LONDON, U.K. and SONOMA VALLEY, CA and NAPA VALLEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 27, 2020 / Wine connoisseurs, collectors and investors have been having an incredible year due to the passionate support and loyalty of wine-lovers around the world. Adam Argeband of Baron Wines in London, United Kingdom (UK) has compiled a curated list of top wine choices of the year so far, based on personal experience and client demand worldwide, including clientele from the United States, Canada, Australia and Asia.
Baron Wines is a family-run Burgundy merchant based in London. Established in 2010, Baron Wines specializes in trading mature vintages of top Burgundy, the very wines they adore drinking and selling to wine-drinkers, collectors, investors and other wine merchants across four continents globally.
Baron Wines, purveyors of top wines around the world. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
Wines from Domaines such as A. Rousseau, Comte Liger-Belair, DRC, G. Roumier, J.F. Mugnier, Leroy, d’Auvenay, J.F. Coche Dury, Leflaive & Roulot, all feature prominently in Baron Wines buying, selling, brokering and trading fine wines.
While the average wine drinker typically buys and consumes wine brands that are widely-available. Wines from large companies like Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ), whose portfolio of wine brands are extensive. Or, from Brown-Forman Corporation (BFA) (BFB), that have only a handful of wine brands available. Or, from Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. (WVVI), that carries wines under its own Willamette Valley Vineyards label.
On the other hand, Baron Wines has become the ‘Go-to Merchant’ for wines that are no longer produced and hard-to-find. Wines such as Marius Gentaz, Jacky Truchot, Rene Engel & Clair Dau. Trading these ‘extinct’ Domaines has become the backbone of the Baron Wines business, much before the prices skyrocketed in value.
In an extensive review, Baron Wines details the top wines of the year that all wine connoisseurs and wine collectors will appreciate knowing.
Baron Wines Top 10 Wines of the Year
- A. Rousseau Chambertin 1971 Magnum
- A. Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze 1971 Magnum
- Mystery Bottle (DRC La Tache 1937)
- Marcel Juge Cornas Cuvee C 1988
- DRC Grands Echezeaux 1935
- A. Rousseau Chambertin 1999
- Pignan Chateauneuf du Pape 1983
- Coche Dury Rougeots 2011
- F. Raveneau Chablis Blanchot 2015
- J. Macle Chateau Chalon 1987
“Here are my favourite wines of the year so far. These aren’t necessarily the best wines, but the ones that meant the most to me personally. These are my Top 10 wines, plus the best wine barrel tasting,” said Adam Argeband of Barron Wines.
1. A. Rousseau Chambertin 1971 Magnum
A. Rousseau Chambertin 1971 Magnum. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“There is no doubt this is wine of the year. Along with one other Rousseau wine, the greatest wine I’ve had. When I first tasted this, I genuinely felt that time stopped for a moment. That moment, I wish I could revisit it. Poured blind after the Beze 1971 magnum, I wondered what on earth could better that? It was just such an extraordinary wine. The power and depth and complexity were unreal. It’s borderline pointless expressing this wine and the feeling in words. I felt truly humbled and honoured to drink this,” shared Argeband of his number one extraordinary wine experience.
2. A. Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze 1971 Magnum
A. Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze 1971 Magnum. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“The room fell silent when this was poured, out of magnum no less. When the silence ended, a few moments later, a number of expletives bursted out across the room. And, rightly so. The nose was ridiculous. It was so hauntingly good and complex. Beyond belief! What a beautiful monster this was. The pallet matched the incredible aromatics. This was heavenly. What I loved about this, it was so Clos de Beze, so true to its terroir. I see similarities between this and the 1999, the Beze DNA shines so brightly in the wines. An epic wine!” beamed Argeband.
3. Mystery Bottle (DRC La Tache 1937)
Mystery Bottle (DRC La Tache 1937). Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“At a fantastic little bistro in the Cote d’Azur, we started with a gorgeous bottle of Coche Dury Puligny Enseigneres 2015. Then came a ‘mystery’ bottle that our friend brought, with no label and an unbranded cork. The wine was just spectacular and it seemed like it could only be one Domaine. It had such depth and complexity of never ending flavours that it could only be La Tache or Romanee Conti. It was undeniably and unmistakably DRC, and only their very best wine too,” said Argeband.
