Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 1

Favorite Wines in 2022Here are our favorite wines in 2022 – Part 1. You might recall that in early January we revealed the list of our favorite 20 wines last year. We compiled the list after tasting hundreds of wines in 2022. These 20 wines made a lasting impression. However, at that time, we simply published a list of the wines, with links to their wineries. Therefore, over the next few weeks, we will be sharing more details about these wines. Read on for Part 1.

Our Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 1 (in alphabetical order by winery)

Black Hills 2020 Nota Bene (British Columbia)

Nota BeneThis is the wine that put Black Hills Estate Winery on the map in our home during its initial vintage in 1999. Today, Black Hills relatively new winemaker, Master of Wine Ross Wise, has taken this recent vintage to the next level. For the first time in its history, Cabernet Franc is the dominant grape. Specifically, the 2020 vintage is 42% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot.

Moreover, this elegant wine is powerful yet silky, and balanced with fresh acidity. Aromas of cherries, plums and raspberries lead into flavors of blackberries, mocha, milk chocolate and spices, along with savory notes. Most importantly, If you open it now, be sure to give it a good decant. Better yet, put it away for 5-20 years. Certainly this blend has structure and aging potential. By the way, 2020 Nota Bene is sold out online but you might be able to find some at the tasting room (call 250-498-0666) or in the wild.

Block Wines 2018 Ankleroller Syrah Stones Speak Vineyard (Washington)

Favorite Wines Ankleroller 2018Rock star winemaker Morgan Lee crafted this outstanding Rocks Syrah, in collaboration with Full Pull Wines. First, I can hardly find the words to describe this incredibly funky wine. The grapes are sourced from Richard Funk’s Stones Speak Vineyard. Next, we couldn’t agree more with Full Pull’s notes: “Morgan working with Rich’s fruit is basically a dream come true for lovers of Washington Syrah.”

Why is it called Ankleroller? The stony rows of this vineyard can be very difficult to walk on – and people (and vineyard equipment) have to be very careful navigating them! When you open Ankleroller Syrah, you immediately smell the classic Rocks aromas of smoked meat, wet stones, earth, pepper, orange peel and dark fruit. More smoked meat, blackberry, blueberry and earthy flavors show on the palate. The mouthfeel is luscious, and it rocked our steak dinner last summer. (Rocks pun unintended!)

Boudreaux Cellars 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)

Favorite Wines Boudreaux 2013 Reserve CabBoudreaux Cellars 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a masterpiece, with the wow factor. Amazing winemaker Rob Newsom calls it “a freak-out in your glass.” In 2019, we called it our Wine of the Year. And, no surprise, it became even better with time. In short, Boudreaux Cellars 2013 Reserve Cab Sauv is a smooth, structured and well-balanced beauty with a pretty nose, complex layers, and as I wrote on Instagram at the time we initially tasted it, “crazy good.”

Rob credits the “champions” at two of his favorite Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, Champoux and Loess. In his words, “The difference between good wine and great wine is the vineyard manager.” But it also shows what an experienced and skilled winemaker can create with good fruit in Washington state.

We met Rob in 2010, and felt like we made a new friend almost instantly. Maybe my Canadian roots connected to his Cajun ones. Likewise, his sense of humor and tales of Louisiana and Leavenworth charmed us, like so many others. He is both mellow and one of the most colorful characters in Washington’s wine industry. His talented co-winemaker daughter Keely also exudes warmth, humor and spunk.

Browne Family 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spymaster Series, The Farm (Washington)

Favorite Wines Browne Family Vineyards Spymaster The Farm Cab Sauv 2018Browne Family 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spymaster Series, The Farm honors William Bitner Browne, the grandfather of winery founder Andrew Browne. Bitner served as a Counter Intelligence Task Force officer in the U.S. Army in both World War II and the Korean conflict. As a result, this awarded him multiple commendations and a Spymaster wine series named after him. Aromas of cigar box, leather and violets lead into flavors of red cherries, blackberries and blueberries, with a hint of vanilla and chocolate. Bold, smooth and well-balanced, this gorgeous Cab would pair well with a fatty rib-eye steak or BBQ ribs. We took it to a summer party, and it went quickly!

Canvasback 2019 Red Mountain Syrah (Washington)

Canvasback Red Mountain Syrah 2019Above all, this 100% Syrah is magnificent. It’s a hedonistic yet elegant wine that showcases Red Mountain’s power, depth and structure. Therefore, this Syrah is lush, with velvety, textured layers of dark fruit and licorice, along with granite minerality and savory notes. What a mouthfeel! It’s absolutely drinkable now. But you could also lay it down in the cellar to see even more incredible flavors evolve.

Founded by Duckhorn pioneers Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 2012, Canvasback is the only Washington label under the their family of wines. They named the winery after the Canvasback duck, native to the Pacific Flyway. (We frequently take photos of Canvasbacks on our little backyard lake.) In 2014, talented winemaker Brian Rudin, an expert with Red Mountain fruit, began to head their wine program. Subsequently, we are big fans of Brian’s Washington reds.

Summary: Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 1

In conclusion, our list of 20 Favorite Wines in 2022 consists of bottles from many wine regions in the world. Some of them are special-occasion wines because of their high quality and high price point. Others are special good-value wines that we enjoyed throughout the year.

We encourage you to try some of them and check out the wineries’ websites for more information. Further, have a look at Part 2, with details of the next five wines on our list.

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Margot and Dave