Search Challenge Results

2012 Ultimate Wine Challenge Results

Ultimate Wine Challenge 2012

May 2–6, 2012

Astor Center, New York City

All wines were evaluated by a select group of judges under ideal tasting conditions, at the proper service temperature, in manageable flights of no more than eight wines; and in high-quality glassware specific for wine type and varietal. Wines were poured into numbered glasses in a separate room, served blind in small flights based upon wine type, origin, varietal and price, and evaluated and scored by panels of judges who used a unique variation of the 100-point scale.  Products that scored 90 points or higher were then evaluated blind once again, in newly-created groupings by a different panel of judges. Top scoring products were then reviewed again to determine a select group of finalists with the category’s highest-scorer being awarded a Chairman’s Trophy accolade.

For 2012, there are 17 Chairman’s Trophies awarded, representing the best of the best; Finalists in each section are also identified.

In addition to the score, wines are distinguished with the following Accolades, as a guide to consumers:

95-100 Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation
90-94 Excellent, Highly Recommended
85-89 Very Good, Strong Recommendation
80-84 Good, Recommended

A note on the icons:

 
Tasting Note
Tasting Note: tasting notes for Chairman's Trophy winners and Finalists have been provided by Judging Chairman, F. Paul Pacult and Assistant Judging Chairman, Sean Ludford based upon their and the judges' impressions. Roll over icon to view.
 
Great Value
Great Value: indicates products with a favorable relationship between their price and final score. 
 
Purchase Now
Product Image: to assist you with visual identification, we've included an image for each product evaluated. (Please note that age statements, vintages or label may vary slightly from the specific product evaluated but it represents a helpful portrayal of the brand.) Click icon to view.


Entered products that were scored below 80 points have not been included; Ultimate Beverage Challenge is dedicated to recognizing the best of the best, and that, in our opinion, begins with a score of 80 as being indicative of products of commendation and consumer worthiness.

Download a printable copy of the complete results (PDF)

Champagne/Sparkling Wines | White Wines | Red Wines | Rosé & Blush Wines | Dessert | Fortified | Sake | Other

 

Champagne/Sparkling Wines

Champagne - France

  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut NV Epernay (France), $45.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh bread, biscuits and nectarines open this classic Champagne, with a mouth-filling mousse of lemon curd, crushed almonds and mushrooms on wheat toast. Mouth-watering and dashing.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Gosset Champagne Brut Grand Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay NV Champagne (France), $100.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Notes of brine, apple peels, yeasty bread dough and light toast are the hallmarks of this Champagne, with flavors of yeast, lime leaf, stone fruit and an assertive minerality. Finish with a light mushroomy quality and fine acids.
  Photo    
 

Champagne/Sparkling Wines

Sparkling - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé 2008 Carneros, Napa (United States), $36.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Frothy mousse. Pale salmon color. Vinous character of wild red berries and herbs. Dry. Super-acidity. A lovely sparkling wine for all occasions.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Chateau Frank Blanc de Noirs 2006 Finger Lakes (United States), $29.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light aromas of fresh toast, lemon curd and grain emerge from this charming New York State Pinot Noir-based sparkler. Delicate mouthfeel, clean and pleasant acidity and bright purity on the finish.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Gloria Ferrer Brut Sparkling Wine NV Sonoma County (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty golden hue in this Sonoma bubbly offering expressive effervescence and light aromas of lemon, white flowers and white grapes. Nice touch of bitterness balances the pleasing tastes of lemon and pineapple, with a mouth-filling mousse and a clean finish.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Brut Methode Champenoise 2008 California (United States), $26.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of bread dough and yeast emerge from this Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend. On the palate, it is lean with hints of apricot and kumquats with a zippy acidity and easy creaminess to finish. Crisp and refreshingly pleasing.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Mionetto Il Lambrusco Lambrusco NV Veneto, IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light and fresh with a pretty magenta color. Vividly floral aromas in the glass give way to a gently fizzy, semi-sweet wine. All fruit and easy drinking.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Vinkara Yaşasın Kalecik Karası 2009 Southern Anatolia (Turkey), €23.40, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of dried apricots and crushed almonds, with golden raisins; on the palate, lightly sparkling, round and earthy, with a fresh citrusy finish. Great with salty snacks, hard cheese and dried nuts.
  Photo    
  89 Astoria 9.5 Cold Wine Brut NV Treviso (Italy), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of linden blossoms, bitter almonds and nectarines, with a light foamy mousse that expands and fills the mouth; on the palate, it has a zesty, lemony zing with a touch of nectarine and lime.
  Photo    
  88 071 Moscato NV Raboso Frizzante Veneto IGT (Italy), $14.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale salmon hue. Pretty, sweet, and grapey, with white floral character. A subtle sparkling wine with sweet rose water character on the palate.
Great Value    
  88 Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee NV California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intoxicating aromas of green apple and tropical flora permeate the glass. Large, steadfast nose-tickling bubbles transmit lush peach and gooseberry flavors. A crisp and palate-cleansing wine.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay NV Columbia Valley (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A peaches and cream nose sets you up for a fresh, sassy mouthful that is surprisingly lean and mineral on the palate. Crisp and fizzy, with notes of green apple and a touch of the tropical.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Mionetto Moscato Dolce Moscato NV Veneto, IGT (Italy), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Floral and crisp with fresh melon flavors, lemony acidity and a gentle effervescence. A summery wine that pairs well with fresh fruit.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Tenuta Ca' Bolani Prosecco, Estate Glera NV Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy), $18.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
White flowers exude from the glass, along with a hint of chalky-mineral. Offers flavors of lemon verbena and a hint of sweetness. Zesty and pretty.
  Photo    
  87 Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato NV California (United States), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty pink sparkler with lots of sweet apple and pear aromas, a full sweetness in the mouth and a rich, creamy texture, making it a perfect alternative for sweet wine lovers at parties and informal gatherings.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante NV California (United States), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of tangerines and candied apricots are arrayed this sipper, sweet and citrusy on the palate with a creamy texture and pleasant finish – backyard and picnic perfect.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Domaine Ste Michelle Brut Rosé Pinot Noir NV Columbia Valley (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Vibrant bubbles and a pale rosy hue give way to ripe berry and bright currant flavors and a hint of earthy minerality. An undertone of yeastiness.
Great Value    
  87 Domaine Ste Michelle Brut Chardonnay NV Columbia Valley (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dainty, persistent bubbles carry plenty of perfumed fruit blossom aromas. Summer peach and crisp citrus dominate, with some green apple. A whiff of biscuit on the finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Taltarni Brut Taché 2009 Australia (Australia), $24.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty salmon color with small, scintillating bubbles. This pleasantly dry Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier is full of ripe strawberry and a hint of tart, zesty currant.
  Photo    
  86 Cantine Silvestri Virbio Vino Spumante NV Lazio (Italy), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty garnet shade of pink, this spumante is lush with sweet citrus aromas – orange, tangerine, kumquats. Very soft creaminess in the mouth, this sweet sparkler with low alcohol is perfect for early day sipping, especially for sweet wine lovers.
  Photo    
  86 Domaine Carneros Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay 2006 Carneros, Napa (United States), $95.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Classic biscuity notes with wild strawberries and mandarin orange peel open the delightful nose of this blanc de blanc. On the palate it is creamy and soft, with a refined balance of berries, lemony acid and yeasty richness.
     
  86 Gabrielle Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Brotherhood Winery Chardonnay NV New York (United States), $9.00, 375 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw color. Presents a lovely perfume of lemon skins and white flowers. The mousse is soft, while the palate is off-dry with a distinct taste of lemon drops.
  Photo    
  86 JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset No. 21 Brut NV Bourgogne (France), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of creamed mushrooms on toast make this cremant enticing; on the palate, there’s a taut acidity and pleasant touch of pears and apples, and a rippling finish that makes it a perfect match for cheeses, cured meats and smoked fish.
  Photo    
  86 Willm Crémant Brut, Blanc de Noirs NV Cremant d'Alsace AOP (France), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This 100 percent Pinot Noir bubbly offers yeasty, toasty aromas and bright red berries. There is a savory note here that is reminiscent of fresh tomato. A lovely, delicate yet complex sparkling wine.
     
  85 Chateau Frank Blancs de Blancs Chardonnay 2006 Finger Lakes (United States), $29.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A delicate nose of orange blossoms. This Champagne Method wine from the Finger Lakes offers a little sweetness on the palate, along with enticing lemony acidity. The finish is long and persistent: the perfect bubbly for spicy Asian food.
  Photo    
  85 Clover Hill 2005 Tasmania (Australia), $39.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This semi-sweet Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier is characterized by a gentle effervescence. Exquisite flavors of citrus peel, including sweet orange and zesty grapefruit are boosted by a hint of white flower.
     
  85 Gabrielle Rosé, Brotherhood Winery NV New York (United States), $10.00, 375 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale salmon in the glass, with aromas of apricot and lifted red berries. A lovely sparkling, with gentle bubbles and a hint of sweetness. Perfect for aperitif.
  Photo    
  85 Willm Crémant Brut, Rosé NV Cremant d'Alsace AOP (France), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale salmon hue. An earthy wine, with a hint of mushroom on the nose, tempered with a note of vanilla flower. Pretty citrus fruits follow on the palate, with a distinct taste of tangerine and lifted acidity.
     
