TOP 100 BEST BUYS 2010
BY: THE EDITORS OF WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE
Wine Enthusiast's tasting panel reviewed 100 wines and felt these were the finest value-priced wines for 2010. Check out which Badger Liquor Wines made the top 100!
#3: 91 Points
Casa Lapostolle 2008 Casa Carmenère (Rapel Valley); $13.
One of the best value-priced, big and rich wines you’re likely to find. The nose impresses with potent blackberry, cedar and marzipan aromas, and the palate bridges the gap between power and elegance. Tastes great, with herbal black cherry and cola leading the way. Very ripe but really well made. Imported by Moët Hennessy USA.
#5: 87 Points
Bandit NV Pinot Grigio (California); $4/500 ml.
Packaged in a little green Tetrapak, this is a very nice white wine. It’s totally dry, and the lime and grapefruit flavors are balanced with ultra-crisp acidity. Great with grilled veggies, sole with a squeeze of lemon, and Asian fare.
#25: 88 Points
Columbia Crest 2007 Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington); $8.
This is the best Cab from Two Vines to date. It’s got real concentration and fruit flavor, enhanced with the addition of 11% Cab Franc and 7% Syrah in the blend. Berries, cherries, cassis, plums, coffee and smoke filter through the palate, with just a little bite to the tannins. Very impressive.
#29: 89 Points
Robert Pepi 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (California); $11.
Fills an important niche in California whites, a bone-dry, tartly crisp, minerally wine that gets the mouth watering. With pleasant citrus, floral and peppery spice flavors, it’s perfect as a cocktail sipper with appetizers, like puff pastries, grilled veggies, toast rounds with goat cheese.
#46: 89 Points
Leasingham 2008 Magnus Riesling (Clare Valley); $12.
This wine earns every penny of its modest price tag with a bright palate of petrol, talcum powder and wet stones propping up aromas of white flowers, cumin and lime. The finish could be longer but with this stunning nose and palate, we’re not complaining. Drink now. Imported by Constellation Wines U.S.
#57: 90 Points
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Horse Heaven Hills); $15.
The 2008 Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc does not shy away from the grape’s natural grassy pungency. Rather, it embraces it, supporting the herbaceous aromas with ripe tree fruit flavors and some sweet spiciness from the portion (about one fifth) that was barrel fermented. A very nice combination of barrel and stainless styles.
#61: 90 Points
MontGras 2008 Quatro (Colchagua Valley); $15.
One of the best values in Chilean wine is Quatro, a lusty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Carmenère and Syrah. The nose is deep and roasted, with aromas of bacon, vanilla, pastry and black fruit. Lush and full in the mouth, with intense blackberry and cassis flavors. A titan at a great price, and ageable over the short term. Drink now through 2013. Imported by Palm Bay International.
#66: 89 Points
Dow’s 2007 Vale do Bomfim (Douro); $12.
There is definite weight behind this intense wine. But it also has ripe, rich, deliciously sweet and juicy black fruits. It has structure as well, a series of sweet tannins and fresh acidity. It’s the best red wine from the Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim so far. Imported by Premium Port Wines, Inc.
#74: 90 Points
Concannon 2008 Conservancy Chardonnay (Livermore Valley); $15.
A very nice Chardonnay that’s dry and crisp and elegant. Shows tart, leesy flavors of citrus fruits, apricots and pears, with a steely minerality that may come from those famous Livermore rocks. Great price for a Chardonnay of this quality.
#85: 88 Points
Hogue 2008 Gewürztraminer (Columbia Valley); $11.
This is an off-dry, fruity style, bringing luscious pear, orange, golden apple and citrus flavors to the front. There’s a hint of orange marmalade, and it has good weight and concentration, along with lovely purity of flavor, right through the finish. You’ll be reaching for that next glass before you know it.
#90: 88 Points
Snoqualmie 2008 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley); $10.
The blend includes 5% Viognier, a nice touch from winemaker Joy Anderson, as it adds both spice and lift to the Chardonnay. Lime, butter and caramel run through the veins of this supremely smooth and soft offering.
#96: 88 Points
Brancott 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $13.
This vintage of Brancott’s Sauvignon Blanc knocks it right down the center of the fairway—clean and refreshing, marked by brisk acids. Stone fruit and melon notes abound, tinged with just the right proportion of green herbs. Drink now. Imported by Pernod Ricard.
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If a wine's score on the Wine Enthusiast 100-point scale is high in relation to its price (a very precise formula we keep to ourselves, but 88-points and $10 are approximate yardsticks), it merits a Best Buy designation. Only about 5% of the wines we review annually merit this designation, and what you’re seeing on these next pages is a very elite grouping drawn from that already limited group. Enjoy, shop wisely, drink well, give thanks.