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Reviews for 2017

December 2017 - 2017 Best Wines, Mead & Sake

December 2017 - 2017 Best Wines, Mead & Sake
This month's Wine feature is the 2017 Best Wines, Sakes, and Meads of the Year.

2017 Best Wines, Mead & Sake Reviews

Cielo 2013 Centanni Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
97 points
$32.99
Dusty garnet black color. Floral, elegant, mature aromas of Christmas pudding and sweet black cherry, orange blossom and violet candy, new leather, and chocolate cookie with a velvety, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a thought-provoking, endless dried forest berries, salted caramel chocolate truffle, polished wood, and dusted jerked meats finish with fine, silky tannins and moderate oak. Life’s puzzle pieces finally come together when drinking this wine.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Red Wine
97 points $32.99
Grifo 2015  Puglia Nero di Troia IGP
97 points
$25
Brilliant ruby color. Candied, sweet, fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry sorbet, vanilla gelato, lavender and violet candy, and turkish bazaar with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a medium-long mocha mousse and candied mint leaf finish with well-integrated, soft tannins. A delicious fresh and fruity wine with great complexity; lip-smacking.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Red Wine
Falkner 2014 Amante Super Tuscan Style Red Blend Temecula Valley
96 points
$54.95
Murky dusty garnet color. Aromas of crushed roses, bittersweet chocolate, and terra cotta with a vibrant, dry medium-full body and a layered, long rose hip water, stewed tomato, and clay oven bricks finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A stunning Sangiovese driven blend that captures the essence of Tuscany in a California bottle.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best US Red Wine
96 points $54.95
FINA 2014  Priorat
96 points
$27
Bright deep purple color. Exotic aromas of rose water, ivory and black olives, black violet and overripe strawberries, and marzipan with a lightly tannic, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long mexican mole, silt, cassis and plum fruit leather, and hint of green pepper finish with crunchy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A dark and mysterious Priorat with great aging potential; reminiscent of exotic perfume.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Spanish Red Wine
1270 a vuit 2009  Priorat
96 points
$45
Dark deep purple color. Mature aromas and flavors of wet leaves, apple cider, overripe strawberry, and stone pine with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length granite, grape candy and maraschino cherry, violet, and leather finish with chalky, well-integrated tannins and light oak. A mineral-like textured Priorat with friendly fruit and floral nuances.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Spanish Red Wine
Chateau Moulin de la Rose 2014  St. Julien
96 points
$129
Brown brick red color. Earthy aromas and flavors of cassis and pomegranate, spiced nuts, cocoa, and sandalwood with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, long cedar, earth, and olives finish with earthy, medium tannins and moderate oak. A stately red with treasure chest of flavor and terroir.
Awards: 2017 Best Bordeaux Wine, 2017 Best French Red Wine
Italics 2014 Estate Grown Proprietary Red Wine Coombsville, Napa Valley
96 points
$65
Dark garnet color. Fruity, inviting aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon, and cocoa powder with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long , and vanilla pudding finish with well-integrated tannins. A supple, velvety Cabernet blend with a lingering finish.
Awards: 2017 Best Bordeaux Varietal Blend, 2017 Top 3 Best US Red Wine
Schild Estate 2013 Ancestor Vines Moorooroo Shiraz
96 points
$99.99
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of cassis, plum, blackberry, and eucalyptus with an lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a refreshing, medium-long finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A juicy Shiraz with bold fruit flavors.
Awards: 2017 Best Shiraz, 2017 Best Australian Red Wine
96 points $99.99
Tradition 2015 Cuvée Red Wine Napa Valley
96 points
$35
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of menthol mint, spiced blueberries, eucalyptus, and farm lands with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long vanilla mint and cola, spiced chocolate toffee, and pepper jelly on biscuit finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, complex, satisfying red blend with great style and structure.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best US Red Wine
Retrofollies 2016 Rose Coteaux Varois de Provence
96 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Dusty pink coral color. Floral, attractive aromas of spring blossom, juicy bartlett pear, raspberry, and clove with a supple, crisp, dry medium body and a complex, very long raspberry, currant, key lime pie, and chervil finish with well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious and perfumed rose with a great sense of place.
Awards: 2017 Best Rose Wine, 2017 Best French Rose Wine
96 points $12.99 Best Buy
Alea Ludendo 2013  Elba Aleatico Passito
95 points
$147
Deep purple color. Fruity, floral aromas of sugared plums, pressed violet, honeycomb, sweet cigars, and dark chocolate with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, long ginger, saffron, dried figs, mint creme, and molasses cookies finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A delightful and nuanced Dessert Wine to finish an excellent meal; just lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Dessert Wine
Sun Up Brewing Company  Sunnas Nektar Braggot
95 points
$75
Dark copper color. Complex aromas and flavors of toasted fruit cake, caramelized roasted chestnuts, hint of tamari, and chocolate yogurt with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, layered, long caramelized citrus, pepper, and chocolate gingerbread finish. A very complex and layered braggot with great flavor and balance.
