Search Challenge Results

2013 Ultimate Wine Challenge

Great Values


Ultimate Wine Challenge 2013 recognizes the following products as Great Values: products with a favorable relationship between their price and final score at UWC. They are the finest spirits within their respective price points.


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

Champagne/Sparkling Wines

Prosecco - Italy

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      
87
Tiziano Prosecco NV Treviso (Italy), $12.99, 750 ml
A panoply of tropical fruit aromas erupt from the glass as tiny, persistent bubbles are released. The creamy, tingly texture delivers sweet apricot and lush pear flavors. Zippy and a little candied, it goes down easy. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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Champagne/Sparkling Wines

Sparkling – 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      
Finalist 90
Hacienda Methode Champenoise Brut Chardonnay NV California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Tropical fruits draw you in along with hints of orange blossom, lemon zest and green apple. In the mouth it is supple and well balanced with bright acidity and notes of stone fruits and green apple. A subtle hint of minerals gives way to a lengthy finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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86
Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée NV California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
Straw hued, with soft, gentle bubbles. Bosc pear aromas fill the bouquet, while lemony citrus invigorates the palate. A refreshing and crisp sparkling wine that works as an aperitif or paired with light fare. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante NV California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
A delicate perfume of tangerine, green apple, dried apricot and minerals fill the glass. In the mouth it is off-dry with candied orange peel, tangerine and stone fruits. A well balanced finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Scents of black cherry, pink grapefruit and candied orange peel rise from the glass. In the mouth it is smooth and sweet with beautiful notes of citrus and a touch of marmalade followed by a delicate finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 91
Rotari Talento Rosé NV Trento DOC (Italy), $13.99, 750 ml
Delicately perfumed with notes of vanilla and strawberry blossoms, this pink sparkler is full of peachy and nutty flavors. It also shows some minerality and spice on the finish. A silky mouthfeel throughout. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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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      
Finalist 91
Girard Chardonnay 2011 Russian River Valley (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Delicate aromas of green apple skin, white flowers and lightly toasted bread swirl in the glass. Round, opulent and silky smooth in the mouth, this wine has a light and cheery character with an emphasis on fruit. Piquant and mouthwatering finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Joseph Carr Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $18.99, 750 ml
Brimming with aromas of mango, ripe apricot, honeysuckle and fresh butter with underlying hints of wet stone. On the palate it's rich and full with tropical fruit flavors and a gentle salinity that leads into a soft and balanced finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Reata Chardonnay 2010 Carneros (United States), $19.99, 750 ml
A fantastic lemony and stony nose. This wine bursts with green apple and citrus fruit. The acidity is zippy and the weight is light to medium bodied. A super refreshing wine that can be consumed alone or with food. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Barefoot Chardonnay NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Sunny yellow in the glass, this wine shows the typical varietal character of green apples and white flowers. In the mouth, it's satiny and lush, with flavors of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, and oak spice. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Black Box Chardonnay 2012 California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box
Powerful honeydew melon, mandarin orange, lime and ripe peach aromas abound on the nose. Once in the mouth, the rich fruit flavors are offset by a faint trace of toasted oak making for a well balanced and soft finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Finca Las Moras Reserve Chardonnay 2011 San Juan (Argentina), $9.99, 750 ml
The nose offers aromas of light butterscotch covered apples. Deeply ripe on the palate with pear and apple flavors and well integrated honeyed vanilla. Crisp from beginning to end, this medium full wine is bright and clean. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
HandCraft Artisan Collection Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Expressing notes of citrus, apple, and stone fruit, this straw-colored Chardonnay is dosed with a little Malvasia Bianca. The result is a lush, satiny wine with peachy undertones and just a hint of spice on the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Bota Box Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Brimming with clean notes of pineapple, passionfruit and mango with a touch of cream. In the mouth, pineapple and vanilla flavors complement each other quite nicely and a gentle acidity takes you into the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Wolfgang Puck Chardonnay 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Crisp aromas of green apples and herbs are refreshing from the glass. A bold and mouth coating texture is supported by ripe apple and citrus fruit with a touch of earthiness. Good acid and a hint of chalky minerality make for a cleanly finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
[yellow tail] Reserve Chardonnay 2010 Southeastern (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml
Boisterous aromas of ripe peach, mango, guava and undertones of vanilla. Once in the mouth it is full bodied with a balanced acidity and peach flavors. The peach profile continues into the finish along with a reprise of vanilla. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Epica San Pedro Chardonnay 2011 Valle Central (Chile), $10.99, 750 ml
Golden yellow in the glass. This Chardonnay is endowed with big aromas of stone fruit and citrus. In the mouth, it's creamy and lush, with flavors of white peaches, pineapple, and Meyer lemon. Unoaked. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
La Merika Chardonnay 2011 Central Coast (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Lovely aromas of pineapple, white peach and apple blossoms make for a pleasing bouquet. In the mouth, it's quite delicate and continues to show pineapple as well as peach, leading into a very soft finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Rex Goliath Chardonnay NV American (United States), $8.99, 750 ml
A wonderful bouquet of pineapple, ripe melon and white flowers draws you into the glass. In the mouth it is pleasant and round with tropical fruit flavors taking the reigns. The finish is mildly acidic with fresh tropical fruits lingering. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Stack Wines Chardonnay 2012 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Bright aromas of cantaloupe along with hints of lime, kiwi and mango comprise the nose. Wonderfully light on its feet in the mouth with mango playing a larger role along with a mouth watering acidity which makes for a well balanced finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
The Naked Grape Chardonnay NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Lifted fragrances of white peach, pineapple and blossom arouse the senses. Once in the mouth it achieves a delicate balance between being round, yet light on its feet, with pineapple enduring onto a finish dotted with tropical fruit. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Turning Leaf Vineyards Chardonnay NV California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
Straw yellow in the glass, this California Chardonnay erupts with green apple and kiwi aromas on the nose. In the mouth, it's glossy and round, calling to mind ripe stone fruit and hints of Crème Brulée. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 94
Harbor Town Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough (New Zealand), $12.99, 750 ml
Powerful aromas of honeydew melon, pink grapefruit, lemon zest and green apple allude to a much deeper minerality. In the mouth, it's succulent with sea minerals and melon making an appearance before gracefully finishing with a lingering acidity. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Cannonball Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Sonoma County (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Powerful and seductive aromas of tangerine, honeysuckle, lime and ripe apricot draw you in. Once on the palate, a racy acidity is balanced by mellow nectarine and citrus flavors. A lengthy finish ensues punctuated by minerals. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
CK Mondavi Willow Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2012 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Blonde in color, this Sauvignon Blanc exhibits typical varietal character of passion fruit and citrus, with a hint of the herbaceous. In the mouth, it's crisp and clean, showing notes of fresh lime juice and a prickle of spice. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Paso Robles (United States), $15.00, 750 ml
Fantastic aromas of white peach dominate the nose with subtle traces of orange blossom and wet stones. On the palate it is succulent with a mouth watering acidity and white peach flavors. White peach endures into a lengthy finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Barefoot Cellars Sauvignon Blanc NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Powerfully aromatic, this Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with aromas of ripe exotic fruits. On the palate, it's a lush medley of tart apricots, fresh lime juice, and a hint of Anjou pear. The finish is reminiscent of summer grass. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Simply Naked Sauvignon Blanc 2011 New Zealand (New Zealand), $9.99, 750 ml
Wonderful aromas of lime and green apples with distant traces of mango and coconut flesh. Fresh and lively in the mouth with tropical fruits coming forward before retreating into an energetic and citrus filled finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Monterey (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Very crisp and floral nose with hints of blossom, lime and green apple. Wonderful flavors of lemon zest, minerals and nectarine show themselves on the palate before leading into a mineral driven finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Rex Goliath Sauvignon Blanc NV California (United States), $8.99, 750 ml
A bright bouquet of lime, green apple, grass and stone fruits. In the mouth, it is soft with stone fruits and minerals shining through followed by a hint of green apple. The finish is very refreshing and delicate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Tussock Jumper Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough (New Zealand), $11.99, 750 ml
Delicate and subtly spicy aromas of green apple, passionfruit and lime. In the mouth, lush flavors of tropical fruits coalesce along with green apples and minerals. The tropical fruit motif endures into a refreshing finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml
Crisp aromas of Meyer lemon, green apple, blossom and stone fruit fill the nose. In the mouth, lush flavors of green apple and ripe apricot come forth. A lingering acidity and citrus pith comprise the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
[yellow tail] Sauvignon Blanc NV Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
Decadent aromas of lime, ripe apricot, minerals and passionfruit fill the glass. In the mouth, stone fruits shine through followed by lime and tropical fruits before a refreshing, mineral driven finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Black Box Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Valle Central (Chile), $24.99, 3L Box
Incredibly pungent aromas of grapefruit, kiwi and fresh green leaves fill the nose. In the mouth it is reminiscent of Granny Smith apples and lime leaf. The initial texture is remarkably soft, giving way to a chalky finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 95
Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2012 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Rich aromas of stone fruit and hints of petrol. Kissed with sweetness on the palate, the flavors of ripe yellow peaches and white flowers are accentuated. Delicately honeyed flavors are long lasting after a clean and dry finish. Perfect for slightly spicy food. Great Value. Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation
