Hard to say a 'tea of the year', because reviewing my tea notes, I see several teas rated '100' on that scale*--really outstanding sessions with an outstanding tea--but intstead of giving the title to one of those, I'll give it to a tea that didn't get rated quite so highly, but that was a bit more of a breakthrough: the 2009 spring Lao Ban Zhang loose puerh mao cha from Norbu, which I first encountered as part of a group tea tasting
in another forum.
I was wary because Greg's own tasting notes on his web site described significant bitterness, and it did take a few sessions to get down the right technique for me to enjoy this tea, get past the bitter start (a not-so-flash rinse) and enjoy the long sweet aftertaste flash infusion after flash infusion, 20 or 30 or more times.
I opened my eyes to realize that even a bitter phobe like myself can enjoy some spectacular young shengs, brewed quite hot, and encouraged me to persevere with some other teas where my first brewing was more notable for bitterness than pleasure, and also I realized that I don't have to toss an individual infusion that gets a little bitter if I have room in the cup and some hot water to dilute it--often things can be rescued that way. It was a lot to learn from one great tea. But it's sold out, so I can't suggest you all rush out and buy some.
*For the record, 2007 White Bud Sheng puerh from Norbu, 2009 Spring TGY from Norbu, and undated Anji 'Precious Rare' white tea from Wing Hop Fung all got 'perfect' scores at least one time.