely a year for the white wines, passing up some of my favorite reds all year and those I did taste were mostly mediocre at best. There were a few that did stand out. Spanish Riojas from Montebuena and one from Beronia and a Bordeaux style blend from Craggy Range in New Zealand. There were also some very nice Cabernet Francs from the Finger Lakes and surprisingly my pick for Best Red Wine is from the Finger Lakes. A 2007 Black Russian Red - 30 Month Barrel Reserve made from Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni grapes which are unique to the McGregor Vineyards on Keuka Lake. The grapes are found in the Republic of Georgia near the Black Sea. There was no review posted on this wine(yet). The one bottle I did bring home is resting peacefully and awaiting opening is two to three years.
Biggest Surprise - Has to be the wine from Algeria, the Chateau Tellagh Medea red wine. A blend of 40% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 15% Carignan, 10% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Just the fact that this wine was produced in Northern Africa, made it a surprise and better yet was how delicious it was.
Now a new year begins, but my blog goals will remain the same. I hope to be tasting some new varieties, visiting more wineries and just enjoying more great wine. I may fool around a bit with the blog layout and maybe make some changes. Also, I am looking for contributors to post articles. Must be an amateur wine lover (no connoisseurs or sommeliers) just your everyday wino. I pay $0, but will at times provide some wine.
Thank you to all my followers and readers for contributing to a successful year.