Chef Mike Examines the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Picks for 2011

So The Wine Enthusiast Magazine comes out with it’s annual Top 100 Picks for 2011… and wouldn’t you know it – A few more missed opportunities from “Chef Mike” for Seek, Find, Buy, and Enjoy Wines that now may or MAY NOT be able to be obtained! Among a the 100 here are few that I noted were exceptional finds during 2011…

Chef Mike Fraschilla

#1) 2007 Nipozzano Chianti Reserva ($18-23): A fantastical Chianti Reserva from a stellar vintage year! Interesting that this wine also made WS Top 100 in 2010! : )

#3) 2008 Leonetti “Walla Walla” Cabernet ($88-95): Each year Washington State Bordeaux and Rhone Reds from Washington State are clawing their way to into the limelight claiming and now earning as much respectability as their “Golden State” brethren. This Cab was a big pleaser in our blind tasting earlier this year and it’s well deserving of a Top 100 recognition!

#8) 2009 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay ($48-52): Shafer wines never disappoint, and this rich luxurious styled Chard is no exception FYI Spectator Chose the 2009 for their Top 100 List!

#15) 2010 Foxen Block U Bien Nacido Chardonnay ($29-32): Unbelievable deal for such a rich flavor packed Chard…

#17) 2003 Roederer Estate L’Emeritage ($43-46): My Oh My… Both Spectator and Enthusiast have this on their Top 100 lists… Need I say more!!

#28) 2009 Fort Ross Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay ($29-32): A pleasant surprise as for years this winery has been making great Chards & Pinot Noir.. They also produce one of the few Pinotage wines outside of South Africa! : )

#42) 2009 Chateau St Michelle/Loosen Eroica Riesling ($17-20): A beautifully crafted Riesling – Rich notes and flavors of peach, nectarine, stone fruit with a balanced acidity! This wine is a partnership between Columbia Crest and famed German wine maker Dr. Ernst Loosen. It is one of a growing number of Riesling projects coming from Washington State that partner the best from Washington & Germany!

#43) 2009 Lapostolle’ Cuvee Alexandre Carmenere ($23-25): Easily one of the best Carmenere wines you can find. A super dense and aromatic expression of this lost grape from Bordeaux that now flourishes in Chile!!!

#52) 2008 William Fevr Fourchueme Premier Cru Chablis ($44-46): A premium expression of the wonderful liveliness that can come from the Chardonnay grape when not overly manipulated by the wine maker… Classic French Chablis – Crisp clean vibrate with notes and tastes of apple goodness and a wonderful minerality! : )

#77) 2007 Qupe Bien Nacido Hillside Est Syrah ($39-44): The Lindquist family has been making Rhone Reds in the Central Coast as long as any one and this Syrah lives up to their famed reputation! Using some the best fruit from the Famed Bien Nacido Vineyards this Syrah is loaded with notes and flavors of Blackberry, Licorice, and Pepper Spice…. YUM!

#83) 2007 Melville “Carrie’s” Pinot Noir ($40-42): A Central Coast Pinot that may not be on every one’s radar… Yet! This Pinot delivers the signature big cherry goodness of Central Coast Pinot with a wonderful balance of earth and minerality!

#91) 2007 Franciscan Napa Cab ($25-28): You could not find a better Napa Cab at this price… Drinking wonderfully more like a wine costing $50-75! A great surprise from this producer!!!

Once more…. Did ya all take “anyone’s” advice this year to SEEK, FIND, BUY, & ENJOY,(or CELLAR) ANY of these wines?!?!? : )

The Score Whores are once again moping because so many of these wines have already vanished for sale from retail wine shelves! Just another reminder that there is too much good wine in this world to enjoy, and your best bet to wind up owning a “Top 100 Wine” is to listen to your trusted “Wine Monger” when he/she/they suggest that you Seek, Find, Buy, and Enjoy A Wine! No, not every recommendation will make a Top 100 list, but it sure improves your chances of smiling because you own, rather than mop about you missing out, on owning a wine from some body’s Top 100 Wine!

“Chef” Mike… Is noted among Friends, Family, and Acquaintances to be your “The Passionate Advocate” for Wine, Beer, Spirits, Food, and most matters considered to live La Dolce Vita!
Mike has over 20-years experience as collector, caterer, promoter, consultant, educator, and pundit in matters relating to the food & beverage industry. He welcomes questions, comments and critiques and can be reached through email at: OR


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