Awards: 2017 Best Mead
Allamand 2013 Altamira Malbec
95 points
$24
Black garnet color. Mature aromas of italian leather, wild mushrooms, berry coulis and cocoa nib, and balsamic kissed dark chocolate with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, complex, long fertile earth and raisin, lavender, tobacco and toasted coconut, and coffee crusted salami finish with earthy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rich and decadent Malbec that must be a cousin of Bordeaux.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Malbec, 2017 Best Argentine Malbec
San Simeon 2014 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$27
Dark garnet color. Aromas of blackberry, black currant, mint, and coffee with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long , bittersweet chocolate, and cedar finish with well-integrated tannins. An elegant, refined yet complex and powerful Paso Cabernet.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Corner 103 2016  Grenache Blanc
95 points
$30
Pale golden amber color. Citrusy, elegant aromas of pink grapefruit, fresh cut grass, and vanilla bean with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an elegant, long fresh mint and dill, allspice and apricot, lilac, and wet pebbles finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. A silky mouthfeel and long, satisfying finish give this wine staying power.
Awards: 2017 Best White Wine, 2017 Best US White Wine
Windrun 2013  Pinot Noir
95 points
$33
Dark dusty garnet color. Inviting aromas of Dr. Pepper, porcini mushroom, and oolong tea with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and an intricate, medium-long wet earth, eucalyptus, rose and black pepper, and sponge cake with dried cassis finish with medium, earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A concentrated Pinot Noir with complex hedonistic flavors.
Awards: 2017 Best Pinot Noir, 2017 Best US Pinot Noir
Le Vigne 2014 di Domenico Malbec
95 points
$37
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of huckleberry custard, frosted apricot cobbler, and macadamia toffee and gelato with a lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a distinctive, long super ripe peach, chocolate nuts, and hint of spiced tomato and citrus finish with chewy, fine tannins and light oak. A fantastically fragrant and alluring Malbec that will be great for every occasion.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Malbec
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$27.95
Garnet black color. Fruity, creamy aromas and flavors of berry custard, spiced watermelon, vanilla toffee, and flowers and bee pollen with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long delicate spices, marinated beets and apricots, and nuts finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A pure, flavorful, mouthwatering cabernet for all occasions.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points $27.95
Riboli Family Vineyard 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$60
Deep purple color. Fruity, roasted aromas and flavors of berry tart, toffee, sandalwood, and pickling spice and dried meat with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and a smooth, refreshing, long spiced nuts, blood orange, and pepper finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A full throttled Napa cabernet with plenty of juicy flavors and oak.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Monte De Oro 2014 Estate Syrah
94 points
$36
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Savory aromas and flavors of buttery nut brittle, chocolate dried cherries, sandalwood, and pomegranate molasses with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, complex, very long sassafras, berry chutney, and sultanas finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A powerful, port-like syrah with big, bold flavors and a long warming finish.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Syrah
City Winery NV Chazak Dessert Wine California
94 points
$25
Black garnet color. Aromas of fruit cake, blackberry preserves, winter spices, toasted coconut, dark roasted almonds, and cocoa powder with a velvety, vibrant, very sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long vanilla wafer cookies, rich chocolate covered black fruits, and French vanilla gelato finish with well-integrated, coating tannins and moderate oak. Fall in love with this rich port-style California wine that is perfect for cheese or after-dinner sipping.
Awards: 2017 Best US Dessert Wine
Robledo NV Mamma Marias White Port Sauvignon Blanc
94 points
$42
Golden amber color. Interesting, inviting aromas of hay, dried fruits, toasted nuts, and toffee with a round, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, subtle, very long dried apricot, salted butterscotch, caramel corn, and peppermint finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. An endless white port to delight your guest’s taste buds; a must-try.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Fortified Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best US Fortified Wine
Spangler 2014  Zinfandel
94 points
$28
Black violet color. Rustic, herbal aromas of sweet gum tree hulls, candied aniseed, patina leather, and dried berries with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and an effortless, very complex, long lime, mixed fresh herbs, galangal, and aloe finish with earthy, firm tannins. A superb and distinctive zin laden with exotic spice and herbs; truly one-of-a-kind.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Monte De Oro 2014 Estate Grown Zinfandel
94 points
$38
Dark purple color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry, apricot, white pepper, and espresso with an full body and a refreshing, medium-length fruitcake, amaretto, bittersweet chocolate, and graham cracker finish with well-integrated tannins. An old-school, California zin for purists.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Taylors 2017  Riesling
94 points
$19
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of white blossoms, peach and mango chutney, passionfruit, and apple tart with a vibrant, fruity medium body and a complex, long lemon curd, kiwi in cream, and minerals finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A lush tropical riesling that delights the palate with lip smacking acidity and mouthwatering fruit.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Riesling, 2017 Best Australian White Wine
94 points $19 Best Buy
Zonte’s Footstep 2016 Love Symbol Grenache
94 points
$20
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Attractive, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of black raspberry torte and huckleberry jam on raisin toast with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, interesting, long blueberry cobbler a la mode, apple tart, vanilla toffee, and marinated beets and yams finish with fine, chewy, fruit tannins and light oak. A decadently delicious Grenache that will captivate and delight.
