MAXIM - Grands Crus, Which wines are consumers most looking forward to tasting in 2022? Leading journalists, writers and sommeliers forget about trends and reveal their wine preferences for 2022.

After two years under glass in a topsy-turvy world, consumers seem to be turning to sparkling wines for some solace, but also to delve deeper into some less famous wine regions, like Montesucco in Tuscany or Dawn in Champagne.

Lesser Known Burgundy Appellations – Lauren Mowery, Travel Writer for Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Last year, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of Burgundy winegrowers for Wine Enthusiast. At the time, I avoided Burgundy wines because of their high price, but the subject of the panel changed my mind: “Finding valuable wines beyond the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, with lesser-known appellations”. We discussed Mâconnais, Côte Chalonnaise, as well as Grand Auxerrois, or the heavenly notes of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed at reasonable prices. I look forward to drinking more of these wines in 2022.”

Ancient world – Yannick Benjamin, sommelier at Contento Restaurant and co-founder of the Wheeling Forward association

“Last year, I took a close interest in wines from Antiquity. I have created a section within the Contento wine list entirely dedicated to this fascinating world of Antiquity. Places like Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel or Lebanon are the cradle of a wine civilization that dates back 8000 years. In 2022, I will continue this quest to fully understand this important part of the wine world and its native varieties such as Vokehat, Tsolikauri, Narince, Xynisteri or Merwah. To understand the present, we must understand the past."

Small Formats – Julia Coney, Founder of Black Wine Professionals

“I look forward to drinking more wines in bottles or small cans. These wines have improved over the past few years and I am keen to discover hidden gems from around the world."

Crémant d’Alsace – Matthew Kaner, SOMM TV Network

"In 2022, I can assure you that I will burst a lot of bubbles, and although I am a big champagne lover, I will drink a lot more Crémant d'Alsace! Obtaining the AOC dates back to 1976, but the history of Crémant d'Alsace is much older. It all started in 1900, when Alsace was still tossed between France and Germany. The importance of the family business from generation to generation and the rich diversity of its terroir, with 51 distinct grands crus, make Alsace a region that we should all integrate more into our consumption habits."

Bordeaux and its new grape varieties – Deborah Parker Wong, SOMM Journal

“In 2022, I will be leading a one-semester course on the wines of France and I look forward to tasting Bordeaux blends with new, recently approved grape varieties, such as Alvarinho, Petit Manseng or Liliorilia. It's unlikely that I'll be able to taste Liliorilia as a monovarietal wine, but I'm curious what it will add to a Bordeaux blend."

Pfalz and Xinomarvo – Brent Kroll, Maxwell Park

“In 2022, I will taste wines from Pfalz, in particular Pinot Noir. I was able to visit Pfalz this year and was shown that the climate for pinot was similar to that of Burgundy 30 years ago. The list of the best producers in the region is longer than a CVS receipt. Wines are generally perfect for aging. Also, they have great value. Keep an eye out for these bottles: Rebholz, Chrismann, Pfeffingen, von Winning, Rings, Krebs, Schwedhelm and Julg."

"I will also taste the Xinomarvo from Greece. It has the structure of Nebbiolo and lots of aromas of Mourvèdre from Bandol. I like its power and its salty notes of olive tapenade. A bottle with a little age will make any wine drinker happy. There are nine Xinomavro clones, with the best usually, but not always, coming from Amýntaioet and Náoussa. These bottles are perfect to taste or to age: Delamaras, Katsaros, Foundi, Alpha, Kir Yianni, Diaporos, Karydas and Aregatia." 

Small Vineyards – Victoria James, Cote

“With the launch of our Cote Wine Club, I am constantly scouring the market for hidden gems to offer our members. I look forward to tasting many of these rare wines with the club. We now have small vineyards that set aside entire vintages and cuvées for us. As a sommelier, I have the chance to drink the most recent wines and It's not the coolest, but it tastes more special when we can share our exclusive access with our members."

Montesucco and Austrian Sparkling – Clive Pursehouse, Peloton Magazine

"In 2022, I would say 'open a Montesucco for me!' The Sangiovese from Montesucco is one of my favorite wines this year. This wine originates from Tuscany, in the Maremma region, and lies between Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Sansano. Tuscany produces a wide range of wines made from Sangioveses. Nevertheless, the region is already famous for its wines, so you have to find rare pearls in small family wineries."

"Sekt offers a wide range of puns, but Austria has much more to offer thanks to its higher quality standards than its German neighbors. Sekpt is therefore certainly more than just a wine to drink. He can be very sexy. Grosse Réserve and Réserve are particularly good, but the Austrians make so many great natural wines. The Meinklang is of course a top option, in addition to the traditional Sket there are plenty of good Pet-Nats to nest on the side of the Austrian growers."

 Romanian wines – Wanda Mann, SOMM Journal

“I haven’t traveled abroad since 2019. Wine and spirits have been my passport to adventure during the pandemic. I don't set myself any limits or restrictions on the wines I will taste in 2022, I want to try them all! I've been drinking more Sherry lately and want to dive into it even more in the new year. I recently attended a Romanian wine tasting in New York and was fascinated by the rich history and character of the wines. Spanish wines have always been my favorite, but I recently tasted some excellent wines from the Canary Islands and will continue to seek them out. Italian wines continue to captivate me, and the volcanic wines of Etna are particularly intriguing. Traditional method sparkling wines from around the world will always capture my attention."

