This year, James Suckling´s team tasted close to 16,000 wines. Stuart Pigott, Nick Stock, James Suckling and he´s son Jack tasted wines in just about every major winegrowing country, and most of the tasting was in the given region of production. This gave them an insight into more than the liquid in the bottle. It provided an understanding and feel of this year’s releases whether from Tuscany, the Barossa Valley, Rioja, Napa Valley, the Mosel, the Wachau and dozens of other places. They talked to winemakers, walked the vineyards and smelled the land.
They decided on one wine in the end: the 100-point Almaviva Puente Alto 2015 from Chile. This is a wine that epitomizes greatness with its intensity, structure and balance. It underlines the movement away from overdone, jammy wines to a neoclassicism with energy and finesse. It also highlights how South America, specifically Chile, has come into its own as a wine area, producing superb wines that can compete with the best in the world.