10 Melhores Vinhos do Mundo (2014)

10 Best Wine of 2014
Each year since 1988, Wine Spectator has released its Top 100 list, where our editors select the most exciting wines from the thousands we reviewed during the course of the year.
Vintage showed its trump card in this year’s wine releases, influencing key shifts in the makeup of the 2014 Top 100 list, which includes wines from 14 foreign countries and three U.S. states. California, France and Italy play major roles as in years past, but with an atypical mix of grape varieties and regions. Meanwhile, some countries saw big upticks in their numbers on the list, due to magnificent vintages and continued improvements in the vineyards and wineries.

Our editors found dozens of thought-provoking wines among the 18,000 we tasted in 2014. Whether from emerging labels and regions or historic estates upholding tradition, these wines turned our heads for a singularity and authenticity we call the X-factor.

We hope you enjoy this exciting list of great values, rising stars and veteran producers that make up Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2014.

See complete list here

10. Château Léoville Las Cases

St.-Julien 2011
Region: Bordeaux, France
This Bordeaux second-growth has earned ratings in the 95- to 100-point range in seven of the past 10 vintages. The Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for the greatest share of the nearly 240-acre estate, benefits from an excellent site and the rigorous viticultural standards mandated by owner Jean-Hubert Delon. The blend is 76 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 percent Merlot and 12 percent Cabernet Franc, the latter a fairly high percentage for the Médoc, but technical director Michael Georges believes it lends finesse to the Cabernet Sauvignon and adds depth to the Merlot.

9. Concha y Toro

Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Don Melchor 2010
Region: Maipo, Chile
In 2010, Chile’s Puente Alto appellation saw a slightly cooler-than-usual growing season, and winemaker Enrique Tirado used the weather to his advantage, allowing the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, grown on alluvial soils, to hang on the vines longer than usual. The result is this particularly elegant version of the flagship Don Melchor. Blended with 3 percent Cabernet Franc, the wine aged in French oak barrels for 15 months. Concha y Toro, owned by the Guilisasti family, is Chile’s largest wine company.

8. Brewer-Clifton

Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2012
Region: Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton have maintained a consistent style across nearly 20 years of winemaking. They start with a cold soak to extract color and flavor and employ whole-cluster fermentation, which lends spicy tannins and structure, creating vibrant and distinctive reds. Absent new oak, the Pinot Noirs show off the freshness of the fruit and further highlight the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, which is particularly cool and windy. Low yields helped give this 2012 great density of color and concentrated flavors.

7. Clos des Papes

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012
Region: Southern Rhône Valley, France
Clos des Papes has a long history of accomplishment, however, current proprietor Vincent Avril has raised the bar to even greater heights. He works organically as much as possible and maintains low yields, which between 2008 and 2012 averaged 1.3 tons per acre. Grapes are destemmed, and new oak is never used, resulting in elegant yet powerful wines. Grenache dominates the 2012 red (65 percent), followed by Mourvèdre (20 percent) and Syrah (10 percent). The remainder of the blend is made up of small amounts of the appellation’s lesser-known varieties.

6. Castello di Ama

Chianti Classico San Lorenzo Gran Selezione 2010
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Winemaker Marco Pallanti has farmed this estate in Chianti Classico since 1982, and he knows its vineyards well, producing acclaimed single-vineyard wines with the help of wife and co-owner Lorenza. San Lorenzo is a small valley, with 50 acres of vines planted in a mix of limestone and clay at an elevation of 1,650 feet. The 2010 is 80 percent Sangiovese, with Malvasia Nera and Merlot. A racy, vibrant red that shows the elegance of the site, it is the top-scoring Chianti Classico tasted this year.

5. Leeuwin Estate

Chardonnay Margaret River Art Series 2011
Region: Western Australia
Leeuwin’s iconic Art Series Chardonnay consistently scores in the classic range. Ripe, complex flavors are its hallmarks thanks to estate vines in Margaret River, on the country’s west coast, that average 39 years of age. The 2011 represents a shift to a subtler style. Despite warm, dry weather in 2011, winemaker Paul Atwood corralled the generous flavors into a steelier frame than previous vintages, and the tart edge balances a hint of tropical fruit character. Leeuwin was founded in 1974 by the Horgan family, and released its first commercial vintage in 1979.