Awards: 2017 Best Grenache
94 points $20 Best Buy
Paskua Land 2014 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dusty dusty ruby color. Fruity aromas of charred green pepper, star anise, balsamic reduction, and fig paste with a slightly chewy, lively, dryish medium-full body and a medium-length chocolate covered espresso bean, fresh mint, rosemary, and black pepper and smoked vanilla finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A juicy wine that begs another sip.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Chilean Red Wine
94 points $9.99 Best Buy
In Situ 2016 Riverside White Blend Aconcagua Valley
94 points
$11
Best Buy
Yellow color. Fruity, umami aromas and flavors of green apple, lemon-lime, pear, and vanilla with a soft, bright, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish with a suggestion of oak. A full-bodied white food wine with excellent structure.
Awards: 2017 Best Chilean White Wine
94 points $11 Best Buy
2Hawk 2014 Limited Reserve Tempranillo
94 points
$42
Black garnet color. Aromas of black licorice, cured meats, and tomato jam with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a distinctive, very long Kalamata olive, smoked tomato, lapsang suchong, and ginger powder finish with well-integrated, earthy tannins. A smoky, savory wine that is both elegant and powerful.
Awards: 2017 Best Tempranillo
Johnson Estate NV May Carbonated White Wine American
94 points
$15
Best Buy
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of grape jelly, wild lemon, and preserved peach with a round, crisp, fizzy, off-dry light-to-medium body and a seamless, medium-length roasted nuts, dried pineapple, and cream soda finish with coating, silky, soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. An exemplary sparkler with terrific effervescence and a nuanced approach to Vidal blanc.
Awards: 2017 Best Specialty Sparkling Wine
94 points $15 Best Buy
Coyote Moon Vineyards 2013 Perpetua Port-Style New York State
94 points
$65
Dark black garnet color. Fruity aroma of table grapes with a lightly tannic, lively, sweet medium-to-full body and a hot, medium-long raisin and chocolate, spice cake, leather and mint, and sweet pea blossom finish with well-integrated tannins. A distinctive port that makes exceptional use of the Marquette grape.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Fortified Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best US Fortified Wine
Rock Wall 2012 Le Mur de Roche Petite Sirah
94 points
$60
Dark black garnet color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of berry pie crust, butter roasted nuts, chocolate sesame bar, and cedar spice cabinet with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long pomegranate chutney, sandalwood, pepper, and nuts finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A complex and expressive petite sirah for all occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Petite Sirah
Campofiorito 2011  Brunello di Montalcino
94 points
$60
Bright light garnet color. Fruity, spicy aromas of raspberry, caramel, ginseng, and basil and cinnamon with a full body and a complex, medium-long root beer, tomato leaf, and cracked spices finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A luscious Brunello for special occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Brunello di Montalcino
Le Calende 2012  Barolo DOCG
94 points
$85
Dusty brown brick red color. Savory, mature aromas of shitake mushroom, dried parsley, dried cherry, and jasmine tea with a round, lively, dry medium body and a charming, medium-long strawberry, licorice, dark chocolate, and lilac bush and smoked tar finish with well-integrated, papery tannins and moderate oak. A singing Barolo with great umami notes and a big licorice palate.
Awards: 2017 Best Barolo
Le Grand Courtâge NV Grande Cuvee Brut Rosé France
94 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Brilliant steely pink color. Aromas and flavors of fresh lemon peels, mixed melon balls, honey drizzle, and spring flowers and coconut husk with a silky, finely carbonated, dry light body and a nuanced, medium-long quartz-like minerality, sea salt, and edible flowers finish with fine tannins. Striking minerality, an elegantly fruity nose, and sophisticated texture will keep you coming back to discover new intricacies in this beautiful French wine.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Other French Sparkling Wine
94 points $19.99 Best Buy
Janisson & Fils 2006 Grand Cru Brut Champagne
94 points
$50
Brilliant yellow straw color. Toasty, roasted aromas and flavors of glazed fruit graham cracker crust tart, cocoa butter, coffee yogurt, and peanut brittle and caramel corn with a lively, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a peppery, elegant, very long honeysuckle, dried pineapple and coconut, passionfruit and butter glaze, and mixed peppercorns in honey finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and light oak. A delicious, toasty champagne with understated elegance and underlying tropical fruit.
