Friday, December 3, 2010

Top 25 Value Wines of 2010

We've selected the top 25 value wines for 2010. This list features the wines we reviewed in 2010 that we feel represent the best value to the consumer. No price limit was applied to the list, nor was a simple price-to-points equation used. With this list we allowed ourselves to be subjective as to what "value" represents.

Rollingdale Winery 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir - $24
If you're a Pinot Noir fanatic who finds too-many New World attempts far too fruity then you'll love this Reserve Pinot from Rollingdale. It's a steal at under $25!
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Viñas Centenarias 2006 Sabor Real - $16
This 100% Tempranillo wine may turn out to be the best valued bargain of the year with a rustic bouquet of dark cherry, minerality, dried fruits and loads of toasted oak and earthy notes.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2008 Riesling - $12.50
This pale-straw coloured Riesling is a cool customer with great mouth feel, crisp acidity, a lingering finish and is very easy drinking.
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St. Hallett 2007 Shiraz - Grenache Gamekeepers Reserve - $15
Great value Australian blend. The nose offers notes of coffee, raspberry, and black licorice. The palate is jammy with raspberry, tar, and expresso. The finish is long and peppery.
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Lake Breeze Vineyards 2009 Pinot Blanc - $18
The soils of the Naramata Bench are well represented here giving this estate-grown wine a sense of place that lesser Pinot Blanc fail to deliver. Well-balanced with a long finish and vivacious mouth feel.
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Haras de Pirque 2008 Equus Carmenere - $16
Good acidity and tannins will keep this wine improving in your cellar for another 1-2 years and will be enjoyable through 2014.
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Generation Seven Wines 2009 White - $14
A bit off-dry to balance the acidity, this blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer offers fantastic value for money with a lively palate displaying elements of each of the three varietals.
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JL Giguiere 2006 Matchbook Syrah - $17
This wine offers excellent value and would make a great anyday pairing with BBQ meats or good company. Icon Score

La Frenz Winery 2008 Montage - $22
A perennial favourite of due to its value for money. Yes, the price went from $20 to $22 for the 2008 vintage, but you get a lot of wine for that $22. If I were forced to buy one case of red wine each year (luckily I'm not) this would be the wine.
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Bodega Renacer 2008 Punta Final Malbec - $16
Easy-drinking and friendly with a velvety, soothing texture. A slightly shortened finish is very smooth and does leave your mouth with a lingering and tongue-tingling spice.
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Fairview Cellars 2008 Two Hoots - $25
This is the Fairview Cellars wine to buy a case of each year as it follows a similar script to the big Bear, solid extraction, built to last and develop, but minus the complexity and price tag of the flagship Bordeaux-styled blend.
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Stoneboat Vineyards 2009 Chorus - $18
This is an excellent, aromatic and juicy summer sipper. This wine is a must for next year's sunny patio-parties.
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Road 13 Winery and Vineyards 2009 Honest John's White - $17
dry palate has just a touch of residual sugar which contrasts nicely with the high acidity making this an excellent wine to refresh you (and your guests) on a hot summer day. Offers great value.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2007 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - $30
Getting expensive for a "value" list, but this $30 Meritage blend over delivers for the price.
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Undurraga 2008 Sibaris Pinot Noir - $14
A pleasant Pinot Noir from Chilean producer Undurraga that is easy to drink and easy on the pocket book. Perfect for a night when you want a laid-back, fruity Pinot with a splash of oak and don't want to spend a bunch for something more complex and challenging.
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Tantalus Vineyards 2008 Riesling - $22
Overall this is an extremely fine medium plus bodied wine with near perfect balance. Works well with food.

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Château des Charmes 2008 Gamay Droit - $17
The dry, medium-bodied palate follows with good continuity of flavours with added mineral and earthy notes. This is a quality, easy-drinking wine that will be a great match for roasted turkey dinners.
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Cono Sur 2009 Viognier - $10
Not overly complex with a slightly sharp, short finish, but a very easy-drinking white wine, perfect for the anything-but-Chardonnay crowd and well worth the money.
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Van Westen Vineyards 2008 Vino Grigio - $19
You can taste the Naramata Bench soils in this fully estate-grown wine. When drinking it you can easily imagine a beautiful, hot Okanagan summer day sitting on a sunny deck overlooking the lake.
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La Frenz Winery 2009 Chardonnay - $20
Year-in-year-out the La Frenz "Peaches and Cream" Chardonnay offers astonishing value for what's uncorked, but the 2009 vintage pushes that value just a bit further.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2008 Simply Noir -$20
An excellent Pinot Noir driven food wine that would pair nicely with tomato-based pasta sauces or stews.
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Herder Winery and Vineyards 2008 Meritage - $20
Aged in French and American oak for 16 months this is a great wine for those looking for a food-matching, BC Meritage around the $20 mark - one of the best at this price range.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay - $17
Winemaker Sandra Oldfield has created a fun, moderately complex and most importantly, delectable and quenching Chardonnay.
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Thirty Bench Estate Winery 2008 Red - $24
The Thirty Bench "Red", a blend of Merlot (38%), Cabernet Sauvignon (31%) and Cabernet Franc (31%), may not be the powerhouse Meritage blend that fellow Niagara Peninsula producers like Tawse and Hidden Bench produce but at half the price, you get a solid sipper that over-delivers.
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Seven Stones Winery 2007 Standing Rock Meritage - $32
The fruit for the Standing Rock Meritage is completely estate grown in a beautiful 20 acre bench above the valley floor with a soil profile of sandy loam, limestone and clay. Very well priced at under $35.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2010

Also see:
Top 10 Value Wines of 2009

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