Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 4

Favorite Wines in 2022Here are our favorite wines in 2022 – Part 4. You might recall that in early January we revealed 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 only published a list of the wines, with links to their wineries. Now we are sharing more details. Read on for Part 4.

Our list of Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 4 (in alphabetical order by winery)

Sleight of Hands Cellars 2016 The Archimage Reserve (Washington)

Favorite Wines 2022 Sleight of Hands Cellars 2016 The ArchimageWe had our first bottle of Sleight of Hands Cellars 2016 The Archimage Reserve in 2021, and knew it wouldn’t be our last. Sure enough, a friend opened another bottle at a birthday dinner in 2022. And with six years of age on it, this wine was even more incredible than the bottle we opened five months earlier. The Archimage Reserve showcases a rich, luxurious mouthfeel from the blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 47% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Not surprisingly, the aromas and flavors featured beautiful blue fruit, with notes of green bell pepper, cassis, graphite and black tea. This gorgeous wine has balance, power and layered complexity.

Trey Busch and Jerry and Sandy Solomon founded Sleight of Hand Cellars in 2007. Production Winemaker Keith Johnson joined the team four years later. Together, they have guided this unique Washington winery to greatness. According to Trey, “Our only goal from the outset has been to make world class wines while having the most fun that is legally possible.”

Tantalus 2019 Blanc de Blancs (British Columbia)

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2019Tantalus 2019 Blanc de Blancs is, quite simply, a stunner. This is a traditional method sparkling wine that is 100% Chardonnay, with fine bubbles and pretty aromas that evolve in the glass. Scents of wet stone, freshly baked bread, and citrus lead into flavors of lemons, apple crisp, orange peel, and hints of grapefruit. Elegant, with bright acidity and salinity, this sparkler is crisp and dry, yet still has a creamy texture. We loved it so much, we just ordered more to open at my milestone birthday celebration in a couple of months. Yes, it’s that good!

Not surprisingly, the National Wine Awards of Canada 2022 recognized this outstanding sparkler with a gold medal. Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2019 caught our attention last November at a Wines of BC tasting in my hometown of Vancouver.

Trothe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)

Trothe 2018 Cab SauvWe tasted Trothe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon in June last year, and then again one month later. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is Trothe’s inaugural release, and generated critical acclaim, described as exquisiteimpressive and remarkable. For example, Robb Report declared: “This new Washington Cabernet shows the state can compete with the world’s best wines.” A few days after our July tasting, the Trothe team held a side-by-side tasting of 2018 Trothe Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Chateau Margaux. Jeff told us, “We stood up beautifully. I could not have been more pleased with what we tasted.”

This Cab offers aromatics of red and black fruit, spices and herbs, leading into rich, plush flavors of more dark fruit and classic Horse Heaven Hills minerality. Trothe produces a limited amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced exclusively from Andrews Family Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The Andrews family has owned and operated the vineyards since 1994, on land their family has farmed for generations. Currently, Trothe is offering its inaugural 2020 Syrah through the end of February.

Look for their new release Sauvignon Blanc in April, and 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon on Oct. 4. (Trothe Limited will also be offered at that time.) These are a special-occasion wines. The Trothe team wants people who enjoy their wine to be part of their story. So, you can only access their exclusive allocations by signing up for their Members List (see their website for details).

Vanessa Vineyards 2012 Syrah (British Columbia)

Vanessa Syrah 2012We finally visited Vanessa Vineyards, located in B.C.’s picturesque Similkameen Valley, west of Osoyoos, last October. But we’ve been fans of their esteemed winemaker Howard Soon for years. At our tasting, we discovered that Vanessa sold out of the current 2018 Syrah, but owner Suki Sekhon kindly opened this 2012 library wine instead. Amazing. Of note, Howard ages all his reds 18 months or longer in the barrel, and then another 18 months in the bottle. Therefore, this 2012 Syrah – the first Vanessa vintage, by the way – wasn’t released until 2015. Add seven more years to date, and this wine has the wow factor.

Howard co-fermented Syrah clone 100 from Côtes du Rhône with 6% Viognier. Aromatics of plums and cedar lead into flavors of dark fruits, white pepper and hints of dark chocolate, licorice and spices. This superb Syrah is balanced, complex, concentrated, dense and structured. Pair it with short ribs, spaghetti or barbecued meats, or drink it without food on a cozy night by the fireplace. Thankfully, we still have a bottle in our cellar.

Viña San Pedro 2017 Cabos de Hornos Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile)

Favorite Wines 2022 Vina San Pedro 2017 Cabo de Hornos ChileViña San Pedro 2017 Cabos de Hornos Cabernet Sauvignon  is gorgeous – elegant, rich, balanced and full-bodied, bursting with black fruit flavors. The winery was founded in 1865 on the volcanic soils at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. This flagship wine is made with a gravity vinification system. That means the grapes and must transfer to the tanks using their own weight. The process guarantees the least intervention possible and the most delicate handling.

We paired this Cab Sauv with juicy burgers last January, but it would also complement grilled meats, turkey or pork roast. Cabos de Hornos 2017 is so flavorful and sophisticated, it would also taste yummy without food, especially in a glass by the fireplace on a cold winter night. Then again, this Cab Sauv would also be magnificent with a barbecued steak in the summer.

Summary: Favorite Wines in 2022 – Part 4

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 subsequently, high price point. Others are special good-value wines that we enjoyed throughout the year.

Finally, we encourage you to try some of them and check out the wineries’ websites for more information.

Meanwhile, you can read more about the other 15 wines in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and here at Write for Wine.

Margot and Dave