Three NBI Selections Make Top 100 Wines of 2020
What a nice way to wind up a wild year — reviewer Jeb Dunnuck at JebDunnuck.com has named the wines of THREE of our grower partners to his Top 100 Wines of 2020 list.
Here’s the intro to the article (behind a paywall, here) and the wines + reviews below. These mentions come on the heels of Jeb’s Importer Highlight article on us not a month ago, where he said that “this is one of the most impressive Importer Highlight tastings I’ve done, and the consistency and quality that [owner & importer Billy] Weiss is able to bring to the table is incredible.”
The [Top 100 Wines of 2020] selection is based on a combination of quality, value, availability, and a little bit of Wow Factor. It was made by scrolling through thousands of reviews and painstakingly cutting the list to these 100 wines. The list is not a grouping of the top-rated new releases and contains wines – and producers – who merit special attention. While we try to select wines currently available in the market, that’s not always possible. Every producer on this list is worth your time and money. If a wine on this list is not available, by all means, try a different wine from the same producer. At a minimum, keep that producer on your radar for the future.
#32 // 2018 Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf du Pape ‘La Reserve’
The estate’s flagship is the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Réserve and it’s an even split of Grenache and Mourvèdre that was all destemmed and was brought up mostly in demi-muids (there was a small part in larger, clay amphora. Slightly deeper hued than the Les Quartz, it has a Mourvèdre dominated bouquet of red and black berry fruits, loads of spice and dried garrigue, graphite, and a hint of mint. With full-bodied richness on the palate, it has an incredible sense of purity and finesse in its tannins and texture, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. I’d put this in the top handful of wines in the vintage and while it’s approachable today, it’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.
#34 // 2018 Domaine Gerard Raphet Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Another meaty, black-fruited, rich, powerful wine, the 2018 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru offers loads of mulled plums, black cherries, smoked earth, licorice, and forest floor aromas and flavors. Rich, full-bodied, and expansive, this beauty packs serious richness and depth and has ripe tannins as well as a great finish. It has enough structure to evolve positively for 4-5 years and keep for two decades.
#93 // 2018 Domaine Arlaud Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots
The 2018 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots is smoking good. Loads of spice, dried flowers, mulberries, strawberries, and forest floor notes emerge from this beauty, which is medium to full-bodied and has a wonderful mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This rich, concentrated, nicely structured wine needs just 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+.
Earlier this year, North Berkeley Imports was named “Importer of the Year” for the second year in a row by Wine & Spirits Magazine.