Top 25 Rated Wines of 2013

The following wines received the 25 highest scores by reviewer Liam Carrier during the calendar year of 2013. Release date was not considered with some wines sourced from the cellar and at special tasting events. For the list of our Top 25 Wines of 2013, where more than simply the tasting score is considered, please visit the main site.


Silverback Vineyards 2011 Reserve Syrah - 99pts
Violets, tar, cherry, licorice and citrus characters galore. Glaetzer's Amon-Ra springs to mind but with more concentration and length, if that is even conceivable. Bold, rich and absolutely gorgeous, this inky-purple Syrah is sure to become a cult classic.
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Silverback Vineyards 2010 Syrah - 95pts
Pulls you into its web at first sniff with layers of dark fruit, violets, tar, licorice, vanilla, subtle allspice and vibrant citrus notes. An excellent prelude to the concentrated palate that offers superb acidity and balance with fine tannins and long-lasting, spicy dark fruit flavours that role around your mouth with youthful abandon.
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Silverback Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay - 94+pts
Fans of Penfold's Yattarna Chardonnay should take note as the Silverback matches the elegance and refinement of the "white Grange" at roughly half the price. Built to age with further development a guarantee. Sky's the limit. 
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Silverback Vineyards 2010 Référence - 94+pts

Classic Meritage berry fruit and savoury, gun powder and Christmas cake spice flavours add complexity to the finely tuned oak treatment and proprietary yeast program that Herrold employs. Ultra fine tannins and perfect acidity levels create a wine for enjoying in its youth or for aging 15+ years.
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Painted Rock Estate Winery 2010 Red Icon - 93-94pts
A seductive beast that, despite its "cool vintage" provenance, is altogether, big, brawny and supremely delicate. So well balanced and memorable - a true icon and destined to become the next must-have, collectible cult wine of BC. 
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2010 Cachet No. 03 - 93+pts
The nose is pure delight with loads of sweet, smoky fruit aromas and fragrant perfume notes; a truly sexy developing bouquet. The palate is fluid, medium-plus bodied, yet intense and powerful with layers of ripe plum and blackberry fruit mixed with exotic spices and savoury characters. The finish is long and balanced and beckons your continued attention.
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Meyer Family Vineyards 2011 Micro Cuvée Chardonnay - 93+pts
Both intense and restrained on the baked caramelized apple nose and leesy, orchard fruit and smoky palate. Boasting excellent acidity and a long, never-ending finish with lingering mineral and citrus flavours.
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Antinori 2009 Tignarello - 93pts

This blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc delivers elegance in a glass with red fruit, cedar, spice box and anise aromas and flavours. Shows great restraint in its intensity on the smooth-textured palate delivering finesse and depth without the in-your-face concentration of its over-extracted peers.
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Painted Rock Estate Winery 2012 Chardonnay - 93pts

