It’s the morning of New Year’s Eve 2018 and like all naval-gazing 30 somethings I’m contemplating what I didn’t do in 2018 and what I must now surely do in 2019! Before I go launching off into New Year’s resolutions for 2019 and my favourite wines of 2018 I think its worth stopping to think about just what did happen this year.
I’m proud to say I got fit and ran a half marathon in 2018 … and then subsequently made it back up to my original weight by New Years Eve. I started my wine diploma back in February… and then put off my first exams until January 2019. I bought a domain to set up a wine business in the summer … and then thought it better to wait until after Brexit. It appears that I’m great at starting things but less accomplished at seeing them through. So of course making New Years resolutions is my forte!
2018 was a fabulous year in wine for me though. I am still on the diploma trail and actively studying this time. I visited vineyards in Umbria, Portugal, Northern Spain and Bordeaux. I took multiple classes at the WSET school including masterclasses on Bergerac, Syrah and Bordeaux. I even got to hobnob with Jancis Robinson and Steven Spurrier at the recent Walter Speller Barolo event at 67 Pall Mall. Most importantly I got to taste through over 1000 wines this year and thanks to the WSET systematic approach to tasting – it was quite the chore!
Like every Instagram and Vivino wine junkie I’m now compiling what were my top 10 wines tasted in 2018. And thanks to those apps I actually have a historical record to be able to tell you! This was not an easy decision as there are several 5/5 ratings in Vivino. I’ve included no sparkling wines and only two whites and the list is 100% old world highlighting exactly what I’ve been doing in 2018!
- E. Guigal – Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 2005
- Château Haut-Brion – Pessac-Léognan (Premier Grand Cru Classé) 2005
- Château l’Eglise-Clinet – Pomerol 2008
- Vega Sicilia – Valbuena 5º 2012
- Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona – Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 1997
- Tenuta San Guido – Sassicaia 2006
- Château d’Yquem – Sauternes 1999
- Domaine de Chevalier – Pessac-Léognan (Grand Cru Classé) 2014 (W)
- Roberto Voerzio – Sarmassa di Barolo 2000
- Château Mouton Rothschild – Pauillac (Premier Grand Cru Classé) 1995
So my New Years resolution in wine for 2019 is to focus on new world wines and especially the wines of my own country; the UK! This starts this evening with a New Year’s celebration at Roast in Borough with a bottle of 2009 Breaky Bottom sparkling wine to see in the New Year. For my birthday in January I’m already booked in to explore one of England’s best vineyards, the Bolney Estate in West Sussex, to try their sparklers and award winning Pinot Noir. If it’s to be Brexit in 2019 then I may as well get a taste for the local stuff.
To continue the New World exploration I’ll be heading off to California in February to spend some time in Santa Barbara and the Russian River valley having already been to Napa. Then, budget allowing, perhaps a trip down under at the back end of 2019 to either Australia or New Zealand. Here’s to a fabulous 2019 and a Happy New Year to everyone. And finally a question, what was your favourite wine of 2018?