Awards: 2017 Best Champagne Vintage
Davine Cellars 2014  Zinfandel
94 points
$48
Bright garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, spiced nougat, and coconut bar with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-long cherry compote, vanilla praline, and pepper finish with chewy, silky tannins and light oak. A rich, layered zinfandel with buckets of flavorful fun.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Tonti Family Wines 2014 Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel
94 points
$50
Deep purple color. Rustic, fruity aromas of wild raspberry Danish, iron rich soil, menthol, and touch of pepper with a slightly chewy, fruity sweet medium body and an intriguing, medium-long sun dried raspberries, sun dried tomatoes, sweet basil, and milk chocolate bar and terra cotta finish with firm, chewy tannins and light oak. A spot on zinfandel, rich and juicy with good tannins and structure.
Awards: 2017 Top 4 Best Zinfandel
Secret de Berticot 2016  Sauvignon Blanc
94 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Pale straw color. Attractive, baked aromas and flavors of wildflowers, baked pears, honeyed dried apricots, and dried banana with a lively, dry light-to-medium body and a complex, long meadow brook stones, celery leaf, kiwi, lemon, and melon, and coconut water finish with fine, fruit tannins. A divine subtle white reminiscent of a picnic in the French countryside.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Sauvignon Blanc
94 points $10.99 Best Buy
Signature de Bel-Air 2016  Beaujolais-Villages
94 points
$15
Best Buy
Medium violet color. Aromas and flavors of juicy cherry, cranberry, banana, and violets with an bright, dryish medium body and an interesting, easy warm soil finish with fruit tannins and no oak. There’s nothing simple nor pedestrian about this stellar example of a Beaujolais-Villages.
Awards: 2017 Best Red Beaujolais
94 points $15 Best Buy
Brutocao 2015 Estate Bottled Hopland Ranches Chardonnay
94 points
$18
Best Buy
Gold color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dried apples in vanilla yogurt and toasted nuts with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long graham cracker and pear tart finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and light oak. A Chardonnay with great balance and charming fruitiness.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Chardonnay
94 points $18 Best Buy
Le Vigne 2016 Il Fiore Viognier
94 points
$23
Bright pale golden yellow color. Fresh, floral, fruity aromas of ripe peaches, wildflowers, tropical fruit tart, and meyer lemon with a supple, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long ripe pineapple and fresh pear, crystalized flowers, vanilla creme Anglaise, and apricot jam on crumpet finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A yummy, super-fruity Viognier to share with friends.
Awards: 2017 Best Viognier
Lawer Estates 2014 Betsys Vineyard Syrah
94 points
$32
Dark deep purple color. Minty aromas of Chinese 5 spiced plum, menthol, dried goji berries, and marinated red pepper with a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a huge, very long acai, scotch oatmeal cookie, thyme, and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A rich and complex Syrah that is sure to delight.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Syrah
Antech 2014 Cuvee Eugenie Brut Limoux
94 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Light yellow straw color. Grassy aromas of hay, yellow delicious apple, honeycomb, and vanilla custard with an tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-long golden delicious apple, honeysuckle nectar, dried marigold, and honeyed biscuit finish with fruit, well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A lovely and vibrant summer wine.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Other French Sparkling Wine
94 points $16.99 Best Buy
Louis Revoir NV Brut Cuvee Prestige Champagne
94 points
$29.99
Brilliant light gold color. Baked, attractive aromas and flavors of toasted brioche, honey baked apples, and orange marmalade with a velvety, lively, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and an intricate, very long toasted brioche, baked apples, orange marmalade, and tagine spices finish with fine tannins and a suggestion of oak. Fantastic champagne, full of flavor, nuance, brawn and beauty.
