5 Star wines are the top of my rating scale. It takes a lot to convince me to give a 5 star rating to a wine. I look for a balance of acidity, tannins, sweetness, fruit, oak and alcohol, as applicable for red, white, fortified, and sparkling wines. These 7 wines below have everything I am looking for in a great wine. Some are from BC. New World and Old World wines are represented. I congratulate all these wines and encourage you to give them a try.
My Top 5 Star Rated Wines for 2015
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2011, BC – A deeper lemon colour in the glass. Medium intensity nose with a mix of youthful and developing aromas. A mix of flowers, baby powder, with lesser petrol and honey components on the nose. A beguiling nose. Between off-dry and medium-dry, this wine is soft and round in the mouth; almost silky. Maybe silky sweetness. Lower acidity. Petrol, citrus and honey flavours with hints of apricot and apple. Medium plus length. Apricot and honey flavours builds on the finish. A really tasty, elegant wine. Not over the top in anything. A great balance of flavours and acidity.
Daydreamer Jasper 2013, BC – A blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, this wine has aromas of ripe, sweet plums, dark fruit and some sweet spice. Medium body, soft and round with a mineral edge. Red fruit and sweet spices. Delicious.
Colome Autentico Malbec 2011, Argentina ($39.99) – This is a Malbec from the Salta region, where you more often think of Torrontes, but this wine shows that Malbec can do well here. Opaque ruby and garnet colours. Smoky, meaty, bacon and dark fruit aromas. Fuller body, dry, with ripe purple fruit, some minerality, followed by a floral component. Finishes with sweet spice and pepperiness. Firm tannins on the finish. Besides “region”, another thing that makes this wine unique and exciting, is that it uses indigenous yeasts to produce a wild ferment, so you are really getting into the terroir of the vineyard from soil upward. A very intense wine!
Bibbiano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigna del Capanino 2011, Italy – 100% Sangiovese Grosso. Rich, ripe dark fruit and nutmeg on the nose. Full bodied, mineral quality, with tea leaves, followed by ripe cherry flavours. Fine, firm tannins. Light vanilla throughout followed by a peppery finish. Very good.
Charles Cimicky Trumps Shiraz 2012, Australia ($23.99) – Cimicky Wines is located in the Barossa Valley. They are a very low profile winery and have a simple web page inviting you to visit them. This wine has a juicy, berry fruit nose. Dry, medium body with a light mouth feel. Nice ripe berry flavours, and sweet spices on the finish. A very tasty wine at a great price.
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2013, Australia ($109) – Clonakilla winery is located in the Canberra District, which is inland, southwest of Sydney; 3 hours by car. When I think of prime winery regions in Australia, Canberra does not come to mind. Traveling there in the past, I think of it being the capital of Australia, but it is more than that. It can produce excellent grapes which have been transformed into this excellent wine. The Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has a beautiful nose with aromas of roses and oranges. Medium body, soft with a lighter mouth feel. It was hard to describe the flavours; there was rich fruit but it was subdued, and there are hints of orange and woodiness on the palate. I felt like I was tasting the terroir of the vineyard more than just the grapes.
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz 2005, Australia ($389.99) – This wine is made from 80 year old vines from a single vineyard on Roennfeldt Road. The winery makes the wine production quite involved. In their own words “…the grapes are fermented in large, shallow open fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. The free run and pressings are kept separate through maturation and blended back together one week before bottling. Following primary fermentation the wine is racked into barrel to undergo natural MLF. The wine is left to mature in barrels (all new American hogsheads) for a total of 36 months and then bottled. The wine is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling, and is then left in bottle to mature for another 24 months…” from the Greenock Creek website.
This wine was very aromatic, with ripe, sweet, dark fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium plus body, smooth with ripe sweet dark fruit flavours, and nice minerality. It is possibly off dry, but it is hard to tell as the fruit is so ripe. An outstanding wine.
Almost 5 Star Wines
I did taste through many wines in 2015 and there are many in the 4.5 star category that almost made it to 5 stars, but were lacking in some aspect. These wines are still wonderful and highly recommended by me. Watch for my next article where I will cover these 4.5 star wines. Cheers.