Well, it’s got to that time of the year again when we finally get to chose what we drink rather than having it handed to us on a platter whilst we mutter under our breaths what we think of the wines – and then tell the hosts exactly what they want to hear! Well, to an extent; I think you all know our style by now and we don’t mix our words so if it’s a good wine, we’ll say so and if it’s a bad wine…we’ll say so!
2013 was another year of ‘wine-insanity’ with tastings, dinners and lunches galore – not to mention trade shows and public events that took up many a weekend and left my wife wondering who she is married to and if he really exists! Let’s be fair, while it looks great on Facebook all the wines and events, it does take its toll on your private life and not surprisingly, your health (I’ve lost 9kg this year so far!!)
We did not however taste as many wines in 2013 as we did in 2012. This was because instead of meandering through the tastings sampling every single wine there was to try, we were a little more sensible and with each event picked a style of wine we wanted to write about and stuck to that (so at the Rioja wine show I tasted 7 wines as they were the only whites available).
There was less of the old vintage Bordeaux and a lot more wines from emerging markets such as Italy, Germany and Australia. Emerging you ask? Look, France has had a strangle hold on the wine market in Hong Kong for decades and recently we are seeing a keen interest in wines from countries other than France. They have always been here, but the best wines from these countries were not – and now they are!
So what rocked our world this year then? Take a look at our Top 20 lists of wines, mostly affordable and easily drinkable right now that did it for us. In no particular order:
1) GR 174, Priorat, Spain 2012 (available from Victoria Wines – www.victoriawines.com)
2) Clos du Moulin aux Moines Pinot Noir Vin Nature, Burgundy, France (available from L’Imperatrice – www.imperatrice.com.hk)
3) Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 1998, Australia (available from Kedington Wines – www.kedwines.com)
4) Quinta de la Rosa dou Rosa Branco 2012, Portugal (available from Cellarmaster Wines – www.cellarmasterwines.com)
5) Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2010, Argentina (available from Watson’s Wine Cellar)
6) Champagne Moutard Six Cepages 2006, France (available from One Red Dot Fine Wines – www.onereddot.com)
7) Otella Molceo Lugana Superior DOC 2009, Italy (available from Golden Vintage – www.golden-vintage.com.hk)
8) Grace Winery Koshu 2011, Japan (available from Wine N Things – www.winenthingshk.com)
9) Romano dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore 2006 (available from Armit Wines – http://www.armitwines.co.uk/about-us/armit-hong-kong)
10) VIK 2010, Chile (available from Kerry Wines – www.kerrywines.com)
11) Jonata El Corazon 2005, California, USA (available from One Red Dot Fine Wines – www.onereddot.com)
12) Casali Maniago Chardonnay 2010, Friuli, Italy (available from Amorosso Wines – www.amorossowines.com)
13) Moet et Chandon 1990, Champagne, France (available from MHD Hong Kong)
14) Quartet by Roederer, Anderson Valley, USA (available from Wine Shop Asia – www.wineshopasia.com)
15) Parawa Ingalalla Grand Reserve 2007 (available from www.parawaestate.com.au)
16) Massandra Ay Serez 2008, Yalta, Ukraine (available from The Everlasting Cup – www.elcup.asia)
17) Tenuta di Ghizzano Nambrot 2008, Italy (available from Heritage Wines www.heritagewines.com.hk)
18) Benedek Sargamuskotaly Zenit 2012, Hungary (available from Veritas Wines – www.veritas-wine.com)
19) Ixsir Altitudes White 2011, Lebanon (available from Red Mill Ltd – www.redmillhk.com)
20) Macan Classico 2009, Rioja, Spain (available from ASC Fine Wines www.asc-wines.com)
So that’s that! There are plenty more great wines that we tried from numerous suppliers in Hong Kong – it’s so great living and working here with the wide diversity of wines of offer – but as this list was done completely from memory without looking back through our stories and social media photos then we deem them to be the most memorable wines of the year. Roll on the next year and more great wines from new vintages to come! We can highly recommend any of the above – and of course all the other wines we have written about this year!