Wine Lists

An extravagant wine wishlist

By Jane Parkinson

19 May, 2020

In the latest issue of Halliday magazine, international contributor Jane Parkinson gives herself an infinite budget to select some of the world’s finest wines for her absolute dream bottle haul. 

Imagine shopping for wine if money was no object. Just imagine. The thought of all those sumptuous, previously out-of-reach wines – whether they’re a personal preference, a rarity or something disgustingly expensive – would send any wine lover’s brain into delicious meltdown, wouldn’t it? If the wine world was truly your oyster, why wouldn’t you work your way through all those wines that the world considers to be the very best?

People in my line of work are a lucky lot. As in, a crazy lucky lot. To be able to taste some of these untouchable wines first-hand is a privilege that isn’t lost on my peers or myself. And don’t feel too sorry for us, but it can be cruel to some degree, too. Teasing us with a glimpse of what’s on offer only for the wealthy few, sending us into hedonistic wine oblivion for a fleeting moment, then snatching it away as the tasting ends, forcing us back to reality.

But let’s keep it positive and head into hypothetical oblivion, one country at a time.

1. 2016 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, France

Miniscule yields, as late-harvesting as they can get away with, and whole-cluster fermentation all contribute to this most ethereal and grandiose of pinots. Mesmerising aromas of black cherries and red plums with a little flutter of mushrooms at this early stage. Brisk and lively, with well-defined and moreish fruit, while the tannins just dissolve on the palate. A wine idol that lives up to its status.

$38,999, drink by 2036

2. 2016 Pingus Dominio de Pingus, Spain

A famously romantic story of a young Danish boy Peter (nicknamed Pingus) Sisseck, whose uncle, a renowned Bordeaux winemaker, recommended he travel to Spain to check out Ribera del Duero. He put down roots in the region and today, this, his top cuvee, is a cult wine and Spain’s most expensive red. It’s famous for its intense, inky, iodine black fruit and black cherry palate with meaty tannins that will require serious ageing to melt into the fruit, liquorice and cinnamon spice.

$1199, drink by 2032

3. 2006 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino, Italy

The most celebrated Barolo in the world has its reputation for good reason, and this is one of its most admired vintages. Believed to be the first-ever Barolo made in the Riserva style (nearly 100 years ago), the key to this wine’s success are a beguiling aromatic intensity and bold but beautiful palate. It is bursting with dark cherry richness, framed by sweet tobacco notes and burly tannins, with an extraordinary length.

$4500 (magnum), drink by 2041

4. 2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage, Portugal

The decadence of this wine should be illegal. Mesmerising and indulgent yet already extremely giving, the lightness of touch to the mint and bay leaf aromas distract the nose only for a moment before revealing the full gamut of dense and pure black fruit. Dense fruit on the palate is shy to reveal itself, as it should be, but make no mistake it’s there. For now, the palate is enticing enough with freshness, sweet lusciousness and fearless tannins.

$229, ready by 2027, drink by 2057

5. 2018 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Germany

With four generations in the art of making riesling, this wine can be no better honed than by the Donnhoffs. It’s whole-bunch pressed and fermented with native yeasts in oak, before a few months of ageing on lees in stainless steel. Brisk, racy and tense with lemon, green apple and lime leading to a saline mineral freshness that enhances the grapefruit sourness and white pepper tingle.

$155, drink by 2038

For the full article, including 12 bucket list bottles and an overview of some of the world’s most sought-after styles, see the latest issue of Halliday magazine.