It turned out that these bottles indeed had come from a famous cellar who bought two barrels of 1937 La Tache from the Domaine and bottled it themselves. This was later confirmed as such by the Domaine. The cellar had sold all their other bottles. Because these had been left without labels and branded corks, essentially there was not 100% proof those bottles were the 1937 La Tache. The cellar deemed them unsellable.
Argeband continued, “This was such a special experience. It had that aspect that only the best of the best have. A harmony and zen that just encompasses you and takes over. It was wonderfully pure and the spectacular array of flavours was astonishing. I have no doubt what this wine was, and this treasure was definitely a once in lifetime experience!”
4. Marcel Juge Cornas Cuvee C 1988
Marcel Juge Cornas Cuvee C 1988. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“One of my regular haunts agreed to stay open a bit later. A tight Raveneau Clos 2007 and a youthful but impressive Clos Rougeard Poyeux 2005 came first. The last time, we opened up a 1985 Juge Cornas, and this night was a surprise with the 1988 Cuvee C. It was an extraordinary bottle. So dense, but weightless. Gamey and layered. The colour was something only mother nature (and perhaps Marcel Juge!) can make. A beautiful, mesmerizing ruby red. The aromatics were insane, and cast a spell on everyone at the table. We were all bewitched by this dream of a bottle. Always an honour to cross paths with this legend of Cornas,” admired Argeband.
5. DRC Grands Echezeaux 1935
DRC Grands Echezeaux 1935. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“Opened at the end of an already impressive array of DRC’s at Hyde in London. It would take a serious wine to outdo everything we just drank. A couple of the DRC’s we just had were the 1979 and 1980 DRC Grands Echezeaux. The 1979, a beautiful and very feminine Burgundy drinking perfectly now. And the 1980, an immense bottle and one of my favourite DRC’s I’ve had in awhile. It was a very typical DRC experience. Serious density and layers of caressing red fruit. While very different in style, both the 1979 and 1980 had that signature soil of Grands Echezeaux running right through them,” said Argeband.
“I thought we were done for the evening when out came an old looking bottle without much of a label. It turned out to be the Georges Thienpont bottling of DRC Grands Echezeaux, which was only done in 1934 and 1935. There was also a Vosne Romanee Tete du Cuvee LT made in 1935. It was so special to try this incredible bottle of 1935, especially as it connected us with those ‘younger’ vintages we had just drank. The nose was kaleidoscopic and wowed us all. It still had plenty of mid-pallet fruit that invited you back for more, definitely a vin gourmand. This was exceptional. Incredible complexity and vigour, with that seductive charm only the best old Burgundies provide,” said Argeband as he thought fondly of that night.
6. A. Rousseau Chambertin 1999
A. Rousseau Chambertin 1999. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“Having sold numerous cases of this wine over the years, I decided it was now a good time to compare it side by side with Beze 1999. The toughest part of the job at Baron Wines, is checking in on the wines you sell to see how they are. Always difficult. The nose on the Beze was incredibly seductive. It just whisks you away. But, the Chambertin was in a league of its own. It had another layer of depth. The power and complexity was just mesmerizing. That extra layer was all velvet. It was there texturally and also energetically. In time, this will be a monster of a Chambertin. It felt like it’s only now entering its drinking window. The Beze was ethereal and improved with a couple hours of air. Stylistically, I preferred the incredible Chambertin,” said Argeband after this head-to-head comparison.
7. Pignan Chateauneuf du Pape 1983
Pignan Chateauneuf du Pape 1983. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“While having lunch in New York City, NY, we started with a few excellent white wines, including a stunning 2002 Dauvissat Preuses (wax cap), and the best bottle I’ve had yet of the 1996 Roulot Luchets. For the red wines, we decided to pair the Pignan 1983 next to the Marcel Juge Cornas SC 1983. The Pignan’s colour was a very appealing ruby red, so I thought it might show well. In fact, both 1983’s showed beautifully, and I loved them both. The Pignan had a density that can only be mature Grenache, and it had everything I want in a mature Rhone. Pignan ages much better than Rayas does, but Rayas is considered the better wine because it drinks much better in its youth. A young Pignan is quite tough when young. This ’83 was on a perfect drinking plateau,” said Argeband of his New York experience.
