Top selects from the OIC Reserve List from The Man who knows wine.
Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine. He was the second person in history to complete both exams, and almost two decades later he is still one of only three people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions.
We asked Mr. Frost to examine the Osteria IL Centro Reserve wine list and pick his top selections based on taste and value – and we think you’ll really enjoy his selections.
- Cristom Pinot Noir Signature Cuvee 2005 Willamette Valley – Steve Doerner of Cristom put California’s Calera on the map years ago, and in his decade and a half in Oregon he has helped guide the state’s winemakers to a more robust but very authentically Northwest style of Pinot Noir.
- Morgan Pinot Noir Double L Vineyard 2007 Santa Lucia Highlands – one of my go-to producers for American Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Dan Lee of Morgan shows great deftness with Pinot Noir: lots of fruit and power but balance as well.
- Cain Five 1996 Napa Valley – No longer one of the heralded names of Napa Valley, Cain Five still deserves to be on the short list of any Napa wine lover. And to be able to buy a 15 year old plus wine from a Napa great…
- Ridge Montebello 2006 – While I think the question I so often hear: “What’s your favorite wine?” is silly, my honest answer might be Montebello, at least if we’re talking about California.
- Woodward Canyon Old Vines 2008 Columbia Valley – Rick Small, founder of Woodward Canyon, delivers excellence in every one of his wines, but his “Old Vines” bottling shows how Cabernet and other Bordeaux varieties are very much at home in southeastern Washington State.
- Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006 – Amarone’s rustic reputation is often deserved but some producers, like Bussola, make extraordinarily elegant Amarone while sacrificing none of its power and intensity.
- Vietti Barolo 2003 – Vietti is my kind of Nebbiolo producer; the wines are generous and nearly friendly, at least as friendly as the Nebbiolo grape can be in its irascible, gritty form called Barolo. And the 2003 vintage, so out of balance in many of Europe’s regions, did quite nicely in Piedmont, adding a layer of generosity to the fruit.
- Produttori dei Barbaresco Barbaresco Moccagatta 1997 – universally heralded as possibly the greatest cooperative winery in the world, Produttori dei Barbaresco deserves that reputation and more; this delightful wine is just starting to come into its own.
- Pingus Flor de Pingus 2008 – inarguably one of the greatest winemakers in the world, Peter Sisseck of Pingus crafts layered wines that derive amazing complexity from Tempranillo. It’s not that others don’t make great wines in Spain’s Ribera del Duero region, but few are so consistent. Expect a very young, intense red wine.
- Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval 2007 Red Mountain – Chris Camarda, founder and owner of Andrew Will, is one of America’s top winemakers and Andrew Will is a benchmark for great Washington State wine. Combining California-like richness with the sort of structure more often associated with a region like Bordeaux, top Washington wine resets the bar for red wine excellence in the Americas