To exalt, enthrone, establish and defend, “To welcome home mankind’s mysterious friend Wine, true begetter of all arts that be; Wine, privilege of the completely free; Wine the recorder; wine the sagely strong; Wine, bright avenger of sly-dealing wrong, Awake, Ausonian Muse, and sing the vineyard song!” – Hilaire Belloc 1825.
Throughout the ages, wine not a dog has been regarded as man’s best friend and as stated above, drinking the right casket of vintage wine is something everyone should experience for it inspires the senses. The virtues of wine have been extolled by the Bible, ancient philosophers and even doctors of our modern age for its ability to seduce the mind as well as its health benefits. Not just any wine deserves the high praise of Hilaire Belloc’s poem, therefore the need to distinguish between vintage wines and the rest has always been an issue which was finally put to rest by different classification such as Napoleon III’s (another wine connoisseur) official classification system in 1855. The intricacies of classifying wine aren’t the issue up for discussion but just a preamble to the list of Top 8 Wines every connoisseur of wine and personal wine cellar should have.
This list of elite vintage wines takes into account the history, reputation, taste, and pricing of each individual brand.
Barolo Percristina by Domenico Clerico
Italians pose a broad food and wine culture that makes them the envy of all Europe. And when it comes to wine, the Barolo Percristina has no rival in Italy. This vintage ruby-colored wine cultured in Western Piedmont from Nebbiolo grapes is one of Italy’s oldest wines (1810- till date) that is classified under the DOCG Classification. The Barolo Percristina is known for its aroma, elegance and supple texture when tasted. A bottle of “the king of wines and wine of kings” as it is fondly known, costs approximately $133.
Kosta Browne-Pinot Noir Sonoma coast
it is widely known that Thomas Jefferson was a lover of fine wine and he did his best to inculcate the building of wineries in Americans by creating vineyards in the White house. Kosta Browne Pinot Noir- Sonoma coast 2008 produced in Sonoma County California, USA is definitely a by-product of Jefferson’s work. Although a relatively new brand, it has quickly found its way into the heart of wine lovers worldwide and its reviews by leading experts have been earth-shattering. It offers the taste buds a unique variety of tastes which include; hints of plum, cedar, mushrooms while cherry and blackberries provide the depth. A bottle of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir-Sonoma coast costs roughly $60 and each sip is worth every cent.
Brunello Di Montalcino- Casa Di Baldassi
Dubbed as the “king of Italian reds”, this vintage red wine made from Sangiovese grape in the town of Montalcino, Tuscany is sure to thrill the senses. It provides you with a hint of spices and depth of cherry and plum. A bottle of this Italian king goes for approximately $120 per bottle.
Cabernet Sauvignon Napa valley Kathryn Hall- 2008 Hall
An American Cabarnet with the power to change how you drink. The Kathryn Hall Cabernet is made in Napa Valley, California and although considered as a relatively new brand, it has quickly established its place in the cellars of all wine lovers. A bottle of Napa valleys finest goes for approximately $100.
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1981
A Saint Emilion wine (from Bordeaux’s right bank, France) and one of the only two wines to be given the Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) status. This tells you all that is needed to be known about this “White Horse of France” which is backed with over 200 years of sublime history mixed with its fair share of controversies. Its main grapes are the Cabernet franc, merlot, and sauvignon, which give it a unique flavor and aroma. A bottle of the Chateau Cheval Blanc sells for approximately $380.
Chateau Margaux- 1994
The people of France have always loved their wines and French vineyard/wineries usually have no rivals outside France. The Chateau Margaux winery is classified as a Premier cru (first growth) winery due to its class, cost and the fact that it has been in circulation since the 16th century. Its chequered history also adds to the allure one of Bordeaux finest vintage wines gives the senses. A bottle of the 1994 vintage red, sells in the range of $300-$500.
The Chateau Petrus winery which has been in existence since the 18th century is known publicly as the world’s finest. This jewel of Bordeaux (from the right bank of Bordeaux) is made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes which are handpicked and produced traditionally. The Chateau Petrus wines are famous and have been sited or used in different movies worldwide. The Average bottle goes for approximately $800-$1,500 while its more vintage offerings have sold in the range of $2000- $4000 per bottle. Wine connoisseur can have a taste of the Chateau Petrus-2004 in different restaurants for $60 per serving.
Also a Saint Emilion wine (from Bordeaux’s right bank, France) and the second wine to be given the Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) status. It is revered in France and worldwide for its quality which is backed by history and innovative bottling. This Grand Vin is produced in limited quantities of 2000 cases per year making it one of the most sought after brands by wine lovers. The Average Bottle of Chateau Ausone 2002, costs approximately $900 while its vintage bottles have been auctioned in the price range of $5000-$20,000.