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2018 Top Values

Big Reds

Go big or go home. That’s the ethos of these powerhouse reds, which vintners make by extracting the most they can get out of their grapes. Ripeness is crucial to delivering the necessary depth and concentration, so warmer regions or hotter vintages tend to yield the best versions. Argentine Malbec and Australian Shiraz are forces of nature, while California hits all its marks this year with a Zinfandel, a Syrah and a Merlot.
93 $20 Argentiera Bolgheri Poggio ai Ginepri 2015 Italy A deep well of black currant, blackberry, licorice, cedar and graphite flavors draws you in for the ripe fruit. Cabernet blend. —Bruce Sanderson
92 $18 Thomas Goss Shiraz McLaren Vale 2016 Australia Bittersweet chocolate, hazelnut and blackberry pie flavors show good density, with sink-your-teeth-into-them tannins adding richness. —MaryAnn Worobiec
91 $18 Viños de Arganza Mencía Bierzo Flavium Selección 2015 Spain This plush red shows black cherry and currant flavors, with licorice and cocoa notes that give way to a floral finish. —Thomas Matthews
91 $20 Clos de los Siete Uco Valley 2015 Argentina Offers a lithe mix of cherry, dried berry, currant and spice box flavors that mesh easily, with a richly textured finish. Malbec blend. —Kim Marcus
90 $15 Barossa Valley Estate GSM Barossa Valley 2016 Australia Blackberry, cassis and blueberry notes are dark and brooding, with lingering accents of dark chocolate, smoke, tomato leaf and licorice. —MaryAnn Worobiec
90 $15 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills H3 2016 Washington This red is supple and approachable, delivering lively black cherry and spiced herb flavors that linger on the finish. —Tim Fish
90 $13 d’Arenberg Shiraz McLaren Vale The Stump Jump 2016 Australia A fresh note of spearmint complements the juicy core of plum and blackberry flavors in this distinctive red, with a long, expressive finish. —MaryAnn Worobiec
90 $19 Dunham Three Legged Red Washington 2016 Washington Zesty and lively, showing expressive black cherry and smoky beef aromas, with licorice and sage flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. —Tim Fish
90 $16 Cave de Rasteau Rasteau Ortas Les Peyrières 2016 France Well-focused, with racy raspberry and boysenberry coulis flavors underscored by a solid graphite edge. Ripe and delicious without being heavy. —James Molesworth
90 $14 Ravenswood Zinfandel Lodi Old Vine 2015 California This Zin is appealingly old-school, with briary cherry and white pepper flavors that lead to a zesty, lively finish. —Tim Fish
90 $16 Viña San Pedro Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 1865 Selected Vineyards 2016 Chile A burnished red, featuring cherry tart, dried red currant and raspberry flavors flanked by plenty of savory notes, with accents of green spices and olive on the finish. —Kim Marcus
90 $18 Charles Smith Syrah Washington Boom Boom! 2016 Washington This perky red delivers lively blackberry, smoky pepper and licorice flavors that linger on the finish. —Tim Fish
90 $18 Tensley Fundamental Central Coast 2016 California Loaded with personality, this red offers zesty blackberry, orange peel, espresso and smoked sage flavors. Syrah blend. —Tim Fish
90 $12 Veramonte Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley 2016 Chile A suave red, with plenty of savory spice notes to the cherry, dried currant and red berry flavors, and a luscious finish. —Kim Marcus
89 $9 Bodegas Breca Garnacha Aragón de Fuego 2016 Spain Thick and rich, this heady red features flavors of plum and blackberry, with menthol, cola and espresso notes and a dense, plush texture. —Thomas Matthews
89 $20 Frei Brothers Merlot Dry Creek Valley Sonoma Reserve 2015 California A fruit-forward red, offering dark plum and boysenberry flavors flanked by forest floor notes, with rich spicy accents on the juicy finish. —Kim Marcus
89 $13 Ramos-Pinto Douro Duas Quintas 2016 Portugal This juicy, full-bodied red features a licorice-tinged core of cherry tart and red currant flavors, with details of violet and mineral. —Gillian Sciaretta
89 $13 Viña Santa Ema Merlot Maipo Valley Reserva 2016 Chile A supple, juicy style, with notes of allspice to the plum, boysenberry and dried cherry flavors, ending with hints of chocolate mousse. —Kim Marcus
88 $10 Agrimota Douro Lago Cerqueira 2014 Portugal This polished, full-bodied red features glazed cherry and plum pudding flavors that are detailed with accents of herb, pepper and fresh earth. —Gillian Sciaretta
88 $11 TriVento Malbec Mendoza Reserve 2017 Argentina Blackberry and dark currant flavors are concentrated and very juicy in this ripe, spicy style, with hints of licorice and dark chocolate on the finish. —Kim Marcus