8. Coche Dury Rougeots 2011
Coche Dury Rougeots 2011. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“August in the south of France is mesmerizing. I love the sight of the green Pine trees along the rugged blue coast. The mediterranean sun and that summer sound of crickets. We drank this just before sunset. It started off a little tight at first. As expected for a pretty young wine. It slowly uncoiled. Then, boom! That typical Coche nose of reduction and gunflint. This was irresistible. A hugely energetic bottle that just glistened in the glass. It was incredibly stoney and mineral. We loved every drop of this wine. If you are looking for a typical Coche experience I’d definitely recommend this. I’ve been impressed with all the 2011 Coche’s I’ve had. It’s a vintage that seems to offer early pleasure and has the ability to age. Which is why it occasionally reminds me of a younger version of the 2004 whites,” shared Argeband of his France sunset wine experience.
9. F. Raveneau Chablis Blanchot 2015
F. Raveneau Chablis Blanchot 2015. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“2018 was a fruitful year for my annual hunt of drinking Raveneau bottles. This bottle definitely wasn’t the best one of the year, but it was the circumstances under which it was drunk, that made it my favourite. After a few days tasting in Burgundy, I headed back to Paris before a midday Eurostar to London. A Raveneau Blanchot 2015 was the wine to go with a damn good burger. Blanchot is actually my personal favourite wine of F. Raveneau. I think it ages the best, even more so than the Valmur and Clos. All the Blanchot’s from the 1980’s have always been incredibly youthful, even from so-called off vintages. It’s a wine that really needs 25 years or more. This 2015 was stunning, without the heaviness you can often find in 2015 whites. It was very pure, feminine and energetic with zesty Chablis overtones. This too will age so well. The Blanchot 2015 tasted just that bit better that day,” said Argeband warmly.
10. J. Macle Chateau Chalon 1987
J. Macle Chateau Chalon 1987. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“In a back alley off Gion in Kyoto, Japan, I had schlepped these three bottles of wine over from London. I hoped it would be worth it since it was my birthday. It takes a very good bottle to outperform a Roulot Perrieres and a Raveneau Blanchot. Macle from the 80’s is just divine and always distinct. All the umami flavours worked so well with the dishes and the bottle just kept getting better with air. One of the things I love most about Jura wines is that intense salinity many of the wines develop with age. This wine had it in abundance. A beautiful bottle shared with all my family,” Argeband said of his memorable night in Japan for his number ten top wine of the year.
Best Wine Barrel Tasting of the Year
Cyprien Arlaud of Domaine Arlaud. Image credit: BaronWines.co.uk.
“For my best wine barrel tasting, this is undoubtedly the Arlaud Clos St Denis 2017. This wine blew me away! There was no chance I was spilling a drop of it. It combined being dense and weightless, with unbelievable terroir definition. This wine had a special soul. I always find Clos St Denis to be one of the most unique terroirs. When it’s in the right hands, it can be one of the top wines in Burgundy. In 2017, Cyprien Arlaud absolutely nailed it, and his style really suits the vintage. He probably makes the Clos St Denis just a bit better than the others because it’s his wife’s favourite wine! I was taken back by Arlaud’s 2017’s. I think his 2017’s surpass his 2015’s and will equal his 2010’s. This Clos St Denis left an identical barrel impression to the 2010 Roumier Amoureuses in barrel. Obviously entirely different, but that lasting impression is the same,” said Argeband of his best wine barrel tasting he added to his Top 10 Wines List.
Are you a wine spectator, wine collector, wine investor, wine connoisseur, or wine drinker?
“Having drank our fair share of wines, we are able to offer sound advice on which wines and vintages to buy, collect, hold, and ultimately drink. More importantly, we can share with you which to avoid,” said Lewis Byrne, Head of Operations at Baron Wines.
Whether you think of the wineries in Napa Valley, California, Sonoma Valley, California, London UK, or other parts of the world, those who have a lifelong passion for fine wines, have no geographic boundaries.
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