Top 25 Rated Wines of 2010

The following wines received the 25 highest scores by reviewer Liam Carrier during the calendar year of 2010. Release date was not considered with some wines from the cellar and special tasting events. For the list of our Top 25 Wines of 2010, where more than simply the tasting score is considered, please visit the main site.

Blackwood Lane 2006 The Referènce - 95+pts
Time must be taken with this wine to fully appreciate the complexity as it changes in the glass revealing hidden layers and clues to its secrets. It's an experience to drink this vintage of The Referènce, Canada's most expensive, and possibly best, table wine.

Rollingdale Winery 2007 Pinot Noir Ice Wine - 93-94pts
Massive concentration of fruit aromas and flavours (apricot jam, strawberry, fuzzy peaches candy and raspberry cremesicle) are nicely contrasted with impressively high acidity. This leads to a very long, balanced and satisfying finish.

D'Arenberg 2006 The Dead Arm Shiraz - 93+pts
The Dead Arm name comes from a vine disease that randomly effects vineyards all over the world.  This infection causes one arm of the vine to slowly deteriorate into dead wood.  While one arm is dead, the other arm produces low yields with amazing intensity.
Stratus Vineyards 2007 Ice Wine Red - 93pts
The appearance has a strawberry/garnet core.  The nose had amazing strawberry, rhubarb, and concentrated vanilla.  The palate had concentrated strawberry, rhubarb and really good acid.  The finish was very very long.

Stratus Vineyards 2006 White - 92.5pts
Candied apricots dominate the high intensity nose whose concentration of fruit and floral aromas rival those of a top quality ice wine.

La Frenz Winery 2007 Grand Total Reserve - 92-93pts
The 2007 Reserve delivers an intense and powerful nose of dark fruits and toasted oak with a vein of sweetness emanating from the concentrated fruit aromas. The palate is concentrated as well, but the layers of flavours don't bombard your senses, they melt slowly in your mouth like a bar of chocolate in the microwave.

Stratus Vineyards 2007 Red - 92-93pts
A blend of 7 grapes, the five Bordeaux varietals with Syrah and Gamay, this dark ruby coloured wine offers concentrated aromas of dark cherry, cassis, pencil shavings, coffee grounds, white pepper and oak spice on the exciting nose.

Meyer Family Vineyards 2009 Micro Cuvée Chardonnay - 92-93pts
To make the grade as the Micro Cuvée, a small lot release of 72 cases, the winery selects the barrels which offer the best balance and greatest expression of terroir. The result is a Chardonnay that exudes character and pushes the quality benchmark for BC Chardonnay. In short, it's an "experience" wine.

Hidden Bench Estate Winery 2008 Estate Chardonnay - 92-93pts
Brilliant in every way. Concentration, crispness and character. A simply divine Chardonnay from Beamsville Bench producer Hidden Bench Estate Winery.

Fairview Cellars 2008 The Bear - 91-93pts
Appreciating the nose of this powerful wine takes time. Layers of fruit and savoury notes peel away with each sniff to reveal another layer. A Russian doll for the nose. Rich aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice, toasted oak, nutmeg and sun-drenched rocks.

Fairview Cellars 2007 The Bear - 91-93pts
This inky-ruby wine offers youthful aromas of caramel, cassis, nibs, light oak and some nice floral notes. The palate offers medium-plus tannins and acid with flavours of cassis, tangerine, dark berries, leather and loads of toasted oak. This is a complex and layered, full-bodied wine with a long finish.

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2007 Merlot - 91-92pts
A sensual, feminine texture with silky-smooth tannins and a long finish complete the experience. The fine, integrated tannins and structure will help this wine age sublimely with further development.

M. Chapoutier 2004 Les Granits - 91-92pts
Aged in 100% new or very recent French oak for 12-14 months giving the wine strong, but well structured tannins. At 6 years of age already, the wine has a beautiful garnet hue to the rim and core. This is a top quality Syrah from the Saint Joseph appellation that will make a nice addition to anyone's cellar.

Domaine Bosquet des Papes 2007 Cuvée Traditional - 91-92pts
This dry, inky-ruby wine from the Southern Rhone Valley shows great typicality for 2007's excellent vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Plums, red berries, candied fruit and lavender aromas on the nose are followed by intense flavours of red fruit, honey and with mineral and earthy notes.

Brian Carter Cellars 2005 L'Etalon - 91-92pts
Intense caramel, vanilla, oak spice, cassis and pencil shaving aromas on the nose are followed by big, concentrated flavours of dark fruit and minerals on the dry palate. The wine has aged beautifully with great tannin structure and shows signs that further aging will benefit the wine further.

Mission Hill Estate Winery 2005 Quatrain - 91-92pts
Tasted blind there would be no confusion over its origin - a complement. This is an unabashed New World fruit explosion that has been artfully treated with new French oak and given time to gel. The Syrah is prominent on the nose and palate adding a peppery spiciness to what would otherwise be a straight-forward Meritage blend.

JoieFarm 2008 PTG - 90-92pts
The dry palate has excellent tannic structure with forward fruit flavours of cherry cola, dark fruits and savory spice. Pepper lingers on the moderate and balanced finish. The texture is lively, but purposed with good acidity which makes this an excellent wine to pair with food.

La Frenz Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon - 90-92pts
A big winner at the 2010 All Canadian Wine Competition winning the "Best Cabernet Sauvignon over $25" category. Happily, it's only just over $25 and beat out many higher priced wines in the process.
Blackwood Lane 2007 Merlot - 90-92pts
Big, fruity aromas of dark cherries, toasted oak, milk chocolate, maple syrup, a hint of slate and notes of Cabernet Franc funk await you on the nose. The palate offers intense flavours of dark fruits and oak with strong tannins and acidity which require another year of aging to fully integrate.

Stratus Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc - 90-92pts
There are intensely concentrated flavours and aromas on offer in this 2007 vintage release. The nose flirts with caramel, toasted oak, cured meets, vanilla and dark fruits. The dry palate excites with blueberry, oak, leather and elegant, super-smooth tannins.

Tawse Winery 2008 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc - 91+pts
A prime example of austere and sophisticated Niagara Cabernet Franc with an ultra-smooth, dry palate full of concentrated dark berry fruit flavours and structured, round tannins.

Meyer Family Vineyards 2009 Tribute Series Chardonnay - 91+pts
The supreme balance comes from the medley of tart, green apple acidity paired with concentrated orchard and tropical fruit flavours all enveloped in layers of subtle, French oak. Acid, the perception of sweetness and savoury characters create a near-perfect trifecta of balance.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2007 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - 91+pts
A Bordeaux-style blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon with equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The intense nose offers classic Meritage aromas of cassis, dark berries, dark chocolate, toasted oak and licorice with aromatic perfumed notes (thank you Cabernet Franc).

Edge Wines 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - 91+pts
An excellent full-flavour and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon (with a touch of Merlot blended in) from Napa Valley producer Edge Wines. You'll find youthful aromas of raspberry, cassis and plum with toasty oak notes on the nose of this American and French oaked wine (16 months).

La Frenz Winery 2006 Shiraz - 91+pts
A wonderful BC Shiraz that despite its Oz-born winemaker (Jeff Martin) and name ('Shiraz' vs 'Syrah') is made in the more subtler Northern Rhone style.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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