Top Wines of 2017 March 13, 2018 | BY James Suckling Numerous bottles from Bordeaux, Italy, Australia, and even Austria stood out among the 16,000 tasted by wine editor James Suckling and his team during the year, but it was South America that really shone when it came to declaring the year’s best wines, with Chile’s Almaviva Puente Alto 2015 taking top honours START GALLERY Drinks Top Wines of 2017 March 13, 2018 | BY James Suckling × Almaviva Puente Alto 2015 | 100 points A glorious, complex nose of tobacco, blackberry and hints of stone, flowers, and bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compact. Linear backbone gives form and tension. It has the same character on the palate, as well as cayenne and other spice. Needs four or five years in bottle but a joy to taste now. Advertisement Click To Skip Petrolo Valdarino Di Sopra Galatrona 2015 | 99 points Terrific aromas of violet, rose, and raspberry with hints of strawberry and brown sugar. Full body. Phenomenal layers of focused fruit and polished, velvety tannins. The Galatrona that everyone has been waiting for. Shows depth and power yet wonderful finesse and focus. Best ever. Drink from 2023 but already electrifying. Seña Valle De Aconcagua 2015 | 100 points Stunning aromas of blackcurrant, stone, blueberry, and liquorice. Floral. Perfumed. Full body, fantastic density of fruit and ripe tannins. It goes on for minutes on the palate with such energy and focus. Touch of chewiness on the finish. A complex and complete wine that delivers a generosity with firmness. Drink in 2021 but already a classic to drink. Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Tom Cullity 2013 | 99 points An elegant, seductive wine. The nose has hints of gravel and leafy nuances—a textbook regional expression. There’s a fusion of bright and vibrant redcurrant, boysenberry and red cherry together with cassis, blue plum, and mulberry. Some fresh, violet-like florals and freshly cut herbs also, with pomegranate and deliciously fresh and cedary oak. This is everything a great wine should be and a new step for Vasse Felix, Margaret River and for Australian cabernet. Drink after 2020. Lapostolle Clos Apalta Valle de Colchagua 2014 | 100 points Extremely aromatic and focused, with blackberry, blueberry, floral, and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Advertisement Click To Skip Catena Zapata Chardonnay Mendoza Adrianna Vineyard White Stones 2014 | 99 points A fabulous white that proves Argentina can compete with the world’s greatest whites. Complex aromas of stone, lime, lemon, flan, meringue, and flowers. Hints of pie crust. Full body, with mineral, stone, and electric acidity. Joyous. Drink now or hold. Made from organically grown grapes. FX Pichler Riesling Wachau Ried Kellerberg Smaragd 2016 | 100 points An amazingly concentrated dry Riesling that is extraordinarily light-footed. A wide spectrum of aromas, from parsley to lemongrass, with ripe white peach, mandarin orange, and white chocolate in between. The breathtaking balance is more important than all of this, extending right through the incredibly long, lingering finish. Drink any time during the next 30 years. Littorai Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast The Haven Vineyard 2015 | 99 points Crazy aromas of Chinese spice, soy and dark fruit. Dark mushroom. Full body, incredible depth and intensity. Electric finish. Stone, mineral, spice. What a presence. Better in 2020 but gorgeous now. Fattoria Le Pupille Maremma Toscana Saffredi 2015 | 99 points I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic, so polished. Focused and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot stone highlighting the dark fruit. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. Advertisement Click To Skip Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint Julien 2014 | 99 points Fabulous aromas of crushed blackberry and blackcurrant, not to mention spices. Wet earth and cedar, too. Complex. Full-bodied, yet agile and complete. A dense centre palate. Ultra-round tannins. Everything in the right balance. Wonderful to taste but better to drink in 2022.