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Finalist 93
Sheldrake Point Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $16.00, 750 ml
A highly aromatic wine. Peaches, apricots and Bosc pears fill the bouquet. The palate is pleasingly off-dry, offering a taste of persimmons with floral influences. This wine is salivating. Beautiful acidity lifts generous flavors on the finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Wagner Vineyards Select Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Lush and vibrant aromas of pineapple, mango, papaya, candied orange peel and honeysuckle. In the mouth it is graciously sweet yet maintains a racy acidity with tropical fruits and nice minerality. The finish is luxuriously long with a gentle acidity. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Wagner Vineyards Semi Dry Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Clear with green flecks. Provides a nose of tropical fruits such as guava and passion fruit. There's just the right amount of sweetness in the mouth, where more complex flavors are present, including a taste of Earl Grey tea. A pretty wine. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Bota Box Riesling 2012 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Powerful and juicy aromas of kiwi, lime, passionfruit and honeysuckle titillate your senses. In the mouth, sweet flavors of kiwi and white peach are balanced by a poignant acidity. A spirited finish with hints of kiwi ensue. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2012 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Exceedingly fresh and clean aromas of citrus, stone fruit and a touch of grassiness. In the mouth it is bone dry with flavors of tart citrus, lots of minerals, and apricots. Piquant with mouthwatering acidity and a smooth finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Clear with green flecks. A zippy wine that offers a hint of Muscat, orange water and menthol character. The palate is vibrant with citrus, which is balanced out by an element of earthy moss. A lovely, dry Riesling. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Black Box Riesling 2012 Monterey County (United States), $24.99, 3L Box
Earthy aromas of moss, wet stones and minerals dominate the nose. Flavors of sweet peaches and honeyed apricots fill the mouth. Soft and round, this wine calls for spicy food and anything from the sea. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Stone Fruit Riesling 2011 Pfalz (Germany), $10.99, 750 ml
The name of this wine evokes peaches and nectarines, and those aromas do indeed come through on the nose. On the palate, it's all appley honeyed flavors, as well as gooseberry and tangerine. Lush yet with great acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Tussock Jumper Riesling 2011 Rheinhessen (Germany), $9.99, 750 ml
Aromas of peaches and apricots are ripe and juicy on the nose. In the mouth it is lightly kissed with sweetness, balanced by racy acidity, citrus and stone fruits. A clean minerally finish make this wine a tasty refresher. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Barefoot Cellars Riesling NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
The aromas are subtle with light white flowers, pears and oranges. It is sweet in the mouth with flavors of bruised ripe apricots and peaches. A slight chalkiness on the finish cleanses the palate with each sip. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
86
The White Knight Viognier 2011 Clarksburg (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Exploding with powerful aromatics of white nectarines and ripe apricots, this Viognier boasts fresh zesty flavors of fresh peaches, green apple, and tart citrus. It's crisp and lean, yet silky in the mouth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Aromas have a tropical flare with a backbone of peaches and fresh flowers. Refreshingly tart on the palate with zippy apricot, lemon and pineapple flavors. Flavors and aromas linger long in the mouth. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Turning Leaf Vineyards Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
Light bodied, clean and crisp. Lemon water and lime blossom come through on the nose, while flavors of apple and hay appear on the palate. There is a hint of sweetness and gentle acidity, making for a pleasant wine to drink. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Tart and refreshing aromas of lemons, limes and minerals. Uplifting in the mouth with chalky flavors of minerals, citrus and Anjou pears. Crisp and clean, the finish is long and mellow with a hint of almonds. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Villa Pozzi Pinot Grigio 2012 Sicily (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Tantalizing bouquet of honeysuckle, lime, green apple, honeydew and an allusion to stone fruits. In the mouth it is pleasantly plump with a stony minerality and subdued notes of citrus pith and green apple. The finish is wonderfully soft and perfumed. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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87
Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2012 Valdadige (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml
Very clean and floral with suggestions of honeysuckle, apple blossom and a hint of grass. A deep minerality takes over on the palate with green apple flavors accompanying it. A perfumed finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2012 Alto Adige DOCG (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml
Fantastically bright nose, echoing of green apple, lemon zest, unripe mango and wet stones. In the mouth it is very light on its feet with a mouth watering acidity and suggestions of citrus. Wonderfully refreshing. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio 2012 Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml
Fresh, clean aromas of green apple, honeysuckle with hints of lime. In the mouth it is all about minerals and a bracing acidity. Green apple also plays a role. The finish is dry with minerals and a lingering acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio NV California (United States), $8.99, 750 ml
Straw core with a clear rim. Smells like freshly squeezed lime juice, with a distinct note of vanilla flower. Bracing acidity coats the mouth, along with a subtle frizzante. An accessible and fun wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
OGIO Pinot Grigio 2011 delle Venezie IGT (Italy), $12.99, 750 ml
Clear with green flecks. The nose is flinty, accompanied by lime skin and white grapefruit aromas. All follow on the medium-rich palate, encased in salivating citrussy acidity. A great aperitivo. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Tiziano Pinot Grigio 2012 Delle Venezie IGT (Italy), $10.99, 750 ml
Clear with a hint of straw. Notes of cantaloupe and honeydew melon greet the nose. Palate is light, vibrant and dry with a slight spritz and crunchy flavors of gravel and green apple. Very refreshing. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
[yellow tail] Reserve Pinot Grigio 2011 Southeastern (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml
This Pinot Grigio has a menthol quality on the nose, along with fresh Granny Smith apples. The texture is light-bodied and the palate is clean with pear and apple character. Moderate acidity. Easy to drink. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
[yellow tail] Pinot Grigio 2012 Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
Very light aromas that are reminiscent of tart green apples and citrus fruits. In the mouth it is juicy with tart lemons, fresh limes and minerals. The texture is soft with a clean and piquant finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Domino Pinot Grigio 2012 California (United States), $7.49, 750 ml
Bright stone fruits and peach pits emerge from the bouquet, along with pretty yellow flowers. Star fruit flavors delight the palate, followed by a glimmer of lime. A zestful and summery wine. Outstanding. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio 2012 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Lean and crisp, this Pinot Grigio is characterized by pretty citrus and floral aromas that give way to bright flavors of tart lemon and lime, as well as more delicate notes of white peach. Finishes clean. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2012 Delle Venezie IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
This offers a delightful nose that is reminiscent of pear and cucumber, joined by a floral edge that's redolent of iris. On the palate, the acidity is brilliantly balanced. A fragrant and fresh wine that works with salads or alone. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Simply Naked Pinot Grigio 2011 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
Subtle gold hue. A generous nose of lemon sherbet and meringue weaved with white flowers. The palate is round and rich with a nice tinge of acidity and a vibrant flavor of orange rind. This wine gets the mouth salivating. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Two Oceans Pinot Grigio 2012 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml
Crisp aromas of minerals and grass are pungent in the glass. On the palate it is rich with concentrated citrus and pears, and deep minerality. Round and expansive in the mouth, the texture is soft and smooth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 92
Handley Cellars Gerwurztraminer 2012 Anderson Valley (United States), $18.00, 750 ml
Attractive bouquet of ripe melon, gooseberry, elderflower and candied tangerine. The juicy green apple, peach and melon flavors on the palate are offset by a fantastically deep minerality. This motif is echoed in the refreshing and graceful finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Sheldrake Point Gerwurztraminer 2012 Finger Lakes (United States), $18.00, 750 ml
Complex and lovely. Aromas of honeyed pear, white pepper and nutmeg play on the nose. The palate is densely flavored with a touch of sweetness, spice and white flowers. The texture is rich and almost waxy with a persistent and flavorful finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 91
Quails' Gate Estate Grown Chenin Blanc 2011 Okanagan Valley (Canada), $15.00, 750 ml
Enticing wet stone aromas give way to hints of honeysuckle, citrus pith and Macintosh apple. It the mouth it is luscious and round yet possesses a well balanced acidity. Apple and Meyer lemon shine through on the finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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87
African Passion Chenin Blanc 2012 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml
Fresh and crisp with aromas of green apple, lime and wet stones. In the mouth it is enjoyably round with a bracing minerality and flavors of ripe green apple. Minerals dominate a balanced finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barton & Guestier Chenin Blanc 2011 Vouvray (France), $11.99, 750 ml
Floral and herbal aromas burst forth from the glass. Pale blonde in color, this Chenin Blanc has a complex character of stone fruit, green apple, and melon notes. It's silky, almost glossy, in the mouth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Bodegas Altos de Torona Albanta Albariño 2011 Rias Baixas (Spain), $18.00, 750 ml
A highly aromatic Albarino with an electrifying nose of orange rind and musk. An intense orange citrus character endures on the palate and there are grassy flavors too. The acidity is so juicy it makes your mouth water. Delicious. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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86
Tapada do Fidalgo White Blend 2012 Alentejo (Portugal), $12.00, 750 ml
Clear appearance with a hint of hay. Notes of vanilla Crème Anglaise and wild flowers on the nose, while the palate is drier and saltier than expected. The finish is lemony and saline. The perfect wine for fish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Drassanes White 2012 Valencia (Spain), $10.99, 750 ml
Soft blonde color. This blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, Merseguera and Moscatel erupts with sweet peach cobbler and strawberry blossom aromas. Lush and glossy in the mouth, it's fruity with a soft vanilla note. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Quinta de Azevedo 2012 Vinho Verde DOC (Portugal), $8.99, 750 ml
The nose promises refreshing zing and minerals. In the mouth it is almost salty with sea breeze, lime rind, green grapes and minerals. Light and crisp, there is a slight effervescence that contributes to the cleanliness of this wine. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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85
Chateau Bonnet 2012 Bordeaux (France), $12.99, 750 ml
Piquant chili peppers waft from the glass of this fiesty Bordeaux Blanc. The palate is clean and spritzy, with a note of lime weaving throughout. Bright acidity and an almost savory palate makes this a great wine for simple, grilled fish dishes. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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White Wines

