Best Wines to Drink for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

On Monday, the entire continent of North America—especially those lucky individuals nestled in the path of totality that stretches from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, will be privy to a total solar eclipse. As this is the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in 99 years, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate with some exceptional wines from the past century. So break out the lawn chairs, get your viewing glasses ready, and sip on some of our reviewers' favorites. 

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Editor-in-Chief
1961 Chateau Latour
This was tasted last year at the Latour dinner Robert Parker did with Frederic Engerer at Daniel NYC. In a word, simply MAGIC.

This was the first single vineyard bottling of this very special vineyard. Since then, every vintage transports you to an entirely singular time, place and person, which is something only the most incredible wines can achieve.

A wine that just tasted too damn good for words or numbers. It humbled me.

Joe Czerwinski, Managing Editor
I thought about writing about the 100-point wines I've had from the past century, but that seemed a bit too clinical and too much along the lines of "points define what's best," when I believe wine experiences should be more than a measuring contest. So here are three of the most memorable wines I've had from the past 100 years, points be damned.

On a freezing day in December 2004, I tasted this wine from barrel with the late Phillipe Engel and couldn't stop bursting into a grin. To this day, it remains the only wine I've purchased based on my own barrel tasting. I opened my first bottle in June 2017 and it lived up to my high expectations. Throw out Rovani's old projection of maturity that's in our database, and replace it with something like 2017-2030.

1999 Dry River • Pinot Gris
At the time of my very first trip to New Zealand, Dry River was something of a cult wine there. I'd been unable to get an appointment, but the Martinborough Hotel had a couple of the wines on their list for reasonable prices. I drank half of the bottle of the Pinot Gris with my entrée and moved on to the Syrah with my main, but I gave the remaining white wine to a honeymooning couple at the neighboring table and enjoyed it beyond all measure for having done so.

When a wine captures more than 100 years of history, five generations of winemaking and the land on which it's grown, and concentrates it down into something so intense it almost brings on tears of pain and joy, I knew I had to put it on this list. It doesn't hurt that when I visited the winery, Bill and his son Stephen had pulled a tableful of samples out of barrel and were playing around with various blends—something I'll never experience again. 

Mark Squires 
The great Moscatels of Setúbal age indefinitely and are remarkable experiences. They basically live forever. These two got a collective 199 points. Hope I wasn't too stingy.

In a potentially great Port vintage, this was one of the brightest stars. It will outlive many of us.

Monica Larner
This legendary Tuscan red unites discerning wine palates from all over the world under a single flag, the Italian one. No other wine has done more to launch Vino Italiano.

This is the wine I’d want to hide in a time capsule for someone to taste 100 years from now. It represents the pinnacle of pedigree for the Italian territory. 

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