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10 Top Vintages to Get Ready For Now

Collectors, how will you allocate your budget in the buying season coming up? Here would be my top picks based on what's available or coming into the marketplace these days.

1.  2014 Loire Valley.  

True, there are still 86 years left, so it's too early to declare 2014 to be the "vintage of the century" in the Loire Valley, but it is certainly being widely recognized as the best vintage so far.  Both reds and whites are stunning.  Buy Sancerre from top producers.  Buy Chinons and Saumurs.  Buy lots of Vouvray. Buy Muscadet.

2.  2014 Beaujolais.  

2014 was pretty good across France.  Beaujolais, like the Loire, was a special highlight, and the 2014s are just starting to come on to the market.  It's the best vintage there since 2005 and maybe longer.

3.  2013 White Burgundy.  

Burghound counsels buying these "aggressively" and we agree.  Start with what we have left-over from our PYCM offer.  And then wait for many more offers to come.  Not sure if you're on the Burgundy list?  You aren't but you would like to be? SIGN UP NOW.

4.  2011 Barbaresco.  

All the hype in Piedmont was about the 2010 vintage.  But in fact 2011 in Barbaresco was very strong, and 2010 not quite as good there as in Barolo.  These wines are forward but very well balanced -- ideal for short and medium-term cellaring. Note that the Produttori has released its single vineyards (unlike in 2010).

5.  2010s.  

2010 was a great vintage across Europe.  Almost all wines have already been released (and sold through) but there are important exceptions.  The Brunellos started earlier this year and there is still more to come.  Many Riservas from Barolos are still to come.  Keep on the look-out for these wines.

6.  2013 Northern Rhones.  

This is a vintage that has kind of sneaked up on us.  No hype whatsoever, but everyone who is tasting the wines can't believe how good they are.  Great fruit purity, freshness and energy.  


7.  2013 Austrians.  

2013 is the finest vintage in Austria for many years, and the wines have a proven track-record of being able to age effortlessly for decades.  Time to load up on top Rieslings and Gruners!

8.  2008 Champagne.  

Easily the best vintage so far this century, and we are still waiting for releases from many of our favorite producers.  Make sure you are on our Champagne list! SIGN UP NOW.

9.  2012 California/2013 Santa Barbara. 

2012 was great pretty much every where in California, so collect all your favorites from that vintage.  But if you're looking to explore a new region or you want to stock up on New California, I would suggest taking a look at Santa Barbara in the 2013 vintage.  The Chardonnays in particular have wonderful verve and energy.  

10.  2013 Northwest Spain.  

This is another region that's been buzzing quietly for several vintages now.  Maybe 2013 will increase the volume, as it was supremely successful in Bierzo and the Ribera Sacra.  Both reds and whites are delicious.  If ten years from now this region has truly broken out as a world-class wine region (a label it fully deserves), smart collectors who had picked up the 2013s before everybody knew about them will be patting themselves on the back.