Top 25 Rated Wines of 2012

The following wines received the 25 highest scores by reviewer Liam Carrier during the calendar year of 2012. Release date was not considered with some wines from the cellar and special tasting events. For the list of our Top 25 Wines of 2012, where more than simply the tasting score is considered, please visit the main site.

Paul Hobbs Winery 2009 Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard - 95-97pts
Dense, complex and focused to the nth degree, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon single vineyard release nears perfection. A special occasion wine for the celebration you're expecting sometime in 2014 when this wine will start to come into its own.
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Mollydooker Wines 2009 Velvet Glove 95-96pts
For a truly iconic and cellar worthy wine, the Velvet Glove Shiraz is surprisingly approachable in its youth. The massive concentration is so well refined and balanced that just a drop on your tongue will express enough character for you to remember that moment forever.
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2005 Château Mouton-Rothschild - 95+pts
Mouton lives up to its mythical reputation in an exceptional Medoc vintage that sees the best wines lasting 30-40 years or longer. Dense and smoky with layers of dark fruit, tobacco, oak, dried herbs, licorice, vanilla, mint and cedar characters galore.
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Silverback Vineyards 2010 Référence - 94-97pts
From a barrel sample. A blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec with concentrated-yet-gentle and endlessly-layered graphite and dark fruit flavour profile.
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Silverback Vineyards 2010 Syrah - 94-96pts
From a barrel sample. A dark, intense ruby coloured Syrah with a medium purple rim and a lovely sheen. Pulls you into its web at first sniff with layers of dark fruit, violets, tar, licorice, vanilla, subtle allspice and vibrant citrus notes.
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Mollydooker Wines 2009 Carnival of Love - 94-95pts
When compared to the winery's iconic Velvet Glove, the Carnival of Love shiraz is a bit more attention seeking and blatantly superb. The Avis rental cars of elite level Shiraz - it tries a little harder.
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LaStella 2009 La Sophia - 93+pts
A stunning Cabernet Sauvignon that grips your attention from the first sniff of sweet, concentrated dark berry fruit and deep licorice aromas.
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Le Clos Jordanne Estate Wines 2007 Le Grand Clos - 93+pts
It's Canada's most expensive Pinot Noir, but is it Canada's best? There's an argument for 'yes' with its sublime nose of cherry, plum, pepper, cinnamon and popcorn kernel aromas and with its memorable, well balanced and fine tannin filled palate of kirsch, cherry and magic marker flavours.
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Painted Rock Estate Winery 2011 Chardonnay - 93pts
This beautiful, bar-setting Chardonnay effortlessly combines the inherent crispness and pure fruit expression of an un-oaked example with the elegant texture and rich body derived from 100% new French Oak.
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Viña Montes 2007 Montes Folly - 93pts
The acid is up and the richness on the palate is down when compared to the utterly stunning 2006 release, yet the wine remains the champion of all South American Syrah and the wine to gauge against.
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Long Shadows Vintners Collection 2005 Sequel - 93pts
This stunning Syrah from the 2005 vintage is still tasting fresh and youthful. The entry is fruity with licorice, oak and mineral notes which transitions to a serious, terroir-driven expression of the Rhone varietal.
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Mollydooker Wines 2009 Enchanted Path - 93pts
Enchanted Path is Mollydooker's elite Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend which uses fruit grown on the winery's Gateway and Prime vineyards in McLaren Vale. Fine tannins structure the blend very well and their controlled robustness suggests further development with another year or two of bottle aging.
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Château de Beaucastel 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - 92-94pts
Not quite the powerhouse the 2007 vintage delivered, yet, unmistakable Chateauneuf expression of concentrated, rich dark fruit, warm rock, garrique and tobacco characters. The opulent, ripe fruit is balanced nicely with crisp acidity and presented in the ultra-fine, silky smooth manner we expect from the iconic Château.
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Silverback Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay - 92-94pts
From a barrel sample. A feminine, single-vineyard Chardonnay with layers of dried roses, orchard fruit, citrus and melon aromas on the clean, elegant nose.
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Antinori 2008 Solaia - 92+pts
This blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged in 100% new oak, opens with a gorgeous, delicate nose of sweet cassis and blackberry fruit aromas and light earthy notes.
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Fairview Cellars 2009 The Bear - 92+pts
The addition of oak and mocha notes from the barrel aging process and from the terroir (Golden Mile Bench) makes for a complex trifecta of sweet berry fruit, intense dark fruit preserves and serious savoury notes.
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Paul Hobbs Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon - 92+pts
A Cabernet Sauvignon with great concentration and refinement produced from fruit sourced from multiple AVAs in Napa Valley. To get any more focus from a Napa Cab you'd have to go to a single vineyard release.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - 92pts
A blend of 45% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine boasts an enchanting bouquet of dark fruit and spicy vanilla wrapped in a prominent, smoky blanket of sweet tobacco and toasted oak aromas.
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JoieFarm 2011 Pinot Blanc - 92pts
This Pinot Blanc is rich and sourced from mature vineyards in Kelowna and from the Naramata Bench, thus, the potential is there to develop further over the next few years, but why wait as it is tasting beautifully now.
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LaStella 2009 Maestoso - 92pts
The Maestoso is a massive wine that seeks to knock your socks off with its unapologetic, Old World, heavy tannins and bone-dry texture.
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Long Shadows Vintners Collection 2006 Pedestal - 92pts
This is a world class Merlot produced under the direction of Michel Rolland from Columbia Valley fruit offering intense dark berry, smoky cigar box, cedar chip, vanilla bean, prune juice and savoury spice characters.
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Flora Springs Winery 2005 Trilogy - 92pts
At seven years of age this Meritage blend from Napa Valley's Flora Springs has really come into its own. The enchanting bouquet has developed a smoke-laced blend of mixed berries, charred cedar, vanilla, white chocolate, pepper and savoury spices.
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Fairview Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon - 91-93pts
BC Cabernet Sauvignon are rarely so ripe and complex. This 2009 edition of the Fairview Cellars release displays the unique regional balance of dense, full-bodied blue fruit and savoury minerality without the jammy, sticky fruit notes of warmer-climate areas.
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E. Guigul 2009 La Doriane - 91-92pts
A powerhouse Viognier from Condrieu with cured meats, violet, pear and apple aromas on the intensely rich nose.
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Painted Rock Estate Winery 2009 Syrah - 91-92pts
The incredible nose of this estate grown Syrah from Skaha Bench producer Painted Rock must be quaffed to be believed. It is both seductive and fun with a sweetness to it that feels familiar and safe yet mysteriously absent from memory.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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