2018 – The Year in Review

Happy New Year! What could be a better way to prepare for 2019 than to reflect on the great wines tried in 2018? See and read about the highlights of the Vinous year from the editorial team. Recently published articles from Antonio Galloni , Neal Martin , David Schildknecht , Ian D'Agata and Josh Raynolds recall a year full of incredible wines, meals and experiences. Listed below are a few memorable wines from Antonio Galloni, Neal Martin, David Schildknecht, Ian D'Agata and Josh Raynolds. To see what other wines made their lists, check out their full articles on Vinous and see if you enjoyed any of these noteworthy wines in 2018.

Delas Frères

Les Bessards Hermitage Syrah 1990

Delectable Wine

Given the small production of most high-end northern Rhône wines, it isn’t that often that one gets the chance to drink one at full maturity, and this Hermitage was a remarkable example of just how complex and captivating this appellation’s wines, from a great year like 1990, can be at their peak, showing intense, pure dark fruit and floral character, mineral and spice nuances and Syrah’s typical smokiness. Delas owns a relatively massive seven hectares of this, one of the Hermitage hill’s prime vineyards, so finding younger versions of this wine (current examples are consistently superb) should be relatively easy. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2019)

— 5 years ago

E and Greg liked this

Weingut Geheimer Rat Dr. Von Bassermann-Jordan

Forster Ungeheuer-Ziegler Riesling

Delectable Wine

"Bassermann-Jordan's 1811 Forster Ungeheuer isn't just one among many legendary "comet wines." It is preeminent among those from the German-speaking world, its rapturous reception by Goethe having been commemorated in the great man's West–östlicher Divan and by Bismarck in the pronouncement, "This Ungeheuer is ungeheuer" (meaning uncanny, prodigious), a meme avant l'Internet that guaranteed this wine and Weingut Bassermann-Jordan a second century of fame.

So how did it taste? Well, the first and most amazing thing to emphasize is that it was both enjoyable as wine and recognizable as a Forster. I once cited a 108-year-old Bassermann-Jordan Ruppertsberger to illustrate how such drinkability and typicity can accrue not just to a very old Riesling, but to one from a good rather than great site in a good but by no means great vintage. Their 1811 Forster Ungeheuer, though, reflected a signature site in a (shooting) star vintage. The aromas were high-toned but not attenuated. The flavors were still animating and juicy, and not at all dried out; the zesty and smoky black-tea-like bitter elements were a source of pleasing stimulation rather than blockage. Cooling hints of fennel and mint alternated with piquant citrus rind, while sappy, saline, site-typical savor set the salivary glands into motion. If that strikes you as "just another typical Schildknecht tasting note," in a way it should, because this wine's age was a cause for wonder in large part precisely because it did not taste at all old. And although you probably already guessed this was coming, it really did finish with a veritable comet's tail." (Extract from David Schildknecht's Memorable Moments from a Turbulent 2018, Vinous, January 2, 2019)
— 5 years ago

Giuseppe Rinaldi

Barolo Nebbiolo 1971

Delectable Wine

With the news of Beppe Rinaldi’s grave condition making the rounds, Il Professore and I wanted to share a bottle of Rinaldi Barolo. The 1971 was made by Beppe’s father, Battista, and was a real treat to drink. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018) — 5 years ago

E, Luciano and 3 others liked this

Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine

I’ve been following this wine since I first tasted it from barrel in the summer of 1990, and it has always been an amazing wine and one of the best examples of this remarkable vintage. This particular bottle, which I helped to drink alongside a superb, dry-aged prime porterhouse at one of the New York City area’s best steakhouses, Rothmann’s on Long Island, might have been the best I’ve ever had. The textbook iron, tobacco and cigar box Haut-Brion character was there in abundance, but this time there was also an almost Burgundian laciness and buoyancy to the wine that I’ve not experienced before. Even at almost 30 years old, it still has a long life ahead of it, but based on this bottle I wouldn’t begrudge anyone opting to drink it right now. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 219) — 5 years ago

Brian, E and 4 others liked this

Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 1946

Delectable Wine

I love odd vintages – the odder, the better. (A bit like people.) Contenders this year include a 1977 Corton-Charlemagne from Bonneau du Martray, a 1909 Château Margaux, a 1931 Yquem, a 1946 Puligny-Montrachet Clos de Cailleret Rouge and a unicorn I will open just before Christmas. In the end, I choose the 1946 Cheval Blanc because a) this is the only postwar Bordeaux vintage I had never tasted, b) it is lost for eternity between 1945 and 1947, c) it tasted great, and d) it’s my dad’s birth year. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2018) — 5 years ago

Severn, Greg and 1 other liked this

Screaming Eagle

Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Delectable Wine

The 2016 is a wine I have followed pretty much over its entire life so far, from sampling the separate lots during fermentation, to tasting the component wines in barrel prior to blending, and most recently seeing that all come together in the finished wine. The 2016 has always been distinguished by its tremendous purity. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018) — 5 years ago

Greg, E and 3 others liked this


Primum Taurasi Aglianico 2010

Delectable Wine

Best Italian full-bodied red wine of the year: As much as I love the three “B’s” of Italian wine (Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello) my vote goes to the 2010 Guastaferro Taurasi Primum, a heady mix of ripe red fruit, tar and licorice aromas and flavors with some age on them. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, January 2019) — 5 years ago

Greg and Peter liked this


Moscato d'Asti 2018

Delectable Wine

Best Italian sparkling white wine of the year: If I had a big enough goblet, I’d fill it up and go swimming in the stuff (with my mouth open, of course). (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, January 2019) — 5 years ago

Greg, Peter and 5 others liked this


Terre di Chieti Pecorino 2016

Delectable Wine

This Pecorino gem is a trifling £7.99 from Ocado and Waitrose. The label depicts three sheep that could have been drawn by a six-year-old, presumably to appeal to consumers who buy on cute labels. Ignore price, wide availability and sheep: this stonkingly good Pecorino bursts with flavour. Trust me, I am not trying to counterbalance the obscenely expensive rarities mentioned above. I genuinely love this wine. In fact, the Martin household has two or three bottles permanently stocked in the fridge for evenings when I want to quaff something decent and delicious without thinking too much. [Postscript: Mrs. Martin just informed me it is currently reduced to £5.99.] (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2018) — 5 years ago

Château Canon

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2015

Delectable Wine

The 2015 Canon has always been tremendous, but the best bottle was one I drank, rather than tasted, this past spring. Some wines need to be fully experienced to be truly appreciated. The 2015 Canon is one of them. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018) — 5 years ago

E liked this