Muscat/Moscato/Moscatel – 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      
Chairman's Trophy 91
Two Oceans Moscato 2012 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml
Exotic aromas of guava, mango and honeydew melon with underlying citrus and honeysuckle define the bouquet. In the mouth it is juicy and fresh with melon and citrus pith coming forward. A bright acidity finishes this wine gracefully. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Mezzacorona Moscato 2012 Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml
In a category dominated by fat, sugary, and fizzy wines, this Moscato stands out. It's still, delicately perfumed, and only gently honeyed. Ethereal notes of white peaches, apricots, and lychee dominate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Bota Box Moscato 2012 Mendoza (Argentina), $20.99, 3L Box
Crystal clear with a faint yellow reflection. The wine is powerfully aromatic, bursting with honeyed and melon notes. On the palate, it's lush and sweet, a hint of lime pith at the edges. An easy drinking patio wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Piccolo Tesoro Sweet White Moscato 2011 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Lively aromas of cantaloupe, mandarin orange and pineapple flourish in the glass. In the mouth it is quite luscious with delicate touches of cantaloupe coupled with a moderate acidity followed by a sweet and juicy finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Twisted Moscato 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $7.99, 750 ml
Gently fizzy upon first pour, this Moscato is all peaches and cream on the nose, with a hint of lemon meringue. On the palate, it recalls a glass of limoncello on the Amalfi Coast. Perfect for patio sipping. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barefoot Cellars Moscato NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Distinct aromas of tangerine, orange blossom, pink grapefruit and lime draw you into the glass. In the mouth, it is light on its feet with luscious flavors of tangerine and dried apricot all enveloped in a honeyed finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Cavit Moscato 2012 Provincia di Pava (Italy), $9.00, 750 ml
The aromatics on this Moscato burst forth from the glass, evocative of homemade peach pie and freshly picked white flowers. In the mouth, it's a voluptuous wine, creamy and lush, delicately sweetened. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
CK Mondavi Willow Springs Moscato 2012 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
This Moscato pours pale blonde and intensely fragrant. Aromas of canned peaches and lemon sherbert burst forth from the glass. These give way to delicately honeyed flavors of apricot and strawberry lemonade. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Domino Moscato 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $7.49, 750 ml
Aromas that are less ripe than many sweet Moscatos on the market today, this wine is full of bright citrus and sweet floral notes, giving way to a gently honeyed palate of white peaches and pineapple. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Rex Goliath Moscato NV Argentina (Argentina), $8.99, 750 ml
Pale yellow in color with a greenish tint, this Moscato is filled with fragrant fruity and floral aromas. It's tastes honeyed and plush, reminiscent of limoncello and candied lime. A nice acidity cuts through the sweetness. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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White Wines

White 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      
89
Barefoot Refresh Sweet White NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Aromas of peaches, candied tangerine, lychee and papaya abound in this wine. Once in the mouth it is juicy with lush flavors of sweet citrus, peaches and a hint of lemon zest. A sweet finish is balanced by a lingering acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Gnarly Head Authentic White 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
There is a distinct spice aroma on the nose along with plenty of ripe citrus. The flavor is juicy and aromatic with oranges, flowers, and hints of sweet spices. Round and almost oily in texture, this wine leaves a lasting impression on the palate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
HandCraft Artisan Collection Inspiration White 2012 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Clear appearance with straw flecks. Peppermint bonbons fill the nose, while mint leaf develops on the palate, joined by zingy kiwi character. The flavors are clean and bracing with notes of honeydew melon on the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Chateau Julien French Kiss 2012 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Fresh and spring like on the nose, this wine erupts with aromas of flowers and lots of citrus. Rich on the palate, with oranges, lemons, apricots and peaches. The texture is silky with a refreshing piquancy. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
The Naked Grape Summer White Blend NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
This white blend features aromas of tropical fruits and freshly pressed citrus. On the palate, it's delicately honeyed, with a silky texture, exhibiting apricot, green apple, and Meyer lemon. A perfect picnic wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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White Wines

Other White Varietals - 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      
89
Marqués de Riscal Rueda White Wine 2012 Spain (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Lemon yellow in the glass. Bright citrus and a distinctly grassy note comes through on the nose. In the mouth, it's crisp and zesty, with plenty of tart fresh lime juice and a hint of sharper pith on the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Stemmari Feudo Arancio Grillo 2012 Sicily IGT (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Clear appearance with green flecks. Offers fruity aromas of mango and pineapple, with Gardenia flowers. The palate continues with tropical fruit flavors and an addition of lime like acidity. A pleasant, crisp wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Alsur Collection Macabeo 2012 Tierra de Castilla (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Demure bouquet, with faint aromas of grapefruit and melon. Taste is vivid, acidic, refreshing, citrusy (lemon) and piquant. Suitable wine choice for white fish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 92
Magistrate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Alexander Valley (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
This Napa Cabernet Sauvignon shows up deep ruby in the glass, with solid legs. The bouquet is all dark fruit flavors and a hint of the herbaceous. In the mouth, it's juicy with ripe fruit, good structure, and a slightly smoky finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Trapiche Oak Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $13.99, 750 ml
Succulent and spicy aromas suggesting black currant, rhubarb, smoke and white pepper draw you in. On the palate it is bold and round with powerful blackberry and cedar flavors leading into a well structured and effortless finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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89
[yellow tail] Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Southeastern (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml
Wonderfully lifted bouquet of wild berries, cedar, black currant and a hint of black pepper. In the mouth it is round, rich and fruity with a defiant wild berry flavor. The finish is silky smooth, fruity, and lingers on the palate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Valle Central (Chile), $24.99, 3L Box
Classically earthy and herbal. Aromas of cassis and vegetation are prevalent. Clean and opulent in the mouth with perfectly balanced ripe blackberries, spice and herbs. Medium rich, it is smooth and incredibly easy to drink. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Color Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Valle Central (Chile), $9.99, 750 ml
Spicy aromas of black currant and dark cherries followed by vanilla and hints of black pepper. Rich yet supple in the mouth with dominant black currant flavors. Black pepper follows through into a rich finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon NV Chile (Chile), $8.99, 750 ml
The nose screams of cherry cola. There is a distinct earthy backbone to this wine. What starts off as rich cherry fruit finishes brambly and earthy with a very dusty mouth feel. Unique and tasty. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
African Passion Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $8.99, 750 ml
Brick red in color, with a firm yet elegant body, the wine gives off pleasing brambly aromas. Juicy forest fruit flavors come through on the palate, fleshing out a solid backbone. Tannins are persistent, but not grippy. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
A deep, dark ruby color with a violet rim. Wild berries, dark plum, and a whisper of vanilla emanate from the glass. On the palate it is jammy with wild berries making an appearance before developing into a mild cranberry tinged tartness on the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
CK Mondavi Wildcreek Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Aromas of green vegetation are intensely herbal. In the mouth the flavors of blackberries and currants are rich and juicy. The dusty tannins are mouth coating, making this an ideal wine for a cheese plate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Playful aromas oscillate between candied fruit and deep minerality. In the mouth the flavors are intensely juicy with lots of herbal undertones. Tannins are balanced and grippy on the very dry finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
H&G Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Washington (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
A fantastically bright and fruity nose bringing cranberries, red cherries and a slight touch of black pepper into the picture. Fine grained tannins and a firm structure balance out pleasant red fruit flavors, culminating in a graceful finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Duck Tape Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Canelones (Uruguay), $8.99, 750 ml
Intensely pungent. Aromas of ripe plums, tar and tobacco. The flavors are layered with violets, luscious cherries, and chocolate. The mouthfeel begins plushy but finishes dry with smooth tannins. Big and bold. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
HandCraft Artisan Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Amiable aromas of red cherry, blackberry and a hint of clove and cedar on the nose give way to generous offerings of warm dark fruit and sweet spice in the mouth. A pleasantly balanced and lengthy finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Pungent aromas of cranberry, Bing cherries and yogurt draw you in. In the mouth, it's luxurious with mellow flavors of dark cherries and blackberries. Characterized by silky tannins, a fruity finish and soft acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
KWV Classic Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $10.99, 750 ml
A refreshing, light bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that presents cheeky blackberry and raspberry aromas. Cassis and bramble fruit flavors dance on the palate, while the tannins are soft and acidity is perceptible. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Cadet d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Vin de Pays d'Oc (France), $10.00, 750 ml
Deep ruby core with a pink rim. Cassis and confectionery black currants are prevalent on the nose. The palate gives way to much of the same, joined by a green, leafy, herbal quality. Easy drinking and food friendly. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Sweet aromas of blueberries and blackberries, with wafts of rich coffee. Intensely ripe on the palate with toasted vanilla and spice flavors. Smooth and lively, this is a perfect wine for anything grilled. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
Captivating aromas of damson plum and rhubarb draw you into the glass. In the mouth it is soft with a mellow acidity and balmy flavors of wild berries. Rhubarb reappears on the finish along with hints of dark cherry. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Stack Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Ripe aromas of blackberry jam, dark plum, and toasted oak with underlying notes reminiscent of caramel. Generous offerings of black berry fruit and velvety tannins lead into a soft and fruity finish that sticks with you. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
The wine pours a deep ruby color rimmed in a lighter pink. On the nose, it's a bushel of blackberries. In the mouth, the juicy dark berry fruit comes through once again. Easy drinking with nice acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Tussock Jumper Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $9.99, 750 ml
It pours brick red with an orange rim. Aromas of blackberry and thistle permeate. In the mouth, this wine is opulent and silky, punctuated by a dash of pepper. Velvety tannins make for a supple structure. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Bistro Select Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $7.00, 750 ml
Hints of cacao and black pepper greet the nose. The aromas are seductive and palate is juicy and luscious with ripe, jammy black currants and dark plums. The tannins are powdery, soft and easy. One to enjoy with casual fare. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Robust aromas of dark cherries, raisins and dark plum with spicy vanilla undertones. Rich and mouth coating with smooth tannins and flavors reminiscent of blackberry jam and baked cherries. A fruit forward finish follows. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Carlo Rossi Cabernet Sauvignon NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Distinct aromas of red cherry, black currant and mulberry with subtle notes of caramel. In the mouth it is astonishingly light on its feet with juicy flavors of blackberry and plum. A very soft finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Domino Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $7.49, 750 ml
Bursting with ripe red and blackcurrants on the nose, this garnet colored wine is a compote of ripe berry fruit in the mouth. Whispers of licorice, milk chocolate, vanilla and oak spice round it out. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Mezzacorona Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml
From the region of the Italian Alps, this wine is fragrant with hints of lavender and thyme. Mountain herbs continue in the mouth, along with dark crunchy minerals, sturdy tannins and dark-skinned fruit. A balanced wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Plungerhead Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Dry Creek Valley (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Ruby red with violet edges. Fruits of the forest aromas, laced with savory herb notes, give way to jammy fruit flavors and a touch of vanilla. Oak spice character and a slightly caramelized quality round out the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Twisted Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Intense bouquet of baked plum, smoky oak, dark cherry and cinnamon. In the mouth it is round with silky tannins and a dark fruit character with underlying sweet spice notes that lead seamlessly into a delicate finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Villa Pozzi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Sicily (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Delicate aromas of dark wildberries on the nose set you up for a mouthful of ripe juicy fruit. Hints of caramel and toast emerge on the mid-palate, and subtle oak spice comes through at the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 91
Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir 2011 Monterey (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Magenta core with a light pink rim. The perfume bursts with roses and a spectrum of red and dark fruit aromas, ranging from cherries, blackberries and plum. Enticing oak aromas also waft from the glass. Flavors are lush, generous and bold. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Mezzacorona Pinot Noir 2011 Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml
Titillating aromas of ripe cherry and mulberry lend freshness to a faint trace of brown sugar. In the mouth it's velvety and delicate with cherry and cinnamon flavors rounding off bright acidity. The red cherry motif perseveres into a lengthy finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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87
Cavit Pinot Noir 2011 Provincia di Pava (Italy), $9.00, 750 ml
Powerful perfume of ripe strawberry, cranberry jam and kirsch arouse the senses. On the palate it is soft with delicate acidity and flavors of strawberry that linger onto an equally smooth finish. Fantastic. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Tussock Jumper Vin de France Pinot Noir 2010 France (France), $9.99, 750 ml
Opens up with aromas of blackberry jam, lavender, vanilla and a hint of cedar. Wonderfully bright upon first taste with blackberry and a slight hint of vanilla. The lucid acidity lasts well into a delicate and fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
[yellow tail] Pinot Noir 2012 Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
Ripe aromas of blackberry, kirsch, cranberry and hints of vanilla fill the glass. In the mouth it is slightly jammy with wonderful flavors of wild cherries balanced by satiny tannins. Delightfully fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Barefoot Cellars Pinot Noir NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Light to medium bodied and garnet in color. Delicate aromas of ripe red berries come through in this Pinot Noir. Juicy fruit flavors subtly laced with vanilla and spice, plus a soft, supple body make it endlessly drinkable. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Delectable aromas of cranberry and allspice fill the glass, as well as an herbal undertone. In the mouth, it's supple with vanilla making an appearance alongside flavors of cherry and cranberry. A lifted acidity balances the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
La Croix du Pin Cuvée Prestige Pays d'Oc Pinot Noir 2010 Languedoc (France), $9.99, 750 ml
Pleasant and spicy aromas of strawberry, red cherry and rhubarb with a touch of licorice. In the mouth, ripe tannins marry well with red fruits and a hint of vanilla before finishing gracefully with notes of strawberry. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Pennywise Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
An expressive and medium-bodied wine that presents herbacious aromas of basil and vanilla bean. Bright red cherries, wild strawberries and white pepper come across on the palate, enveloped in bright acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
The Naked Grape Pinot Noir NV California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Subtle aromas of plums and cherries are enticing. Light in the mouth, the flavors are pretty, with ripe red fruit, and very floral. There is a refreshing piquancy all the way through. Silky smooth and clean. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Turning Leaf Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
Spice filled aromas with hints of black plums and tar. Dark and almost brooding flavors of spice and earth accompany very ripe cherries and cherry blossoms. Medium rich in the mouth it is smooth all the way through. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
HandCraft Artisan Collection Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Pleasing aromas of Bing cherry, mulberry and a faint trace of turned earth. In the mouth, silky tannins give way to fresh red fruits and a bright acidity. The acidity lasts into a clean and slightly fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Concentrated perfume of plum, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. On the palate, it's light on its feet and fruit forward with vanilla undertones and an agreeable astringency. A soft and fruity finish follows. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Redwood Creek Pinot Noir 2011 California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
Intensely fruity bouquet. Strawberries, red raspberries and confectionary cherries all come to mind. It is pleasantly yielding on the palate with a muted fruit profile leading into a delicate finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Rex Goliath Pinot Noir NV American (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
Lush nose of red cherries, strawberry and almost a suggestion of watermelon. In the mouth it is fruit forward with cherries and strawberries taking center stage with velvety tannins. Nice finish with a slightly fruity acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Noble Vines 181 Merlot 2011 Lodi (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Dark ruby core with a pink rim. Dark cherries, cedar and plums show on the nose. Tannins are sturdy. Oak and wild dark berry fruits coat the mouth. This wine has good structure and would pair deliciously with steak. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 92
Irony Small Lot Reserve Merlot 2011 Monterey (United States), $15.99, 750 ml
Hints of tea leaves and blueberries mingle on the nose. Dark flavors of plums, berries and cocoa are densely packed into each sip while a subtle herbaceous note lurks underneath. Smooth and not too heavy, very pleasant to sip. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 92
Magistrate Merlot 2011 Sonoma County (United States), $16.99, 750 ml
Boysenberry, blackberry jam, black pepper, vanilla and a hint of mint conspire to create a compelling nose. In the mouth, it's smooth with velvety soft tannins and subdued yet spicy vanilla flavors. The finish is quite elegant. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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89
[yellow tail] Merlot 2012 Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
Impressive aromas of blackberry, roasted espresso beans, dark chocolate and herbal undertones. In the mouth, dark plum notes develop along with more dark chocolate. Silky smooth tannins and a soft finish round off this wine beautifully. Fantastic. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Barone Fini Merlot 2011 Valdadige (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml
Refined notes of chocolate, mulberry, licorice and smoke comprise the nose of this wine. Mulberry shows again on the palate accompanied by blackberry jam and baked plum with similar flavors present on a very smooth, structured finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Black Box Merlot 2011 California (United States), $24.99, 3L Box
Fantastic nose of ripe red cherries, strawberry and spicy oak with hints of fresh ground black peppercorn. Very smooth tannins and a soft red fruit character on the palate lead into a very soft, yet structured finish. Delicious. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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89
Villa Pozzi Merlot 2012 Sicily (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Fresh fruit abounds on the nose with dark plum, rhubarb and black cherry flavors taking the stage. In the mouth, it is vibrant and continues to harp on the dark fruit motif before finishing with a bright acidity and soft fruit flavors. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
[yellow tail] Reserve Merlot 2010 Southeastern (Australia), $11.99, 750 ml
Generous aromas of cooked coconut and candied blueberries spring from the glass. The palate shows a slight bitter-oak edge, joined by ripe fruit flavors that tend towards dark berries and a hint of banana peel. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Gnarly Head Merlot 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Generous aromas of boysenberry preserves and black cherries mingle with faint traces of vanilla bean and green pepper. In the mouth, a spicy black pepper flavor comes forth with hints of blackberry and vanilla leading into a robust finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Rex Goliath Merlot NV French (France), $8.99, 750 ml
Soft aromas of black cherry, dark plum, black pepper and sage fill the nose. Once in the mouth, it is unforgettably smooth with bright flavors of black cherries to balance soft tannins and a touch of vanilla. A supple, fruity finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Turning Leaf Vineyards Merlot NV California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
An aromatic Merlot that offers blackberry jam on the nose, along with milk chocolate, coffee bean and raisin aromas. There are warm spice flavors such as cinnamon on the palate. Tannins are soft and the acidity is fresh. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Chateau Julien Merlot 2010 Monterey County (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Light ruby color. Plum and blueberry aromas on the nose. The palate offers toasty wood flavors, dark cherries and spice. Tannins are firm, and the acidity is juicy, making this a good wine for casual fare. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Color Block Merlot 2012 Valle Central (Chile), $9.99, 750 ml
Ripe aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, kirsch and toasted cocoa with undertones of vanilla. Once in the mouth, blackberry takes over with a sultry, peppery flavor. The finish is quite bright with a lingering fruitiness. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Leese-Fitch Merlot 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
There is a decidedly earthy nose of dark green vegetation. In the mouth, flavors of blackberry pie are nicely concentrated on top of mineral and soil notes. Silky smooth on the palate with a slightly dusty finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Twisted Merlot 2011 California (United States), $7.99, 750 ml
Provides opulent and jammy character. There are highly extracted flavors of sweet blueberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit. Coffee bean and macchiato flavors linger on the palate of this plush Merlot. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Bota Box Merlot 2011 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Playfully pungent aromas of blueberries and moss. Generously favored with brooding dark fruit and suggestions of green earth. Ripe tannins are juicy, keeping the wine light and bouncy on the palate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Carlo Rossi Merlot NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Pleasant aromas of light raspberries and blackberries mingle with whispers of sweet spice. Soft and juicy in the mouth with plenty of round berry flavors that effortlessly lead to ripe tannins and a clean finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Josh Cellars Merlot 2011 California (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Billed as a Bordeaux style Merlot, this ruby red wine has an aromatic bouquet of forest floor, sage, and licorice. On the palate, flavors of red and dark berry fruit and plum emerge, edge by a hint of cocoa. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Bistro Select Merlot NV California (United States), $7.00, 750 ml
Rich and spicy, dark cherry and plum flavors mingle with slight earthiness and sweet baking spices. Bursts of ripe fruit in the mouth are balanced by a firm structure and plenty of herbal undertones. The soft texture fades easily to a dry finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Duck Tape Merlot 2010 Canelones (Uruguay), $8.99, 750 ml
This Uruguayan Merlot pours brick red in the glass. Berry jam aromas give way to sweet, plummy fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is juicy and pleasant, with soft, approachable tannins. A perfect picnic wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
89
Bota Box Shiraz 2011 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Earthy aromas of moss are intertwined with black currants and fresh squash. Well balanced in the mouth with dark charred earth, dried blueberry and raspberry. The finish is intense with dark roasted coffee beans and silky smooth tannin. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Two Oceans Shiraz 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 750 ml
Powerful aromas of white pepper, smoke and cedar give way to equally strong notes of blackberry. Warm and round in the mouth with notes of vanilla, wild berries and more delicate smoke. Culminates in a pleasant, spicy finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barefoot Cellars Shiraz NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
A deep purple color alludes to the aromas and flavors you'll find in this wine. It's reminiscent of warm blackberry pie served with a scoop of vanilla. Well extracted with a firm structure, yet velvety in the mouth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Montpelier Syrah 2012 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
Mocha spice and blueberry aromas are prevalent on the nose. Piquant fruit explodes on the medium full palate with a hearty green earthy finish. Very fine tannins fade subtly into a velvety smooth texture. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Finca Las Moras Black Label Malbec 2011 San Juan (Argentina), $14.99, 750 ml
Wonderful spicy and toasty aromas of vanilla, oak, chocolate and black cherries fill the nose. Chocolate is the showstopper on the palate accompanied by underlying notes of coffee and blackberry. A lengthy finish ensues. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Redwood Creek Malbec 2011 Argentina (Argentina), $8.00, 750 ml
Enticing aromas are smoky and gamey with a layer of blackberry patch. In the mouth it is smooth and fresh. Flavors oscillate from savory to fruity with rich black fruit and salty minerality. Black fruit and light herbal notes linger on the finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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86
Finca Las Moras Reserve Malbec 2011 San Juan (Argentina), $9.99, 750 ml
Near purple hue. Oak aromas are pronounced, developing into burnt coffee. The wood continues to dominate on the palate, with a smooth, sumptuous mouthfeel of silky tannins. The finish is reminiscent of blueberry skins and cedar box. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Rex Goliath Malbec NV Argentina (Argentina), $8.99, 750 ml
Gracious nose of blackberry jam, vanilla, cedar and plenty of bramble fruits. Once in the mouth it is dark and jammy with smooth tannins and a kiss of vanilla. Vanilla is ever present on a lengthy finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Sierra Batuco Reserva Malbec 2011 Maule Valley (Chile), $11.99, 750 ml
Meaty and chocolatey nose is reminiscent of a spiced mole. Densely flavored with intense herbs, smoky meat, and ripe blackberries. Texturally diverse starting out round and opulent and moving toward chalky tannins that beg for a red meat pairing. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Black Box Malbec 2012 Mendoza (Argentina), $24.99, 3L Box
Erupting with a beautiful bouquet of blackberry, mocha and pipe tobacco and a deeper floral character. In the mouth it is rich with a soft spiciness and black fruits followed by a lengthy and precise finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Bota Box Malbec 2012 Mendoza (Argentina), $20.99, 3L Box
Intriguing aromas of black raspberry yogurt, lavender and a hint of toasted oak. Firm tannins in the mouth are balanced by a soft red berry character which lends a hand to an equally soft and fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Massimo Prestige Vineyards Malbec 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $12.99, 750 ml
It's all soil and minerals on the nose, with hints of restrained black fruit. Silky smooth in the mouth, flavors of bittersweet chocolate, blackberries and Bing cherries emerge. Tannins are consistently velvety, creating a richness that lingers. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 92
Brazin (B)Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $16.99, 750 ml
The nose evokes memories of dark chocolate coved raisins. Cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander support a full palate of plums, dried figs and mocha. The decadence of this wine is punctuated by its smooth and velvety texture and lightly toasted vanilla finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin Zinfandel 2011 Lodi (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
Toasted oak and boysenberry dominate the nose with undertones of black pepper and sage. Once in the mouth, the black pepper stays with you. Blackberry and sweet spice are perceptible. The finish is smooth, dark and pleasantly spicy. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barefoot Cellars Zinfandel Lodi (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Purple in color with violet edges. This Zinfandel exhibits typical varietal character of ripe raspberry on the nose. In the mouth, it has lively red fruit, with vanilla and oak spice. Tannins are velvety, but have grip. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2011 California (United States), $20.99, 3L Box
Aromatically subtle with strawberries and cherries on the nose, this wine is surprisingly juicy and ripe on the palate. Sweet spices on the finish create just enough complexity to keep each sip fresh. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
87
Artazuri Garnacha 2012 Navarra (Spain), $12.00, 750 ml
A pretty purple color with glints of violet. Earthy and a little wild, this Garnacha boasts forest floor and floral aromas. Juicy fruit flavors explode on the tongue, with spice notes coming through on the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Magnífico Grenache 2012 Cariñena (Spain), $10.99, 750 ml
Bursting with fresh fruit aromas of red cherries, dark plum and black currant with a confectionery element. In the mouth, it feels young and vivacious with fresh fruit dominating the palate and undertones of vanilla leading into a fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Principe de Viana Garnacha 2012 Navarra (Spain), $13.00, 750 ml
Aromas of pure red fruit shine through on the nose. Super ripe berries fill the mouth with hints of cinnamon and earthy bramble. Textured like Dupioni silk, it is at once soft and slightly rough. Exciting to drink. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 92
Ruffino 2011 Chianti (DOCG) (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Light ruby hue. Lovely cinnamon spice aromas waft from the glass with a delicate scent of cranberry and Bing cherries. All follow through on the palate with a hint of dusty plum fruit. Limber tannins and soft acidity. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Villa Puccini Tuscan Red 2009 Tuscany IGT (Italy), $12.00, 750 ml
Ruby color. Floral and vanilla bean aromas, with a delicate hint of clove powder. Medium bodied with silky tannins and bright acidity. Perfectly balanced between structure and supple red fruit character. A great wine for slow-cooked pork dishes. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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89
Ruffino 2011 Chianti Superiore (Italy), $11.99, 750 ml
Bright and aromatic with hints of lingering cherry and coffee. In the mouth it is vibrant with ruby red cherries and a hint of cinnamon. Ripe tannins enhance the supple body. Perfect for cheese plates and pastas. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
87
Pennywise Petite Sirah 2011 Napa Valley (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Gentle aromas of blackberry jam, cinnamon and vanilla on the the nose. Rich, yet very mellow mouth feel with blackberries and vanilla coming forth before retreating into a fruity, mellifluous finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
HandCraft Artisan Collection Petite Sirah 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Strong aromas of toast, plums and black cherries. The palate is juicy and rich with red and black fruit flavors, sweet spice and hints of toasted oak. The long finish contributes to the intensity of this wine. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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Red Wines

