Top Red Wine

My red wine reviews include wines with high ratings for their superb quality and taste, and their prices often reflect this as they tend to be more expensive. These red wines have scores of 90 points or higher out of 100 and are often the wines that have the greatest aging ability and are therefore wines for your cellar.

They are also often the top ranked wines on many lists, especially in fine restaurants, with ratings that reflect their craftsmanship. You'll also find my red wine reviews of those that are less expensive, but still represent great value. This is just a small set of my wine reviews: when you join my wine community, you can access all of my reviews.

Fine red wines, often more than $50, require decanting for two reasons: to siphon off sediment that may have formed in the wine over time. If left in the wine, it can make it cloudy and gritty, and the sediment itself often tastes bitter. The sediment comes from wine particulate such as tiny bits of the skins settling to the bottle of the bottle as the wine ages, so the older the wine, the more likely a decanting is necessary.

Red wines are also decanted to add oxygen to the wine to open it up and giving the wine more aroma and flavour. Some prefer to use their glass to do this and let the wine unfold slowly with each pour and swirl. However, those who want more powerful and flavourful wine from the first glass will go with a slow decanting so that the wine streams along the side of the decanter and splays out getting more exposure to the air.

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Curicó Valley, Chile
Vintages Wine Panel: Medium-deep ruby colour with aromas of cassis, smoked meat, tilled earth, vanilla and dark chocolate. Dry with a generous fruit core and firm, wiry tannins. Medium-full bodied with a medium-long, poised finish. Give it 2-4 years in a cellar, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Unfairly great for the price! Luscious, full-bodied, juicy and textured. Fleshy blackberries and black plums. Perfect for first dates if you want them to go well and for anniversaries when you want to remember only the good times. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: slow-cooked roast beef and root vegetables, herbed beef stew, crown rib roast with stuffing and all the trimmings. Alcohol: 14.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2011‐2015  Best Beef Wine  Price: $19.95 Score: 90/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed December 10, 2011 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 322586  1473 in stock
BC: 322586  1016 in stock
SAQ: 322586  Check Stock
 

Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Napa Valley, California, Usa
A lovely example of cabernet sauvignon. Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roast beef, lamb. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  375 ml  Price: $39.95 Score: 90/100

This Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed November 10, 2007 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 36939  Check Stock
 

Grant Burge 150th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Barossa, Australia
Fifth-generation winemaker Grant Burge's roots in Barossa go deep, tracing back to 150 years ago when his family settled and planted grapes in this now-celebrated region. The Anniversary Release line celebrates Burge's heritage, and the passion and vision that continues to inspire his winemaking today. This Cabernet is elegant and complex, with black-fruit flavors balanced by chocolate and smoky notes. My note: Beautifully structured Cabernet with layers of cedar and cassis. Full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: charcoal grilled rib-eye steak. Alcohol: 13%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2008‐2012  Price: $30.95 Score: 90/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed September 13, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 67884  Check Stock
 

Errazuriz Max Reserva Merlot 2005
Chile
Rich and complex aromas of cassis, black plums and raspberries. A touch tannic so decant for an hour or two. Full-bodied. Aged 12 months in French and American oak. Errazuriz Max Reserva Merlot food pairings: hearty meat dishes, steak, lamb. Alcohol: 14%  750 ml  Price: $18.15 Score: 90/100

This Errazuriz Max Reserva Merlot was reviewed May 22, 2007 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 16170  Check Stock
SAQ: 10694350  Check Stock
 

Tawse Winery Inc. Cherry Avenue Pinot Noir 2009
Vqa, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada
Subtle, complex and nuanced with earthy and dark cherry aromas. Satin smooth with an ultra-long finish. Pinot Noir food pairings: roast duck breast with cherry sauce, roast pork, beef stew. Alcohol: 13%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2012‐2017  Price: $57.95 Score: 90/100

This Pinot Noir was reviewed August 3, 2012 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 670459001073  Check Stock
 


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Aging red wines is also often reserved for the top tier and most expensive reds, such as the best Bordeaux, Burgundy, Amarone, Barolo, Tuscany, or Napa Valley Cabernet. These can often age 8-20 years. A good rule of thumb is to not let a red wine pass its thirtieth birthday unless it is a fortified wine like Port or Madeira.

Most of the red wines in the world grow between the latitudes of  30° and 50° in both hemispheres, with ideal temperatures are 10º and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F).

What makes a great red wine? It is a combination of great soil, climate, topography, and winemaker. Why are some red wines so much more expensive than others and are they worth it? Think about wine like art. You collect them for their history, for the effort in creating them, for the sheer beauty of them. There are great red wines for incredible prices, just like there are talented unknown artists. Value is in the eye and taste buds of the beholder. Researched by Lesley Quinn