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.

Arduini Classico Superiore Ripasso Valpolicella 2009
D.O.C., Veneto, Italy
Juicy and delicious with tremendous mouth-watering juiciness. Dark red fruit, smoke and earth. Perfect for many dishes. Ripasso Valpolicella food pairings: short ribs, three-cheese lasagna. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2012‐2015  Perfect Pasta and Tomato Sauce Wine  Best Value Red Wine  Price: $18.95 Score: 90/100

This Ripasso Valpolicella was reviewed May 12, 2012 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 267898  Check Stock
 

Barón De Ley Reserva Tempranillo 2004
D.O.Ca., Rioja, Unfiltered, Spain
Vintages Wine Panel: A classy, traditionally made Rioja — 100% Tempranillo, 20 months in American oak, plus 24 months in bottle before release. It shows pretty aromas of blackberry, fig, raisin, and cedar. In the mouth, it’s dry, medium-bodied with well-typed fruit flavors balanced by silky tannins, and completing the picture is a pleasing medium-long finish. My note: Classic mature Rioja with leather, dried herbs, black fruit and smoke. Stunning depths of flavor. Oaky and big but balanced. Tempranillo food pairings: chorizo sausage, lamb skewers, hard cheeses. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $21.95 Score: 90/100

This Tempranillo was reviewed May 23, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 958868  Check Stock
SAQ: 868729  Check Stock
 

Eberle  Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Paso Robles, California, Usa
Vintages Wine Panel: A Gold Medal winner at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from five Paso Robles vineyards, with the majority coming from the winery’s estate vineyard. It’s already drinking wonderfully with lovely blackcurrant, cassis and wild-berry flavors as well as well-balanced sweet oak notes and refined tannins. An eye-catching (and palate-pleasing) addition to the dinner table. My note: Get in the groove with this delicious Cabernet. It’s packed with aromas of black plum, blackberry, currants, dark spices and dried tobacco leaves. A firm structure and full-bodied texture take you right through to a finish that rolls on for several minutes. Enjoy! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rack of lamb, rosemary covered pork tenderloin, beef stew. Alcohol: 15%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2008‐2014  Price: $28.95 Score: 90/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed April 11, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 105866  Check Stock
 

La Vendimia Palacios Remondo 2011
D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain
Hauntingly savoury and delicious. Must be a typo on the price for such quality. Full-bodied and smooth with incredible texture. From the hands of a master. Food pairings: chili con carne, lamb ragout. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2012‐2016  Best Value Red Wine  Price: $14.95 Score: 90/100

This wine was reviewed October 27, 2012 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 674564  Check Stock
 

Shingleback Wine Haycutters Shiraz Viognier 2007
Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Vintages Wine Panel: Hay and heifers are in this winery’s past. The name of this wine, Haycutter, pays tribute to the property’s previous life as a hayfield; the dairy cows on the land were fed the hay. Today, the cows and hay are gone. The owners discovered that the high calcium soil was also ideal for growing grapes, so now the land is covered with vines. This award-winning wine (Silver Medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2009) is rich and ripe with impeccable balance supplied by bright acids and supple tannins. Enjoy this wine now. My note: Big and beautiful with dark fruit and smoke. Juicy and mouth-watering with a smoky finish. Shiraz Viognier food pairings: barbecued back ribs, grilled steaks. Alcohol: 14.5%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $18.95 Score: 90/100

This Shiraz Viognier was reviewed July 10, 2010 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 166132  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