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.

Le Demoiselle D'haut Peyrat Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2004
Haut-Médoc, France
Vintages Wine Panel: Finely structured and complex, this is a great wine to keep on hand for impromptu gatherings and special dinners. Spicy and velvety-textured, it delivers plenty of ripe black fruit and promises to age well. My note: Lots of smoky oak but this full-bodied layered wine can handle it. Classic cassis and blackberry notes. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: roast beef, fine cheeses. Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2008‐2012  Price: $32.95 Score: 90/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon Blend was reviewed August 2, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 82511  Check Stock
 

Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenère 2012
Peumo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile
Terrific price for such a delicious wine! Full-bodied but not heavy with luscious and mouth-watering aromas and flavours of dark fruit and some dark chocolate. Spectacular value for such quality. Perfect for pizza night. Carmenère food pairings: spicy red meats,  tomato-based dishes, curried dishes,  dark chocolate, blackened steaks. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2016  Complete Cheese Pizza Wine  Best Value Red Wine  Price: $18.95 Score: 90/100

This Carmenère was reviewed February 15, 2014 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 30957  922 in stock
 

Cursor S.A. Familia Mayol Cuatro Primos 2003
Mendoza, Argentina
Vintages Wine Panel: A tribute to owner Pedro Mayol’s four grandchildren, the Cuatro Primos (‘four cousins’) blends four grape varieties from four different vineyards in Mendoza. Comprised of 55% malbec, 35% syrah, 5% cabernet sauvignon and 5% bonarda, this complex wine displays concentrated aromas and flavors of cassis, ripe plum and blackcurrants that are balanced beautifully by toast notes imparted by the 12-14 months of aging in French oak. My note: Full-bodied with layers of black fruit and chocolate notes. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Best Beef Wine  Price: $23.75 Score: 90/100

This Familia Mayol Cuatro Primos was reviewed January 19, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 55434  Check Stock
 

Inniskillin Winemaker's Series Three Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008
V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Vintages Wine Panel: The titular "three vineyards" where fruit for this wine was grown are Braeburn Estate Vineyard (Niagara River), Heron Pond Vineyard (Beamsville Bench), and Montague Vineyard (Four Mile Creek). Ruby-coloured in the glass with classic Pinot aromas of earth, dark cherry, redcurrant and plum, along with accents of smoke, vanilla bean and new leather. Elegant and superbly balanced, with a medium body and fine, developing tannins. Cellar this pretty wine for up to 3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Lush and delicious: just what pinot should be! Jubilant cherries dance across your mouth caressed with a satin texture and layers of pleasure. Perfectly medium-bodied. Pinot Noir food pairings: beef bourguignon, blackened lamb. Alcohol: 12.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2011‐2015  Price: $22.95 Score: 90/100

This Pinot Noir was reviewed October 15, 2011 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 175174  Check Stock
 

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Paso Robles, California, United States
Opens with seductive black fleshy plums, blackberries and blackcurrants wrapped in mocha and smoke. Full-bodied and smooth with terrific balance and mouth-watering action. Great for hearty meat dishes and when you want to be good to yourself. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steak, roast beef. Alcohol: 13.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2016  Best Beef Wine  Price: $21.95 Score: 90/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed March 7, 2013 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 656561  Check Stock
BC: 313825  8606 in stock
SAQ: 313825  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