Monday, November 21, 2011

Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines: Organic Tablas Creek Wins #37

Tablas Creek's Cotes de Tablas (Red) 2009 placed 37th in Wine Spectator's 2011 top 100 wines from around the world. Parker rated it an 88 earlier this year, while Wine Spectator rated it 93 pts. in its current issue.

Earlier this year, critic Robert Parker commented:

"The 2009 CĂ´tes de Tablas is soft, silky and beautifully perfumed. Sweet
red fruit, flowers and spices flow from this graceful, supple wine. This is an
excellent choice for near-term drinking. In 2009 the blend is 43% Grenache,
24% Syrah, 18% Counoise and 15% Mourvedre. Anticipated maturity: 2011-

I can't say which of the non U.S. wines is organic, but mostly likely there were a number of foreign organic wines among the winners.

Very few Rhone reds were among the top tier. Since I am a Grenache fan, I was happy to see this listed as high up on the list as it is. However, it's also strange that nothing from its more complex cousin/French partner, Chateau de Beaucastel, rated in the top 100, since their wines are generally more complex (more varietals) (yet much pricier).

The Wine Spectator top 100 is a little hard to understand. Higher rated wines - like Peter Michael's $175 a bottle Les Pavots - got 98 points from WS, but placed 50th on the top 100 list, while wines rated 95 and 96 took top honors.

The whole list is here.

One also has to wonder how much these awards have to do with the advertising pool - i.e. those who advertise in the magazine - do they get priority?

Personally, I don't think the rating system is much help, no matter who it comes from, since most of the rankings generally put all wines within about a 10 pt. range of each other (mid 80s to low 90s) despite price variations of 10x+.

If you're a bargain hunter, the good news is that many of the bottles in the top 100 are less than $20 (but I don't know if they are organic).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Pam! We were excited to see that the Cotes de Tablas was included in this year's Top 100 list. I think that the list is easier to understand (though it's always going to be a subjective thing) if you think of it as the Spectator's effort to balance quality, price, and availability. Their point, which I agree with, is that it's a greater achievement to make a great wine at $30 and in enough quantity that people can find it than it is to make a few hundred cases of the same quality wine that sells for $100.

    In any case, we were excited to get the recognition for this wine that we think is relatively easy to overlook because it's not our flagship and it's relatively inexpensive.

    One last note... I think that the relative scarcity of wines from the southern Rhone is due to the fact that most of the reds are 2008 vintage, which was good but not great there, sandwiched between the great 2007 and 2009 vintages. I think you'll see many more Grenache-based wines from the Rhone next year.

    Thanks again!