  84 071 NV Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (Italy), $14.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Cupcake NV Prosecco DOC (Italy), $13.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Segura Viudas NV Cava - Catalonia (Spain), $10.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset No. 69 Brut NV Bourgogne (France), $19.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Astoria Millesimato '11 Prosecco 2011 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Italy), $21.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry NV California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Barefoot Bubbly Rosé Cuvée NV California (United States), $10.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Vilarnau Brut NV Penedes DO (Spain), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Barefoot Bubbly Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $10.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Chardonnay - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2010 Okanagan Valley (Canada), $24.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intriguing nose of desert flower and citrus. The palate boasts notes of creamy vanilla custard and some tropical fruit, with tart green apple. Nice minerality and good acidity make for a complex, balanced wine.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Davis Bynum Chardonnay 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intoxicating nose of baked apple and spice. On the palate, it manages to be buttery, while retaining crisp yellow apple character with a hint of vanilla on the finish.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2010 Arroyo Seco/Monterey (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty perfume of peach and orange blossom gives way to sumptuous flavors of green apple, citrus and toasted oak and vanilla. Creamy and complex, with mouthwatering acidity.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Central Coast (United States), $16.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Oak and menthol notes show up on the nose of this full-bodied and creamy Chardonnay. Orange citrus notes, mingled with oak, are present on the palate. The finish is long and fruity
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2010 Alexander Valley (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This lightly oaked Chardonnay is reminiscent of green apples and vanilla flower. Yellow apple and citrus flavors are revealed in the glass, with a touch of oak spice.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Buena Vista Winery Chardonnay 2009 Carneros (United States), $19.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Creamy nose of pear tart, tropical fruit and toasty oakiness; on the palate, there’s more lemon and high acid citrus, with gripping tannins and potent eucalyptus balsamic notes. An assertive mouthful.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse 2009 Bourgogne (France), $31.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
There’s a promising balance of fruit and oak on the nose, predominantly green apples, pears and nectarines; on the palate, the oak, fruit and acid is well-knit, providing a fine example of a Chardonnay from Burgundy.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Rodney Strong Estate Chardonnay 2010 Sonoma County (United States), $13.50, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of toasted oak and apple give way to a creamy, unctuous mouthfeel. Flavors of yellow apple and butter dominate, brightened by a racy citrus edge.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Castillo de Molina Reserva Chardonnay 2011 Casablanca Valley DO (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pleasant blend of tree and tropical fruits – apple, pineapple, pear, banana – with a touch of vanilla oakiness. Easy drinking with a satisfying tannic structure and refreshing acidity, and a mouth-cleansing finish.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Fetzer Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Easy to drink, easy to like; this benchmark entry Chardonnay offers pleasant aromas of apple, pear and pineapple along with a buttery richness. Simple, elegant, satisfying.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Irony Chardonnay 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw color with green inflections. An oak-driven Chardonnay, that is both bold and racy. Rounded mouth-feel and a long woody finish.
Great Value Photo    
  90 McWilliams Hanwood Estate Chardonnay 2010 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $12.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An assertive aromatic mix of tropical fruits and toasty oak mark this SE Australia Chardonnay; the palate opens with notes of grapefruit, pineapple, vanilla and a light eucalyptus quality. Finishes tangy and appetizing
Great Value Photo    
  90 Wakefield Estate Chardonnay 2010 Clare Valley (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A subtle nose of peach blossom and custard gives way to flavors of peach pie, Meyer lemon, and lightly toasted vanilla. Supple and creamy, with nice minerality.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Concannon Selected Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Central Coast (United States), $10.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of mango and other tropical fruits, lemons and eucalyptus are notable here, with moderate toasty oak and buttery rich accents on the palate. Finishes lean and clean.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Trapiche Chardonnay 2011 Argentina (Argentina), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Enticing aromas of fresh picked pears and apples with a hint of vanilla. On the palate the tree fruits appear along with a lemony custard quality and a bit of shortbread. Harmonious finish with a hint of balsam.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Cadet d'Oc Chardonnay 2010 Vin de Pays d'Oc (France), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Simple, straight-forward French Chardonnay, with restrained fruit and oak, good savory notes of thyme and green olives and a pleasing medium-body. Lemony finish leaves the mouth watering.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Vinkara Mahzen (Reserve) Chardonnay 2009 Southern Anatolia (Turkey), €18.20, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
International-style Chardonnay made in Turkey proves to be rich, buttery and filled with apple and pear aromas. There’s a moderated lemony zip with round vanilla and a subtle oak-provided sweetness here, ending with some tropical notes and a balsamic zing.
  Photo    
  88 Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards Unbridled, Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Santa Maria Valley (United States), $23.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Toasty vanilla aromas lead to bosc pear and lemon custard notes. The palate is round, full and luscious. With an almost sweet, vanilla-inflected finish.
  Photo    
  87 Callaway Chardonnay 2010 Central Coast (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light, fresh and easy, this California Chardonnay has a well-balanced fruit intensity – rich but not overripe. On the palate there’s a refreshing spritz of lemon, subtle tannins and good savory herbaceousness. Clean finisher.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Domino Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A New World, oak-driven Chardonnay that is full-bodied and curvaceous. Enjoy with roast chicken or chicken soup.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Forchini Vineyards & Winery Estate Chardonnay 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasant bready funk on the nose gives way to flavors of green and yellow apple, and some citrus. Clean fruit, nice acidity and a long finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 HandCraft Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fruity, lush, medium-bodied and round. Ripe citrus flavors dance on the palate. A bold wine that will drink well with Asian food.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Handley Cellars Estate Chardonnay 2010 Anderson Valley (United States), $22.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Potent nose of toasty oak, apples, pears and tropical fruits becomes taut and richly acidic on the palate, layered with vanilla. Finishes tangy and resiny.
  Photo    
  87 Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pleasing array of green apples, pears, pineapple and tropical fruits lead the aromas of this California Chardonnay, and in the mouth there’s an added touch of honeyed sweetness and light balsamic notes. Well-balanced finish.
  Photo    
  87 Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Chardonnay 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $17.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Meyer lemon blossoms, honeysuckle and honeyed grapefruit are among the opening aromas in this Napa Chardonnay. Fruit dominates the palate as well – apples, pears, nectarines and lime especially. Finishes with some refreshing bitterness and good fruit/acid balance.
  Photo    
  87 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Chalk Hill (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of bright citrus and soft vanilla flower mingle with crisp apple and pear flavors, a hint of oak spice, and a fine mineral character.
  Photo    
  87 Wakefield Promised Land Chardonnay 2009 South Australia (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A steely, un-oaked Chardonnay, with a clear note of Granny Smith apple on the nose. Crisp, refreshing and dry, the uplifting acidity makes this a deliciously salivating wine.
Great Value Photo    
  86 African Passion Chardonnay 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A South African Chardonnay with a charming mix of tree and tropical fruits and satisfying spiciness. Refreshing and light, there’s a good tannic-fruit-acid balance that makes it charming and uncomplicated for easy drinking occasions.
Great Value    
  86 Barefoot Cellars Chardonnay NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Apples and oak mingle on the nose. Creamy, apple sauce like flavors linger in the mouth, with a taste of vanilla-oak on the back-palate.
Great Value    
  86 Clos Du Val Chardonnay 2009 Carneros, Napa (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pear and apple fruit aromas. A rounded white wine with full-body, integrated oak and tangy acidity. Rich yet balanced.
  Photo    
  86 Cupcake Chardonnay 2010 Central Coast (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Creamy nose of tropical fruits, especially pineapple, toasted oak, cinnamon and spice are on display early and often in this classic California buttery fruit-forward Chard. Finishes dry and mouth-watering, with a hint of tangerine and lemon.
Great Value Photo    
  86 DeLoach Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $17.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Moderately fruity nose – nectarines, pears and a touch of peach. In the mouth it’s a well-managed mix of ripe fruit, tangy lemon and fresh thyme, with a nicely gripping bit of tannin. Fruity, but no fruit bomb.
  Photo    
  86 Fish Eye Chardonnay 2011 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $7.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A full-bodied Chardonnay, generous in pear and apple fruit aromas with just a trace of oak. Mouth-coating and rich, with tropical fruits on the palate. For those that like bold white wine.
Great Value Photo    
  86 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay 2010 Arroyo Seco/Monterey (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A rich lemon-yellow color, with aromas of vanilla flower and citrus. On the palate, the toasty barrel character comes through, with notes of yellow apple, pear and slate.
  Photo    
  86 Obikwa Chardonnay 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pineapple, peach and pears sauced with honey are among the main aromas in this light and easy drinking Soth African white. Refreshing but light acidity and a slight pungency at the finsh make for an appetizing quaff.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Rex Goliath Chardonnay NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Golden yellow color. Aroma offers up soft fragrances of apricot, pear and green apple. In the mouth, the simple, direct flavor profile is citrusy and mild.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $11.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A full-bodied and generous Chardonnay, with a distinct taste of peeled almond and vanilla crème anglais. The texture is rich and round, while the finish is long and lingering.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Twisted Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A vibrant wine with soaring aromas of beeswax, white flowers, melon fruit and chamomile. Nice complexity with an element of juicy acidity that makes this wine easy to enjoy.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Black Box Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Melon and oaky aromas. Lush fruit with soaring citrus acidity. A good value, back-porch sipper. Ideal for parties and picnics.
  Photo    
  85 Black Stallion Estate Winery Chardonnay 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw hue, with notes of oak and citrus on the nose. Woody flavors follow on the palate, along with vanilla and peppy acidity.
  Photo    
  85 Bodega Elena de Mendoza Chardonnay 2010 Mendoza (Argentina), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Sweet and summery, without being at all cloying, it boasts luscious and juicy peach flavors. A trace of candied lemon brightens this mellow, honeyed wine.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Bota Box Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $19.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Layers of citrus aromas exude from the glass, while flavors of peach and persimmon coat the tongue. A fruity wine with vivacious citrus-acidity. Perfect for parties and picnics.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Cavit Chardonnay 2010 Trentino (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An oak-driven Chardonnay with generous vanilla character. A simply quaffable wine that will appeal to wine drinkers that love both New World and Old World wines.
Great Value Photo    
  85 KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2010 Western Cape (South Africa), $29.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
White flowers, pineapple and light vanilla lead the way in this harmonious New World Chardonnay. Tasting of lemon curd, shortbread and lime peel, this is a minerally yet mellow white with a creamy mouthfeel and cleansing finish.
  Photo    
  85 Millaman Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2011 Curico Valley (Chile), $12.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A citrusy Chardonnay from the Curico Valley of Chile. This dry and full-bodied wine offers flavors of kiwi and lime, with mouth-watering acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Redwood Creek Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh apple and pear aromas open this straight-forward California Chardonnay, and on the palate the fruits are joined by vanilla, peaches and brown sugar. Round and full-bodied, with a creamy finish.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Simply Naked Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Peach flesh and peach pit waft from the glass. Pit fruits continue on the palate, with a hint of juicy citrus. A bright and vivacious Chardonnay.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Trapiche Broquel Chardonnay 2011 Argentina (Argentina), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Enticing aromas of fresh picked pears and apples with a hint of vanilla. On the palate the tree fruits appear along with a lemony custard quality and a bit of shortbread. Harmonious finish with a hint of balsam.
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  84 446 Chardonnay 2010 Monterey (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Bonterra Certified Organic Chardonnay 2010 Mendocino (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Glen Carlou Chardonnay 2010 Paarl (South Africa), $17.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Hess Collection Chardonnay 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $22.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 KWV Classic Collection Chardonnay 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 La Cetate Chardonnay 2009 Muntenia & Oltenia (Romania), €8.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Schug Chardonnay 2010 Carneros (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay 2010 Livermore Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Creation Chardonnay 2011 Walker Bay (South Africa), $24.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Domeniul Coroanei Segarcea Chardonnay 2009 Muntenia & Oltenia (Romania), €13.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Jane Seymour Wines JS Wines Chardonnay 2010 Santa Barbara County (United States), $24.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $16.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 The Naked Grape Chardonnay NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Turning Leaf Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Mercer Chardonnay 2010 Columbia Valley (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Concannon-Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve Chardonnay 2010 California (United States), $5.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Priam Vineyards Chardonnay 2011 New London County (United States), $19.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Trei Hectare Chardonnay 2009 Dobrogea (Romania), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Sauvignon Blanc - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $19.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Passionfruit, grapefruit, lime leaf and gooseberry explode from this benchmark New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Green apple flavors, followed by grapefruit and a light buttery richness – balsamic finish completes the picture.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $17.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bursting with tropical fruit and grass, all following through on the palate, along with inviting peppery notes. Pair with oysters.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $14.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Wafts of lime peel and summer grass mingle with flavors of green tree fruit and some tropical notes. Straightforward and easy drinking, full of zest.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Con Carne Sauvignon Blanc NV Valle Central (Chile), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A wine that is reminiscent of green herbs, and piquant bell pepper tastes and aromas. The palate offers zesty character. Refreshing and vivacious.
Great Value Photo    
  88 KWV Classic Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty tropical fruit aromas – pineapple and guava – merge with green apples and balsam trees for a fresh and fruity Sauvignon Blanc. Good lime and grapefruit citrus and peel with lean tannins make this a great food wine or dinner opener.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Massimo Prestige Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This crisp, clean wine is full of zingy citrus flavors and mellowed out by a lusher gooseberry note. Unassuming and easy-to-drink, even on its own.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Schug Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Sonoma Coast (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Reminiscent of spring greens and zingy citrus fruit, this dry white wine is a wonderful match with grilled fish. The herbal flavors of the wine marry well with green salads, while the delicious acidity makes this a wine that will stand up to tomatoes.
  Photo    
  88 The Girls in the Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Lake County (United States), $16.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Vibrant citric aromas give way to a lean, crisp wine full of zingy lime, the prickle of kiwi, and a poignant vegetal note. Refreshing, with a clean finish.
  Photo    
  88 Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with bright tropical notes of kiwi and passionfruit, as well as some zingy citrus. A trace of herbaceousness rounds it out.
  Photo    
  87 Fetzer Echo Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Smelling of fresh cut green apples, pears and a pine forest floor, this California Sauvignon Blanc is fresh, easy and welcoming. Moderate lemony acids bolstered by lean tannins and a well-developed frutiness, it’s a pleasing aperitif or light pairing wine.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Simply Naked Unoaked Sauvignon Blanc 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A subdued, straightforward example of the grape, with lush peachy notes and a creamy mouthfeel. Bursting with sweet orange and tangy lime peel on the palate, with a mouthwatering finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Wakefield Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Adelaide Hills (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crisp and lively nose of passionfruit and gooseberries mark this New World Sauvignon Blanc. Zingy limeleaf and lemony acids make for a brisk opening, followed by more tropical and balsamic flavors. Bracing and refreshing.
  Photo    
  86 Crossroads Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Kiwis, green plums, balsam and a hint of brine lead the aromas in this classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Very high and refreshing acidity zips across the palate, with a touch of green olive-like bitterness. Light tannins, and bright acids make for a mouth-watering finish.
Great Value Photo    
  86 KATO Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light straw hue, with a smoky, flinty nose that leads to flavors of passion fruit and guava. This wine is aromatic and zesty, with a long finish. A great pairing with seafood.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Leese-Fitch Sauvignon Blanc 2010 California (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fairly rounded Sauvignon Blanc that sings a chorus of citrus ranging from grapefruit to meyer lemon. There is a hint of black pepper and enough vibrant acidity to keep you coming back for more.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough (New Zealand), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bright and refreshing, with focused aromas of cracked white pepper. The palate leads to an exciting rush of persimmons and grapefruit. Mouth-watering acidity, dry, yet fruit-driven.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Taltarni Three Monks Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Pyrenees (Australia), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Integrated oak tones on both the nose and palate, along with grassy notes and crisp green apple character. A fairly full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc that is balanced with bracing acidity.
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  85 (oops) Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Valle Central (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Grapefruit zest and gooseberries, green plums and lime leaf merge in this pretty aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate it’s assertive, crisp and lively, with a tingly balsamic zing and a high acid finish that begs for more.
Great Value Photo    
  85 African Passion Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Loads of pine and gooseberry, with lemon peel and a spritz of lime, making this an assertive and modern Sauvignon Blanc with fresh and tingly appeal.
Great Value    
  85 Black Box Sauvignon Blanc 2011 East Coast (New Zealand), $24.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
The nose has notes of tropical fruit, citrus - nice and zesty. The palate is creamy, lively and youthful.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Castillo de Molina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Elqui Valley (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A burst of balsamic aromatics – pine forest, yew bush, gooseberry – as well as asparagus and fresh cut grass. On the palate, this is assertive and potently acidic and fresh – clearly in the New World style of in-your-face Sauvignon Blanc.
  Photo    
  85 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale hue. Sweet zesty flavors reminiscent of lemon meringue and gooseberries. Simultaneously tart and sweet, with invigorating acidity. Pair with oysters and goat cheese.
  Photo    
  85 Makara Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $11.95, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
The nose tingles with balsamic richness from this New old Sauvignon Blanc, and on the palate it’s got loads of flavor – lime leaf, gooseberry, green apples, sage, rosemary. Zippy acidity is mouth-cleansing and refreshing, and seriously appetizing.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Rex Goliath Sauvignon Blanc NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Racy acidity and a hint of summer hay permeate this crisp, uncomplicated wine. Rounded out with a mellower note of melon. Easy-drinking, whether on its own or with light fare.
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  84 Bonterra Certified Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Mendocino (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Martin's Rake Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $21.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Sonoma County (United States), $13.50, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Catherine Marshall Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Elgin (South Africa), $16.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Nicolas Sauvignon Blanc 2010 France (France), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Creation Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Walker Bay (South Africa), $20.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough (New Zealand), $19.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Riesling - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A dry yet aromatic white wine with hints of petrol and spice. Palate shows floral notes of orange blossom and rose, along with vibrant acidity and a note of lime. Very pretty.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling 2011 Columbia Valley (United States), $9.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty aromas of apples, peach and white flowers. Dry with bright fruit character flavors and zippy acidity. Pair with seasonal salads or ceviche.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Fetzer Riesling 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty aromas of peach, apricot and honeysuckle start this California Riesling, with flavors of melon and lemon predominating. Medium-bodied, semi-dry and a perfect spicy food wine.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Sheldrake Point Estate Grown, Dry Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $16.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bright minerally aromas of lime and lemon with some bay leaf herbaceousness; on the palate there’s the addition of some just ripe melon and peach and a clan and vibrant zippy finish. Crisp and mouth-watering.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Barefoot Cellars Riesling NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Explosive citrus aromas waft from the glass and follow on the palate. Citrus zest, along with a touch of sweetness, make this an easy-drinking white wine and a good accompaniment to brunch and fresh fruit salads.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Wakefield Estate Riesling 2011 Clare Valley (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of wildflower and pineapple as you nose the glass. On the palate, lime zest and some summer hay character, with a bright, racy acidity.
  Photo    
  89 Borghese Riesling 2010 North Fork of Long Island (United States), $21.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasant rose-petal perfume on the nose, this fresh, crisp wine is full of tropical fruit and some orange blossom notes. A hint of sweetness rounds it out.
  Photo    
  89 Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of tropical guava and mango. Medium-bodied with a hint of sweetness. Fruit continues on the palate, along with a dose of zealous acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Heron Hill Winery Semi-Dry Riesling 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty nose of apricot and a hint of orange blossom. On the palate, the wine boasts plush yet delicate flavors of peach and honeysuckle, with a citrus peel edge.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Wakefield Promised Land Riesling 2011 South Australia (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A nose of Meyer lemon and wildflowers opens on to zippy lime zest character, with a flirty hint of hard candy for a fun, easy-drinking wine.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Flying Ace Riesling 2010 Mosel (Germany), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A subtle and delicate Riesling from Germany with just a hint of sweetness. Slate and stony-mineral notes on the nose, followed by pit fruits and zesty acidity. An ideal aperitif.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Priam Vineyards Riesling 2011 New London County (United States), $19.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A sweetly perfumed nose of cotton candy and Meyer lemon gives way to juicy fruit flavors of peaches and Asian pear. Lush and off-dry, with a round mouthfeel and clean finish.
  Photo    
  87 Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling 2010 Columbia Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intriguing nose of beeswax, peach and white flowers. Titillating acidity keeps this wine fresh and easy to drink, while the finish has a distinct taste of lime juice.
  Photo    
  86 Heron Hill Winery Semi-Sweet Riesling 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intense fruity aromas of peaches and ripe strawberries. In the mouth, it’s all juicy peach, ripe melon, and honey. Lush and round, with a tantalizing sweetness.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Mercer Riesling 2010 Yakima Valley (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dry-medium dry Riesling with a lively peach and tangerine nose that enchants; on the palate it’s medium-bodied, pleasingly medium dry and nicely tingly, finishing with a zip of lime leaf and honeysuckle. Very pretty.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Wagner Vineyards Riesling Dry, Estate Grown/Estate Bottled Riesling 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant grassy nose opens up to flavors of wildflower and apricot. A zesty lime peel accent and razor-sharp acidity leave you with a clean, crisp finish.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Wagner Vineyards Riesling Select Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A perfumed nose of flowers and fruit gives way to a lush, round mouthfeel. Notes of juicy pineapple and other tropical fruits are balanced by a racy citrus edge in this semi-sweet wine.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Willm Réserve Riesling 2010 Alsace AOP (France), $14.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Mineral, bosc pears and notes of rose flower on the nose. Mineral edge continues in the mouth. A delightfully dry Riesling. Perfect for aperitif or with hard cheese.
  Photo    
  84 Bonterra Certified Organic Riesling 2009 Mendocino (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Turning Leaf Vineyards Riesling 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Wagner Vineyards Riesling Semi Dry, Estate Grown/Estate Bottled Riesling 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Viognier - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  86 Bonterra Certified Organic Viognier 2010 Mendocino (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fruity nose of Muscat and kumquats, silky smooth and textured on the palate, this organic Viognier has a charming sweetness backed by assertive tannins and clean acidity. Complex, perfumed and intriguing, showing how well-made California Viognier can be.
Great Value Photo    
 

