3º. Peter Michael Chardonnay Sonoma County Ma Belle-Fille 2008
Ma Belle-Fille is the youngest vineyard on the winery’s Knights Valley estate, as well as the highest, reaching an elevation of 1,900 feet, and is quickly becoming the winery’s best source for Chardonnay. It’s a cool location but situated above the summer fog line, allowing for excellent sun exposure. Winemaker Nick Morlet uses native yeast; the wine is 100 percent barrel-fermented in French oak.
2º Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella’s Garden 2008
Managing partner Michael Twelftree and winemaker Matt Wenk have found a winning formula with their Garden Series, an umbrella of six different Shiraz wines, each sourced from vineyards located in subappellations of South Australia. The Barossa bottling, Bella’s Garden, has reached the Top 100 a total of six times since its first release (the 2001 vintage). Wenk used 18 percent new French oak hogsheads, minimal fining and no filtration to produce this fresh-tasting, complex wine.