For the first time since Wine Spectator launched its year-end Top 100 list, no Napa Valley wines made it into the Top 25.
The highest ranked wine from a Napa Valley producer comes in at the No. 33 slot, Dave Phinney’s Orin Swift Machete California, a blend of petite sirah, syrah and grenache.
According to Wine Spectator, “after declassifying Machete in the 2010 and 2011 vintages, Phinney reintroduced the wine with a new eye-catching series of labels consisting of 12 different images.” Total production was 5,000 cases and when released the wine sold for $48.
Six Napa Valley wines made this year’s Top 100, one of the poorest showings for the nation’s premier wine region. In addition to the Orin Swift release, other wines released this year and on Top 100 list include:
No. 41 — Rombauer 2012 Carneros chardonnay, $34 on release. Noting this wine “comes with a pocketbook-friendly price tag,” Wine Spectator says “Rombauer defines the California chardonnay style that so many adore.” Total production was 100,000 cases.
No. 46 — Turley 2012 Juvenile zinfandel, $20. As Turley replants several old vineyards with their own genetic material, the winery is picking grapes from vines that are less than 25 years old and blending them into the Juvenile offering, the wine publication says. Total production was 10,000 cases.
No. 54 — Mumm Napa Brut Napa Valley Prestige NV, $22. Wine Spectator points out “this non-vintage bubbly is Mumm Napa’s workhorse and one of the most reliable values in California sparkling wine. … This multi-year blend is composed mostly of pinot noir and chardonnay, with doses of pinot meunier and pinot gris.” Total production was 173,000 cases.
No. 58 — TwentyFour 2010 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, $112. Wine Spectator reports that “Charles Woodson’s competitive spirit has turned a hobby and charitable enterprise into a worthy Napa cabernet contender, and his 2010 is one of the most exciting examples tasted this year. A Heisman Trophy winner who led the Michigan Wolverines to a national championship, Woodson earned a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers and is currently a safety for the Oakland Raiders. His cabernet, named for his jersey number, comes from a 7-acre vineyard near Calistoga.” Total production was 1,250 cases.
No. 83 — Round Pond Estate 2013 Rutherford sauvignon blanc, $24. “This Rutherford winery is one of California’s most consistent producers of sauvignon blanc, showing the grape’s sophisticated side at an appealing price.” Total production was 9,700 cases.
Wine Spectator’s top five wines released this year:
1. Dow 2011 Vintage Port, which received a 99 score, $82.
2. Mollydooker 2012 McLaren Vale Carnival of Love shiraz, 95, $75.
3. Prats & Symington 2011 Douro Chryseia, 97, $55.
4. Quinta Do Vale Meao 2011 Douro, 97, $76.
5. Leeuwin 2011 Margaret River Art Series chardonnay, 96, $89.