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Top Ten Wines of the Century

Some of QRW’s best known writers offer their top wines of the 20th Century.

We have turned to some of our experts to inquire about their choices for the top ten wines they have tasted from the 20th-century. Their wine choices could come from any country, from any varietal. Some had no trouble listing their top ten, while others agonized. Clive Coates had no doubts and found it “relatively easy,” listing nine French and one German. Michael Broadbent found it a very thoughtful experience and even offered to list his top ten runners-up, a request not in keeping with the assignment. Hence, his top ten came with few sighs, yet is a generous and far-reaching list. Randy Sheahan, QRW’s editor, has a well known palate and has spent his days tasting the “greats,” but found that revising his list made for not a little neurosis. Eleanor and Ray Heald said “it was easy; we just sat down, talked, and never used our notebook—somehow, we believe that’s a true measure of great wine.”

Michael Broadbent, Master of Wine

1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1921 Chateau d’Yquem

1962 La Tache, DRC

1966 Le Montrachet, DRC

1937 Wachenheimer Goldbachel-Gerumpel aller feinste Goldbeeren

Trockenbeerenauslese Estate; J.L. Wolf-Erben

1961 Barbaresco, Gaja

1946 Pinot Noir, Beaulieu Vineyards

1931 Noval Nacional Port

1928 Krug Champagne

1920 Madeira, Malmsey, Cossart

Clive Coates, Master of Wine

1900 Chateau Margaux

1929 Chateau Latour

1949 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild

1953 Chateau Lafite

1961 Chateau Palmer

1949 Le Musigny, Comte De Vogue

1949 Richebourg, Domaine LeRoy

1949 Le Chambertin, Domaine LeRoy

1971 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trochenbeernauslese, J.J. Prum

1971 Riesling Clos Sainte Hune, Trimbach

Jeff Frees

1997 Jeffrey Grosset Riesling, Polish Hill, Clare Valley, Australia

1961 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1994 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Bello

1971 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo, Brunate Riserva

1985 Amarone Riserva, Giuseppe Quintarelli

1988 Recioto dei Capitelli (sweet Soave), Roberto Anselmi

1996 Dao, Quinta dos Roques, Touriga Nacional

1962 Vega Sicilia, Unico Reserva

1986 Pesquera Janus, Reserva Especial

Manzanilla Pasada, Vinicola Hidalgo y Cia (drawn from barrel)

Eleanor and Ray Heald

1939 Toro Albala Don PX Convento Bacchus

1958 Alfredo Prunotto Barolo Riserva

1963 Sandeman Vintage Porto

1974 Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

1975 Chateau Raymond-Lafon Sauternes

1976 Weingut Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler-Doktor

1979 Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne Rose

1982 Chateau Haut Brion

1985 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia

1988 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands Echezeaux

Randy Sheahan, Editor, QRW Editor

1931 Quinta do Noval Nacional Port

1961 Chateau Latour

1972 Musigny Vieilles Vignes, Comte de Vogue

1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1961 Hermitage La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet Aine

1964 Chateau Petrus

1961 Chateau Latour a Pomerol

1968 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

1959 Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Louis Latour

1955 Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva

Richard L. Elia, Publisher, QRW

1931 Quinta Do Noval Nacional Port

1948 Taylor Fladgate Port

1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1953 Chateau Lafite

1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1959 Chateau Montrose

1961 Chateau Latour

1971 Domaine Romanee-Conti

1978 Domaine Romanee-Conti

1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild