A look at the top wines of last year


During the Days of Awe, we are supposed to reflect on the past year and where we should be going in life. It is a perfect time to look back and select our top wines from the previous year. This week we will focus on wines costing $30 or more that are worthy to collect and cellar or, better yet, to share with family and special friends.

So here we go:

Shiloh Legend II 2010 ($35): A rich, hefty yet elegant, full-bodied, fresh, balanced blend exhibiting aromas and flavors of black fruits, tobacco, eucalyptus and lovely spices, all structured with enough acidity and smooth tannins to provide a little longevity.

Jezreel Red Blend 2012 ($32): A delicious, easy drinking fusion that displays a slightly smoky dark fruit aroma that leads into strawberry, red cherry, cassis and plum flavors with accents of herbs, spice and oak.


Shirah Wines, White Hawk, Syrah 2012 ($55): Intense with nice acidity and booming notes of blackberries, blueberries, and mild black pepper with perhaps a touch of cassia or nutmeg, some leafy tobacco, distinct notes of oak, with a long, hearty, drying tannic finish.

Shirah Wines, Luna Matta, Aglianico 2013 ($65): A wonderfully balanced wine displaying lovely dried red fruit, licorice and mint aromas leading into supple black plum, strawberry, fig, dark chocolate, leather and exotic spice flavors, in a medium frame and a poised lengthy finish.

Black Tulip 2011 ($80): A full-bodied, concentrated Bordeaux-style blend that expresses a host of aromas and flavors including black currant, cassis, dark cherry and tart blackberry accented with vanilla, Mediterranean spices and bits of dark chocolate.
Covenant Lavan Chardonnay 2012 ($38): This begins with scents of white flowers and apples that extend into a medium frame of pear, fig, and citrus, along with hints of minerals, anise and toast, all following through the poised and polished finish.

Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($87): Cassis, black cherry and chocolate aromas and flavors flow smoothly and persist in this full-bodied, velvety-smooth beauty, along with red currants, coffee, graphite, mint and oak, all leading to a prolonged finish.

Hagafen Brut Cuvée 2012 ($37): Full-bodied with a lovely, bright peach hue and a robust head of large, lively bubbles, this dry sparkler offers aromas and flavors of peach, apple, strawberry, a touch of melon, citrus, dollops of cream, a touch of yeast, and an inviting smidge of brioche; there is also a generous hint of sweet syrup, finishing in a long citrus and green almond finish.

Elvi Herenza Rioja Reserva 2009 ($67): A seriously elegant wine with expressive earthy aromas and flavors intermingled with dark plum, red cherry, licorice and herb notes with firm tannins and a vanilla-accented finish.

Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Gravelière 2012 ($34): Opens with opulent floral and grapefruit aromas that lead into vibrantly rich flavors including tart green apple, peach and passion fruit with a lively, long citrus infused finish featuring hints of grassy herbs and stone.

Spirits-wise, we thought we’d doff our cap to one of our great favorite whiskies which is being discontinued. Beam Suntory announced that supplies of the Laphroaig 18-year-old have run dry and that the product is no longer being offered. No replacement is expected next year, the company said. We love all things Laphroaig and are sad to see this expression go. There are still plenty of bottles out there, but not for very much longer, so seek, find, save and savor.


Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here