Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top Ten Red Wines!!!

Now that I no longer have any excuses to procrastinate my work, I now present you with my list of my favorite Red Wines on the market!  I've stalled long enough and done my fair share of research on this so I think this list will be pretty definite of what I want to tell you all.
The one thing i should not is that I'm only applying vintages to certain reds on here, more specifically because that is the one vintage of that particular wine that I prefer.  I usually don't pay too much mind to vintages years unless there is an inconsistent little boost in quality amongst one or the other.  For example, bad vintages don't concern me at all.
So hope you enjoy and feel free to ask any questions that you may have!

10 - EOS Zinfandel 2003
A rare wine that I've fancied for some time now but the main issue I have with it, is its availability.  Right now, it's hard enough just to find any vintage, let alone the 2003.  But the juice is spectacular.  Exactly what you would expect out of the great American descendant of the Primitivo.  It's smooth and spicy with lots of complex aromas and bites with just the slightest hint of oak.  As majestic as the name implies and just as elusive.  Expect to find this one for anywhere between $15-30 per bottle.  But absolutely worth it at any price.
Pairs well with gourmet woodfire pizzas and heavy red sauces.

9-  Miguel Torres "Santa Digna" Carmenere 2007
The first and only time I've had this wine was at a fantastic bar in town called the Obelisk.  I knew the owners quite well but had never stopped in so they ordered a bottle for my friends and me to try on our first visit.  Not only did the wine pair well with the food (which I list) but with the atmosphere of the wine bar itself.  It had one of the most beautiful aromas I had ever encountered before in a wine, and at first sniff I knew I was going to be in love with the bottle.  At the first taste of blackberries and roasted raspberries, I wanted to propose to it.  It drank as smooth as silk and left just the faintest little bite in the back of the jaw with little but noticeable acidity.
It was served with roasted pork and cranberry chutney, stuffed mushrooms and lobster paté.

8 - Chateau Lafont Fourcat Bordeaux
I could mouth off on several Bordeaux's at a moment's notice but this one I chose over others because two main factors:  its flexibility and its price.  Unlike some of its cousins, Chateau Lafont Fourcat is an inexpensive cheeky red that rolls with the big dogs.  Some of the flavors that are normally masked out in cheaper reds are predominant here and linger without any lack of quality.  Truly something unique amongst its peers.

7 - Immortal Zin
Another insanely good pick out of Lodi, Immortal Zin is crafted from 114 year old vines and every drop is reminiscent of that fact.  Handcrafted by the wonderful people at Peirano Estates, Immortal Zin brings forth a massive tidal wave of berry flavor and mild citrus, that which is only replicated from Old Vine Zinfandels such as this one.  The one thing that it truly reminds me of is Monster Energy's Import, it has those deep vibrant berry flavors with the lemon-lime zest.  But Immortal Zin won't give you a charge of energy, just make you "feel" immortal.
Drink with diner style cheeseburgers or some late night fast food!

6 - Clos de los Siete 2007
A true marvel in South America, Clos de los Siete is crafted now as it was years ago when the vineyard was first found.  Originally founded by seven of the biggest names in French viticulture.  As deep and rich as its history, the wine is an amazing blend of some of Argentina's finest.  You can simply taste the tradition and love put into this bottle by its current vitners and all the splendor it has to offer. It has great aromas of black cherry and currant with similar flavors incorporated into light grippy tannins.  A good find for arounf $15.
Pairs with spicy green chile dishes, and curries.

5 - Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir
One of the domestic Pinot Noirs I tend to go around anymore.  Row Eleven has seemed to work its way into being a cult favorite in my area, much like Opus One has in Chicago and New York.  More than likely because it has a few advantages over Opus One, like its smooth round texture and lack of that awful "watery" Pinot Noir trend, the drink itself is much easier to go down and its flavor is more adaptable to food, and also it costs about a tenth of the price of Opus One.  As a matter of fact, if given a case deal, you can get 12 bottles of 11 for 1 bottle of 1.  BUT ENOUGH OF THE MATH!!!  What it adds up to is a blend of sweet and spicy that goes down well in the clubbing scene and still holds boldness amongst a few friends in a social atmosphere.  Great for those who are sick of the whole "La Crema" thing too.  For the same price you get double the quality.  The only thing it's lacking from it, is nobody can tell how big of an asshole you are if you choose it over La Crema or Opus One.
Pairs well with people who actually enjoy drinking wine.

