Renegade Wines Top 21 Wines of 2019


The wines in the Top 10 took some time to decide. After all, there are so many great wines out there. We excluded wines, that while brilliant, were either astronomically expensive, or that are incredibly hard to find. We may have a list of those just for fun down the road. In the meantime enjoy our top 10.
And since you're still reading, you are invited to our Top 21 Wine Tasting at Renegade
from 5pm - 6:30pm on Thursday, January 23.

2015 Storm Wines Pinot Noir John Sebastiano (Sta. Rita Hills) $52
Sales of this wine really took off last year. The secret must be out: this is great Pinot!
Pomegranate, dark cherry and underbrush dominate the nose, with hints of clove. Juicy red and dark fruit lingers long and vibrant on the palate. 100 cases produced. We have a few bottles available.

2017 Anthony Thevenet Morgon Cuvee Centennaire (France, Beaujolais) $62
Perhaps the most age-worthy Beaujolais we've experienced. It was still opening up, gaining depth and character on day 4. From vines well over 100 years old. This is a stellar example of 'Grand Cru' Gamay.

Delamotte Champagne Brut (France, Champagne) $40 reg 56
‘There’s no point in me making a Champagne that’s nice to drink now,’ Didier Depond, president of Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte once said. So it is nice to discover that there is one wine he makes that is terrific now and that's this bottle.
Floral nose, with a hint of soft spice and nectarine; palate is dry but not austere, with stone fruit and a fine mineral tension. Cerebral, satisfying and impressively wrought.

2017 J.L. Chave Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur (France, Southern Rhone) $20.50 reg 26
Jean Louis Chave was one of the producers we visited last February. After tasting his entire line-up of wines we kept coming back to this one. Yes, his Hermitage will be great in 20 years and true his Saint Joseph will be outstanding in another 10, but right then (and now) this is a captivating wine that over-deliveries on every level.

2018 Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner 'Zwickl' (Austria, Wachau) $30
This is, in essence, an unfiltered “Hefeabzug,” and you get two wines in the same bottle if you want. How? The wine is bright in the top one-third, and if you pour carefully you will have a clear wine. You can then shake the rest of the bottle to mix the sediment and pour yourselves a cloudy glass of tasty atavism. This is encouraged!
It's a wine that we sell often, and often share with friends. Fantastic Gruner.

2016 Nervi Gattinara (Italy, Northern Piedmont, Gattinara) $60
From the oldest producing winery in Gattinara. This is shinning Nebbiolo with precision and structure. You'll think you're drinking a Barolo except you don't have to wait 20 years. It's great now.
Roberto Conterno, owner of Giacomo Conterno in Barolo took over this already benchmark property in 2018. We think this wine is outstanding now. How much 'greater' will it become. Time will tell.

2016 Federico Curtaz Etna Gamma (Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC) $44
After collaborating with Angelo Gaja as an agronomist for over a decade, in 2015 Federico decided to start his own project in Sicily. This parcel of Carricante comes from the eastern slopes of Mt. Etna, near Milo. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. With its notable balance of texture and acidity, there is lots to like here. We've continually enjoyed this wine month after month with sole, bouillabaisse, that incredible unique dish at China Pavilion with a Sichuan Peppercorn sauce (you have to try it). Perhaps our favorite Mt Etna Bianco of all time.

2017 Domaine des Pothiers Clos du Puy (France, Loire Valley, Cote Roannaise) $28
If you follow the Loire from its mouth to the very upper reaches -about 600 miles- you will arrive at the appellation Cote Roannaise and this winery.
It's 100% Gamay as are all the reds in this location. Pothiers is widely considered the top producer and we must agree. The vineyards are planted on granite, producing a utterly seductive, addicting wine. It's hard to stop drinking. Only when the bottle is empty will you wish you had a dozen more.

2017 Samuel Billaud Petit Chablis (France, Burgundy) $26
We call him the hardest working man in Chablis. He's incredibly kind and genuine.
We love this wine so much its hard to explain. It's satisfying. At the end of the day or the beginning of a brunch it's the way to go.
Oh! And if you like oysters: Hands down grab this wine!

2018 Domaine Raphael Chopin Beaujolais-Villages La Savoye (France, Burgundy) $20
Gamay has come a long, long way and Raphael Chopin will continue to raise the bar of the appellation for years to come.
We sat in his kitchen back in February 2019 tasting his current and upcoming releases. He saw our eyes light up and smiles all around as we came to this wine. Raphael smiled back and said, "See, you can make natural wine that taste good!". It still remains one of our favorite tasting experiences.
This was the star for us and many of you in 2019. It's expressive, jaw-dropping delicious, bright red berry fruit with a little forest floor thrown in. We love the spice and incredible savoriness that the wine offers.
When you open the bottle and pour, let it sit in the glass a few minutes to open up. Better yet, decant then enjoy.
That wraps up our Top 21. We look forward to tasting in 2020 and we hope you will join us.
Happy New Year!

Thank you for your support.
Renegade Wines
417 Santa Barbara Street Suite A-6
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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