Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

expectations are sometimes dashed but also sometimes far exceeded. We all know the greatest wines we have ever had, but what is the wine that has most exceeded what you expected?

For me there are two—94 Raveneau Valmur, absolutely spectacular and riveting from a meh vintage and 78 Arnoux Suchots, something that far transcended what I expected and thought possible.

Your greatest surprise?


Two come to mind…the 1968 Heitz Pinot Chardonnay Lot Z-82…I know i know, I’ve mentioned this wine on numerous threads, but I really went into the wine just hoping it was drinkable…and it turned out to be probably the top three wine experiences of my life! The 1997 Vogue Amoureuses…was expecting a good wine, especially from the producer and vineyard, but not so much the vintage…and it turned out to be a bottle of PERFECTION!

Two wines I still dream about. [cheers.gif]


Just happened a month ago, so it immediately comes to mind.

There was a trio of 70s Heitz Martha’s Vineyard in the background, but I was COMPLETELY enamored by a 1988 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow that c fu brought. I literally could not stop drinking it all evening. I’ll be dreaming about that wine for a looong time.

The 2005 Domaine Joguet Les Varenne du Grand Clos Franc de Pied. I’ve gone through quite a bit, and still annoyed that I did not buy more, and when it is “on” it’s the best Loire Cab Franc that I have had. I have had some really bretty bottles too, so buyer beware. Sadly this cuvee is now gone, ended in 2007, the louse won.

Honorable mention to 1986 Chateau Meyney. Easily the greatest QPR that I have ever had, performs at a Classified Growth level. I’ve easily gone through two cases, last just a few months ago.


I agree on the Joguet. I had this one as well, and it kept getting better and better. I recall the posters on the Wine Disorder Board dissing the 2005 Loire Reds early on, but maybe this was somewhat understandable given its backwards character. But with some bottle age, this really blossomed…


A couple of bottles that come to mind…

2005 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne – was expecting it to be very good, but it was phenomenal
1995 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard – didn’t expect CA Pinot could be that good
1993 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin – one of the best Burgundy experiences I’ve had
2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund – doesn’t get better for $40

Interesting Carl, I never saw that thread. I think some producers slayed it in 2005. Joguet was excellent across the board, but will acknowledge that Dioterie is OTT for a Loire Cab Franc (and damn Tasty, too). Rougeard cuvees in 2005 are amazing, just had another Les Poyeaux a couple months ago that ranks up there with one of the best Loire CFs that I’ve ever had. Not touching my Le Bourg yet.

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This is really difficult. 1970 Lanessan maybe?

I’m drinking it right now: 2010 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wow wine. The last time that I had it a couple of years ago there was a strong cedar component that I found to be distracting. No longer. This has integrated and is at the beginning of what I’m sure will be a long and graceful evolution. It could easily go head to head with a $300 Bordeaux from a strong vintage. Glad I went long.


1991 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.

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Consumed at what age?

1988(?) Renaissance Cabernet. I think this wine was made by a cult, and it had a label that said “Cheap grocery store wine”, but it was actually quite good.

1947 Quancard Fleurie

1993 Adelsheim PN found in a retail shop in August 2018 and consumed a few days later. Delish!

I had this back in 2016 and remember thinking at the time that this would be a stunner. Wish I had bought a case at the time!

this kind of thread is always interesting to me. there are two ways it can go: cheap wine that plays out of its league and great wine that is even better than expected. I would imagine until you’ve had some of the great wines, that second category is hard to imagine. as an example: it seems crazy to me that Raveneau can outperform expectations. but having never gotten a chance to try a raveneau, who can say?

My biggest ever overperformer was a $30 1983 licht bergweiler auslese opened a year or two ago. I had no idea what to expect, it smelled terrible when I opened it, but it completely opened and changed with a half hour in a decanter to a beautiful wine

the other was a $35 1986 Adelsheim Elizabeth cuvee opened last august.


Tough to pick one. My recent 2010 Forman was one of the best Cab’s I’ve ever had so agree with Michael on this one. An 84 WS Russian River was an absolute revalation in what Cali pinot could become with age. Most recently the 2017 Bedrock Old Vine is an unbelievable value and just an outstanding wine. Load up on this one. You can thank me later :slight_smile:

This past November.


Good to hear about the Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemage! I have a couple of bottles.
Good time to open one up.

If you don’t mind, share some kind of description. I love Lapierre Morgon and have some stowed in deep storage, but I have little idea what to expect down the road. Thanks.