Textured and concentrated with lush tropical, juicy melon, caramel and stonefruit characters supported by a vibrant backbone of citrus acidity and a long balanced finish of tangy, green apple, tangerine and brioche flavours. Effortless compatibility of all elements.
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Tolaini 2007 Valdisanti - 92-93pts
Warm rocks, toasted oak and sweet prune notes resonate from the feminine and floral nose of this supremely enjoyable and lovably complex blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Added potpourri, blackberry, vanilla and anise aromas make the quietly intense, developed bouquet irresistible.
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Paul Hobbs Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - 92-93pts
The 2010 vintage sees 6% Cabernet Franc added which contributes light floral notes to the gorgeous nose and creates an overall more feminine profile. Mint & licorice flavours add depth to the layers of cassis and blackberry fruit supported by powerful, yet, fine tannins.
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JoieFarm 2011 "En Famille" Reserve Gewurztraminer - 92pts
Though it draws its inspiration from Grand Cru Alsatian examples, this is a classic BC Gewurztraminer with excellent balance and attention to detail from the refined floral medley and seductive tropical fruit on the nose to the lip-smacking, off-dry palate full of ripe lychee fruit and generous spice that lingers on the long, long finish.
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Cassini Cellars 2009 Maximus - 92pts
At 4 years old, the 2009 Maximus has aged beautifully and now offers a developed bouquet of smoky dark fruit and vanilla with new cured meat notes appearing. Lots of life left on the pallet as well with the acid mellowing only slightly and the tannins as smooth as ever. This gorgeous wine truly has gotten better with age. Original drinking window is, thus far, proving accurate with the peak not expected for another 3 years. If you have some squirreled away you're sitting pretty.
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Champagne Lanson N/V Extra Age Blanc de Blanc - 92pts
Disgorged in 2010. A stunning Champagne made from 100% Chardonnay grapes sourced exclusively from Grand and 1er cru vineyards from the 2003-05 vintages offering sweet brioche, floral and mineral characters. Fresh, clean and crisp, the house style avoids all secondary Malolactic fermentation leaving the natural acidity high yet completely balanced.
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Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel 2005  'Resalte' Crianza - 92pts
Everything seems to fit just right in this gorgeous 100% Tempranillo wine from Spain's Ribera Del Duero region. The right amount of smoke, the right amount of spice, the right amount of red fruit and just the right amount of spicy oak is balanced effortlessly on the juicy and silky-smooth textured palate and on the seductive, cola-infused nose.
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JoieFarm 2012 A Noble Blend - 92pts
After two cooler vintages JoieFarm's flagship wine returns to its opulent roots with the release of the 2012 edition. Delivering rich, complex flavours of tropical fruit, apples, lime rind and clove spice on the off-dry, vibrant palate and delicate aromas of kiwi fruit, lychee and peaches on the delightful nose.
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Perseus Winery 2010 Select Lots Cabernet Sauvignon - 92pts
The showpiece wine of Perseus Winery's current portfolio is this gorgeous, full-bodied, full-throttle, inky-purple hued Cabernet Sauvignon which delivers intense and ripe cassis fruit aromas on the smoky oak and clove-infused nose.
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Le Vieux Pin 2012 Sauvignon Blanc - 92pts
An incredible attention to detail has gone into the production of this wine with multiple batches of Sauvignon Blanc each receiving a unique treatment of oak, stainless steel, MLF and lees contact and then blended together to achieve rich layers of tropical fruit, herbal notes, mineral characters and leesy texture.
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Silverback Vineyards 2010 Sangiovese - 92pts
Now bottled and soon to be released, the Silverback Sangiovese remains a joy to drink; balanced, lively and bursting with wild berry flavours on the palate, while the nose offers layers of deep, red fruit aromas. Drinking beautifully now and should hold for another 3-4 years.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2009 Cachet No. 02 - 92pts
Feels a little like infanticide to open this beautiful Grenache-Syrah blend (with small amounts of Viognier and Marsanne) this early in its development, though, with proper decanting the gorgeous, feminine nose of crushed violets, potpourri, dried cranberry, spiced oak and sweet red fruit comes to life.
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Painted Rock Estate Winery 2007 Merlot - 92pts
his Merlot has aged beautifully showing gorgeous violet aromas gracing the developed nose. Palate shows lots of life left with sweet black licorice flavours now prominent. Original drinking window projection is holding true, though why wait? 6 years seems to be the sweet spot for this Merlot.
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Antinori 2010 Cervaro Della Sala - 91+pts
This is an age-worthy wine with gorgeous almond, crispy bread, orchard fruit and mineral characters aged in 100% new French oak that challenges where we expect top-notch Chardonnay to originate from.
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Fairview Cellars 2010 The Bear - 91pts
Fairview Cellars' signature Meritage blend, The Bear, is already ageing well, rounding its edges with an enriched texture thanks to further integration of its tannins and dark berry characters. Despite its cool vintage pedigree, this blend of all 5 primary Bordeaux varietals boasts ripe blackberry, cassis and plum fruit on both the nose and palate with Fairview's signature oak program influenced notes adding depth and complexity.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2012 Grenache - 91pts
Brimming with layers of aromatic flowers, sweet spice and a medley of ripe, red fruit aromas on the sensual and feminine nose. The palate offers amazing continuity - the wine truly tastes like it smells - rich, feminine and complex with concentrated red fruit creating the perception of light sweetness through to the long, balanced, rounded finish.
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Yalumba 2008 FDR1A - 91pts
Irresistibly intense, classic Aussie Cabernet-Shiraz aromas of eucalyptus and cherry-cola leap from the glass and tickle your nostrils while vanilla, oak spice and plum notes add complexity. Equally intense on the palate with a similar flavour profile and enhanced toasted oak elements adding a nice structure of tannins supporting the concentrated fruit and acidic kick.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

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