Cornas – Alice Feiring, writer, author of To Fall in Love, Drink This

“I look forward to being inspired. I'm really in the mood for an old Cornas. Smoky, earthy, a hint of horse sweat and lots of space. This way please ! "

Champagne produced in Aube – Treve Ring, writer

“Is there a better time to drink champagne? And more particularly champagne produced by small producers who will suffer most from the consequences of the crazy frosty, flooded or moldy harvest of 2021. I am particularly interested in producers from Aube, a long neglected region, for whom the hour to shine has finally arrived. " 

Burgundy – Vicki Denig, editor

“This year, I can’t wait to drink a lot more champagne and burgundy. If the past two years have taught us one thing, it's that life is too short and should be celebrated. Find the hidden gems, drink the good stuff, and don't be afraid to splurge, within reason. " 

Champagne, tequila and sake – Sarah Blau, San Francisco Wine Trading Company

"I'm not very picky about what I see, but if someone asks me what I want in my glass, I'll answer with one of three options: champagne, sake or tequila. Each of these drinks corresponds to a different mood, but regardless, after a sip of one of them, a big smile of satisfaction lights up my face. After two years of isolation, I will continue to drink what brings joy to my life and you should too."

Alto Adige – Yolanda Shoshana, writer

“I am looking forward to the wine from Alto Adige (Alto Adige). These wines give me the impression of being in the Alps, in Italy, sipping a good glass."

California Sauvignon Blanc – Tim Teichgraeber, Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book

“As part of my work, I focus primarily on Californian wines, and I continue to be blown away by the cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah that come from the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley. The 2020 vintage was disastrous for red wines on the north coast due to the wildfires, but the 2020 Sauvignon Blancs that were harvested before the fires are incredibly good. Sauvignon Blanc is probably my favorite white grape variety, and I love how California vineyards coalesce around a sunny style that's both crisp and oaky. I am also looking forward to visiting the Loire Valley in April and tasting a lot more Sauvignon Blanc there."

"If this rumor of a champagne shortage is true, I will be perfectly happy with the sparkling wines from Roederer Estate, Domaine Carneros, Schramsberg and Gloria Ferrer. Now that many American zinfandel producers are making less ripe and more balanced wines, I think this category is interesting again. California is still struggling to excel in mid-weight red wines. A friend introduced me to an incredible Susumaniello from Masseria Li Veli in Puglia, and I love it. I also have a weakness for a good Valpolicella Ripasso from Veneto, a Travaligni Gattinara from Piedmont or a Frappato from Sicily." 

I Clivi – Paige Farrell, writer and sommelier

“I remember a visit to the Italian winery I Clivi in ​​the peaceful town of Corno di Rosazzo, not far from the Slovenian border, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. When I arrived, bud break had just begun and the sap was still glistening on the vines. Here, where the gentle hills of vineyards keep pace with fruit trees on the verge of intoxicating bloom, it's impossible not to sit back and be grateful. The wines of the late winemaker Zanusso and his son Mario embody grace and purity, especially their elegant and sparkling RBL, made from Ribolla Gialla. Brazan Bianco, a single varietal, nuanced and herbal white, made with Tocai Friulano, offers both complexity and verve. Alongside these lovely muses, I will contemplate gratitude and new beginnings!"

Northern Rhône Syrah – Lauren Daddona, sommelier

“The year 2022 will be the year of Syrah from the northern Rhône. I want wines that provoke a reaction, that have personality, but I am not ready to sacrifice freshness. This Syrah is closer to 13% alcohol than 15% and has heady aromas: tasty, floral and spicy. Syrah is inherently intense and, in the right hands, retains a liveliness on the palate that is essential for such a varietal. The Cornas, in particular, caught my full attention, without hesitation. To tell the truth, I am open to all appellations, and I would particularly welcome the opportunity offered to me to look for bottles of Collines Rhodaniennes and Côtes du Rhône from recognized Syrah producers such as Rostaing, Voge or Jamet." 

Overview – Pascaline Lepeltier, sommelier, MOF

"This year, I'm going to seem off-putting, but my objective will always be to find and support the winegrowers and winegrowers who write the present and the future of the wine sector, wherever they are, whatever their culture: those who seek above all to preserve their land and to return as much as they take in a form of win-win contract with their vineyards; those who create and support a work structure where we can not only earn a decent living, but also thrive and grow; those who observe what needs to change and evolve in order to produce the most expressive wine. There are more and more of them everywhere, including in traditional regions such as Bordeaux (with some replanting of old and indigenous grape varieties such as Bouchale and Mancin, work on sowing, etc.) or in Beaujolais (with trials of old varieties and new hybrids). Most of these new dynamics come from regions where financial pressure is less and where creativity is possible. It is truly exciting to see the multiple ways in which these ideas can be embodied in agro-ecological agriculture supported by scientific research. This is particularly the case with VinNatur in Italy, permaculture, the practical school or the new system of cooperatives (such as the Kalche wine project in Vermont). All in all, it's time to stop being a label drinker and grab the chance to be a lively, authentic wine drinker and supporter."

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Adam Morganstern

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