100 Red Wine Icons: New World

Vineyards in front of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand's Central Otago.

© Shutterstock

A view of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand.

Vineyards in front of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand's Central Otago.

© Shutterstock

Some wine regions of the so-called ‘New World’ are actually quite old, but the fine wine prowess of these countries is impressive considering their relative youth.

IX Estate Red

Colgin, Napa Valley, California

The first Colgin wine was made in 1995 from bought-in grapes. Art expert Ann Colgin then presented IX Estate Red in 2002, from her own grapes, which quickly became a must-have wine. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2006, 2002

Dominus

Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, California 

Christian Moueix – of the family that owns Château Pétrus – studied at UC Davis, fell in love with Napa Valley and bought the historic Napanook vineyard. In 1983 the first Dominus wine was made. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2002

Harlan

Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, California 

H. William “Bill” Harlan founded his estate with the clear vision to create a wine to match the Premier Grands Crus Classés of France and succeeded. Harlan wines have been must-haves since the 1990s. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2005, 2003

Hillside Select

Shafer, Napa Valley, California 

Ex-publishing executive John Shafer moved to Napa and made his first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978. His son Doug named the 1983 reserve wine Hillside Select which has been a legend ever since. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010

Insignia

Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, California

Joe Phelps, an early Napa visionary, recognised Cabernet Sauvignon’s potential. He created Insignia as early as 1974 and owns some of the best Napa sites. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2009, 2007, 2002, 2001

Maya

Dalla Valle, Napa Valley, California 

Naoko and Gustav Dalla Valle founded their estate in the mid-1980s. The birth of their daughter Maya in 1987 prompted the planting of the Maya Vineyard. It is one of the most sought-after Napa wines today. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2002, 2001

Monte Bello

Ridge Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Calif.

In the 1960s, California legend Paul Draper revived a 19th-century estate and started making exquisitely elegant and long-lived wines at high altitude. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2014, 2013, 2009, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1996

Opus One

Opus One, Napa Valley, California 

In 1970, two giants of the wine world united for this project: Baron Philippe de Rothschild from Bordeaux and Robert Mondavi from California. Their first wine, based on Cabernet Sauvignon, was made in 1979. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2004

Screaming Eagle

Screaming Eagle, Napa Valley, California 

Real estate executive Jean Philipps bought land in Napa in 1986; Robert Mondavi suggested she plant vines. The first Screaming Eagle wine was made in 1992. Tiny quantities ensure this remains a cult wine. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2006, 2003

Morning mist in the hillside vineyards of Harlan Estate in Napa Valley, California.

Morning mist in the hillside vineyards of Harlan Estate in Napa Valley, California.

© Harlan Estate

Sine Qua Non Syrah

Sine Qua Non, Central Coast, California 

Austrian-born Manfred Krankl is the man behind this unusual boutique estate. Wines are made from Rhône varieties and the bottles have a different look and name each vintage. Very limited production. Recommended recent vintages: 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008

Bionic Frog

Cayuse, Washington State 

Champenois winemaker Christophe Baron found a new home in Washington State. He fell in love with a stony field, planted a vineyard in 1997 and made his first Bionic Frog, from Syrah, in 2000. Recommended recent vintages: 2015, 2014, 2010, 2006

Almaviva

Almaviva Winery, Maipo Valley, Chile 

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and Eduardo Guilisasti of Viña Concha y Toro agreed in 1997 to make a fine Cabernet-based wine called Almaviva. They presented their first vintage in 1998. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2012, 2007

Clos Apalta

Casa Lapostolle, Colchagua, Chile 

Old vines and an exquisite site are the secret behind Clos Apalta which was first made in 1997 by the French Marnier-Lapostolle family in the Apalta Valley within Chile’s Colchagua region. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2002

Viña Seña

Viña Seña, Aconcagua Valley, Chilie 

Californian legend Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick of Viña Errazuriz entered into this joint venture to create a top wine based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chilean flagship variety Carménère. Recommended recent vintages: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2006, 2004

Viñedo Chadwick

Viñedo Chadwick, Maipo, Chile

Eduardo Chadwick, who joined his family’s Errazuriz estate in 1983, created this elegant top cuvée from Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère in 1999. Recommended recent vintages: 2005, 2000, 1995, 1990