Awards: 2017 Best Champagne NV
94 points $29.99
Gustave Lorentz 2011 Altenberg de Bergheim Vielles Vignes Riesling
94 points
$60
Shimmering light gold color. Complex, citrusy, perfumed aromas of lychee syrup, sweet orange marmalade, iris, and new shoes with a round, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a peppery, very complex, very long fresh lychee, lemon curd, bitter almonds, and grapefruit segments finish with fruit, fine, well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. Fantastically complex and commanding Riesling with the power to stand up to almost any dish.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Riesling, 2017 Best French White Wine
Napa Cellars 2014  Chardonnay
94 points
$22
Bright bright gold color. Fresh, oaky aromas of pina colada, pecan, toasted cinnamon, and caramel with a round, crisp, dry medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-length vanilla apple taffy, toasted pound cake, and baked pineapple finish with well-integrated, cottony, fruit, fine tannins and moderate oak. A vanilla-forward and balanced napa Chardonnay that delivers.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Chardonnay
Lucky Dogg 2015 Bradys Blend Syrah
94 points
Garnet color. Interesting, fruity aromas and flavors of halva, floury berry tart, chocolate nuts, and rattan with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long pickled beets, tomatoes and cherries, honeyed peppercorns, and coconut finish with chewy, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, expressive syrah to pair with the richest of dishes.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Syrah
Robert Hall Winery 2016  Sauvignon Blanc
94 points
$16
Best Buy
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of melon, ripe banana, and pomelo with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a silky, appealing, medium-length apple, lemon curd, and fig finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A lovely well balanced sauvignon blanc with great smoothness and drinkability.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Sauvignon Blanc
94 points $16 Best Buy
Braai 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate and toasted coconut with an vibrant, fruity medium-full body and an intricate, long blackberry preserve, bramble thicket, and peppery spice finish with chewy, earthy, silky tannins and moderate oak. A regal Bordeaux style blend from the Western cape; lay some down for later if you can resist not drinking it now.
Awards: 2017 Best South African Red Wine
93 points $16.99 Best Buy
Martin Brothers  Wildflower Sweet Mead
93 points
$25
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of baked apple and pineapple, delicate mint and wintergreen, and dried honey with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long apple and peach sauce, pineapple slices, and lychee finish. A vibrant, refreshing mead that will appealing to gewurztraminer fans.
Awards: 2017 Best Traditional Mead
Wine Spots 2014  Merlot
93 points
$29
Ruby color. Oaky, elegant aromas of polished fine furniture, ripe forest berries, curaçao oranges, and white peppercorns with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and an effortless, involved, medium-long cranberry relish, walnut, and blackberry finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A rich and dry, sophisticated Merlot full of exquisite oak.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
Candoni 2016  Pinot Grigio
93 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of apricot, honeycomb, limestone, and dried fruits and nuts with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, complex, medium-long raspberry pavlova, lime zest, and Turkish delight finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A beautiful, delicate, serious expression of pinot grigio.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Pinot Grigio, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian White Wine
93 points $12.99 Best Buy
Yorkville Cellars 2016 Randle Hill Vineyard Amber Folly Semillon
93 points
$28
Bright old gold color. Inviting aromas of wildflower honey, roasted macadamia nuts, tropical fruit cocktail, sumac, dried apricot, manchego, and petrol with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, complex, medium-long dried pineapple, kiwi relish, and egg washed crispbread finish with well-integrated, medium, fruit tannins. A fantastic skin-contacted Semillon that deserves an excellent meal and the best company.
Awards: 2017 Best Semillon
Cline 2014 Block Eight Merlot
93 points
$29.99
Garnet black color. Herbal aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, cinnamon, bergamot, cranberry sauce, and orange zest with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, intricate, long clove, juniper, chocolate genache, braised pumpkin, and brown sugar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A superbly complex and distinctive herbal wine with a evolving finish; a must-try.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
93 points $29.99
Spangler 2014  Sangiovese
93 points
$28
Dusty ruby color. Spicy aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, cedar, cloves, mace, pipe tobacco, and leather with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, medium-long forest floor, charred earth, pressed violets, and licorice finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A Chianti-like sangiovese packed with big notes of Oregon fruit.
Awards: 2017 Best Sangiovese
Domaine Roger et Didier Raimbault 2016 Les Belles Côtes Sancerre
93 points
$45
Straw green color. Citrusy aromas of fresh grapefruit zest and fresh summer peaches, toasted macadamia nut, lime blossom, and sweet grass with a round, lively, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, engaging, medium-long passionfruit, brazil nut, jasmine, and limestone and sea-breeze finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. An enormously fruit-focused Sancerre balanced by zingy acidity.
Awards: 2017 Best Sancerre
Sierras de Bellavista 2015 Single Vineyard Merlot
93 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dusty garnet black color. Mature aromas of rose scented black tea, forest floor, soy-ginger glazed Chinese sausage, and white pepper and ripe red watermelon with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-long cherry and dried chipotle pepper, anise and blood orange, raspberry jam filled dark chocolate, and sautéed mushrooms finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. This Bordeaux inspired red from Chile will be a knockout at a dinner party.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
93 points $9.99 Best Buy
Chloe 2015 San Lucas Estate Vineyard Merlot
93 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Medium ruby color. Fruity, medicinal, minty, herbal aromas of blackberry, black cherry, mint, and cola with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long , dark chocolate, and licorice finish with well-integrated tannins. A flavorful, rich Merlot with pleasant herbaceous tones.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
93 points $17.99 Best Buy
Vanderbilt Reserve 2014 Reserve Cabernet Franc
93 points
$27
Black garnet color. Aromas of balsamic drizzled chocolate, overripe raspberry, and american coffee with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, intriguing, medium-long raspberry compote, raisin, and roasted cashew finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A lip-smackingly tannic wine for juicy steaks.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Cabernet Franc
Chaumette 2015 Unoaked Chardonel
93 points
$24
Gold color. Fruity, elegant aromas of lemon balm, polished tile, slate, and underripe mango with a velvety, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a complex, medium-long green olive, underripe peach and nutmeg, toasted brazil nut, and resin and white pepper finish with silky, fruit tannins. A lengthy, weighty, and precise Chardonel for gourmet pairing.