4. Quinta Do Vale Meão

Douro 2011
Region: Douro, Portugal
Located in the remote, upper Douro region of Portugal, Quinta do Vale Meão is producing stylish wines from its rugged surroundings. Its 2011 Douro is a blend of native Portuguese grapes Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz, all sourced from vines planted in single-variety blocks. Winemaker Francisco Olazabal vinified the blocks separately, applying both traditional (such as foot trodding) and modern winemaking techniques (aging in French oak barriques, 80 percent new).

3. Prats & Symington

Douro Chryseia 2011
Region: Douro, Portugal
The Chryseia project began in 1998, when the Symington family partnered with former Château Cos-d’Estournel owner Bruno Prats to produce a top-quality Douro table wine. The 2011 Chryseia is their highest-scoring version yet, balancing finesse and power in the best vintage in a generation for this region. The wine is a blend of two indigenous varieties, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, sourced from the vineyards of Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz, and is aged in 100 percent new French oak barrels.

2. Mollydooker

Shiraz McLaren Vale Carnival of Love 2012
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Founders Sparky and Sarah Marquis aim for a crowd-pleasing house style that emphasizes bold flavors, plush texture and something they call “fruit weight”—how far back on the tongue the flavors extend before you notice the wine’s structure. This red consists of a barrel selection of some of the top Shiraz from Gateway Vineyard and finishes its fermentation in 100 percent new American oak barrels. This is Mollydooker’s sixth appearance in the Top 100, and the third time Carnival of Love has made the Top 10.

1. Dow's

Vintage Port 2011
Region: Portugal
The village of Pinhão in Portugal’s Douro River Valley is a quiet backwater in a stunning setting. From the river’s shores rise some of Portugal’s most magnificent vineyards, climbing the steep slopes in a series of rocky terraces. They are filled with a wealth of native Portuguese grapes that thrive here, in the Cima Corgo.

This is the homeland of Port, the fortified dessert wine that for centuries has ranked as one of the world’s greatest reds—its sweet, rich flavors mellowing with time. But Port’s popularity has been muted in recent years, a dusty tradition at the end of a meal.

Then, with the 2011 vintage, Douro vintners hit the jackpot. An ideal growing season resulted in a host of powerfully fruity yet fresh and balanced wines. The past two decades have seen the rise of Douro table wines, and they are remarkable in 2011 as well. But Port, which had taken the unaccustomed role of second fiddle, has come roaring back.

In 2011, Port surged to remarkable heights of quality, with some vintners declaring it the best vintage in 50 years. Twenty-five 2011 Vintage Ports scored 95 points or higher on Wine Spectator‘s 100-point scale.

The vintage’s highest-scoring Port is the Dow’s. It stands as a monument to quality and the Douro’s modernization. Not overly sweet, the 2011 Dow’s delivers an abundance of grip, the interplay of alcohol and tannins prerequisite to long life.

The wine hails from the Symington family, which has made Port since 1882 and is the Douro’s biggest landowner, with about 2,400 acres spread over 26 quintas. Among their most-prized of those vineyard estates are Quinta do Bomfim, on the outskirts of Pinhão, and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, farther upriver toward the Spanish border.

Together, the two quintas provide more than three-quarters of the blend: Touriga Franca (40 percent) provides silky fruit flavors, Touriga Nacional (36 percent) offers power and structure, and Sousão (10 percent) gives deep color. The remainder comes from old-vine mixed plantings.

While Charles Symington oversees the vineyards and the cellars, five Symington men had a say in the 2011’s composition. The six best of 44 fermentation lots were chosen for the final blend. Maceration and fermentation began in shallow, open granite basins (lagares), with machines mimicking traditional foot-trodding. The juice was drained off to stainless-steel tanks to ferment for two to three days. Neutral grape spirit was added to halt fermentation and preserve fruitiness, resulting in an alcohol level of about 20 percent. The wine aged 18 months in large oak casks before final blending and bottling. The U.S. received 2,000 of the 5,000 cases made.

The Dow’s is fermented a touch drier than other Symington Ports, with less residual sugar. Muscular, compact tannins support concentrated black fruit, chocolate and spice flavors and an almost endless finish.

This profile, enjoyable younger than is the norm, truly represents the modern style of Port. Wait at least until 2020 to crack open the 2011, though it will live much, much longer. As the fruit, sweetness, tannins and alcohols evolve, they will reach their climax in the sublime hedonism of a mature Vintage Port.

For its combination of power, quality and fair price, and for being the best of the best of an amazing vintage, the 2011 Dow’s Vintage Port is Wine Spectator’s 2014 Wine of the Year.

Source: http://2014.top100.winespectator.com/


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