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Top 10 2022

Every once in a while, the underdog wins the title. You could nearly purchase a case of the SPS Wine of the Year for the price of one bottle each of our last three wines. Minervois is located in the western Languedoc in southern France and if you’ve never tasted it, you might be inclined to scoff it off as a Rhône wine wannabe. Not the case. Minervois has been making high quality, but

Whitehall Lane is a small, family-owned winery in Napa Valley’s historic Rutherford appellation. Purchased in 1993 by Tom Leonardini, the Whitehall Lane Estate remains in his family to this day.  The winery came with excellent vineyard sites and a bountiful reputation for making world class level Napa Valley red wines. In the wine market these days it’s hard to find a “real” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon estate wine for less than $50. Challenge accepted

If you’ve been making wine since the 16th century, making the SPS Top 10 List is probably not going to get your attention. One of our favorite wine regions, the Rhône Valley produces amazing wines almost every vintage and 2019 was exceptional. Three separate heat waves scattered with rain and periods of moderate temperatures have produced wines of elegance and power. A lot of tannin, a lot of alcohol, but still fresh would be

Who wouldn’t be excited to enjoy a wine from La Rioja Alta S.A., one of the most venerable producers in Spain who produces traditional, age-worthy Rioja? Their wines are legendary and still made the way they were when the winery was founded over 130 years ago. Following a tradition that has been passed down through generations, their wines are released well after the harvest year, which provides added complexity and elegance to each bottling.

It’s no surprise to us that this wine made the list this year. Since the Spring we’ve been singing the praises of this little beauty to anybody who would listen. In general, we’re advocates of tradition in winemaking and grape selection; Sangiovese is best in Tuscany, Tempranillo is best in Spain, etc. You get the idea. There are however exceptions to our somewhat rigid outlook. Ginny Povall is rocking some traditional varietals in a

I love wine, but some wines hold more meaning than others. For me Isole e Olena secures a special place in my heart as a fundamental Chianti experience. It is one of the wines that unearthed my love and passion for Italian wine. Today the estate is run by the same wine company that owns the infamous Brunello producer Biondi Santi, and they continue to hold true to the traditions that have made Chianti

In the Bible, it is said that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Hardly the case for Giuseppi Kettmeier. It took him years, decades even to build his winery. Near Lake Caldaro the Kettmeier family has produced outstanding Pinot Grigio since the early 1900s. Our second white wine from the northernmost areas of Italy to make this list, this Pinot Grigio offers far more than the standard dry,

A wine built to honor the seventh generation of winemakers of the Taurino family. This wine came to us late in 2022, even though its name literally means to arrive early, and even though it was tardy. it still made a large enough impression on us to crack our Top 10. From the heel of the Italian boot, the grapes for this Primitivo wine come from the Manduria region from vines planted as trees

They say the number 9 is powerful, representing completion, although not a final ending. More like the fulfillment of one cycle so that you can prepare to initiate the next one. The Elk Cove Mount Richmond is so much more than a steppingstone to the next wine. Born from family grown vineyards in an ancient maritime soil, this Pinot Noir is hardly something to look beyond. Deep and brooding with aromas of dark chocolate and

We kick off our 2022 SPS’ Top 10 Wines of the Year with, of all things, a Weissburgunder from Italy! At times professionals can overlook Pinot Bianco and dismiss it as a “filler” in white wine blends. Nothing could be further from the truth. When done right, Pinot Bianco can be delicious and interesting, especially when it comes to the adept skills of the Tiefenbruner family. Energetic, crisp, and refined with a hue reminiscent