Awards: 2017 Best Chardonel
Ruggeri 2015 Giustino B. Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
93 points
$31.99
Bright white gold color. Attractive aromas of dried grasses and ripe honeydew melon, dried nectarine, sea salt and lemongrass, and lemon blossom with a round, crisp, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, interesting, medium-length marzipan and citrus zest finish with fine, fruit tannins. A sophisticated Prosecco; try as an aperitif.
Awards: 2017 Best Prosecco, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Sparkling Wine
93 points $31.99
Domaine de la Grenaudiere 2016  Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
93 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Brilliant pale light gold color. Baked aromas and flavors of hawaiian bread with brunost, dried citrus wheels, unripe pear, and oyster shell with a round, lively, dry light body and an engaging, medium-long champagne vinaigrette, lemon sorbet, kumquat, and melon and nectarine finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. An ethereal Muscadet that will pair too perfectly with oysters.
Awards: 2017 Best Muscadet
93 points $9.99 Best Buy
Waikiwi Bay 2016  Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$6.96
Best Buy
Pale emerald straw color. Citrusy, grassy aromas and flavors of grapefruit zest, wheat grass, green almond, and dried green apples with a round, racy, light body and a sleek, captivating, long grapefruit curd, citrus pith, kiwi and kumquat relish, and lemon lime soda finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A bright and cheerful NZ sauvignon blanc with a great finish.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best New Zealand White Wine
93 points $6.96 Best Buy
Art of Earth 2016  Pinot Grigio
93 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Pale yellow straw color. Clean aromas of warm peaches, dusty grape skins, candied pineapple, and Sicilian nougat with a round, soft, fruity medium body and a stimulating, long tropical fruit glaze and passion fruit custard finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious and pure Pinot Grigio fit for long dinners.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Pinot Grigio, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian White Wine
93 points $9.99 Best Buy
Acquesi NV  Brachetto Piemonte
93 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Bright light ruby color. Perfumed, fruity aromas and flavors of candied strawberries, juicy apple, and peach blossom with a round, crisp, spritzy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-length ripe red apples finish with fine, fruit, cottony tannins. A great aperitivo or post-dinner wine.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Sparkling Wine
93 points $19.99 Best Buy
Reynolds Family Winery 2012  Merlot
93 points
$48
Nearly opaque deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry custard pie, melted chocolate toffee, and dried cherries with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, delightful, medium-long vanilla mint, sweet and peppery spices, nuts, and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A seamless, flavorful merlot with great depth and style.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
Reynolds Family Winery 2013  Merlot
93 points
$48
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of spiced berries and pickled cucumbers with a bright, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length orange chiffon, honeyed plums and nuts, and cedar finish with chewy, dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak. A sumptuous Napa Merlot that is sure to please.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
Cedar Mountain 2016 Del Arroyo Vineyard Pinot Grigio
93 points
$18
Best Buy
Light pale khaki orange color. Elegant, citrusy, minerally aromas and flavors of orange blossom, soft peaches with roasted pistachio, himalayan salt, and dried spiced lemon with a satiny, vibrant, dry light body and a tingling, subtle, medium-long dried apricot, pink peppercorn, and lilly blossom water finish with well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins. An elegant, soft spoken citrusy wine with memorable finish.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Pinot Grigio
93 points $18 Best Buy
Chasing Venus 2016  Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$16
Best Buy
Pale straw color. Citrusy, green aromas and flavors of green pepper, grapefruit and guava, grassy herbs, and white peppercorn with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length green apple skin, yellow pepper, and mango finish with chewy, silky, fruit tannins and no oak. A luscious, tropical fruit driven sauvignon blanc with a fun peppery note.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best New Zealand White Wine
93 points $16 Best Buy
Finca La Malena 2016  Torrontes
93 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Brilliant silvery straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of lilacs, roses and orange blossoms, spiced lychee and peach, and key lime custard with a silky, tangy, fruity light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long lemon spritzed melon and nectarine skin finish with silky, fruit tannins and no oak. A very tasting and attractive fruity, floral white with fine balance.