Mundus Bacillus Terrae

Catena Zapata, Uco Valley, Argentina 

The grapes for this pure Malbec wine grow in the Adrianna Vineyard under the watchful eye of Dr Laura Catena Zapata. The wine’s name pays homage to the bacterial life of the vineyard soil. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010

Gran Enemigo

El Enemigo, Uco Valley, Argentina 

This wine is the result of a joint venture between Adrianna Catena and oenologist Alejandro Vigil at Bodega Aleanna. It is a blend of Malbec, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

Bella Vista Malbec

Achával-Ferrer, Luján De Cuyo, Argentina

Santiago Achával, Manuel Ferrer and Italian “flying winemaker” Roberto Cipresso got together to save ancient Malbec vineyards. The result are the most scented wines from 110-year-old vines. Recommended recent vintages: 2016, 2011, 2007

Columella

The Sadie Family, Swartland, South Africa 

Ex-surfer Eben Sadie started his project in 1999 and named his first vintage after Roman author Columella. He crafts astonishing vines from Rhône varieties in hot Swarland’s granitic soils. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008

Paul Sauer

Kanonkop, Stellenbosch, South Africa 

The first grapes of what is the Kanonkop Estate today were planted in 1921 by the wine‘s visionary namesake Paul Sauer. The Bordeaux blend was first made in 1974 by cellar master Jan Coetzee. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2004, 1994

Hill Of Grace Shiraz

Henschke, Eden Valley, Australia 

Made from 161-year-old, gnarly Shiraz vines and named after the vineyard and its tiny Protestant church dating to 1860, Hill of Grace is Australia‘s most iconic and emblematic wine. Recommended recent vintages: 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2005

The Armagh

Jim Barry, Clare Valley, Australia 

Made from vines planted by Jim Barry in 1968, the Armagh Shiraz is a modern Australian flagship that speaks of the altitude in Clare Valley and its cooler nights via its elegance and juiciness. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2006

Grange Bin 95

Penfolds, Australia 

First made in 1951 by legendary Penfolds winemaker Max Schubert, this cross-regional blend of Shiraz and Cabernet is today crafted by talented winemaker Peter Gago and highly collectable. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004

Astralis Syrah

Clarendon Hills, Mclaren Vale, Australia

Talented winemaker Roman Bratasiuk created a veritable McLaren Vale legend with this elegant and expressive French-oak-aged Shiraz made from vines that are more than 100 years old. Recommended recent vintages: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2005

Runrig Shiraz

Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Australia 

Founded in 1994 with the express aim to make wines from ancient vineyards, RunRig is the estate’s top Shiraz, always made with a smidgeon of Viognier that lends that certain something. Recommended recent vintages: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010

Wendouree Shiraz

Wendouree, Clare Valley, Australia 

Founded by Alfred Percy Birks in 1893, Wendouree wines are made in such tiny quantities that they are exceedingly rare. The wines are made from vines planted in 1919, 1920 and 1940. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir

Ata Rangi, Martinborough, New Zealand 

When Clive Paton planted his Pinot Noir vineyard in then run-down Martinborough in 1980, he was amongst New Zealand’s pioneers. His wines not only put Ata Rangi but Martinborough on the map. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2003

Block 3 Pinot Noir

Felton Road, Central Otago, New Zealand

Founded in 1992, Felton Road is now a byname for New Zealand Pinot Noir. The local waenga soils are particularly deep in Block 3 so the Pinots are always exquisitely scented, complex and elegant. Recommended recent vintages: 2020, 2019, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012

Bell Hill Pinot Noir

Bell Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand 

Marcel Giesen and his wife Sherwyn Veldhuizen started their project in 1997 after locating some of New Zealand’s rare limestone soils. Their high-density plantings give tiny yields so the wines are rare. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008

Ao Yun

Ao Yun, Yunnan, China 

Moët Hennessy started this ambitious project in 2002 by planting vines at altitudes of up to 2,200 – 2,600m in the southern Chinese Yunnan province to craft this elegant and rare Cabernet blend. Recommended recent vintages: 2017, 2015, 2013

100 Red Wine Icons was written by Peter Moser, with contributions from Dr. Ulrich Sautter, Othmar Kiem, Dominik Vombach, Benjamin Herzog and Anne Krebiehl MW.

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