Elegant Reds

There’s a delicate balance at play in these juicy, medium-bodied reds, with ripe fruit held firm by refined structure. Pinot Noir is often synonymous with elegance—in California, Oregon and New Zealand as well as in Burgundy—yet grapes as diverse as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese and Tempranillo are equally capable of the purity and finesse that defines this category at its best. Italy and Spain are especially plentiful in well-priced versions.

93 $20 Rodáno Chianti Classico 2012
Italy There’s purity to the cherry, strawberry and earth flavors in this juicy and well-structured red. (B.S.)
91 $15 Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Colli Senesi Castello di Farnetella 2013
Italy A warm richness envelops the cherry, leather, tobacco and iron flavors in this vibrant red, which is intense yet light-footed. (B.S.)
90 $17 Bodegas Ramón Bilbao Rioja Limited Edition 2013
Spain Black cherry and red plum flavors are fresh and lively in this bright red, kept focused by tangerine acidity. (T.M.)
90 $15 Rafael Cambra Garnacha Valencia Soplo 2012
Spain Juicy acidity keeps this fleshy red lively, showcasing the fresh fruit flavors of cherry, plum and blood orange. (T.M.)
90 $17 Bodegas Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2010
Spain Bright cherry and berry fruit shines through this harmonious and graceful red, with tea, tobacco and spice notes. (T.M.)
90 $20 Viña Errázuriz Pinot Noir Aconcagua Coast Max Reserva 2014
Chile This suave red shows flavors of cherry, plum and hazelnut, with a silky mouthfeel and medium-grained tannins. (K.M.)
90 $15 Icardi Barbera d’Asti Tabaren 2015
Italy A lush version, firm and vibrant, packed with blackberry, black currant and spice flavors. (B.S.)
90 $20 Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir Central Otago Roaring Meg 2014
New Zealand  Clove and cinnamon accents add a spicy overtone to the gingerbread, caraway and black cherry flavors. (M.W.)
90 $18 Cave de Rasteau Rasteau Ortas Tradition 2015
France Shows the purity and focus of the vintage, with a lovely core of fresh plum, raspberry and blackberry fruit. (J.M.)
90 $18 Seaside Cellars Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
New Zealand  The plush, juicy core of fresh raspberry flavors is transparent and pure, with clove, mineral and tobacco accents. (M.W.)
90 $10 Snoqualmie Syrah Columbia Valley 2013
Washington Sleek and seductive, this offers cherry, pomegranate, pepper and floral flavors. (H.S.)
89 $18 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier Victoria 2015
Australia  Lithe and juicy, featuring black tea and wild strawberry flavors, accented by touches of cumin and lavender. (M.W.)
89 $19 Kendall-Jackson Merlot Sonoma County Vintner’s Reserve 2013
California Sleek and well-built, this red offers appealing notes of black cherry, spicy toast and herb. (T.F.)
89 $18 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2014
Oregon Taut and expressive, showing layered flavors of plum, guava, floral and spice. (H.S.)
89 $16 Kudos Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2014
Oregon Bright and refreshing, with pretty cherry and floral flavors on a tangy frame. (H.S.)
89 $17 Mercer Mercer Canyons Red Blend Columbia Valley 2013
Washington  Firm, with peppery tannins around a generous core of plum and currant. Merlot and Syrah. (H.S.)
88 $12 Castle Rock Pinot Noir California California Cuvée 2013
California  Delicate and detailed, offering wilted rose, spice, raspberry and blackberry flavors, with a long aftertaste. (J.L.)
88 $14 Saget La Perrière Pinot Noir Vin de France La Petite Perrière 2015
France Pretty cherry and blood orange fruit flavors are lined with subtle cinnamon, briar and incense notes. (J.M.)
88 $20 Tasca d’Almerita Nero d’Avola Sicilia Lamùri 2013
Italy An aromatic red, with marjoram and lavender hints lacing the open-knit profile of ripe raspberry, smoke and spice box. (A.N.)
88 $13 Vidal-Fleury Ventoux 2014
France  Fresh, with good drive to the cherry and plum compote notes, backed by a lively anise edge. (J.M.)