Top 10 Wines of 2015

December 30, 2015 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

After sampling nearly 9,000 wines from all over the world this year, I unveil my top 10 wines of 2015

The list isn’t entirely dictated by my scores—relative value and quantity are also weighted criteria. All the wines are rated 97 points or above and cost US$70 a bottle or less. Enjoy!

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2010

Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2010.jpg

Best-ever from here—aromas of warm stones, dark fruits and walnuts follow to a full body, soft tannins and a savoury finish. Shows ripe fruit and salty undertones that give it a wonderful juiciness. Dense and tight now, but will give so much pleasure in the future. Drink or hold. 97 points

Muga Rioja Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2006

Muga Rioja Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2006.jpg

Amazingly complex, traditional Rioja with the beauty of ripe fruit and long ageing. Full body and ultra-fine tannins, with notes of tobacco, vanilla, plums and prunes; lasts for minutes on the palate. Three years aged in oak and three years in bottle makes this very unique indeed. 80% tempranillo with the rest of the classic varieties, all from high-altitude vineyards. 98 points

Bodegas Caro Mendoza Caro 2012

Bodegas Caro Mendoza Caro 2012_credit_DBR (Lafite).jpg

Such finesse on the best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolás Catena winery. Spectacular nose with incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut, dark berry and florals. Fresh and succulent with a full body, ultra-fine tannins and a racy, refined finish. Made from old vines of malbec in Compuertas and cabernet sauvignon from Altamira. Half the normal production. Drink or hold. 98 points

Montes Syrah Apalta Valley Montes Folly 2011

Montes Syrah Apalta Valley Montes Folly 2011.jpg

Fabulous aromas of dark berries, granite, flowers and sliced raw meat. Full-bodied and velvety, with incredible length. Clearly the best syrah of Chile, with a long hang time. Aged for 18 months in new French oak that’s imperceptible. Drink now. 97 points

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013.jpg

Significant pinot noir that displays immense depth and completeness while being very complex—exotic spices, charcuterie and gamey meats, an array of distinct cherry characters, hints of citrus zest and saffron, and foresty bracken. Palate has immense energy and depth, yet treads lightly on its balanced structure. Tannins wind out and around supple flesh, then gather and fan at the finish. Bright acidity and a long finish. A masterpiece—commanding and seductive pinot noir at its finest. Drink now. 98 points

F E Trimbach Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Geisberg 2009

F. E. Trimbach Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Geisberg 2009.jpg

First vintage of a phenomenal wine from Trimbach. Superb aromas of pine needles, minerals, sliced mango and flint. Full-bodied and very ripe, with dried fruits including pineapple, peach and lemon. Fabulous length and seriousness. Only 3,000 bottles made. 98 points

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 2010

Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 2010.jpg

Aromas of lilac, dark berry and sandalwood follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and an intense, savoury finish. Intense, long and succulent, with amazing balance and depth. Beautiful to taste now, but will be much better in five to 10 years—a true triumph. 98 points

Hugel & Fils Riesling Alsace Grossi Laüe 2010

Hugel & Fils Riesling Alsace Grossi Laüe 2010.jpg

Phenomenal purity in this wine from the best parcel of the Schonenberg, with sliced apple, melon, mineral and hints of chalk. Full-bodied, dense and compact, with a super finish that has a slight saltiness as well as dried fruits including lemon, lime and papaya. Very long and incredible; goes on for minutes. Amazing now, but will age forever—I marvel in its complexity and completeness. 97 points

Flametree Chardonnay Margaret River SRS 2014

Flametree Chardonnay Margaret River SRS 2014.jpg

Stunning chardonnay that threads together all the power of Margaret River through cleverly steered, restrained winemaking and a great vintage. Breathtakingly complex nose, with an array of lemon and grapefruit, grilled hazelnut, chalk, wet stones and white peaches all swirling in the glass. Palate has instant spark, launches fast and sets the mouth watering with electrifying acidity featuring citrus, stone fruits and grilled nuts. Clean, racy and a very long finish. Drink now. 98 points

Fattoria Le Pupille Toscana Saffredi 2012

Fattoria Le Pupille Toscana Saffredi 2012.jpg

The greatest Saffredi ever, cementing its reputation as the Lafite of Tuscany. Phenomenal, with so much structure and length. Full-bodied, chewy and powerful—yet remains agile and lively. Aromas and flavours of currants, mint and wet earth. Blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. Has a special label celebrating the 25th anniversary of the production of this wine. Needs at least five years in bottle, but it’s entrancing to drink now. A must-buy for Super Tuscan lovers. 100 points