White Wines

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Willm Réserve Pinot Gris 2010 Alsace AOP (France), $15.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Notes of petrol, mineral and wild flowers on the nose. Crisp citrus on the palate. A focused and aromatic wine that will work with roasted bird.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Handley Cellars Pinot Gris 2010 Anderson Valley (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lemons, grapefruits and honey emerge from a glass of this Andreson Valley Pinto Gris, and on the palate it is medium-bodied with a pleasing oiliness, a fine acid-fruit balance and a tangy finish of apple peels and lime juice.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2011 IGT, Venezia Giulia (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromatic notes of green apples, pears and lanolin, with a touch of white flowers, lead this northern Italian Pinto Grigio. On the palate it’s light, delicate even, with moderate acidity and a quick zippiness across the palate. Light and refreshing.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Bella Costa Pinot Grigio 2010 IGT, Venezia Giulia (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh, clean and crisp. Dry, with moderate acidity and a hint of piquant pepper. A simple and refreshing wine that will work well with grilled fish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale golden hue. Lush, tart aromas offer immediate satisfaction. In the mouth, there's a mineral-like quality that's astringent, stony and dusty that's perfect for fish-based meals. Aftertaste offers a tropical fruit finish that's lovely and classic.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2010 Valdadige (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw hue. A light-bodied wine with creamy notes, vibrant white fruit and bright acidity. An ideal wine to drink on its own or with fish.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Fetzer Pinot Grigio 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of musk melon, green apples and lemons start this racy Pinot Grigio off, with a sharp lemon-lime brilliance on the palate, and plenty of zippy acidity. Great with salas and grilled vegetables.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Lieb Cellars Pinot Blanc 2009 North Fork of Long Island (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Oyster shell/pale straw color. Smells upfront of leaves/vines, tart tropical fruits and cooking spices (sage, mace). In the mouth, the taste profile is lean, tart and yet delectably fruity. Finish is pleasantly, refreshingly tart.
  Photo    
  86 Simply Naked Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light in color and body, this crisp, citrusy white wine also shows a hint of white flowers. A delightful wine to drink alone or with antipasti.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Turning Leaf Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crisp, light and as easy-drinking as it gets, this Pinot Grigio still manages to pack some pretty racy acidity and a whisper of summer pear.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Barefoot Cellars Pinot Grigio NV American (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A crisp white wine with simple white fruits on the palate and a clean finish. Easy drinking and perfect for aperitif.
  Photo    
  85 Daniel Gehrs White Hills Pinot Gris 2011 Santa Barbara County (United States), $19.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Peachy, bubble gum aromas give way to flavors of lush tropical and tart candied fruit. Balanced by a zingy citrus peel note and fine, mineral edge.
  Photo    
  85 Domino Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of spice and melon. The palate shows honeydew and cantaloupe melons laced with citrus-like acidity. A vivacious Pinot Grigio that drinks deliciously on its own.
  Photo    
  85 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A warm-climate Pinot Grigio with a pale straw color and a fairly full-body. White fruit and spice character, backed by juicy acidity. Pair with spicy Asian food.
  Photo    
  85 The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Delicate lemony nose with notes of pear and green apple; on the palate, it’s fresh, crisp, light and pleasant, great with light fare, salads or back-yard sipping.
  Photo    
  84 Concannon-Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve Pinot Grigio 2010 California (United States), $5.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Dellatorri Pinot Grigio 2011 delle Venezie IGT (Italy), $17.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Bota Box Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $19.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Twisted Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Duca Pinot Grigio/Garganega 2010 Veneto, IGT (Italy), $18.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $11.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Gewurztraminer - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 90 Fetzer Gewurztraminer 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Honey, honeysuckle, lilacs and white flowers typify this fruity Gewurztraminer varietal custom-made for rich and spicy foods. Litchi, lemon and melon are among the fruit flavors, and the wine finishes medium-long and charming.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Handley Cellars Gewurztraminer 2011 Anderson Valley (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant, luscious wine boasting notes of rose petal, pears and melon, with just a touch of citrus peel. Rich and ripe, with a razor-sharp acidity.
  Photo    
  89 Sheldrake Point Estate Grown Gewurztraminer 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep, honeyed hue characterizes this full-bodied aromatic white. Full of rich flavors of orange blossom, cotton candy, and rose petal, it also has a trace of fresh herb.
  Photo    
  88 Willm Réserve Gewurztraminer 2011 Alsace AOP (France), $16.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Willm Reserve Gewurztraminer 2011 Alsace (France) This expressive wine offers aromas of rose jam and lychees. Flavors of tropical fruits are abundant, along with spicy, woody tones. A treat for the senses.
  Photo    
  85 Dr. Konstantin Frank Reserve Gewurztraminer 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $24.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Layered with aromas that run the gamut from lychee to rosewater. Full and luscious, with rich texture, spice and fruit, while remaining dry. Delicious with rich, creamy cheese.
  Photo    
  85 Wagner Vineyards Estate Grown/Estate Bottled Semi-Dry Gewurztraminer 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A highly perfumed wine with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and rose. Spice and floral continue on the palate, along with a fairly sweet and long finish. This is a low acidity and medium-bodied wine.
Great Value Photo    
 

White Wines

Chenin Blanc - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Quails' Gate Chenin Blanc 2010 Okanagan Valley (Canada), $15.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A floral nose reveals notes of wildflower, sagebrush and citrus. On the palate, sweet-tart nectarine and bright lemon zest character, with a zippy, mouthwatering acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  89 KWV Classic Collection Chenin Blanc 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Apples, pears and a rich earthiness form the aromatic force behind this South African white. On the palate there’s a hint of hazelnut, but otherwise it’s zesty tropical and green fruit. Great apertif wine.
Great Value Photo    
  82 African Passion Chenin Blanc 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

Albariño – Spain/Alvarinho - Portugal

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  87 Deusa Nai Albariño 2010 Rias Baixas (Spain), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant, floral nose gives way to crisp, zippy apple and grapefruit notes. Razor-sharp acidity is rounded out by a fine mineral note. Crisp, clean finish.
  Photo    
  83 Luxium Albariño 2010 Rias Baixas (Spain), $16.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
 

White Wines

Assorted Whites - North America

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  89 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards White Stag NV Finger Lakes (United States), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Peachy on the nose with fresh and candied fruit aromas, this semi-sweet wine is full of honeyed and melon notes. Easy-drinking and straightforward, ideal for all-day drinking.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Concannon-Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve Moscato 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 1.5 L Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Scents of orange blossom water waft from the glass, with a hint of beeswax. Sweet, fruity and aromatic, this is a pretty wine that drinks well with fresh fruit salads.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Barefoot Cellars Moscato NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Sweet and summery, without being at all cloying, it boasts luscious and juicy peach flavors. A trace of candied lemon brightens this mellow, honeyed wine.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Big House White 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh green melon and sweet peach aromas burst from this fruit-forward white blend. Juicy, peachy, ripe and ready for backyard barbecues, good for of-dry wine lovers.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Seven Daughters White Blend NV California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Loads of melon and peach aromas from this seven varietal blend, with a slight bitter almond quality balancing the rich and ripe sweetness overall. Finishes clean and crisp, with plenty of mouth-watering acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Simply Naked Moscato 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Peaches and floral notes on the nose. Sweet, light-bodied and pretty, with flavors of honeyed peaches and lemon-lime acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Amberhill Secret Blend White 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty rose talcum aroma with nectarines and lemon; on the palate, it’s simple, pleasant, lightly bitter and mouth-filling. Good wine for casual sipping and spicy foods.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Clos Du Val Ariadne 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Green herbaceous aromas. Offers fresh, bright grassy flavors and clean acidity. A good wine for Southern Californian cuisine such as fish tacos.
  Photo    
  85 Pandemonium 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fruity nose is followed by flavors reminiscent of lemon pie and summer fruit salad. Some tropical fruit, melon and honeysuckle, with nice acidity make it ideal for back-porch sipping.
  Photo    
  83 Turning Leaf Vineyards Refresh - Crisp White 2011 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 The Naked Grape Moscato NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Turning Leaf Vineyards Refresh - Sweet White 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Peter Vella Delicious White NV California (United States), $10.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

White Wines

White Blends – Europe

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Vinas del Vero La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2010 Somontano (Spain), $15.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Attractive oyster shell color. Tightly wound, firmly acidic, lightly fruity aromas delight the olfactory sense. Best part is the elegant balance in the mouth, which offers tart flavors of pineapple, guava and kiwi. Aftertaste is silky and tropical fruit-like. Dazzling and luscious.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Carlos Serres Onomastica, Blanco Reserva Viura 2008 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $39.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Hints of bitter almond, lanolin and candied flowers suggest a fruit-restrained Viura; on the palate it is austere, savory and dry Sherry-like in its tang of green olives and apple peels. Restrained fruit and well-knit complexity are notable.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Marques De Riscal 2011 Rueda (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh green herbs, a light brininess and stone fruit are at the heart of the aromas of this Spanish Verdejo varietal. Citrusy with a full and rounded mouth-feel it finishes with a touch of bitter almonds and lemon zest. Great with marinated vegetables or light fare.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 90 Bodegas Pago De Almaraes Mencal 2011 Granada DOP (Spain), $15.85, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty nose of white flowers and melon, tasting fresh, green grapey, lightly fizzy and with a appetizing touch of bitter almond. Zippy finish on a fine straightforward white alternative wine.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 90 Testa Moscato 2010 Moscato d'Asti (Italy), $17.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw/yellow color. Orange blossom and honeysuckle fragrances explode in the glass. In the mouth, the first taste impression is of tropical fruit then the backdoor taste is more spicy and floral. Delicious aperitif wine that would go well with prosciutto and melon.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Feudo Principi Di Butera Insolia 2010 Sicily IGT (Italy), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Straw hue with hints of green. Smoky, menthol, herbal aromas waft from the glass. The palate exhibits sweet citrus fruit and white almonds. A zippy white wine.
  Photo    
  88 Hera Branco 2011 Vinho Verde (Portugal), $7.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Clean aromas of green apples and fresh cut grass; on the palate, slighty fizzy, crisp and refreshing – a perfect sipper for a hot night and spicy food.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Vinkara Doruk Narince 2011 Southern Anatolia (Turkey), €11.60, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light aromatics of apricot and lemon, with good body and structure; flavors are subtle – nectarine, apricot, and some mint. Finish is light, clean and gently cleansing. Fine everyday wine.
  Photo    
  87 Andre Lurton Blanc 2011 Entre-Deux-Mers (France), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale straw in the glass. A pretty and floral nose with citrus notes reminiscent of tangerine. Herbaceous flavors, soaring acidity and a long fruit-driven finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Carlos Serres Viura 2011 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Attractive green apple and pear aromas, with a hint of creamy richness. On the palate, this is a finely structured, well-balanced wine with a tannic backbone, light flavors of apple and solid acidity. A perfect food wine for seafood, grilled vegetables, salads and lighter fare.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Duca Durello/Chardonnay 2010 Veneto, IGT (Italy), $18.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Richly aromatic white blend with a pear and roasted nut quality on the nose, and a creamy cooked apple flavor. Good structure and brisk finish makes it a fine food wine for light fare.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Estreia Branco 2011 Vinho Verde (Portugal), $7.50, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromatic, dry and slightly frizzante. The nose offers notes of peaches and green olives, while the palate sings with flavors of honeydew and cantaloupe melon. A crisp wine that is made for seafood!
Great Value Photo    
  87 Tutidi Moscato 2010 Piemonte (Italy), $11.99, 1 L Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fine everyday, low (seven percent) alcohol Moscato, lightly sparkling with pleasant aromas of white flowers, peach and orange blossoms. Round and lush notes of melon, peach and honeysuckle predominate this Italian charmer.
Great Value    
  86 Casa Santos LAB White 2011 Lisboa (Portugal), €1.75, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crisp and lively nose of pine forest, apples and pears; in the mouth it’s lively, with balsamic notes, assertive acidity and hints of green olive and mouth watering bitterness.
  Photo    
  86 Cavit Moscato 2010 Pavia IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Confectionary fruit aromas, with floral perfume. Spritzy on the palate, fruit-forward and medium-sweet, with a citrus and sweet peach finish.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Feudo Arancio Dalila 2009 Sicily IGT (Italy), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
As the label depicts this exhibits a harmonious symphony of both the Grillo and Viognier grape varieties. A wonderfully spicy and floral wine with a complex salty- mineral finish.
Great Value Photo    
  86 La Chiara Gavi di Gavi 2010 Gavi (DOCG) (Italy), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Straw colored, fresh tasting and unassuming, this crisp Gavi white wine from northern Italy has a richly oily feel in the mouth, and a drying mineral finish. Pairs well with fish, seafood, grilled chicken or vegetable dishes, or simply as an aperitif.
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  85 Seven Daughters Moscato NV Italy (Italy), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A frizzante Moscato that is fresh and delightful. A sweet wine, with grapey character, white flowers, and fresh fruit. The perfect brunch wine.
  Photo    
  85 Stemmari Grillo 2011 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Made from a Sicilian heirloom grape variety. Dry with stony mineral flavors. Grassy, full-bodied and earthy. Pair with fish and poultry.
Great Value Photo    
  84 Herdade Grande Colheita Seleccionada 2011 Alentejo (Portugal), $6.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Masseria Altemura Estate Fiano di Avellino 2010 Salento, IGT (Italy), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Pato Frio Antão Vaz 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), €2.95, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Borges Reserva Blanco 2010 Douro (Portugal), €7.45, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
       
 

White Wines

White Blends – Southern Hemisphere

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  87 Fish Eye Moscato 2011 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $7.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Tutti-frutti, peach, litchi and pineapple aromas pop from this Aussie Moscato. Richly sweet on the palate with a tang of honeyed grapefruit. Good for spicy foods of any kind.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Obikwa Moscato 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Attractive pale yellow color. Smells upfront of hibiscus, honeysuckle and jasmine, then develops a citrusy/tangerine-like bouquet that's charming and easy. Tastes of dried flowers, tropical fruits (pineapple, kiwi especially) and light baking spice (cinnamon).
Great Value Photo    
  86 Rex Goliath Moscato NV Argentina (Argentina), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An assertive Moscato with spicy orange aromas. Off-dry, robust and round, with tropical fruit flavors and fairly low acidity. Pair with spicy shellfish.
Great Value Photo    
  84 Black Box Moscato 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $24.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Nordby Vineyards Il Re (The King) Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Lake County (United States), $37.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasing mossy funk on nose gives way to a rich, almost savory wine, full of brooding black fruit, with a hint of vanilla. Firm tannins and a bodacious body.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Stag's Leap District (United States), $75.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep, rich velvety purple hue, this classic Napa Cab exudes power and grace, with black fruits, a hint of green pepper and dusty roads and a fine herbaceousness. Rich in fruit and tannin, it has a pretty vanilla oakiness as well. Rich and rewarding.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $34.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Classic Cabernet aromas of blackberries, green pepper, fresh herbs bolstered with a light toasted oak quality, which comes through soft and richly vanillaed on the palate. Good tannins grip lightly followed by a nice fruit/spice and herb finish. Dry and delectable ending.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Saint Helena (United States), $40.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Magenta in color and medium-bodied, with aromas of bright fruit. Bursting with ripe black cherry, some spice, it also has a whiff of licorice on the finish.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $38.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rich and enticing, this Napa Cab exudes strength and potency, with aromas of dark fruits, saddle leather, dusty roads and well-managed oak. On the palate, it’s silky, rich with mocha and blackberries and refreshingly dry.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Rodney Strong Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Alexander Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of toasted oak and apple give way to a creamy, unctuous mouthfeel. Flavors of yellow apple and butter dominate, brightened by a racy citrus edge.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Bodegas y Vinedos De Aguirre Reina Ana Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Valle Central (Chile), $16.95, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red color with a violet rim. Fragrant aromas of forest fruit and a hint of the herbaceous lead into red and dark berry character. Assertive tannins and a rich, savory quality.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Midsummer Cellars Canon Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $44.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A structured wine that possesses inky tannins, with aromas of blueberries, blackcurrants and integrated wood. Lingering length. One to drink now or cellar.
  Photo    
  90 Midsummer Cellars Clark-Claudon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $44.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cabernet Sauvignon from a high-elevation single vineyard on the Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. This wine carries a dark ruby hue, with aromas of cassis and dark chocolate. Powdery tannins give this wine immense intensity and structure. Age-worthy, but can also be enjoyed now with a serious steak.
     
  89 Wakefield St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Clare Valley (Australia), $49.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Piercing tannins and a touch of fresh green pepper. A hardy wine that will make a great accompaniment to red meat dishes. If you like gutsy wine, this one is for you.
  Photo    
  88 Chateau Ste Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Horse Heaven Hills (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ripe aromas of sun-drying fruit, dried herbs and rich vanilla emerge from the glass; on the palate, it’s richly sweet and spicy, like blueberries simmered with cinnamon and butter, and there’s a good tannin-acid finish that lingers.
  Photo    
  88 HandCraft Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A perfume of cherry blossoms in the glass gives way bright, lush fruit flavors on the palate. Notes of coffee and cocoa round it out.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Red Hills Lake County (United States), $65.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep inky purple color and full-figured body. Sweet, fruity aromas open on to big, clean fruit flavors and assertive tannins. Classic in style, voluptuous and seductive.
  Photo    
  88 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Paso Robles (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep garnet in color, with plenty of intense, ripe fruit on the nose. Plummy flavors of juicy fruit, and some candied fruit, with a whisper of coffee on the finish.
  Photo    
  87 Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crimson color. Attractive aromas of mint, cassis and Loganberry converge into one pleasing fragrance. Easy drinking; very ripe tastes of plums and raisins make it the ideal companion for pizza and deli sandwiches.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Cadet d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Vin de Pays d'Oc (France), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Expressive black currants and green pepper with a touch of minerality mark this Cabernet blend, and on the palate, it’s tangy with semi-ripe fruit, white pepper and lemon. Bright and built for stews, roasts and well-seasoned dishes.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Concannon Conservancy Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Livermore Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A dense wine of concentrated cassis character, and oaky overtones. The palate offers ripe fruit, with mocha hints, silky tannins, lifted acidity and a lingering finish.
  Photo    
  87 Concannon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Distinct blackcurrant character on the nose and palate. A little stemmy with grippy tannins and a fine finish. A classic California Cabernet. Pair with beef and lamb dishes.
  Photo    
  87 Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby color. Pretty scents of mint and cherries abound in this generously endowed bouquet. In the mouth, the taste profile delivers well in the harmonious flavors of mint, black cherry and blackberry. Medium long, peppery finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Sonoma Mountain (United States), $30.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rich, jammy California Cab aromas of blackberry jam and cooked black plums with a touch of oaky vanilla and coconut. The fruit-forward wine develops a nice acidity on the palate and finishes crisp but mouth-filling.
  Photo    
  87 Midsummer Cellars Tomasson Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Saint Helena (United States), $44.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A site-specific Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, this wine shows all the elegance of the St. Helena AVA. Enticing cassis aromas on the nose, with traces of cedar box and tobacco. This wine drinks beautifully now but also has the depth to age.
  Photo    
  87 Monte De Oro Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Temecula Valley (United States), $34.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red with a brick rim, rich aromas of oak and dark fruit are revealed as you nose the glass. In the mouth, flavors are juicy dark berry and toasted vanilla, with a slight vegetal note.
  Photo    
  87 Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blackberry, bramble, cocoa and vanilla, with a spicy kick. Full-bodied, integrated tannins, with enough backbone to pair with rich stews. For anyone who likes wine with opulence.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $11.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant nose of intense stewed fruit. On the palate, jammy red and black berry flavors are accented by hints of pepper and tar. Ripe and round.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Trapiche Oak Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Argentina (Argentina), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dark ruby color. As the name indicates there are oaky notes on the nose, which follow on the palate, along with grippy tannins, iron minerals, and lush blackcurrant fruit.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Clare Valley (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Full, ripe, rich and round with a fruit-forward aspect. Hints of dark fruit, prunes and assertive tannins. A juicy, fruit-driven wine.
  Photo    
  86 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Lodi (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intense fruit compote aromas in the glass lead into juicy dark berry flavors, laced with oak, coffee and vanilla. Supple tannins make for a voluptuous body.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Central Coast (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A perfumed wine, with ripe, layered currant and plum aromas, which continue on the palate. The finish is long with intense, lingering fruit on the back-palate. Enjoy with lamb.
  Photo    
  86 Chateau Ste Michelle Ethos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Columbia Valley (United States), $38.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
The rich aromas of raisins simmered in spices and wine open this Washington State Cab; on the palate it’s dense with fruit and spiked with a mix of baking spices. It finishes supple and potent, with concentrated tannins and light acidity.
  Photo    
  86 Concannon Selected Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Central Coast (United States), $10.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby/blood red color. Aromatic offerings are slightly closed at first, then with aeration the juicy, jammy fragrance comes alive. On the palate, toasty flavors of baked bread, dried fruit and baking spices abound. Full, firmly structured and classy.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Concannon-Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $5.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An everyday quaffing wine, leaning towards candied red fruits, smooth tannins and a lingering Port-like finish. The ideal wine for barbecued short ribs.
Great Value Photo    
  86 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Paso Robles (United States), $56.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Redolent of vibrant red fruit, this ruby red wine is all juicy berries in the mouth. A hint of oak spice and assertive tannins make for a bodacious body.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Forchini Vineyards & Winery Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Dry Creek Valley (United States), $32.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Medium-bodied and vivid garnet in color, this wine boasts intense stewed fruit flavors, plus notes of cocoa and coffee on the mid-palate. A lengthy, satisfying finish.
  Photo    
  86 Irony Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red and medium-bodied, this robust wine is full of juicy dark fruit and cherry, with a hint of tar on the finish. Assertive tannins are kept in check for a harmonious effect overall.
  Photo    
  86 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Alexander Valley (United States), $52.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A tantalizing farmyard aroma opens up on to wild fruits of the forest flavors. An oak spice note is integrated nicely for a supple, harmonious wine.
  Photo    
  86 Obikwa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red color. Delicate scents of pepper, cedar and mint vie for attention. Flavor-wise, there are two distinct layers of flavor, one is spicy and zesty and the other, more subtle layer is all about dried red fruits, in particular, cherries. Lovely medium long finish that's very dry and tart.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An earthy fragrance of garrigue as you nose the glass opens on to bold black and red fruit flavors accented with a notes of vanilla and oak spice, with a wild farmyard character.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Sonoma County (United States), $17.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Oak and bramble fruits on the nose. Palate is rounded and full-bodied, with black fruits and a long sweet-vanilla finish. Pair with Asian duck dishes.
  Photo    
  86 The Girls in the Vineyard Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Red Hills Lake County (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dark berries on the nose with notes of smoky oak. Oak is perceptible on the palate, along with the sturdy tannins often associated with this grape variety. Aromatic, elegant and balanced.
  Photo    
  85 Carlo Rossi Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $10.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ripe, big and assertive with red cherry and blackberry character, along with underlying bright acidity. Perfect for pizzas and picnics!
Great Value Photo    
  85 Daniel Gehrs Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Central Coast (United States), $24.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Medium-bodied and ruby red. A tantalizing, earthy funk on nose is followed by juicy, unmasked black fruit flavors. A trace of the herbaceous rounds it out.
  Photo    
  85 Delicato Vineyards Domino Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A burst of stewed fruit aromas opens up to lush black fruit and some candied notes, laced with vanilla flower and a touch of oak spice.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Potent aromas of cooked black fruits, mocha and toasted coconut typify this California Cab; fruit-forward, it retains a solid acidity and easy tannins to make for a quaffable and representative Cab.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $27.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
With a nose full of cherry and oak spice, this rich and opulent wine boasts notes of stewed fruit, tobacco and Christmas spices, with a hint of coffee on the finish.
  Photo    
  85 Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A medley of berry fruits waft from the glass, with a trace of fresh green pepper. Cassis, oak and silky tannins on the palate, with an almost sweet fruit finish.
  Photo    
  85 Millaman Limited Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Curico Valley (Chile), $18.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Black-purple hue. Dark fruit, oak and a hint of green herb on the nose. An assertive palate with astute tannins and a long finish. A big wine that also shows form.
  Photo    
  85 Twisted Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep purple color and medium body. Intense cooked fruit fragrances are followed by dark berry jam flavors. A hint of warm vanilla on the finish.
Great Value Photo    
  84 Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  84 Mettler Family Vineyards Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Lodi (United States), $24.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $55.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Trapiche Broquel Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Argentina (Argentina), $16.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Turning Leaf Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 3 Girls Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Lodi (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Callaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Lodi (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Duca Cabernet/Corvina 2010 Veneto, IGT (Italy), $18.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $7.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Gamela Reserva, Viñas de Altura Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 San Rafael (Argentina), $19.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Laurel Glen Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Sonoma Mountain (United States), $70.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 McWilliams Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $12.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Simply Naked Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Bonterra Certified Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Mendocino (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Montalvo Wilmot Cabernet De Familia Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Castilla (VdT) (Spain), $18.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Rio Seco Reserve, Viñas de Altura Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  80 Mercer Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Columbia Valley (United States), $23.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Pinot Noir - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 95 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Extraordinary,
Ultimate Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light ruby color. An oak-driven Pinot Noir that is rich in fruit and soft in tannin. The finish is lush and sweet with a note of warming spice.
  Photo    
  Finalist 94 Forchini Vineyards & Winery Proprietor's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 Russian River Valley (United States), $34.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasing earthy funk on the nose opens on to bright red cherry fruit and an intoxicating floral note. Assertive tannins make for an elegant, Burgundian wine.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $23.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of sour cherries, wild strawberries and cola emerge easily from this chaming Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Tasting of cherry cola, lemon ice and a dusting of vanilla-mocha, it has good tannins that ripple across the palate. Silky and delightful.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Styring Estate Pinot Noir 2008 Ribbon Ridge (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A Burgundian-style Pinot Noir, offering dark cherry aromas and hints of sweet oak. A fairly, rich and curvaceous wine which will benefit from air and a side order of steak.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Duck Pond Pinot Noir 2009 Willamette Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty pale garnet color. Aromas of cooked sour cherries, red plums and rose petals dominate, and on the palate this Pinot Noir is delicate and appealing, with the tang of fresh strawberries and lemon zest. A light and charming Oregon Pinot.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Hedgeline Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 Oregon (United States), $18.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
With aromas of tea roses, wild strawberries and fresh herbs, this Oregon Pinot Noir is delicate and supple. With a creamy texture with some satisfying bitterness, it finishes with a lightly sour cherry tang.
  Photo    
  89 Domaine Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Carneros, Napa (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A generous Pinot Noir. Aromas of wood, blue and black skinned berry fruits. Lush fruit flavors, oak notes and smooth, silky tannins. Pair with pork chops.
  Photo    
  89 Oak Summit Estate Bottled Pinot Noir 2010 Hudson Valley (United States), $29.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An enticing earthy nose, mingled with lifted red and dark berry aromas. Fruit is balanced with salivating acidity and nice tannins. This wine will work with a variety of foods including roasted fowl and vegetables.
     
  89 Trapiche Broquel Pinot Noir 2011 Argentina (Argentina), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty light ruby color on this Argentinian Pinot Noir, smelling of crushed red and sour cherries and fruit leather. Tasting of sour and sweet cherries with a squeeze of lemon, it’s light bodied and brightly refreshing with a delicate finish.
  Photo    
  88 667 Pinot Noir 2010 Monterey (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An earthy nose with nutty aromas gives way to bright, berry fruit and a layer of spice. A pleasant minerality makes for an almost savory effect overall.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Concannon Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 Central Coast (United States), $10.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Earthy and rich aromas of raspberries, tar and fresh-plowed field dominate in this robust and firm Pinot Noir Good, firm body with crisp acids, and a pretty strawberry and spice sachet balance.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Handley Pinot Noir 2009 Anderson Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A lean body and perfumed nose exude femininity and elegance. Bright cherry fruit, a hint of minerality, and notes of baking spices. A mellifluous and enticing wine.
  Photo    
  88 Johan Vineyards Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2009 Willamette Valley (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of cherry blossoms and clay are followed by bright red fruit flavors, elegant minerality, and a spiced, caramelized note on the finish. Lean and lovely.
  Photo    
  88 Johan Vineyards Nils Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 Willamette Valley (United States), $45.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ripe red fruit on the nose gives way to cherry and cola notes, and an earthy minerality. Delicate tannins and a pleasant acidity make for a lasting finish.
  Photo    
  88 MacPhail Pinot Noir 2009 Sonoma Coast (United States), $39.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fruit and oak merge in a seamless and subtle Sonoma Pinot Noir. Rich and expressive with strawberry and roses, modulated sweetness and rippling acids make it a food and apertif pleasure.
  Photo    
  88 Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty Pinot Noir with floral, fruit-driven notes, and integrated toasty-oak. Sweet, dark cherry fruit flavors, with a long, persistent finish and vibrant acidity.
  Photo    
  88 Scott Family Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Arroyo Seco (United States), $39.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light garnet hue, with aromas of fresh crushed strawberries, violets, red plums and cooked sour cherries. On the palate fresh and light, with a moderate spiciness and clean, sharp acids for a lip-smacking finish.
  Photo    
  88 Trapiche Oak Cask Pinot Noir 2011 Argentina (Argentina), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cherries, fresh strawberries and strawberry jam, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg are among the fruit-forward aromas from this light and quaffable South American Pinto Noir. Fin tannins and cleansing acidity provide a pleasing and fresh finale.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Castillo de Molina Reserva Pinot Noir 2010 Valle Central (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas here of cherries simmered in red wine spiked with cinnamon. On the palate, this Pinot Noir is earthy and spicy with flavors of cooked red plums and lemon zest. Clean and tart finish.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Jane Seymour Wines JS Wines Pinot Noir 2009 Santa Barbara County (United States), $36.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Sour cherries, fruit compote, road tar and rose petals merged seamlessly to form a harmonious whole. Flavors are delicate and elegant, texture silky and dashing, with a fine finish of a lemon sorbet with cherries.
     
  87 ManaNZ Pinot Noir 2009 Marlborough (New Zealand), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This lean and elegant Pinot Noir has notes of pencil and clay, with red berry fruit that is ripe and vivid, and a dynamic acidity.
     
  87 Mud House Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago (New Zealand), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bright fruit notes, including ripe cherries and raspberry, give way to a hint of warm spice and fresh herbs on the finish. This fresh, lean wine also has a fine mineral note.
  Photo    
  87 Sequana Pinot Noir 2009 Russian River Valley (United States), $38.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rose petals, mocha and chocolate covered strawberries are the aromatic touchstones of this pretty and delicate Pinot Noir. Fine tannins, subtle acids and well-balanced sweetness round out its finer points.
  Photo    
  87 The Crossings Pinot Noir 2010 Marlborough (New Zealand), $18.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A light body and pretty garnet color in the glass. Nice, bright fruit, including cherry raspberry, give way to mineral, clay note and just a hint of spice. Elegant and seductive.
  Photo    
  87 Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 Paso Robles (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An inviting warm-climate Pinot Noir. The nose begins with an enticing note of Morello cherry and dusty earth, leading to a hint of vanilla bean. This Pinot coats the mouth with lush fruit, milk-chocolate covered cherries and a trace of cinnamon spice.
  Photo    
  86 Bonterra Certified Organic Pinot Noir 2010 Mendocino (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Redolent of wild fruits and vanilla, this sultry wine is layered with clove and a hint of tree bark. Gentle tannins make for a soft, lean body.
  Photo    
  86 Crown Range Pinot Noir 2008 Central Otago (New Zealand), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A seductive nose, pleasantly earthy and a touch herbaceous, is followed by ripe cherry on the palate. A mineral note and supple tannins make for a harmonious, well-balanced wine.
  Photo    
  86 Irony Pinot Noir 2010 Monterey (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An earthy nose and soft, ripe berry flavors are layered with notes of Christmas spices. A voluptuous body with fine, stand-up tannins.
  Photo    
  86 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir 2010 California (United States), $11.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fresh, breezy and silky Pinot Noir from the iconic Robert Mondavi winery. The nose exudes warm nutmeg spice and crushed violet petals with black cherries. A juicy wine, with lovely bright acidity and soft tannins. A treat for the senses.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Handley Pinot Noir 2009 Mendocino (United States), $32.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Notes of violet and vanilla give a floral layer to this fruit-forward wine. A hint of spice and cocoa make for a rich, nearly savory finish.
  Photo    
  85 Jane Seymour Wines JS Wines Pinot Noir 2008 Santa Barbara County (United States), $36.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bright tart cherry aromas with a puff of eucalyptus and sage mark this Pinot Noir. Delicate on the palate, refreshing and elegant with hints of rose petal and tar.
     
  85 Judson Hale Winery Walsh Ranch Pinot Noir 2010 Yorkville Highlands (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Yorkville Highlands Mendocino County (United States)*: A light ruby color with a brick rim and lean, light body give way to bright berry notes. Slightly floral aromas and beautiful acidity make for a complex, well-rounded wine.
  Photo    
  85 Redwood Creek Pinot Noir 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An aromatic earthy nose, with ripe cherry flavors. Medium-bodied with a light garnet hue, it has great acidity and mild tannins. A lovely mineral note and touch of baking spice on the finish.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Rex Goliath Pinot Noir NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An everyday Pinot Noir to wash down pizzas and burgers. Smells like dust, earth and pencil lead, encased in lush, sweet berries - all following through on the palate. Juicy, lush and thirst-quenching!
  Photo    
  85 Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards Unbridled Pinot Noir 2010 Santa Barbara County (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An opulent Pinot Noir that is highly suggestive of summertime cherries and a hint of chocolate on the nose. Both the body and palate of this Pinot Noir is well-rounded and layered with a medley of red and dark berry fruits. Cinnamon and fruit dance on the long finish.
  Photo    
  84 Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  84 Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2010 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 The Naked Grape Pinot Noir NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Clos Du Val Pinot Noir 2009 Carneros, Napa (United States), $32.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 HandCraft Pinot Nero 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Rio Seco Reserva, Viñas de Altura Pinot Noir 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Schug Pinot Noir 2009 Carneros (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Turning Leaf Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Creation Pinot Noir 2011 Walker Bay (South Africa), $30.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 Okanagan Valley (Canada), $38.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Wakefield Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Adelaide Hills (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Merlot - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Monte De Oro Deportola Vineyards Estate Grown Merlot 2008 Temecula Valley (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Warm jammy aromas with some licorice on the nose give way to rich, savory flavors of forest fruit and a hint of mocha. Approachable tannins make for a silky texture and lasting finish.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Clos Du Val Merlot 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Easy to find blueberry, black currant and toasty oak in this straight forward and rich Merlot, with hints of green pepper as well. On the palate it’s sleek and silky with good spice and nice acidity. Good with roasts and grilled meats.
  Photo    
  Finalist 90 Irony Merlot 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A rich wine that exhibits ripe plum and black cherry character with an underlying taste of blueberry cordial. Pair with barbecued meats or burgers.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Bonterra Certified Organic Merlot 2009 Mendocino (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blackcurrant cordial aromas. Ripe, almost sweet, blueberry and blackcurrant fruits, with sturdy tannins. Rich, ripe and fruity. Can be served with a slight chill.
  Photo    
  87 Hawkstone Barney's Heritage Cuvée Merlot 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $28.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Plummy ripe fruit with a hint of milk chocolate on the palate. Subtle and silky, this fruit-forward Merlot still manages to have a great body, with supple tannins.
  Photo    
  87 Turning Leaf Vineyards Merlot 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Mossy, forest-floor aromas and a pretty magenta rim. Rich, plummy flavors, with hints of mocha and tar. Overall, a rich, almost savory wine with a medium to full body and a pleasant, round mouthfeel.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Barefoot Cellars Merlot NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intriguing nose of grape stems and coffee bean. The palate is rich with fruit and refreshing acidity. Tannins are soft and supple, while the finish is long and spicy.
Great Value    
  85 Chateau Ste Michelle Canoe Ridge Merlot 2009 Horse Heaven Hills (United States), $26.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blackberries, sandalwood and a touch of oregano emerge from the glass of this dense and jammy Merlot. Silky and abundant tannins, mild acidity and a cleansing finish – great for grilled meat and poultry or well-seasoned roast chicken.
  Photo    
  85 Fetzer Eagle Peak Merlot 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Loads of blackberries, blueberries and plums in this fruit-forward Merlot expression. Pleasing and easy for the lovers of rich and supple California Merlots and perfect for every day sipping.
  Photo    
  84 181 Merlot 2009 Lodi (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Merlot 2009 Alexander Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Black Box Merlot 2010 California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Materra Cunat Premium Vineyards Merlot 2007 Oak Knoll District (United States), $48.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Millaman Estate Reserve Merlot 2011 Curico Valley (Chile), $12.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Borghese Merlot 2007 North Fork of Long Island (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Bota Box Merlot 2010 California (United States), $19.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Platform 9 Merlot 2010 California (United States), $18.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Brass Tacks Merlot 2009 Central Coast (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Mercer Merlot 2008 Columbia Valley (United States), $23.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Rodney Strong Merlot 2008 Sonoma County (United States), $17.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Simply Naked Merlot 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Redwood Creek Merlot 2010 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Shiraz/Syrah - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Monte De Oro Vista Del Monte Vineyard, Estate Grown Syrah 2007 Temecula Valley (United States), $70.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A nose of stewed fruit gives way to cherry and blackberry character with a hint of oak spice. Rich and savory, with supple, approachable tannins.
  Photo    
  Finalist 90 Bota Box Shiraz 2010 California (United States), $19.99, 3L Box Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Medium-bodied with a magenta rim, it boasts a ripe berry blossom perfume. Juicy, plummy flavors are accented by a more brooding note of tar and a hint of pepper.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Wakefield St. Andrews Shiraz 2006 Clare Valley (Australia), $49.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This wine contains a small percentage of Viognier, giving the wine some very pretty floral aromas, which follow on the palate. Soft, powdery tannins framed by nice acidity and complexity. A wine that glides like cashmere.
  Photo    
  89 Black Box Shiraz 2009 Central Coast (United States), $24.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intensely oaky wine with lush black cherries, damson plums and vanilla flavors. The convenient packaging makes this ideal for parties and picnics. Pair with barbecue.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Creation Syrah 2010 Walker Bay (South Africa), $29.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A whiff of sausage as you nose the glass. On the palate, this deep purple wine is all dark, brooding fruit, some garrigue, and a peppery meatiness. Seductive.
  Photo    
  88 Handley Cellars Kazmet Vineyard Syrah 2009 Redwood Valley (United States), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A nose of soft white tropical fruits, with floral and meaty aromas. The palate shows blackberry, coffee, and a hint of banana. Ripe, intense and almost sweet in character.
  Photo    
  88 Wakefield Estate Shiraz 2009 Clare Valley (Australia), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This wine contains a small percentage of Viognier, giving the wine some very pretty floral aromas, which follow on the palate. Soft, powdery tannins framed by nice acidity and complexity. A wine that glides like cashmere.
  Photo    
  87 Barefoot Cellars Shiraz NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An inky purple color with a violet rim. The nose is floral and fruity, opening on to flavors of dark berry fruit, with meatier notes of sausage, pepper and smoke.
Great Value    
  87 Fetzer Anthony's Hill Shiraz 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Inviting aromas of cooked black plums with cinnamon, star anise and pencil lead, this California Shiraz is filled with fruit and character; light and fruity with a lilting presence.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Monte De Oro Vista del Monte Vineyard Estate Grown Syrah 2008 Temecula Valley (United States), $34.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A nose full of prunes and raisins opens on to rich, robust flavors of dark, ripe fruit. Lip-smacking acidity, supple tannins and hint of pepper on the finish.
  Photo    
  85 Fish Eye Shiraz 2010 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $7.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Boysenberry preserve with cinnamon notes on both the nose and palate. Crisp acidity. Smooth tannins. Long finish.
  Photo    
  85 McWilliams Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2010 South Eastern Australia (Australia), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A nose of raspberries and black cherries, with a hint of vanilla custard. Big, bold and ripe fruit on the palate, with a persistent tannic finish.
Great Value    
  82 Van Camp Cellars Portteus Vineyard Syrah 2009 Rattlesnake Hills (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Stemmari Syrah 2010 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Malbec - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Gamela Reserva, Viñas de Altura Malbec 2009 San Rafael (Argentina), $19.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Toasty, cedar oak and dark fruit aromas. Blackberries, dark plums and elegant tannins with some drying oak finish. A food-friendly wine.
Great Value    
  Finalist 90 Rigal The Original Malbec 2011 Cahors (France), $11.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fun, approachable and fruity Malbec from the south of France, offering fresh berries and grapey flavors with supple tannins and energetic acidity. A quaffing wine.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Espuela del Gaucho Malbec 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Redolent of strawberries, with a whisper of smoke, this lean, silky wine is full of ripe, unmasked fruit flavors. A medium body and solid structure are defined by robust, yet non-aggressive tannins.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Fetzer Malbec 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cooked plums, a hint of smoke and plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg rounds out the nose in this assertive yet pretty Malbec. Straightforward, with pleasing tannin and acid to balance the rich fruit.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec 2008 Mendoza (Argentina), $20.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Earthy nose of roadside bramble berries with hints of tar and leather lead the potent aromatic punch of this muscly Malbec. Fruit-forward with assertive tannins and fine acidity makes this a great roast and grilled meat crowd pleaser.
  Photo    
  87 Bota Box Malbec 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $19.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
With its deep purple color and slightly wild nose, this subtle Malbec is all dark berry and cocoa in the mouth. Soft tannins and a vibrant acidity permeate.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Lágrima Bodegas Argenceres, Reserva Malbec 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $18.99, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A complex red wine that offers aromas of oak, roasted nuts, dark fruit and a hint of barnyard. Silky tannins and medium acidity makes this easy to drink while the spice and dark fruit character is compelling.
  Photo    
  87 Lágrima Bodegas Argenceres Malbec 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $10.99, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Hints of amaro on the nose, reminiscent of cola and dried cherries. Medium-bodied, with a nice dose of bright acidity to carry the rich, dark fruit, creating a harmonious balance.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Rio Seco Reserva, Viñas de Altura Malbec 2010 Mendoza (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Meaty and potent Malbec nose, with aromas of Concord grape jelly spiked with cinnamon and thyme; on the palate, it’s full of lush fruit, and finishes with a tannic bite and mouth-clearing dryness that is quite appetizing.
Great Value    
  86 Castel Legendary Roots Malbec 2010 France (France), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A burst of wild forest fruit as you nose the glass. On the palate, it’s all brooding dark berry character, with tobacco and spice accents, and a hint of herbaceousness.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Massimo Malbec 2010 Mendoza (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A classic Malbec full of dark, ripe berry and even some dried fruit. Accented with tobacco and a subtle spiciness, it boasts firm tannins and an echo of smoke.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Redwood Creek Malbec 2010 Argentina (Argentina), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Abundant fruits of the forest aromas and dark fruit flavors like black cherry and blueberry are balanced with a fine spice note. Medium-bodied with velvety tannins, with a nice, long finish.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Colomé Estate Malbec 2010 Cafayete (Argentina), $30.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple hue with aromas of blackberries, currants and violets. Its body is supple and satiny, with the fruit backed with cinnamon and subtly gripping tannins. Refined and elegant expression of Malbec.
  Photo    
  85 Mountain Door Malbec 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $9.95, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of spiced and cooked plums typify this Malbec, followed by notes of mocha, milk chocolate and cinnamon. Very fruity finish with dashes of lemony acids. Quaffable and made for backyard sipping.
Great Value Photo    
  84 Ruta 22 Malbec 2010 Patagonia (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2010 Argentina (Argentina), $11.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Obikwa Malbec 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  81 Bodega Elena de Mendoza Malbec 2010 Mendoza (Argentina), $10.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Zinfandel - USA

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2009 Sonoma County (United States), $18.50, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Complex notes of coffee bean and tamari on the nose. Intense dark fruit on the palate, backed by gnarly tannins. Great structure.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 93 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crimson/ruby color. Decadently spicy, strawberry aromas abound. Long, intensely brambly and spicy flavors come in layers and last long into the silky finish.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Barefoot Cellars Zinfandel NV Lodi (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fruit-driven nose layered with red berries and cherries. The palate offers super-ripe fruit mingled with oak. Soft, supple and mouth coating.
Great Value Photo    
  90 Parker's Estate Dillon Springs Road Zinfandel 2010 Sonoma County (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Highly concentrated dark berries and a hint of eucalyptus lead the aromas from this Sonoma beauty. On the palate it’s equally concentrated with a mix of dried and cooked blackberries, good acidity and a surprisingly light finish.
  Photo    
  90 Scott Harvey Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel 2009 Amador County (United States), $32.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Could it be the old vines that provide the sumptuous dried fruit aromas? On the palate, this ruby red wine is all prunes and raisins with a whiff of coffee on the finish.
  Photo    
  89 Big House Cardinal Zin Beastly Old Vines Zinfandel 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Black pepper and sweet black cherry notes on the nose, continuing on the palate. A big, rich wine with sweet tannins.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Forchini Vineyards & Winery Proprietor's Reserve Zinfandel 2009 Dry Creek Valley (United States), $26.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant nose of baked fruit fills the glass. On the palate, it’s all juicy fruits of the forest, with some forest floor and a spice note. Assertive tannins hold up a solid body.
  Photo    
  88 Clos Du Val Zinfandel 2010 Napa Valley (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pungent and earthy, the aromas from this Napa Zin include blueberry jam, dried thyme and dark plums. It’s sleek and racy for a Zinfandel and glides across the palate with loads of fruit and good finishing acidity.
  Photo    
  88 DeLoach Vineyards Zinfandel 2010 Russian River Valley (United States), $17.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Loads of black currant, blurberry and cooked plums waft from this massively fruity Zinfandel. Spicy, massive with stewed plums, blueberry syrup and brown spices ar wrapped with toasted oak vanilla and tannin. Big, boldy and fruity.
  Photo    
  87 Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel 2010 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep ruby color and earthy aromas of dried herbs, black fruit and raisins mark this California Zin; on the palate, it’s easy, quaffable and pleasingly fruity.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Plungerhead Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $14.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Jammy berries, perceptible oak and warm baking spice with a hint of cracked white pepper on both the nose and palate. A big wine.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Daniel Gehrs Zinfandel 2009 Russian River Valley (United States), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Stewed fruit aromas fill the glass. On the palate, it’s all juicy fruits of the forest and plum flavors, balanced by notes of vanilla and spice.
  Photo    
  86 Mettler Family Vineyards Epicenter Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Lodi (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intense and concentrated, with aromas of berries, eucalyptus, sage and rosemary, and plenty of sweet vanilla. Sweet and easy on the palate, with some mocha and cedar notes along with toasted coconut poking through the massive fruit array.
  Photo    
  86 Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2007 Lodi (United States), $22.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Black figs and raisins open the aromas of this intensely jammy Zinfandel, with a touch of balsam and cooked black plums. On the palate, the fruits are joined by clove, anise and chocolate cake quality. It finishes clean with a light cleansing acidity.
  Photo    
  86 OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Lodi (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Raisins, dried blueberries dusted with chocolate and a light mocha quality are among the easy aromas from this Lodi Zin. Tasting of raspberry jam, white pepper and a dash of Meyer lemon, it finishes surprisingly firm and balanced.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Redwood Creek Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Confectionary fruit aromas with floral notes that continue on the palate. Sweet tannins, robust and mouth-filling. This wine is generous and weighty.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2011 California (United States), $19.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An aromatic nose of wild forest fruits. On the palate, this deep purple wine is all ripe cherries with a hint of mocha. Silky texture and approachable tannins make it ideal for back-porch sipping.
  Photo    
  85 Brazin (B) Old Vines Zinfandel 2009 Lodi (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red and medium-bodied, this wine is all fragrant fruits of the forest on the nose and more figgy fruit in the mouth. An assertive spice note gives way to a mochaccino finish.
  Photo    
  85 Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Dry Creek Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cooked fruit aromas of figs and plums. Chocolates overtones and rich fruit character on the palate. Soft tannins with nice acidity. Expressive and warm.
  Photo    
  84 Artezin Zinfandel 2010 Mendocino (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Bonterra Certified Organic Zinfandel 2009 Mendocino (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Twisted Zinfandel 2011 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Predator Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $16.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Zinfandelic Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Amador County (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Grenache/Garnacha - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  88 Lo Nuevo Sorbo a Sorbo Old Vines Garnacha 2010 Calatayud (Spain), $9.95, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Preserved cherry aromas and a hint of forest brush give way to ripe red berry flavors, some earthiness and a hint of the herbaceous. Round and quaffable.
Great Value Photo    
  86 El Raval Grenache/Carignan 2010 Montsant (Spain), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Freshly fruity, with aromas of grape pie, blackberries and leather. It’s light and refreshing on the palate, rustic and appealing with zippy tannins and acid at the finish.
Great Value Photo    
 

Red Wines

Cabernet Franc - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  87 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2009 Alexander Valley (United States), $24.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Alexander Valley Sonoma County (United States)*: Opaque ruby color and a medium body, with tart red fruit flavors on the palate and a wild barnyard quality. Complex and balanced with a stand-up structure.
  Photo    
  87 Sheldrake Point Cabernet Franc 2010 Finger Lakes (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This expressive, aromatic wine is characterized by a slightly burnt-orange hue. Fresh and light-bodied, with zingy, mouthwatering acidity and elegant minerality, it has bright fruit flavors and a pleasing finish.
  Photo    
  86 Monte De Oro Deportola Vineyards Estate Grown Cabernet Franc 2008 Temecula Valley (United States), $38.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Earthy notes of blackberries, green olives and smoked meat create a powerful nose that’s backed up by an utterly satisfying palate. Intensely fruity but not overly sweet, it charms and satisfies – perfect for grilled, roast or smoked meats.
  Photo    
  85 Malibu Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2009 Western Malibu (United States), $39.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blackberries, cherries and violets lead the aromatic blend along with dried cherries and anise. On the palate, it’s tightly-knit, with a mouth-watering blend of high acid, tart fruits and an attractive tannic bite.
  Photo    
  84 Heron Hill Winery Cabernet Franc 2009 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Sangiovese - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  86 Bella Costa 2009 Chianti (DOCG) (Italy), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep garnet core, with a ruby rim, this classic Chianti is both earthy and fruit driven. There is a hint of oak on the nose, followed by blackcurrants. The firm structure makes this a great food wine.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Ruffino 2010 Chianti (DOCG) (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh cherries, leather and tobacco are among the earthy spring flavors in this classic Tuscan expression of restrained fruit and traditional winemaking. Well-structured tannic and acid balance the cherry ripeness for an outstanding wine.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Ruffino 2010 Chianti Superiore (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cherries, fresh-turned soil and fresh thyme signify this fine Chiantis placement in the center of traditional Tuscan wines. Soft and supple on the palate, light and palate-cleansing, it’s a food wine without match.
  Photo    
  84 Campochiarenti Colli Senesi 2009 Chianti (DOCG) (Italy), €5.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Castello D'Albola 2008 Chianti Classico (DOCG) (Italy), $18.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Malibu Vineyards Estate Vineyard Sangiovese 2009 Western Malibu (United States), $39.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Petite Sirah - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 HandCraft Petite Sirah 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Inky black/purple appearance. Rich cranberry, blackberry and spicy aromas encourage more sniffing; always a good sign. Flavor profile is rife with oaky, resiny, brambly lushness and tightness. High in tannins and therefore quite astringent, but remarkably savory.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Concannon Reserve Petite Sirah 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $40.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A rich wine that exhibits roasted coffee bean aromas, with ripe berries and stems. The palate is jam-packed with lush fruit fragrant fruit.
  Photo    
  Finalist 90 Concannon Conservancy Petite Sirah 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Opaque purple/crimson-edged color. Layered aromas of baked bread, spicy cake, beeswax and dried berries make for ponderous sniffing. Long, layered flavors including prunes, black pepper and vanilla bean are supplemented by background tastes of cocoa bean and leafy vines. A BIG wine.
Great Value Photo    
  89 Concannon Nina's Cuvee, Reserve Petite Sirah 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $30.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dark berries and cedar on the nose. The rush of sun-baked fruit on the palate is ripe and intense. Gentle tannins. Pair with burgers and meatloaf.
  Photo    
  88 Concannon Captain Joe's Petite Sirah 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $30.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bramble fruits – blackberries, black raspberries, mainly – and an earthy richness erupt from this intensely concentrated Petite Syrah. On the palate, rich acids and sweet berries are balanced with a leathery potency. Powerful and seductive.
  Photo    
  87 Concannon Vineyards Polo Field Vineyard 50th Anniversary Release Petite Sirah 2008 Livermore Valley (United States), $30.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Charming but restrained aromas of cooked plums with cinnamon, raspberry jam and a fragrant earthiness introduce this robust Petite Syrah. Well-balanced flavors of cooked red fruits, lemony acids and structured tannins combine for a mouth-watering wine.
  Photo    
  82 Concannon Selected Vineyards Petite Sirah 2010 Central Coast (United States), $10.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Red Blends - North America

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 95 Franciscan Estate Magnificat 2007 Napa Valley (United States), $50.00, 750 ml Extraordinary,
Ultimate Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Big and lush fruity aromas emerge at the outset, with a burst of jammy dark berry fruit on the palate. Notes of cocoa, tobacco and toasted oak round it out.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Styring Reckless 2008 Columbia Valley (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A structured Bordeaux blend from the cool climate of Oregon State. Offers dark fruit, firm tannins and balanced acidity. There is enough structure here to stand up to rich food.
  Photo    
  Finalist 90 Buena Vista Winery The Count 2008 Sonoma County (United States), $19.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Black cherries, black currants and a whiff of smoked meat make for an intriguing opening for this Sonoma red blend. Potent, packed with jammy fruit and light vanilla, it’s got clean acids at the finish that prepare the palate for more.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Chateau Ste Michelle Meritage Artist's Series 2008 Columbia Valley (United States), $55.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blueberries, green peppers, fresh herbs and a lean minerality lead the aromas in this Washington State Meritage. Well-balanced fruit and acidity, with powerful tannins and a silky mouthfeel.
  Photo    
  87 Château Julien Royalty Red 2009 Monterey County (United States), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple in color with a medium body, this wine is full of plummy and cooked berry fruit character. Non-aggressive tannins; a ripe and juicy sipper.
Great Value Photo    
  87 J. Lohr Cuvee St. E 2008 Paso Robles (United States), $50.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cooked fruit and jam aromas permeate this opaque, deep purple wine. Intense berry flavors of raspberry and currant, with a floral layer make for a well-structured, full-bodied wine.
  Photo    
  87 Lyeth Estate Meritage 2010 Sonoma County (United States), $15.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Spicy aromas of dark fruits, thyme, mint and rich loam, along with a touch of vanilla richness. On the palate, loads of fine tannins and spices form an austere and meaty core – this wine longs for roast meats, fire-grilled steak and can develop for years.
  Photo    
  87 Raymond Vineyards R Collection Field Blend 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lovely aromatic mix of prune leather, dried blackberries, menthol and spices, tasting slightly raisinated and richly sweet. Finishes with good heft, blackberry jam, black pepper and a tannic grip.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Seven Daughters Rich Red Winemaker's Blend NV California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Red currants, cranberries and cherries are among the red fruits bursting from the glass of this seven varietal blend. On the palate, it’s fruity, a bit rustic and fun, with good tannins and a charming finish. Chill slightly and sip any time of day.
Great Value Photo    
  87 The Messenger Telegram, Red Wine Number One Multi-Vintage California (United States), $17.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This Californian Bordeaux blend shows ripe fruit, soft tannins and juicy acidity. The nose is fruit-driven with a hint of bacon fat that follows on the palate. A fun, easy-drinking wine.
  Photo    
  87 The Messenger Telegram, Red Wine Number Two Multi-Vintage California (United States), $17.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
From a producer that specializes in the art of blending, this cuvee is made with a medley of Rhone varietal grapes. Very ripe, almost confectionary fruit, on the nose. Medium-bodied with nice tannins to back up the dark berry fruits.
  Photo    
  86 Amberhill Secret Blend Red 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh, fruity, light and dashing, a wine with lots of very ripe fruit suitable for casual occasions. Good with tomato-based foods, grilled meats, roast chicken and pastas.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Big House Red 2010 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A flavorful and aromatic red wine made from a patchwork of different grape varieties. Dark fruits, a hint of green fern and smoke on the nose. The palate leads to ripe, luscious California fruit and pleasant acidity.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Desert Wind Ruah Wahluke Slope 2009 Columbia Valley (United States), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fresh oak aromas blend with cherry preserves and a rich baking spice quality for a round and enticing opening; on the palate, the rippling tannins, cooked berry fruits and light acidity merge, finishing mouth-wateringly dry.
  Photo    
  86 Girard Artistry 2009 Napa Valley (United States), $39.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of wild berries open up to flavors of bright cherry and brooding darker fruit. Rounded out by notes of baking spices and a hint of oak spice.
  Photo    
  86 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Schooner Red NV Finger Lakes (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A supple red wine, with lush blueberry and black cherry flavors. Soft tannins and juicy fruit make this a wine that can be served alone and with a slight chill.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Hess Collection 19 Block Cuvée 2008 Mount Veeder (United States), $38.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty fragrance of cherries and a hint of vanilla opens on to ripe berry and plum flavors, with a rich, spiced finish. Assertive tannins, yet still ripe and rounded.
  Photo    
  86 Mercer "Ode To Brothers" Red Blend 2009 Horse Heaven Hills (United States), $39.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A powerhouse of fresh and dried red and black fruits, fresh herbs and a touch of eucalyptus. On the palate, it’s red currant jammy with a hint of raspberry, and lots of vanilla and spices. Finishes as fruity as it starts with plenty of tannins and lemon acids.
  Photo    
  86 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage 2010 California (United States), $11.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A Bordeaux-style blend redolent of red and black berries. Beautifully integrated fruit confit, cedar, and a whisper of vanilla. Approachable, supple tannins make for a lovely body.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Duck Pond Red Blend Wahluke Slope 2009 Columbia Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of simmered blackberries with vanilla and cinnamon and a touch of wood smoke highlight the earthy and food-friendly red blend; rich and sweet berry flavors merge with light tannins for a fresh and quaffable every day wine.
  Photo    
  85 J. Lohr Cuvee Pau 2008 Paso Robles (United States), $50.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep garnet color with a magenta rim. This robust, full-bodied wine is redolent of intense fruit character and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it’s juicy dark berries and a trace of the herbaceous.
  Photo    
  85 Lyeth Estate Fleur de Lyeth 2010 Sonoma County (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This California red blend has a charming floral and red fruit nose, beguiling and subtle. It tastes of road dusty berries, bitter chocolate, cinnamon and a touch of green pepper. Potent tannins and a mouth-scouring finish.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Rodney Strong Symmetry, Reserve 2008 Alexander Valley (United States), $55.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crimson/blood red color. First no sings encounter slightly muted aromas then with aeration the bouquet comes alive in delicate notes of black cherry, cedar, mint and cigar box. In the mouth, the taste profile is focused on dried fruits and oakiness. Pleasant, medium long aftertaste.
  Photo    
  84 Black Box Sweet Red Blend NV California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Madria Sangria NV California (United States), $5.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Redwood Creek Rich Red Blend NV California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Rhiannon Red 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Barefoot Cellars Sweet Red NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
  83 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Bramble Berry NV Finger Lakes (United States), $8.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Peter Vella Delicious Red NV California (United States), $10.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Gnarly Head Authentic Red 2010 Lodi (United States), $11.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Rex Goliath Free Range Red NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Cupcake Red Velvet 2011 California (United States), $13.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Pandemonium Lodi Rules Sustainable 2009 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Concannon Conservancy Crimson & Clover 2010 Livermore Valley (United States), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Red Cat NV Finger Lakes (United States), $7.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Heron Hill Winery Eclipse Red 2008 New York (United States), $16.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Peter Vella Sangria NV California (United States), $10.99, 3L Box Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Red Blends - Europe

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 95 Domaine De Nizas Le Mas Rouge 2009 Languedoc (France), $13.99, 750 ml Extraordinary,
Ultimate Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crowd pleaser great with beef and lamb, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend boasts of ripe fruit, assertive spiciness, pleasing oak roundness and good balance.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Campochiarenti Vivi NV Tuscany IGT (Italy), €12.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dark plum and oaky aromas. A medium-bodied, tannic wine, with high acidity. A Tuscan wine that can stand up to a serious plate of food.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Carlos Serres Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2004 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $29.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Opens with fresh red fruit aromas on the nose with a touch of smoky oak. Fills the mouth with spiced notes (cinnamon, white pepper) and dried berries. Fnishes with good acid-tannin balance and a touch of mocha.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Carlos Serres Reserva Tempranillo 2005 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $19.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An aged wine, showing forest fruits and earth, with just a hint of vanilla-oak. Medium-bodied with lovely acidity and cedar notes. Pair with roast pork.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Corbello Nero d'Avola 2009 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby color. Delicate scents of black pepper and candle wax are compelling and harmonious. Tastes include black raisins, dates, allspice and prunes. Medium long aftertaste.
Great Value Photo    
  91 Ca’ Bartoldi Amarone Reserve 2005 Valpolicella (Italy), $40.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fruits of the forest aromas and some vanilla on the nose. A savory palate of rich dried fruit and a hint of spice. Firm yet approachable tannins.
  Photo    
  91 Chateau du Bousquet 2009 Cotes De Bourg (France), $14.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Predominantly Merlot from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, this wine offers bramble fruits, integrated oak and good structure. Grippy tannins mark the finish, along with an elegant note of cedar.
Great Value    
  91 Citra Caroso Montepulciano 2007 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC (Italy), $24.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red with a magenta rim, a fragrant ripe fruit nose is followed by vibrant and bright forest fruit character. A touch of the herbaceous permeates.
     
  90 Duca Merlot/Pinot Noir 2010 Veneto, IGT (Italy), $18.99, 3L Box Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty ruby color. Straightforward aromas of pine, nutmeg and black raisins abound. Taste-wise, it's simple and tasty, raisiny and ripe. Ideal as a "Saturday afternoon picnic" wine, served with pastrami sandwiches or pasta salad.
  Photo    
  90 Perrin Crus Les Cornuds 2009 Vinsobres (France), $22.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Garnet in color and classic in style, this full-bodied wine is full of juicy black fruit and a hint of white pepper. Assertive tannins are integrated to harmonious effect.
  Photo    
  90 Ramon Bilbao Tempranillo 2008 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $16.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Smoky and dark fruit aromas lead the way with this limited edition Crianza Rioja. Succulent fruit managed by smooth tannins from the oak combine with a pleasant acidity to form a classic Spanish food wine.
  Photo    
  89 Beronia Reserva 2006 Rioja (DOCa) (Spain), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intense dried fruit aromas of prune and dates permeate the glass. On the palate, the fruit is juicy and ripe, with assertive tannins. A whiff of oak spice on the finish.
  Photo    
  89 Bodegas Vertijana, Vertijana 3 2008 Granada DOP (Spain), $20.54, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple hue, robust cooked black fruit nose, touch of raisiny sweetness. Moderate weight, tasting of a mix of fruit and fresh herbs, with a spicy, lightly acidic finish.
  Photo    
  89 Feudo Principi Di Butera Estate Nero d'Avola 2009 Sicily IGT (Italy), $16.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Morello cherries, hints of cinnamon and black pepper lead of the armas of this rich Sicilian varietal wine. Well-balanced and refreshing, with a refreshingly dry finish and great character – a perfect wine for pasta with tomato sauce, grilled meats and roast chicken.
  Photo    
  88 Bodegas Pago De Almaraes Memento 2009 Granada DOP (Spain), $27.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Bold, traditional style wine-making from Portugal, this wine exudes stewed prunes and plums, and tastes of silky oak spiciness and big, impressive tannins. A wine that can cut through fatty and meaty flavors.
  Photo    
  88 Carlos Serres Crianza Tempranillo 2008 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Filled with bright strawberry and red cherry aromas, light and inviting. Gentle oak adds right amount of roundness and vanilla to the cherry cola tang. Refreshing and pleasing.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Feudo Arancio Cantodoro 2008 Sicily IGT (Italy), $14.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Mildly toasty and roasted aromas of pork, tobacco and black plums impress the olfactory sense. On the palate, there's lots of dried fruit, grapy flavors that are straightforward and direct. Medium long aftertaste of dried fruits.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Stemmari Nero d'Avola 2010 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Juicy, sweet, jammy red fruits, with soft tannins, and gentle acidity. An everyday bottle of wine that will go with a variety of game or lamb dishes.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Baron des Chartrons 2010 Bordeaux (France), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lively aromas of fresh black currants and blackberries with a hint of dusty road; on the palate, supple and linear, with a fine fruit-acid-tannin balance. Classic, everyday Bordeaux.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Bodegas Pago De Almaraes, Almaraes 2009 Granada DOP (Spain), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Fruity, rustic, a bit oxidized but pleasantly so, bringing in aromas of simmered fruit and leather. On the palate, this wine balances between cooked fruit and austere tannins, with some raisin and fig flavors, and massive tannins. Great raost and grilled lamb and beef wine.
  Photo    
  87 Carlos Serres Onomastica, Reserva 2004 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $39.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of fresh-tilled earth, raspberry, cola and toasted coconut. On the palate, it is dense and chewy with lots of semi-ripe bramble fruits and black plums spiked with dried thyme and eucalyptus. Ends mouth-watering and long-lasting; lovely reserva expression.
  Photo    
  87 Chateau Picau Perna 2010 Saint-Emilion (France), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dark purple hue, with aromas of plum and cassis. Plum fruits carry through to the palate, with some wonderful gnarly tannins, making this a classic steak wine.
  Photo    
  87 Cruz de Alba Crianza 2008 Ribera del Duero (Spain), $24.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Concentrated aromas of blueberries and black plums cooked into a spiced syrup; on the palate, it’s surprisingly lean and silky, with lots of mouth-drying tannins and spice from oak. A winner with roasted, grilled or smoked meats.
  Photo    
  87 Finca Moncloa 2006 Cádiz (VdlT) (Spain), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby red and medium-bodied, a confit of red berry aromas on the nose. Flavors of lush red fruit laced with vanilla come through. Approachable tannins make for a finely structured wine.
  Photo    
  87 Marques De Riscal Proximo Tempranillo 2009 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty garnet color and aromatic nose of red fruit and flowers. Bright cherry on the palate, with a hint of spice and nice acidity. Straightforward and well rounded.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Montalvo Wilmot Tempranillo-Cabernet Roble 2008 Castilla (VdT) (Spain), $12.90, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromatics of cooked prunes and raisins, with an intense earthiness. Structured tannins support the massive dried and cooked fruit flavos, and a dash of bitter-sweet cocoa help as well. Good acids, mouth-scouring acid, intense and muscley Spanish red.
Great Value Photo    
  87 Recchia Classico Le Muraie Superiore Ripasso 2008 Valpolicella (Italy), $25.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of warm fruit confit and some dried fruit give way to ripe red berry character and a hint of pepper on the finish. Round and quaffable.
  Photo    
  87 Vinkara Doruk Kalecik Karası 2010 Southern Anatolia (Turkey), €11.60, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This indigenous Anatolian grape offers aromas of red currant, raspberry and herbs like rosemary and thyme. On the palate, it’s light, with a raspberry soda quality, its sweetness balanced by a good lemony spritz. Pleasing and refreshing.
     
  87 Vinkara Mahzen (Reserve) Kalecik Karasi 2009 Southern Anatolia (Turkey), €18.20, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of fresh strawberry and strawberry preserves with a rich vanilla coating rounding out the fruit aromas. On the palate, mild oaky vanilla merges with cherries and strawberries to make a sophisticated and pleasing quaff.
  Photo    
  86 Bodegas Vertijana, Vertijana 1 Tempranillo 2008 Granada DOP (Spain), $20.54, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rioja-like in its blend of grapes and oak, this wine has a pleasing cherry vanilla nose, is light on the palate, even dainty, with red plum and cherry cola flavors. Good tannins and balanced acidity craft a pleasant wine.
  Photo    
  86 Carlos Serres Tempranillo 2009 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Classic Rioja nose of cherries with a touch of vanilla; on the palate it fills the mouth with flavors of violets, red fruits and lightly toasted oak. Light-bodied, well-structured and lean on the finish, great for cured meats, cheeses, grilled chicken and pastas.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Marqués De Riscal Reserva Tempranillo 2006 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $17.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Warm stewed fruit aromas open on to brooding, dark berry fruit and plum character, with a savoury, earthy mid-palate, rounded out by a hint of toasted oak.
  Photo    
  86 Mouton Cadet Rouge 2010 Bordeaux (France), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Green pepper, dusty earth, tart berries and leather – a classic Bordeaux expression of terroir and grape varietals. Well-balanced, expressive and pretty, suitable for most food occasions.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Ogier Les Moirets 2010 Cotes-du-Rhone (France), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A wine of intense, ripe and red fruits. Cedar box, cherry and red currant aromas, all of which follow through on the palate, carried by firm tannins. The perfect wine to pair with roast beef dishes.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Re Midas Corvina 2011 Veneto, IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ripe red fruit aromas are revealed on the nose. Juicy and fruit-forward on the palate, this wine boasts bright cherry character, with gentle tannins. Straightforward and quaffable.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Chateau Dalem 2009 Fronsac (France), $35.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A dark ruby color and weighty texture are distinguished by dark fruit notes and a whiff of licorice. Robust yet velvety tannins, with a full, round body. Elegant and masculine.
  Photo    
  85 Monser Feteasca Neagra 2009 Dobrogea (Romania), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Refreshing aromatic blend of cherries and red plums with a hint of road tar open this medium bodied Romanian varietal; fresh and lively on the palate, light-bodied and refreshing – chill slightly and quaff.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Montalvo Wilmot Coleccion Privada 2006 La Mancha (Spain), $15.95, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This Tempranillo Cabernet blend offers aromas of simmered raisins, honeyed oak and rich vanilla; on the palate it is sleek, richly tasting of raisins, vanilla and black plums. Finishes with tingly tannins and nice acid.
  Photo    
  85 Ogier Heritages 2010 Cotes-du-Rhone (France), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep, dark and expressive wine offering fruit-forward aromas, with flavors of red fruit, oak and spice. The tannins are silky, and the finish is long. A classic Rhone wine.
  Photo    
  85 Trei Hectare Feteasca Neagra 2008 Dobrogea (Romania), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Red cherries with a touch of minty freshness and a slight smokiness are the aromatic openers for this fresh and fruity Romanian red. In the mouth it’s round, refreshing and charming, with good acids and fine tannins. Good with tomato-based dishes, smoked meats or grilled chicken or meat.
Great Value    
  85 Tutidi Brachetto 2010 Piemonte (Italy), $11.99, 1 L Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty pale crimson color and a fragrant nose of summer blossoms and cotton candy. This gently effervescent wine is full of lush strawberry and bing cherry flavors. A fresh and fun back-porch sipper.
Great Value    
  84 Carlos Serres Tempranillo 2010 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Domeniul Coroanei Segarcea Prestige Line Feteasca Neagra 2008 Muntenia & Oltenia (Romania), €13.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 No BS Tempranillo 2009 Toro (Spain), $9.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Domaine De Nizas AOC Rouge 2007 Languedoc (France), $19.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Finca Constancia Parcela 23 Tempranillo 2009 Castilla (VdT) (Spain), $20.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Caloian Feteasca Neagra 2010 Dobrogea (Romania), €7.40, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
       
 

Red Wines

Red Blends - Southern Hemisphere

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Bodegas y Vinedos De Aguirre Reina Ana Gran Reserva 2009 Maule Valley (Chile), $19.95, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A luscious nose of ripe fruit gives way to rich dark and red berry flavors. Assertive yet supple tannins make for a round, quaffable wine.
Great Value Photo    
  88 KWV The Mentors Canvas 2009 Western Cape (South Africa), $29.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rich with dark plums and baking spices, this red blend explodes with an expressive spiciness and restrained fruit, and finishes with an intense and mouth-watering dryness.
  Photo    
  88 Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009 Barossa Valley (Australia), $17.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A compote of dark fruit on the nose. On the palate, intense berry character, some dried fruit, and a hint of spice. Straightforward, ripe and round.
  Photo    
  87 Creation Syrah Grenache 2010 Walker Bay (South Africa), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This Rhône-style blend is inky purple in color and full of juicy plum on the palate, nuanced with all the porky, peppery, nearly sausage-like flavors typical of Syrah.
  Photo    
  87 KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2009 Western Cape (South Africa), $29.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rich and mature aromas of cigar box, fresh earth, green peppers and berries lead this classic blend, with notes of smoked meat and cigar to follow. Intense but silky and pleasingly drying at the finish.
  Photo    
  86 Amalaya 2010 Cafayete (Argentina), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This red blend offers an intense nose of cooked rd and black fruits and leather that yields to a tang of red raspberries and cherries. Oak and fruit tannins are supple but firm, and it finishes with a pleasing dryness.
  Photo    
  86 Finca La Linda Bonarda 2009 Mendoza (Argentina), $10.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lots of soft red fruit aromas emerge in this quaffable and charming Old World style Bonarda. A hint of dried figs and raisins along with red plums makes for an enchanting mouthful. Fun, festive and satisfying.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Catherine Marshall Wines SMG 2009 Elgin (South Africa), $24.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasant funk on the nose gives way to unctuous waves of ripe plum and spice. Gentle tannins and a silky texture are balanced by a vibrant acidity.
  Photo    
  85 Dramatis Personae Bodegas Argenceres 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $11.99, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Mineral, a nice hint of oak, sweet luscious fruit, and biting acidity. This is a wine that possesses complex layers and will enrich any barbecue experience.
  Photo    
  85 Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2009 Paarl (South Africa), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This blend of classic French varietals is rich with aromas of dried herbs, cooked red fruit, fresh-turned soil and tobacco. Earthy and meaty, it’s an intensely robust and masculine powerhouse of fruit, intensity and potency.
  Photo    
  85 Luigi Bosca De Sangre 2009 Mendoza (Argentina), $27.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromatic bouquet of green pepper, dusty road, tar, bramble fruits and grape jam. Supple tannins and velvety texture with a touch of baking spices – notably cinnamon and mace – combine with the powerful fruit-forward nature for an explosive and expressive wine.
  Photo    
  85 Roodeberg 2010 Western Cape (South Africa), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pleasant nose of berries, spice and tobacco leaves lead this South African charmer, with tangy acids balancing the berry and plum fruitiness. Silky and delectable, a perfect dinner starter.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Taltarni Three Monks Cabernet Merlot 2007 Victoria (Australia), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Ruby rich in color, this Australian blend offers a touch of mint with its array of black fruits on the nose; in the mouth, it’s herbal and fruity – blueberries, blackberries, thyme, menthol. Finely dry on the finish.
  Photo    
  85 Wakefield Promised Land Red Blend 2008 South Australia (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Dripping with dried fruit aromas such as quince and figs. A dry wine that is reminiscent of a Port wine on the nose. There is a lush fruit attack on the taste, with a rich mid-palate. The finish is long and ripe.
Great Value Photo    
  84 (oops) Cabernet Franc / Carmenére 2011 Valle Central (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Creation Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2010 Walker Bay (South Africa), $28.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Lágrima Bodegas Argenceres, Reserva Dramatis 2010 San Rafael (Argentina), $19.99, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Bodega Elena de Mendoza 2010 Mendoza (Argentina), $10.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Red Wines

Portugal Reds

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 96 Herdade da Comporta 2008 Setúbal DOC (Portugal), $19.99, 750 ml Extraordinary,
Ultimate Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple-garnet, this Portugese semi-dry wine has loads of fruit, fine tannins, good structure and a mouth-watering intensity. Good with dishes with chutneys or fruit sauces.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 94 Poli Phonia Reserva 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), $20.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple color. Plummy, raisin-like aroma, with background notes of beeswax, baking spices and cedar. Flavor profile offers ripe grapes, cocoa and pine. Lovely, balanced and profoundly delicious.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 94 Poli Phonia Signature 2008 Alentejo (Portugal), $28.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A ripe and perfumed wine. Oak, cedar and dark blackberries mesh on the nose. Delicious acidity and fruit, with silky tannins. Very well balanced.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Herdade São Miguel Reserva 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), $35.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Blackcurrant cordial and powerful oak notes on the nose. A full-bodied wine with drying tannins. Try pairing this structured Portuguese wine with braised meat dishes or juicy burgers.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Guadalupe Selection 2008 Alentejo (Portugal), €6.45, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Plenty of fresh black fruits – plums and berries – and dried figs in this muscular Portuguese red. Fruit spiced with clove, dark chocolate and mocha, with a rich and mouth-filling assertiveness. Finishes dry and lip-smacking.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Prats & Symington Prazo de Roriz 2009 Douro (Portugal), $16.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Attractive nose of fresh and dried black fruits with a touch of toasty oak. On the palate, it’s slightly sweet, direct and mouth-filling, with hints of black fig, raisins and sweet vanilla. Youthful and quaffable.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Quinta de Ramozeiros Grand Reserve 2007 Douro (Portugal), €15.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An aromatic wine offering woody aromas with a hint of barnyard. Cherry skins and oak dominate the palate, while the finish is rich and ripe.
  Photo    
  91 Aya Intense 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $13.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Inky purple color. Lovely, substantial aromas of dried red fruits, especially blackberry, cherry, and cinnamon. In the mouth, the taste profile asserts itself immediately as prune, raisiny and fig-like flavors delight the taste buds. Lush and generous aftertaste.
Great Value Photo    
  91 Prats & Symington Post Scriptum De Chryseia 2009 Douro (Portugal), $25.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Darkly purple, intensely fruity and spicy, like blackberry chutney or compote with fresh herbs. Velvety texture with fine tannins, perfect accompaniment for roasted meats, grilled meats and robust pasta dishes.
  Photo    
  90 Burro Velho Tejo 2010 Portugal (Portugal), €4.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cherry red color. Bursts with spicy, grapy and fig-like aromas that last long into the sniffing phase. In the mouth, the tannins bring a tight astringency and structure that plays down the fruit at first but then in the aftertaste ripe flavors of dates and nuts take command.
  Photo    
  90 Dow's Vale do Bomfim 2009 Douro (Portugal), $13.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Spiced berry aromas erupt from this depply dark and rich glass of Douro. A tang of thyme accompanies the cooked and sweetened blueberry and toasted oaky coconut flavors. Finishes fruity but lightly bitter.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Casa Santos Lima Quinta Do Espirito Santo 2010 Lisboa (Portugal), €3.30, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Garnet color. Subtle scents of candle wax, spice cake, pipe tobacco and citrus peel make for intriguing sniffing. Flavor-wise, pungent, peppery/herbal tastes licorice and pine delight the taste buds.
  Photo    
  88 Herdade da Ajuda 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), €6.18, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A complex nose of leather, mineral and dark fruits. The palate is dripping with black fruits backed by structured tannins. A bold wine that calls for steak.
     
  88 Herdade da Comporta Chāo das Rolas 2010 Setúbal DOC (Portugal), $9.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pleasant nose of cooked fruit here is followed by berry jam and a hint of hazelnut. Round and voluptuous, with a warm spice note on the finish.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Terra Silvestre DOC 2010 Tejo IGP (Portugal), €4.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple hue. Amaro-like aromas reminiscent of herbs and botanicals, with a hint of coco-cola. A rich, robust wine with good structure and firm tannins.
  Photo    
  87 Casa Santos Lima LAB Red 2011 Lisboa (Portugal), €2.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep, rich purple hue, with rustic aromas of cooked fruit, leather and a robust earthiness. Powerful and intense, with notes of tar, cinnamon, mace and raisins along with a potent grapiness. Old style and rewarding.
  Photo    
  87 Casa Santos Lima Quinta das Amoras 2011 Lisboa (Portugal), €2.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Wild garrigue aromas in the glass lead in to bold fruits of the forest in the mouth. A hint of vanilla on the finish rounds out this well-structured wine.
     
  87 Grandes Quintas Reserva Tinto 2009 Douro (Portugal), €8.20, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep garnet hue. Oak, violets and ripe berry fruits on the nose, while flavors rich in vanilla, dried cranberries and cherries dance on the palate. The tannins are supple and the finish is long.
     
  87 Guadalupe 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), €3.45, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An expressive, perfumed nose of ripe strawberries and flowers. This lean, medium-bodied wine has great acidity and soft red fruit flavors. Mellifluous and silky on the palate.
  Photo    
  87 Herdade da Ajuda Premium Alicante Bouschet 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), €10.38, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Coffee bean and black cherries on the nose. Full-bodied, powerful and oak-driven, this wine will pair well with hardy dishes such as lamb chops.
     
  87 Herdade Grande Reserva 2009 Alentejo (Portugal), $30.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
An intense bouquet of dark fruit and moss, and deep ruby color characterize this wine. Wild flavors of fruits of the forest and a hint of smoke are balanced by a pleasing acidity.
     
  87 Herdade São Miguel Syrah 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $23.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A wonderfully rustic nose offering coffee bean, chocolate and earth. The palate is sweet and ripe with uplifting citrusy acidity reminiscent of blood orange. A vibrant red wine.
  Photo    
  87 Manz 2009 Douro (Portugal), €8.79, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Plump, almost sweet, dark fruit. Meaty, beefy aromas, with tasty peppery spice and silky tannins. A lush, fruit-driven wine that will make the ideal accompaniment to braised meat dishes.
     
  87 Tapada do Barão Reserva 2008 Alentejo (Portugal), $15.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep garnet hue. Sweet, vanilla-oak character, a little earthy, flavors of berry fruit confit, all encased in velvety tannins. A rich yet harmonious wine.
  Photo    
  87 Tapada do Barão 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A generous and extroverted nose of toasty oak. This is a full-bodied, robust wine with rich, dark fruits and a long woody finish. Food is a must - pair with beef stews or steak.
Great Value Photo    
  87 VilaFlor Tinto 2009 Douro (Portugal), €2.35, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A terroir-driven wine, showing herbal, cherry character, salivating acidity and hints of earth. Food-friendly and likely a good candidate with Mediterranean dishes. Balanced and delicious.
     
  86 Grandes Quintas Colheita Tinto 2009 Douro (Portugal), €3.80, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Earthy mix of sun-baked wild bramble berries and dusty roads mark a robust Douro expression. Vanilla from oak joins the baked berries on the palate, with nice spiciness and clean fresh acids.
     
  86 Real Fado Lisboa 2010 Portugal (Portugal), €4.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A soft, supple red, meant for drinking young. Hints of cedar and strawberries jam on the nose, while the palate shows juicy fruit, easy tannins and enticing acidity.
  Photo    
  86 Tapada do Fidalgo 2011 Alentejo (Portugal), $8.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A unique wine made from a blend of indigenous Portuguese varieties. Aromas of coffee bean, leather and oak, with a palate that shows ripe damson plums and dark cherries. The acidity is bright and clean, making this a wine that is easy to enjoy.
Great Value    
  86 Terra Silvestre Reserva DOC 2010 Tejo IGP (Portugal), €6.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Port-like aromas of dried fruit and raisins, with an intense nose and palate of vanilla-oak. Ripe, almost sweet, fruit and an ever so slightly herbal finish. A red wine that will stand up to chocolate.
     