Awards: 2017 Best Argentine White Wine, 2017 Best Torrontes
93 points $14.99 Best Buy
Yorkville Cellars 2014 Rennie Vineyard Cabernet Franc
93 points
$34
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Fruity, creamy, attractive aromas and flavors of berry custard pie, toffee, and tobacco and tea with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, intriguing, medium-long creme brulee, spiced melon, and nuts finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A richly fruity and well oaked cabernet franc.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Cabernet Franc
Castellroig NV Brut Cava DO
92 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Clear straw green color. Fresh, yeasty aromas and flavors of greenhouse, cucumber, white flowers, palmier cookie, and dried tropical fruit with a round, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an appealing, medium-length finish with soft, fruit tannins. A rich and yeasty cava for celebrations and toasts.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Spanish Cava
92 points $14.99 Best Buy
Brackenheim 2016 Trocken Riesling
92 points
$22
Golden straw color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of baby banana, nectarine, and pear with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a long spiced apple, almond skin, and hint of earth finish with fine, fruit tannins. A toothsome, mouthwatering riesling with bright fruit and table-friendly structure.
Awards: 2017 Best German White Wine
Signum I 2014 Trocken Lemberger
92 points
$40
Deep purple color. Fruity, savory aromas and flavors of mocha gelato, dark berry chutney, chocolate espresso bean, and toasty pie crust with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, elegant, medium-long marinated plums and tomatoes, pencil shavings, nutskin, and slate finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully layered and expressive lemberger with an artful balance of savory fruit and oak.
Awards: 2017 Best German Red Wine
Ignia 2015 Portuguese Red Portugal
92 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of dried figs, cigar box, plum sauce, and fruit leather with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and an even, complex, medium-long roasted root vegetables, root beer, and spice cabinet finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A concentrated and inky wine for the richest meals.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Portuguese Red Wine
92 points $17.99 Best Buy
Vale de Lobos 2013  Touriga Nacional
92 points
$30
Garnet black color. Minty aromas of menthol, cherry, and dried lavender with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a sleek, nuanced, medium-long stone pine, slate, and forest berries finish with medium, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant and mentholated red with firm tannins for delicious meals.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Portuguese Red Wine
Deshora NV Brut Cava DO
92 points
$15
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Elegant aromas of pink apples, baklava, rosemary, baguette with floral jam, lime, and allspice with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a subtle, medium-long white peach, white flowers, apricot flesh and stone, and almond crescent cookies finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A fine cava with plenty of elegant intrigue sophisticated nuance; try cellaring!
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Spanish Cava
92 points $15 Best Buy
Arabella 2017  Sauvignon Blanc
92 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Bright pale yellow straw color. Tropical aromas and flavors of fruit salad, banana soufflé, and guava with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a smooth, distinctive, medium-long mango-apple relish, grapefruit, and coconut milk finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A juicy, tropical sauvignon blanc with zesty fruit and mouthwatering acidity.
Awards: 2017 Best South African White Wine
92 points $9.99 Best Buy
Casa Larga NV Meritage Finger Lakes
92 points
$23.99
Ruby black color. Mature, minerally aromas of volcanic rock, cherry liqueur, and sweet basil with a supple, fruity medium body and a medium-length succulent cherries, ripe nectarine, and white pepper finish with well-integrated, fruit tannins and no oak. A juicy, fruit-forward red blend that is perfect on its own and complimentary of duck.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Meritage
92 points $23.99
Peachy Canyon 2014 Ms Behave Petit Verdot
92 points
$38
Violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of vanilla nut brittle, spicy berry pie, butter roasted nuts, and delicate mint and micro-herbs with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, distinctive, long pickled berries and beets, honey, and spiced watermelon finish with fine, well-integrated tannins and light oak. A toothsome and wonderfully spicy petit verdot charmer.
Awards: 2017 Best Petit Verdot
Falkner 2014 Meritage Temecula Valley
92 points
$54.95
Dark garnet black color. Inviting aromas of caramelized mushrooms, leather, diced cherries, and cinnamon and menthol with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length cranberry sauce, yogurt covered blueberry, prosciutto, and honey drizzled walnut finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A friendly new world interpretation of Bordeaux with ample fruit.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Meritage
92 points $54.95
Lenz Moser 2014 Klosterkeller Siegendorf Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$24.99
Dusty ruby black color. Spicy, meaty aromas and flavors of grilled sausages and green peppers, berry pie crust, and nougat with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long caramelized carrots and figs, chocolate toffee, and cedar finish with crunchy, chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A savory, spicy, mouthwatering cabernet that will pair brilliantly.
