Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wonderful Top 100 Wines from 2015 - all available in BC and under $40


In November the Wine Spectator magazine came out with its annual Top 100 Wines of 2015 - it's ranking of great wines that are high scoring but also not ridiculously high priced or completely impossible to find.
Porca de Murca

And several of them are available in BC Liquor Stores and private wine stores, as well as in other Canadian jurisdictions.  

But it you want them, move fast - there is limited availability and wine guys like me have already taken some of them off the shelves days after the Top 100 was announced.

Top of the list for great value is the Porca de Murca 2013 - a red from Real Companhia Velha in Douro, Portugal - rated 90 points by the Wine Spectator  and ranked #39 of the Top 100.  It is priced in BC Liquor Stores for just $12.99 plus taxes!  And there are over 1,000 bottles across BC - and the winery bottled an astonishing 250,000 - so more may become available here.

This is just an amazing value for a medium weight, delicious wine with red berry, plum, pepper and slate notes, made from classic Portuguese grapes like touriga nacional and tinta roriz but no oak aging.   

This should be your house wine for many months to come.

Next up - a really great wine for your steak, lamb or grilled meat - or hearty vegetarian  alternatives - the Viña Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Alto Gran Reserva 2012 from Chile - #32 on the Top 100 with a score of 91 points and priced at just $19.79 plus taxes at BC Liquor Stores.
Vina Carmen Gran Reserva

This is a classic Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, with lots of blackberry, currants, leather and cedar notes.  The wine is 94% Cab Sauv with 3% Carmenere and 3% Petit Verdot to round it out.  

Simply delicious now and it will drink well through 2019.

White wines are a bit harder to come by on the Top 100 and this next one is always a great bottle - but it may be difficult to track down this vintage.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 from New Zealand is ranked at #21 of the Top 100 and scored at an impressive 93 points - it sells for $31.99 at BC Liquor Stores, where some of the 2014 bottles are still around but quickly being replaced by the 2015.

Having tasted this wine, I would definitely urge you to hurry and try several stores, because it is remarkable!

Cloudy Bay 2014
Cloudy Bay put New Zealand and its Marlborough region on the world wine map many years ago and you can see why with just one sip - an explosive, beautiful grapefruit, lemon, lime, ginger combination that is a revelation to the tongue!

The only good news about the short supply is that Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is rarely not scored 90 or higher, so the 2015 vintage will almost surely be another winner.

One more from the Top 100 not to be missed is the Arcanum Toscano Il Fauno 2010 from Italy - scored at 92 points and ranked #55.

This is an interesting wine because it's a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot - none of which is native to Tuscany - but man does it grow well there!

The Il Fauno 2010 is a little higher priced at $37.99 a bottle at BC Liquor Stores but I highly recommend trying it - and there are hundreds in stock.

Loads of cherry fruit with some tobacco and cedar - a really wonderful wine that can be enjoyed now or aged up to another 10 years.  
Il Fauno
It would be interesting to blind taste it up against some similar priced 2010 Bordeaux wines from France for a comparison - don't bet against it!

There are a few other Top 100 wines on BC Liquor Stores' shelves and I believe others will appear there in the months ahead, as we are sometimes behind the distribution curve compared to the United States - so keep your eyes open and check back here for more tips!

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