  85 Aya Charming 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $9.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A New-World style red wine. Rich baked aromas of dried cherries, with hints of chocolate on the nose. Flavors of ripe fruit and oak linger on the palate. Soft tannins and balanced acidity.
  Photo    
  85 Borges Reserva Tinto 2009 Douro (Portugal), €32.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Candied cherries and alluring oak aromas. Ripe fruit flavors are backed by sturdy, almost drying, tannins. Pair with steak or stewed chicken.
     
  85 Casa Santos Lima Bons Ventos Vinho Regional 2011 Lisboa (Portugal), €2.15, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rustic aromas of sun-baked fields and cooked black plums and dark berries here, with a mouth-watering earthiness marked by a slight smokiness and pleasing fruitiness. Mouth-drying finish from a fine food wine.
     
  85 Herdade São Miguel Touriga Nacional 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $23.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Purple hue, with rich aromas of oak and dark chocolate. Sturdy tannins, juicy acidity, ripe red and dark berries. Powerful, ripe and intense.
  Photo    
  84 Herdade da Ajuda 2007 Alentejo (Portugal), €6.18, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
       
  84 Herdade São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $15.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Dow's Vale do Bomfim Reserva 2009 Douro (Portugal), $23.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  83 Lello Tinto Red 2009 Douro (Portugal), $8.99, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Manz Contador de Estorias, Peninsula de Setubal 2009 Portugal (Portugal), €7.20, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
       
 

Rosé & Blush Wines

Rosés - Europe

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Le Caprice de Clementine Les Valentines 2011 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $14.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Delicate light shade of pink, with aromas of rose petal, pear and apricots; on the palate, it’s crisp with medium body, fine lemony acidity and a charming red currant quality. Finishes medium dry and charming.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 91 Château Léoube Rosé de Léoube 2011 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $24.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty shade of poached salmon, this Provence rosé is lightly herbal, finely dry, with a honeysuckle tang and a delightfully crisp freshness and slightly round body; suitable for light meals, salads and picnics
  Photo    
  Finalist 90 Gassier en Provence Sables d'Azur 2011 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $11.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lightly orange-pink Provence rose offers delicate aromas of wild strawberries and fresh cut grass, and tastes fresh, lightly fruity and lemony, like strawberries dashed with lemon zest. Long lasting finish and very inviting.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 90 Hera Rosé 2011 Vinho Verde (Portugal), $7.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pretty scarlet shade of pink, lightly fizzy, with aromas of rose petal, bath powder and strawberries. Lively on the palate, refreshing and lightly lemony at the close.
Great Value Photo    
  88 Bogatell 2011 Terra Alta (Spain), $12.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Brilliant pale crimson colored rose, with a creamy yet dry nose, tasting of strawberries, red currants and a spritz of lemon juice. Lean and dry, a terrifically balanced and mouth-watering rose.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Château Léoube Secret de Léoube 2011 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $32.00, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Very pale salmon color. A light-bodied, subtle rose with delicate fruit aromas. Dry, with hints of citrus, including a touch of grapefruit on the finish.
  Photo    
  85 Chateau Bonnet Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2011 Bordeaux (France), $12.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale pink rosé with fragrant white flower, rose petal and sour cherry aromas. Tastes fresh, lively, satisfyingly crisp and cleansing; very pretty.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Château D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2011 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale pink, with a light raspberry and red currant nose, and a creamy and luscious fell in the mouth. Finishes crisp and mouth-watering, a charming quaff.
  Photo    
  85 Estreia Rosé 2011 Vinho Verde (Portugal), $7.50, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale garnet color with a pretty sour cherry aroma; fresh, youthful, crisp and delicious, suitable for light fare and its moderate alcohol makes it good for all day sipping.
Great Value Photo    
  85 Summer Lovers NV Portugal (Portugal), €3.80, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Light garnet colored sparkler with easy effervescence, creamy aromas of cooked fruits and rose petals, and light and slighty sweet flavors of red currant jam. Perfect party wine.
  Photo    
  84 Carlos Serres Tempranillo-Garnacha 2011 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  84 Domaine De Nizas AOC Rosé 2011 Languedoc (France), $16.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  81 Maiastru Rosé 2009 Muntenia & Oltenia (Romania), €7.90, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Good,
Recommended
       
  80 Trei Hectare Roze 2009 Dobrogea (Romania), $9.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
       
 

Rosé & Blush Wines

Rosés - North America

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 91 Midsummer Cellars Rosé Grenache 2011 Yolo County (United States), $19.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lovely hue of pale poached salmon, an unusual passionfruit and lime nose, and rich flavors of lime leaf, grapefruit, passionfruit and guava. Lean and fresh, an altogether delightful dry rose.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2011 Alexander Valley (United States), $14.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A bright cherry hue. Fruity nose, with a hint of jalapeno. The palate offers spritely fresh berry fruits. A thoroughly refreshing rose for summer afternoons.
Great Value Photo    
  86 Peter Vella Delicious Blush NV California (United States), $10.99, 3L Box Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Strawberry candy and strawberry jam are the notable aromas in this flavored blush wine, and the flavors are much the same – strawberry and cotton candy. Surprising lemon and grapefruit acidity; a pink wine for sweet wine lovers.
Great Value Photo    
  84 Malibu Vineyards Estate Vineyard Rosé of Sangiovese 2010 Western Malibu (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Lieb Cellars Bridge Lane Cabernet Franc Rosé 2011 North Fork of Long Island (United States), $18.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Nordby Vineyards Lacrime Dell' Angeli (Angels' Tears) White Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Lake County (United States), $24.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  82 Sheldrake Point Estate Grown Dry Rosé 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
  80 Barefoot Cellars White Zinfandel NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Dessert

Late Harvest/Dessert White – North America

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  82 Priam Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling 2010 New London County (United States), $35.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Dessert

Other Sweet Wines

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  82 OZV Zinfandel Dessert Wine NV Lodi (United States), $29.99, 500 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Dessert

Ice Wines - World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 92 Whistler Icewine VQA Riesling 2008 Niagara Peninsula (Canada), CAD49.98, 375 ml , seeking US Importer Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Golden color. Intensely sweet and aromatic. Floral, spicy aromas with orange zest, all following on the palate. Pair with foie gras or crème brulee.
  Photo    
  86 Paradise Ranch VQA Pinot Noir 2010 Simikameen Valley (Canada), CAD49.98, 375 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pretty wine, that carries a pink hue with copper inflections. Rose flower and apple aromas. Sweet yet delicate and floral. Pair with fresh fruit salads.
  Photo    
  83 Domaine Pinnacle Apple Ice Wine Apple NV Québec (Canada), $29.99, 375 ml Good,
Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
  Photo    
 

Fortified

Sherry - Spain

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Barbadillo Obispo Gascon Palo Cortado Palomino NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $42.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Lovely nose of crushed walnuts and hazelnuts with green olives, seaside brininess and toasted bread. On the palate, you’ll find that appetizing savory quality dry Sherries are known for, with an after taste both delicious and appetizing. Appealing pair for cured meat, hard and semi-hard cheese, nuts, olives and salty snacks.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Barbadillo Principe Amontillado NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $40.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep amber color and rich fragrance of dried fruit and nuts. On the palate, this dry sherry has notes of nuts and olive. A stellar saline quality on the finish.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Barbadillo San Rafael Oloroso Dulce NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $28.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A blend of dry Oloroso and sweet Pedro Ximenez sherries, this is a dryish sweet sherry, good for before or after dinner, fully nutty, with notes of prune, raisin, plum and ornage peel. Slightly salty and savory, a fine bridge between sherry styles.
  Photo    
  87 Barbadillo Cuco Oloroso Seco NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $28.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Complex aromas of crushed nuts, orange zest, dried fruits and a hint of brininess make this an inviting Sherry. On the palate, it’s winningly dry but mouth-filling with flavors of salted dried cherries, nuts and a cleansing and lemony brininess.
  Photo    
  86 Gonzalez Byass Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $20.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This coffee colored liquid is pleasingly viscous in the glass. On the palate, it’s nutty and caramelized with plenty of dried fruit flavors and a slightly saline edge.
  Photo    
  81 Barbadillo La Cilla Pedro Ximenez NV Jerez-Xeres-Sherry (Spain), $25.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Fortified

Porto - Portugal

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 96 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2009 Douro (Portugal), $62.00, 750 ml Extraordinary,
Ultimate Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A deep purple color with a magenta rim, this ruby port is all rich prune and cassis character in the mouth. Sweet and floral with a velvety mouthfeel.
  Photo    
  Finalist 94 Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $31.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale pink-brown hue. An inviting nose of caramel, leading to a palate of butterscotch, hazelnuts and dried apricots. Medium sweetness. Lovely.
  Photo    
  Finalist 94 W. & J. Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port NV Douro (Portugal), $60.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Crushed walnuts, marzipan, orange zest and prunes ae just th start of the aromas to be teased from this unctuous and lush port. Surprisingly light and citrusy, a bit like reduced orange juice spiked with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Delightfully dry and ravishing finish.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Dow's 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV Douro (Portugal), $33.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pinkish-brown hue. Dried cranberry and cherries on the nose and palate, along with cinnamon stick and roasted nuts. Medium-sweet with an underlying salty tang.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Fonseca 10 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $32.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Aromas of orange zest and dried cranberries. Sweet caramel flavors on the palate. Intense and rich with warm spice character. Pair with salted nuts.
  Photo    
  Finalist 93 Taylor Fladgate 40 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $234.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Sweet, intense dried fruit and caramel flavors. A trace of salty-tamari notes. The perfect gift and a great accompaniment to a rich cheese or a cigar.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2006 Douro (Portugal), $22.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep ruby hue. Rich, grape-y and sweet, with a hint of pine, Christmas spices and leather. Leaves a long finish on the palate.
Great Value Photo    
  Finalist 92 Taylor Fladgate 30 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $139.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale pink-brown hue. Nuts and dried cranberry aromas. Rancio notes. Nut and dried fruit flavors continue on the palate, along with orange peel and spice. Spectacular.
  Photo    
  Finalist 92 W. & J. Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2009 Douro (Portugal), $58.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Rich, royal purple, this vintage port is intensely rich with aromas and flavors of cooked prunes, black figs, dates and raisins, with a lovely orange zestiness and a dash of baking spices. Finishes round and appealing, with lots of appetizing acids. Delightful.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $54.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Pale pink-brown hue. Toffee, cumin-spice and a little rancio on the nose. Sweetness is balanced by lifted acidity. Dried fruits and nuts on the palate.
  Photo    
  90 Croft Distinction Special Reserve Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $17.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep purple color. This fragrance is chockfull of waxy, woody and dried fruit scents that are simultaneously profound and graceful. In the mouth, the taste profile rocks with big-time flavors of black plums, cherry preserves and cedar. Lovely and harmonious.
Great Value Photo    
  90 W. & J. Graham's 10 Year Tawny Port NV Douro (Portugal), $35.00, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A rich strong-tea color and aromas of dried apricot and orange peel, this tawny port is fully of rich nutty and peachy flavors, with a cakey, caramel finish.
  Photo    
  89 Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $55.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Inky purple/black cherry color. The opening scents of prunes and black raisins are delightfully round and supple. In the mouth, the taste profile detonates with explosions of plums, quince, black raisins and oaky vanilla. Luscious and elegant.
  Photo    
  88 Fonseca Bin 27 Reserve Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $20.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intensely sweet, with a rush of deep, dark berries and cocoa. The velvety texture envelopes floral and spice flavors, while the finish is long and powerful.
  Photo    
  88 Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $19.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A standard ruby Port offering aromas of cooked black fruits, spice and botanicals. The palate is sweet and lush with milk chocolate and jammy character. Classic!
  Photo    
  86 Borges Roncão 20 Años NV Douro (Portugal), €32.50, 750 ml , seeking US Importer Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
This deep amber liquid is rich and complex on the palate. Flavors of dried fruit and honey manage to stay vibrant and bright with acidity.
  Photo    
  86 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2005 Douro (Portugal), $22.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
The nose and palate is rich with prune and chocolate character. This sweet, luscious, port also exhibits baking spice aromas. Pair with blue cheese or chocolate covered nuts.
  Photo    
  86 W. & J. Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port NV Douro (Portugal), $23.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Deep, blackberry-jam purple, this young port is fresh, fruity, lively and rich, a great intro port for those looking for a sweet and spicey after-dinner drink. Lively and enchanting, with notes of black pepper and tobacco on the finish.
  Photo    
  85 Cockburn's Special Reserve Port NV Douro (Portugal), $18.00, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Cooked red plums soaked in honey and speckled with lemon zest come to mind when tasting this appealing and fresh dessert wine. Pleasing acidity makes this a great meal ender.
  Photo    
  85 Croft 10 Year Old Tawny Porto NV Douro (Portugal), $28.99, 750 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Opulent nose of crushed nuts, marzipan, dates, prune leather and a hint of blue cheese. High acidity, dazzling spiciness and all-around pleasing dessert wine; sweet but robust and adult.
  Photo    
  82 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2005 Douro (Portugal), $23.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
    Photo    
 

Sake

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 93 Kitaya Kansansui Junmai Dai-Ginjyo NV Fukuoka (Japan), $48.99, 720 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A hint of color can be detected in this sake. Delicate fruit aromas give way to gently honeyed flavors of lychee, summer pear and melon.
  Photo    
  Finalist 91 Kitaya Junmai NV Fukuoka (Japan), $25.99, 720 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Silvery, crystal clear glow from this sake, with aromas of damp slate, apricot skins and white flowers. It tastes fresh and spring-like, with loads of honeysuckle and other white flowers, and some white peach. Well-balanced with a slight bitter almond finish.
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  Finalist 90 Tenryo Hidahomare Junmai Ginjyo NV Gifu (Japan), $39.99, 720 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Intoxicating stewed pear aromas emerge as you nose the glass. In the mouth, it’s all sweet, ripe banana, malt, and some apple. A creamy mouthfeel makes this a sensuous sipper.
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  88 TY KU Silver Akebono Rice Sake (Japan), $14.99, 720 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A pale straw color characterizes this sake. Fresh, mellow flavors of pear and melon dominate with a whiff crisp cucumber on the finish. Subtle and elegant.
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  86 Kitaya Kansansui Kasumizake Junmai Dai-Ginjyo Nigori NV Fukuoka (Japan), $48.99, 720 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
Perfectly dispersed cloudy sheen from this pretty sake smelling of lightly fermented rice, pears and apple peels; on the palate, it’s creamy and round with delicate floral and litchi flavors, and finishes with a touch of satisfying bitter almond and apricot.
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  85 Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo NV Japan (Japan), $35.00, 720 ml Very Good,
Strong Recommendation
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A fragrant, fruity nose of lychee and Asian pear gives way to sweetly caramelized flavors of baked apple, custard and a hint of brioche. An unctuous, voluptuous sake.
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  84 Gekkeikan Traditional NV California (United States), $7.00, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
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  83 Gekkeikan Nigori NV Japan (Japan), $6.00, Other Good,
Recommended
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  83 TY KU Coconut Nigori Akebono Rice Sake (Japan), $14.99, 720 ml Good,
Recommended
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Other

Cider – United Kingdom/Europe

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  Chairman's Trophy 94 Eden Vermont Ice Cider Calville Blend Apple 2010 Vermont (United States), $29.99, 375 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A bushel of baked and fresh apples on the nose. On the palate, it’s both honeyed and tart, a worthy alternative to dessert wine. Nice acidity and a pretty golden color.
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  Finalist 91 Orleans Apple Wine NV United States (United States), $29.99, 750 ml Excellent,
Highly Recommended
Tasting NoteTasting Notes:
A rich amber color and aromas of fresh-made applesauce give way to intense flavors of apple, pear and some citrus peel. A clean, dry finish.
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Other

Sangria – World

Chairman's Trophy and Finalist status are determined by the judging chairmen, using a scoring curve based upon the number of entries and overall categorical scoring.
  Award Score Product Accolade            
  83 Real Sangria White NV Spain (Spain), $5.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
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  83 Real Sangria Red NV Spain (Spain), $5.99, 750 ml Good,
Recommended
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