Awards: 2017 Best Austrian Red Wine
92 points $24.99
Stone Hill 2014 Red Wine Chambourcin
92 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Fruity, spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of huckleberry jam on pineapple scone and apricot cobbler with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long vanilla nut brittle, tropical fruit salad, and hint of oak finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and light oak. A wonderfully flavorful and fruity Chambourcin with great style.
Awards: 2017 Best Chambourcin
92 points $12.99 Best Buy
Sutter Home NV  Gewurztraminer
92 points
Best Buy
Bright straw green color. Aromas and flavors of lychee and exotic blossoms with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an appealing, medium-length lime oil, roasted cashew butter, crystalized flowers, and fresh nectarine finish with soft, fruit tannins and no oak. A wonderful Gewurztraminer with excellent balance and intense aromas.
Awards: 2017 Best Gewurztraminer
92 points Best Buy
Porto Meneres 2012 LBV Douro
92 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, pencil shavings, cocoa, and caramel with a tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an elegant, long chocolate orange peels, sasparilla float, cherry cola, and pepper finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A robust and flavorful LBV port that has a lot to offer.
Awards: 2017 Best Portuguese Fortified Wine
92 points $18.99 Best Buy
Moncigale NV Fruits & Wine Rosé and Cherry Fruit Wine France
92 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Brilliant dark pink coral color. Complex, fruity aromas of fragrant berries, summer potpourri with eucalyptus and bergamot, sweet pea, and juicy melon with a silky, crisp, sweet light-to-medium body and a stimulating, medium-length cassis, blueberry pie, berry jam, and rooibos tea finish with fruit, fine tannins and no oak. The intense bouquet on the nose of this wine makes this a bottle to show and tell with friends.
Awards: 2017 Best Fruit Wine
92 points $9.99 Best Buy
Williamsburg Winery 2015 Limited Release Norton
91 points
$39
Black violet color. Aromas of berry-vanilla gelato, kiwi, roasted almonds, and peppercorns with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length boysenberry jam, cedar, and tomato leaf finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A delightful, serious Norton that will please all types of wine-lovers; a must try at the table.
Awards: 2017 Best Norton
Santo NV  Moscato dAsti DOCG
91 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Sweet, floral aromas of honeycomb, honeysuckle, lilac, and orange blossom with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an effortless, medium-length apricot nectar, cantaloupe, tangerine sorbet, and golden raisin chutney finish with soft, fruit tannins and no oak. A very pleasant and elegant Moscato d’Asti perfect for celebrating before or after the meal.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Moscato d'Asti
91 points $9.99 Best Buy
Car Men Air 2015  Carmenere
91 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of stewed blackberries, black cherry soda, mixed ground pepper, and duck fat with a round, lively, fruity medium-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long smoked jerky, oregano, savory, and dark chocolate finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A dark and brooding Carmenère for steak dinners.
Awards: 2017 Best Carmenère
91 points $12.99 Best Buy
Atwater 2015  Pinot Gris
91 points
$18
Best Buy
Pale white gold color. Earthy, citrusy, floral aromas and flavors of flower patch earth, dried lemon and peach, brazil nuts, and caramel rice cake with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long clementine, honeyed green apple and pear, and chalk and minerals finish with well-integrated, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A very crisp, mouthwatering Pinot Gris with a nice sense of place; try as an aperitif.
Awards: 2017 Best Pinot Gris
91 points $18 Best Buy
Ricossa 2016  Moscato dAsti DOCG
91 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Bright straw color. Aromas of nectarines, root vegetables and turnip, lemon curd, and potters clay with an lively, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium body and an intriguing, breezy finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. An excellent example.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Moscato d'Asti
91 points $16.99 Best Buy
Gustave Lorentz 2016 Reserve Pinot Blanc
91 points
$19.99
Pale light golden straw color. Grassy, citrusy, exotic aromas of nectarine, fern, and lemon icing with a crisp, dry medium body and a complex, medium-length peach nectar, dill, fennel fronds, and slate finish with fine, fruit tannins. A bright and pure pinot blanc to please a crowd
Awards: 2017 Best Pinot Blanc
91 points $19.99
Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve Traminette
90 points
$13.49
Best Buy
Straw color. Fruity aromas of sweet pea blossom, sugar snap peas, apricots in cream, and juicy pears with a supple, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and an intriguing, medium-length peach cobbler, white grape sangria, and spiced orange peels finish with fine, fruit tannins. A sophisticated and table-ready take on Traminette; lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Traminette
90 points $13.49 Best Buy
Lenz Moser 2016 Souveräner Malteser Ritterorden Grüner Veltliner
90 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Light color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, catbox, and taffy with an crisp, petillant, fruity medium body and a captivating, medium-long paloma and horchata finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A happy medium for those torn between sauvignon blanc and grüner.
Awards: 2017 Best Austrian White Wine, 2017 Best Grüner Veltliner
90 points $16.99 Best Buy
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