4 - Primaterra Sangiovese
Lately I've found myself bored of Chianti's and other Italian wines that I can't pronounce.  But I'v found a soft spot in my heart for Primaterra and its line of wine.  Their Sangiovese is one I can't get my hands off of, being a strong yet soft and vibrant red wine that is studded with amazingly thick portions of natural grape flavors.  Although it bears much oak and tooth-staining goodness, the juice tastes as fresh as if just picked from the vine.  Pretty amazing stuff that is for the most part a paradox in a bottle.  It's a young wine that seems to have age twenty years overnight and shines through those other "serious" reds on the top shelf.  Bold and deep flavors of cassia bark, muscadine and raisin are softened with plum, white cranberry and sugarcane.  Pretty awesome find if it's in your neighborhood.
Goes well at parties and family gatherings!

3 - Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
I had always imagined that everyone involved in this wine is wearing a white lab coat and thick goggles that come out of a B-list Sci-fi movie.  Educated Guess is not only one of my favorites because of it's taste, but because of it's lack of seriousness in choosing wine.  They're mocking what people normally do when trying a wine.  They simply take an educated guess, but EdGuess suggests that drinking a wine should be much like making a wine in which there is no guessing, just SCIENCE!!!  The flavor is very difficult to describe but the easiest way to put it, is that EdGuess is one of the richest, fullest wines you can find at it's price.  The label is also pretty damn cool.  being a Chem major in college, I have a deep fondness for it and its meanings which you can discover by clicking HERE!

2 - Clos du Bois Marlstone 2005
This is my bottle.  I am so proud of it. ♥

An amazing blend from one of my favorite wine producers in California.  Very few wines come this close to perfection without going well over $100.  A proprietal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.  Crafter by Clos du Bois's Erik Olsen, Marlstone is a shining example of a great Meritage, modelling itself after the premium Bordeaux's of France.  Nice smooth flavors of cassis flow well with notes of cigar box, cocoa, and brown sugar.  An overall astounding wine that will make your head spin in ecstasy.
Pairs well with grilled lamb, prime rib, and premium cuts of beer tenderloin. 

1 - Silver Palm North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Not only my favorite red, my favorite Cabernet and more than likely one of my favorite wines of all times.  It holds not only a palatable memory to me, but also has great sentimental vale as well.  Accidentally ordered by a fellow coworker, it quickly became a favorite at the first taste that I held with my dad, whose opinion of wine I greatly respect.  He held Cabernets amongst the top of the red grape varietals and knew that this was worth drinking.  Previously available only at restaurants, it slowly became available in certain retailers but more or less as a hush-hush kinda thing.  It's robust notes of cranberry, nutmeg, coriander make it a strangely complex drink that mingles well with the deep oak and moderate tannin.  Being from North Coast, it picks up a natural moderate sweetness that doesn't overpower the Cab but rather gives it a supple smooth finish that lasts long after it's finished. Another cool note is that it has chunks of raw platinum studded throughout the glass. I drank it with my father to commemorate our bond in wine, I drank it after one of my closest friend's funerals, and I will drink this on my deathbed.  

Well now that I've self-inflicted my hands with arthritis, I'm going to take a break and do some hands-on research on Christmas Ales!  I'll have that update for you tomorrow!
Bon Boire!

p.s.:  Because a certain someone refused to read the list after intially giving me the idea to do so.  I am obligated to mention one Deloach Pinot Noir.
Honestly, I've had it once, and although I won't hold it at the same level of Row Eleven, it would be #2 on a top ten Pinot Noir list.  just above Mont Avril from France.  The reason this too is an excellent choice is much like Row Eleven.  It's inexpensive, highly drinkable, and won't make you look like a pretentious wine snob amongst your friends.  Also a damn good find, and easy to do so as well.  Has a giant fleur de lis on its label!

This one's for you, Lacey.  You now owe me a bottle ;)


  1. Great list! Printed it out because it sure will come handy one day! Thanks and let's hope we've got the same tastes!

  2. Great list can't wait to try some fine wine :D

  3. Funny how red wines can acquire the fingerprint of a memory - like your #1.

  4. i really want to try Silver Palm North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon.. you've described it so well. i don't really have that "special occasion" wine in my life yet

  5. oh rite on, i know what i'll be getting when i have dem ladies over for dinner tomorow nite :D

  6. I've actually had your #10 once.

  7. Awesome! love wine...Great picks cant wait to try a few!

  8. I've only tried 2 of those wines. No love for shiraz?

  9. My girlfriend is obsessed with red wines. I personally don't like them but we have a lot because of her. I'll pass this along.

  10. I love me some Christmas ales, I can't wait to see if I've tried any that are on your list.

  11. Thanks for all the support guys! I'll have another post sometime tonight or tomorrow morning!