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Wine Spectator TOP 100, the best wines in 2016

Wine Spectator TOP 100, the best wines in 2016

Let us discover together the TOP 100 Wine Spectator 2016 wines, and in third position we find the winery owned by Robert Parker from Wine Advocate, that is correct, the eternal WS rival

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Chianti Superiore, Fattoria del Colle

Here are the top 10 of the most coveted list in the world, the one by Wine Spectator TOP 100 of the year

1) Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 Lewis

2) Chardonnay Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 di Domaine Serene

3) Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2014 di Beaux Frères

4) Barsac 2013 di Château Climens

5) Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2011 dei Produttori del Barbaresco

6) Monte Bello 2012 di Ridge Vineyards

7) Machete 2014 di Orin Swift California

8) Tignanello 2013 di Antinori

9) Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2013 di Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte,

10) Old Vine Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2014 di Hartford Family California



Let’s see close up the three wines on the podium.

First and king among the Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 Lewis is a bottle that cannot be forgotten: an elegant Burgonet bottle with a simple round yellow crest with inside a Block capital “L”. Wine Searcher indicates the price at 495 Dollars, only one store selling, with just one bottle available <<#1 Wine of The Year 2016 Wine Spectator! Not cheap but not many out there!>>  There’s a rarity for you! This wine cannot be found! The surprises are not finished: just to prove that the certainty that certain people have regarding the fact the only big companies get reviews by the great American wine press, Lewis is a family with 3 members –Randy, Debby and Dennis-that do everything manually in their winery in  Napa Valley bought in 1992.


Only 108.000 bottles per year of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Randy was a car racer, he once raced in Formula 3 in Europe. His wife Debby is a genius in marketing and comes from the wine world. Dennis the son also loves sport, and before arriving in the Lewis winery worked in personnel for large companies.

The tour of the winery lasts an hour and includes w tasting of 4 wines, it costs 40 dollars. A small enterprise that concentrates on quality but is still incredibly artisanal.

Number two on the 2016podium is Chardonnay Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 by Domaine Serene.

The wine has a nearly “cheap” price, 55$ in the Wine Searcher catalogue.

This wineries story represents the  “American dream”, one that in Italy would not have become reality because the wines have been planted deforesting a wild area in Oregon.


The story begins in Minnesota where Grace and Ken Evenstad studied in the same college, and fall in love. He becomes a manager in Upsher-Smith but they both have a passion for wine, and especially for Pinot Noir from Burgundy. From this love comes, in 1989, the acquisition of land in Oregon in the Willamette Valley where they create the Domaine Serene, named after their daughter, while the fist Vineyard is dedicated to the son Mark Bradford Evenstad. Later 6 more were planted in different areas of the same valley. Up until then Pinot Noir from Oregon was a low priced wine but it was precisely this winery to aim high right from the beginning. In 2013 they were already in third position among the TOP 100 by Wine Spectator. The Evenstad family has also another merit: after 25 years of Burgundy producers investing in Oregon, in April 2015 they changed the trend and bought Château de la Crée in Côte d’Or hoping to wield the sceptre instead of Romanée Conti. In other words they are courageous visionaries and they are also an innovative winery where all the wine making procedures occur thanks to gravity without pumps. And even thought this time they are in the TOP 100 with their Chardonnay, the flagship product of Domaine Serene is the Pinot Noir and this is exactly what I tasted recently at the Wine Experience, where I was most surprised by its complexity, deepness, and harmony.

Bronze medal for 2016: Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2014 by Beaux Frères.



This is the most surprising of the Wine Spectator choices because it rewards their direct rival, the legendary lawyer Robert Parker Jr. The name of the winery explains what it is about: they are brothers in law. In 1986 Michael Etzel lived in Colorado and during a holiday he found a 35 hectare property in Ribbon Ridge in the Northern Willamette Valley, in Oregon. He convinced his brother in law to buy it with him and moved there with his family. To begin with they produced only grapes destined to be sold. Then a new partner arrived, Robert Roy and it was decided to transform the pig sty into a winery. Biodynamic cultivated vineyards, minimal winery with little technology and obviously with barriques. Artisanal wines where Etzel father and son are directly involved in the production of few but excellent bottles.

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