Sommelier’s Choice, Top Releases of 2009
For Sommelier Journal’s year-end selection of the best of 2009, we wanted to avoid adding to the omnipresent listings of “wines of the year” and “gold medals.” Instead, we thought our readers would be more interested in seeing meaningful recommendations from their colleagues. I asked a number of our editors and writers and other top professionals from around the world to submit their most memorable wines of 2009, along with personal tasting notes. Each was limited to one selection; the only criteria were that the wine had to be currently available in the United States and not commercially represented by the selector. Interestingly, no two people picked the same wine.
Royal Tokaji Essencia 2000 Hungary
A crazy-good wine that exudes oceans of mushroom, caramel, roasted hazelnut, and dark leafy forest floor on the explosive nose, followed by honey-and-lemon-pepper finish that’s velvety and long to the point of senescence. This rare nectar is for wine drinkers who think they have already tried every bottle a top-notch restaurant can offer. A quintessential offering from one of the finest wineries in the world.