Tempranillo - 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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2007 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $17.99, 750 ml
A mature Rioja that provides a brick red core with a lighter rim. The nose is rich and oaky with a hint of vanilla. All follow through to the palate where you'll also find sweet ripe berry flavors along with a good dose of juicy acidity. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Altos de Tamaron Crianza Tempranillo 2010 Ribera del Duero (Spain), $14.99, 750 ml
Intriguing aromas of dark fruit and a deeper note of chocolate fill the glass. On the palate it is smooth with rich fruit and cocoa continuing into an elegant finish that stays with you. Delightful. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Faustino VII Tempranillo 2010 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $11.00, 750 ml
This wine leads with smoky and earthy aromas with a hint of restrained red fruit. The flavor is tart with raspberries and cinnamon. The texture is leathery with plenty of mouth coating tannins. Refreshing and smooth. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Finca Cerrada Tempranillo 2011 La Mancha (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
The juicy and jammy fragrance is delightful, animated and spicy. Best part is the dry, tannic and preserves-like flavor that reminds one of dry soil, sunshine-baked red grapes, tobacco and clove. Medium long, intensely grapy finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Montecillo Reserva 2007 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $15.99, 750 ml
A classic Rioja with age. The nose is filled with bramble fruits, along with cinnamon and clove. Subtle woody tones emerge from the glass, while the palate is filled with red cherries and vibrant cranberries. A medium bodied wine with citrus finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Montecillo Crianza 2009 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Almost translucent upon first glimpse. Leads into a fruit filled nose of dark cherries and dark plum. Light in the mouth with silky tannins and a fruit forward profile of dark cherries followed by a trace of vanilla. A wonderfully light fruity finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Viña Albali Crianza Tempranillo 2008 Valdepeñas (Spain), $8.99, 750 ml
Toasty wood aromas, hints of cedar box and dark berries fill the nose. Ripe berries continue in the mouth while tannins are firm and grippy, mixed with good acidity. An excellent, food-versatile wine that works well with pork and red meat dishes. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Castillo de Albai Crianza Tempranillo 2010 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $12.99, 750 ml
A complex Rioja with a deep ruby hue, which gives way to aromas of integrated wood, eucalyptus, leather and dark fruit. The palate is silky with fine tannins and bold flavors. An excellent choice for lamb and grilled meat dishes. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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88
Marqués de Riscal Proximo Tempranillo 2009 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Made from younger vines of Tempranillo, this is a wine that sings of cherries, tobacco, earth and leather. The palate has a mineral, saline quality, framed with oak driven tannins and good acidity. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Altos de Tamaron Tempranillo 2012 Ribera del Duero (Spain), $10.99, 750 ml
Luscious aromas of dark plum with hints of cedar and vanilla. Mouth coating with dusty tannins and reoccurring flavors of vanilla and dark plum. A rich and fruity finish lingers on the palate. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Viña Albali Tempranillo 2012 Valdepeñas (Spain), $7.99, 750 ml
A soft nose of confectioners strawberry, sweet cherry and kirsch with underlying notes of yogurt. Supple in the mouth with cherries and yogurt playing a large role. Very pleasant creamy finish with distant fruit flavors. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Alsur Collection Tempranillo 2012 Tierra de Castilla (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
First aromas evoke pleasurably earthy scents of brambles, forest floor, clay and sawdust. Flavor is tannic and grapy, with taste highlights of black cherry and figs. Short finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Castillo de Albai Tempranillo 2012 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Delicate aromas of vanilla and confectioners strawberry. Once in the mouth, it is very soft and almost creamy with intense fruit and a delectable yogurt quality. An equally light and fruity finish follows. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Rioja Vega 2009 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $11.99, 750 ml
Soft and earthy aromas. Flavor is exciting in the mouth with bright acidity, fresh raspberries, cinnamon, and forest floor. Notes of toasted oak are well integrated and enhance the leathery tannins. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Tussock Jumper Vino de la Tierra Tempranillo 2010 Castilla y Leon (VdlT) (Spain), $9.99, 750 ml
Aromas are spice filled with hints of black cherry. The flavors are clean and bright with strawberries and black pepper, not too heavy. This medium bodied wine has strong tannins, finishing very dry. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 90
Graveyard Vineyards Paso Tombstone Red NV Paso Robles (United States), $15.00, 750 ml
Wonderful aromas of blueberry, red raspberry, toasted vanilla and subtle hints of cedar and eucalyptus rise from the glass. Vanilla plays a large role on the palate, along with spicy raspberry fruit flavors, which lend a hand to a smooth finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Wolfgang Puck Master Lot Reserve Red Blend 2010 California (United States), $14.99, 750 ml
Aromas are enticing with vanilla cream and fresh berries. Supple and full of ripe fruit on the palate, this is a juicy fruit-forward wine with a firm earthy backbone. Piquant acidity keeps it fresh and ripe tannins leave the mouth feeling clean. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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86
Chateau Julien Royalty Red 2010 Monterey County (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
Deep ruby red with a medium body, this wine is full of juicy, plummy notes with a sweet cooked berry finish. Nearly void of tannins with a soft silky mouthfeel and hints of vanilla. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
CK Mondavi Wildcreek Canyon Scarlet Five 2011 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
The wine starts with toasty aromas and flavors, that lead to baked plums and black cherries, encased in soft, powdery tannins. Acidity is fresh and moderate. An easy drinking wine that is versatile at the table. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Gnarly Head Authentic Red 2011 Lodi (United States), $11.99, 750 ml
A big, juicy and opulent wine that offers candied blackberries and cherries on the nose, as well as on the palate. A hint of cinnamon also comes through. Tannins are soft and supple, and acidity is low. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
HandCraft Artisan Collection Inspiration Red 2011 California (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
A wintry nose of cranberry and herbs. Bright cherry and berry fruit is round and full in the mouth, with hints of bittersweet chocolate. A juicy wine that is easy to drink, soft and plush in the mouth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 92
Finca Cerrada Crianza 2006 La Mancha (Spain), $12.99, 750 ml
The jam-o-rama bouquet is chockfull of grape preserves, dates, and black cherry fruit. Flavorwise, the upfront taste is mouth-puckeringly tannic, with tangy, properly acidic tastes of oak, citrus, pomegranate and red grapes. Tart, zesty finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 92
Giordano Toscana Rosso 2010 Tuscany IGT (Italy), $13.06, 750 ml
A powerful perfume speaks to ripe red fruits, a touch of vanilla and traces of cedar and smoke. In the mouth, a spicy characteristic emerges. Firm structure, underlying flavors of toasty vanilla and raspberries, with a robust and elegant finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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86
OGIO Tuscan Red 2011 Tuscany IGT (Italy), $12.99, 750 ml
A pleasant, food-versatile wine. Damson plums and oil of oregano pop up on the nose. Much of the same is revealed on the palate, along with graceful tannins, soft acidity and a silky texture through the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Roodeberg Classic Blend 2010 Western Cape (South Africa), $12.99, 750 ml
Dark berry and smoky oak aromas give way to an underlying character of herbs and sweet spice. Pleasantly jammy with more dark fruits and a slight smokiness in the mouth with mature tannins ensuring a well balanced finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Drassanes Red 2008 Valencia (Spain), $10.99, 750 ml
Opaque core with a ruby rim. Prunes and figs waft from the glass. Raisined fruits continue in the mouth, along with bacon fat flavors and salty leather. A bold, super full bodied wine. Pair with steak. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Duca del Frassino Cabernet - Corvina 2011 Delle Venezie IGT (Italy), $18.99, 3L Box
Vivid aromas of red raspberry, red cherries and yogurt rise from the glass with a hint of sweet spice. In the mouth it is smooth with a creamy texture and red raspberry flavors which carry on into a soft and fruity finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Massimo 2010 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $12.99, 750 ml
Oak driven, mocha notes emerge on the nose. The palate is soft and lush with coffee bean flavors following through. There is a spicy, peppery element on the finish. A wine that works best with food. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Mouton Cadet Rouge 2011 Bordeaux (France), $10.00, 750 ml
An archetypal Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, this ruby red wine gives off plummy aromas. In the mouth, it's ripe blackberries and currants, with hints of eucalyptus and cocoa. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 90
[yellow tail] Big Bold Red NV Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
Enticing aromas of strawberry jam, dried cranberry, red cherry and a hint of sweet spice open up beautifully. On the palate it is full, smooth and fruity with strawberry jam taking center stage and enduring onto a very soft and creamy finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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87
Finca Las Moras Reserve 2011 San Juan (Argentina), $9.99, 750 ml
Black currants leap from the glass followed by aromas of blackberry, toasted oak and cinnamon. The dark fruit motif is carried onto the palate with traces of vanilla bean as well which lends a hand to a smooth, almost creamy, finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Tussock Jumper Sweet Cat 2011 Mendoza (Argentina), $9.99, 750 ml
A ripe and plush blend of Shiraz and Malbec. The tannins are sweet and supple, as is the fruit, which is reminiscent of raspberries and strawberry jam. Moderate acidity. The finish is long and sweet. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Finalist 90
Tapada do Fidalgo Red Blend 2012 Alentejo (Portugal), $12.00, 750 ml
A blend of the Portuguese native grapes Aragonez, Trincadeira, as well as Syrah and Alicante Bouschet, this fragrant wine is evocative of ripe forest fruits. That fruitiness carries through to the palate for a juicy, vibrant red. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Tussock Jumper 2010 Alentejo (Portugal), $9.99, 750 ml
Vibrant fruit aromas with cranberries, strawberries and red raspberries making an appearance. In the mouth it is undeniably fresh and fruity with silky tannins making for an easy drinking red wine. A soft, fruity finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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87
Dow's Vale do Bomfim 2010 Douro (Portugal), $13.00, 750 ml
Made from indigenous Portuguese grape varieties, this wine possesses a dark ruby color. The nose gives musk, leather and cedar notes, while the palate has a saline quality with dried blueberry character, all ending in a long finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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Red Wines

