Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Which wine brands do YOU most admire - your chance to argue with the Drinks Intl list

Drinks International's Top 50 Most Admired Wine Brands, selected by "Sixty members of the global wine community... including Peter McCombie MW, Peter Marks MW, Tuomas Meriluoto MW, Kym Milne MW and Lynne Sherriff MW."

It's always fun to pick holes in lists like this - that's what they're for.
This one feels a bit tired, but then maybe it has to reflect brands that are standing the test of time. Also, "admire" may mean different things to different people. Japan-based friends have also suggested (fairly in my view) that it's very UK-centric. If one considers the US market, Barefoot is infinitely more important - and admirable - than Jacob's Creek, for example. Are KJ, Ridge, Fetzer, Gallo, Woodbridge and Mondavi really the only other US brands worth including? Where's Louis Jadot? Why no Cloudy Bay? Or Icewine?
I'm presuming that Champagne, sherry and port were excluded...
I've highlighted some of the most questionable (in my mind) entries. 
1 Concha y Toro
2 Torres
3 Antinori
4 Penfolds
5 Jacob's Creek (Not strong in US)
6 Kendall Jackson
7 Michel Chapoutier
8 Guigal
9 Vega Sicilia
10 Chateau Margaux
11 Duboeuf
12 JP Chenet
13 Ridge
14 Brancott Estate
15 Marques de Riscal
16 Chateau Ste Michelle
17 Oyster Bay
18 Cheval Blanc
19 McGuigan (Very UK/Australian)
20 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
21 Campo Viejo
22 Cloudy Bay
23 Chateau Lafite
24 Fetzer
25 Marques de Caceres
26 Blue Nun
27 KWV
28 Robert Mondavi
29 Santa Rita
30 Chateau Haut-Brion
31Villa Maria
32 Barefoot
33 Chateau d'Yquem
34 Faustino
35 Gallo
36 Chateau Le Pin
37 Lindeman's
38 O Fournier
39 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
40 Chateau Petrus
41 Undurruga
42 Woodbridge
43 Paul Jaboulet Aine
44 Babich
45 Dr Loosen
46 Wither Hills
47 Oxford Landing
48 Nobilo
49 Black Tower
50 Yellowtail

Now, it's your turn to edit the list! Comments please


  1. Suggestions from @wine_diamonds in Japan: Opus One, Joseph Phelps, Yalumba, Montes, Perrin et Fils, Ata Rangi. From @grapewallofchina anything from DBR. My thought: Romanee-Conti

  2. I can admire some wines from Antinori, Penfolds and Concha y Toro. But to put them, as companies, in such a list, no.
    Ans how can one compare Château Margaux and JP Chenet, how can one put them in one same list?
    And my own list would be based on personal achievements, not dollars or pounds.Miguel Torres, as a man, would qualify as admirable. But where are are the Hugels, Egon Muller, Kracher, Opitz...?
    Drinks Intl should just change the name of this list, replace admirable by successful or influential.

    Hervé LALAU

  3. I agree that one person's 'admirable' is another person's undesirable. But I also see a Gallic/Cartesian attitude in your comment. The panel for the Oscars and the Car of the Year have to compare very different styles and categories when choosing their winners of the year. This list - with which I do not agree - is published by Drinks Business Magazine. There's a little clue in the name of that publication: the admiration is focused on the businesses' success AS BUSINESSES. In France, in particular, successful wine brands are often treated with disdain. It often seems as though, to be respected, wine has to be made by small families from their own tiny plots of vines. Your final line says a great deal: 'admirable' and 'successful' appear to be totally separate terms for you.

    I happen to admire JP Chenet and Barefot Cellars without personally wanting to drink either of their wines.

  4. I guess one has to accept to be someone else's stereotype. Call me Gallic, I will call you neoliberal, but it's not the point here. My point is that we should not twist too much the meaning of words, and admirable is a very strong word indeed. And btw, last week, I praised the wines of Arthur Metz, a division of GCF (JP Chenet) so I can assure you I do my best to avoid any "small is beuatiful" syndrom.