Other Red Varietals - 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      
Finalist 92
Giordano Eventus Primitivo 2011 Primitivo di Manduria DOC (Italy), $13.05, 750 ml
Deep garnet in color. A complex bouquet of ripe brambly and floral aromas give way to a lively mouth of dark and red berry fruit, with accents of vanilla, cigar box, and spice. Tannins are assertive, but not too grippy. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 92
KWV Classic Collection Pinotage 2011 Western Cape (South Africa), $10.99, 750 ml
Enticing aromas of red plum, red cherry and pomegranate are accompanied by hints of sweet spice and white pepper. On the palate, a white pepper tsunami gives way to smaller waves of red raspberry and cinnamon. A long and spicy finish ensues. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Giordano Eventus Primitivo 2011 Primitivo di Salentino IGT (Italy), $15.70, 750 ml
Savory and earthy mineral aromas arise from this glass of densely flavored wine. All types of berries linger under forest floor and stern earthiness. The texture is rich and full with smooth tannins and a pleasantly dry finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 91
Giordano Barbera 2011 Barbera d'Asti Superiore DOCG (Italy), $12.92, 750 ml
Wonderful aromas of black currant, ripe fig, cedar and a delicate, pleasing touch of garrigue. On the palate it is rich and round with blackberry and vanilla coming forth before developing a black pepper quality. Very well structured. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Stemmari Feudo Arancio Nero d'Avola 2011 Sicily IGT (Italy), $8.99, 750 ml
Deep red in color. The complex bouquet is evocative of ripe black cherries, sage, and violets. In the mouth, it's all juicy fruit and hints of cedar. The structure is firm and the tannins assertive, but approachable. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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88
Villa Pozzi Nero d'Avola 2012 Sicily (Italy), $9.99, 750 ml
Garnet in color. Aromas of blackberry jam and raisins burst forth from the glass, along with hints of herbs and flowers. In the mouth, it's full of juicy ripe fruit. Solid legs and a firm structure. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Artadi Viñedos de El Sequé Monastrell 2011 Alicante (Spain), $12.00, 750 ml
A nice, delicate bouquet of red currant, raspberry and a hint of lavender . Once in the mouth, the red fruit flavors are exacerbated by hints of sweet spice before finishing with a spicy raspberry flavor profile. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Giordano Barbera 2010 Barbera d'Alba DOC (Italy), $13.06, 750 ml
Slightly tarry on the nose with undertones of raspberries and violets. Tart and juicy in the mouth with vibrant red fruit flavors. Soft body and smooth tannins give way to an elegant finish full of berries. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Tussock Jumper Carmenere 2010 Colchagua (Chile), $9.99, 750 ml
The aromas in this garnet colored Carmenere recall poached red fruits and forest floor. A slightly animal quality comes through. On the palate, it's fruit forward, yet savory. Robust, yet pleasantly rounded. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Sierra Batuco Reserva Carmenere 2011 Maule Valley (Chile), $11.99, 750 ml
Color is a very deep, dark ruby. Green bell pepper and cracked white pepper notes in the nose. Full-bodied with flavors that lead to intense cooked raspberries and blackberries, with piquant spiciness in the finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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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      
Chairman's Trophy 91
Le Caprice de Clémentine Les Valentines 2012 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $15.99, 750 ml
Gorgeous seashell pink hue with ethereal aromas of pink grapefruit, strawberry, white peach and wet stones. Delicate essences of strawberry, white peach and a deep minerality in the mouth lead into a soft finish punctuated by hints of strawberry. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Barton & Guestier 2012 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $14.99, 750 ml
A soft salmon pink color in the glass, this wine gives off sweet strawberry and cherry notes, as well as an essence of vanilla blossom. On the palate, it's fruity yet dry, with a long, spiced finish. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Finalist 90
Chateau de Berne 2012 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $12.99, 750 ml
Rich aromas of cherries and flowers shine through. Densely flavored yet delicate, ripe red berries and sweet spice coat the palate before turning to a distinctly mineral finish. Clean and undeniably tasty. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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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      
88
Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Rosé Pinot Noir 2012 Finger Lakes (United States), $12.99, 750 ml
A pretty blush of a color. The rosé retains its red berry and earthy Pinot Noir character, but manages to be crisp and citrusy, as well. A fine saline edge and great acidity make it an ideal pairing for seafood. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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86
Forest Glen Forest Fire White Merlot 2012 California (United States), $9.99, 750 ml
Very delicate aromas of red raspberries, strawberries, stone fruits and lemon zest. Upon taste, it has a delicate sweetness offset by a mouth watering acidity and luscious raspberry flavors. A very balanced finish ensues. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Barefoot Cellars White Zinfandel NV California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Bursting with sweet citrus, strawberry jam and white peach aromas with an underlying minerality. Sweet citrus makes its way into the mouth followed by stone fruits and finishes with strawberries and a lingering sweetness. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Dona Sol White Zinfandel 2012 California (United States), $6.99, 750 ml
Aromas are subtle with hints of red fruits and citrus. In the mouth it is juicy and lightly sweet with candied strawberries and Bing cherries. Plenty of acidity keeps it fresh and light in the mouth. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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85
Turning Leaf Vineyards Refresh Pink Moscato NV California (United States), $8.00, 750 ml
It pours gently effervescent, dissipating to a pleasant prickle on the tongue. Bursting with exotic fruit flavors, it's all peaches and strawberries in the mouth, rounded out by a creamsicle sweetness. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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Rosé & Blush Wines

Rosé/Blush – 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      
85
[yellow tail] Pink Moscato NV Southeastern (Australia), $7.99, 750 ml
A pretty pink color, this Moscato rosé screams summertime. It's redolent of peaches and cream, and strawberry shortcake, with a hint of citrus to cut the sweetness. Lush and creamy, it's made for patio sipping. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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Fortified

Aperitif – 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      
Chairman's Trophy 93
BarSol Perfecto Amor 2010 Ica (Peru), $18.00, 750 ml
Tawny-golden hue. The nose is filled with caramel and nutty aromas, with a touch of quince paste. Almost Madeira like, a salty-sweet element ensues, along with roasted hazelnuts and an earthy-honeyed quality. A delicious aperitif. Great Value. Excellent, Highly Recommended
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Other

Miscellaneous 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      
85
El Guitarron Agave Wine Oaxaca (Mexico), $11.99, 750 ml
A distinct aroma of marzipan fills the nose with subtle vegetal notes reminiscent of tequila underneath. The flavor is opulent and crystal clean. Notes of almond turn earthy then shift to spicy for a mouth tingling finish. Great Value. Very Good, Strong Recommendation
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