THE YEAR'S BEST

In each issue of Wine&Spirits, our critics focus on one variety or group of related wines and selects the best wines in that category that they've tasted in the past year.


     June 2007

Over the last twelve months,
Wine & Spirits tasted 285 Chilean Reds & 234 Argentine Reds.

These 16 Chilean Reds and 13 Argentine Reds received the strongest praise from our critics.



Chilean Reds
95  I  Concha y Toro $74
2003 Cachapoal Carmín de Peumo Carmenère
This first release of Carmín delivers luscious red fruit and soft tannins, packed with scents of tobacco and herbs, refreshed by gentle acidity. Round and approachable now, the power of the fruit behind that velvety texture will continue to evolve into something more complex and intriguing in five to ten years. (W&S 10/06) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
93  I  Concha y Toro $28
2004 Cachapoal Terrunyo Block 27 Peumo Carmenère
One of Chile's most impressive carmenères, this pulses with intense cherry flavors over strong tannins. (W&S 2/07) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
93  I  Concha y Toro $19
2004 Puente Alto Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon
The best Marqués Cabernet to date, with opulent berry flavors, savory mint and mineral acidity. (W&S 2/07) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
93  I  Emiliana $89
2003 Colchagua Los Robles Estate G
This certified biodynamic, syrah-based blend is all about power, with exotic spice, ripe mulberry notes and firm tannin. (W&S 6/07) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
92  I  Antiyal $50
2004 Valle del Maipo
A muscular carmenère-cabernet-syrah blend, this is young and tight. Antiyal is made under biodynamic precepts by Alvaro Espinoza. (W&S 2/07) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
92  I  Carmen $40
2002 Maipo Wine Maker's Reserve
This sophisticated cabernet blend offers fresh red fruit, vibrant spice and mineral acidity. (W&S 6/07) The '01 was recommended with 93 points. (10/06) W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, NY
 

 
92  I  Carmen $50
2002 Maipo Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Lively cherry aromas layer clove and ripe raspberry flavors, the tannins tense and rigid. For long-braised meat. (W&S 2/07) W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, NY
 

 
92  I  Concha y Toro $28
2004 Maipo Terrunyo Old Pirque Vyd. Cabernet Sauvignon
One of Maipo's best cabernets, this delivers ripe red fruit with complex herbal notes. Built for game. (W&S 2/07) Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY
 

 
92  I  De Martino $25
2005 Maipo Single Vineyard Carmenère
Multilayered blackberry, chocolate and herbal flavors are supported by opulent tannins and sharp acidity. For the cellar. (W&S 6/07) Global Vyd. Importers, Berkeley, CA
 

 
92  I  Domus Aurea $50
2003 Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon
This is ripe and round, yet elegant and sophisticated, bringing together red fruit, eucalyptus, leather and fresh spices. (W&S 6/07) Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, CA
 

 
92  I  Montes $93
2004 Apalta Folly Syrah
This wine's massive black fruit balances the impact of its tannins; the acidity is mellow. Give it several years to come together. (W&S 6/07) T.G.I.C. Importers, Woodland Hills, CA
 

 
92  I  Montes $57
2004 Colchagua Purple Angel Carmenère
Opulent with wild berry, oak and herb aromas, this is a wine with ample fresh fruit and a suave texture. (W&S 6/07) T.G.I.C. Importers, Woodland Hills, CA
 

 
92  I  Morandé $21
2004 Maipo Edición Limitada Cabernet-Merlot-Carmenère
Wild in its aromas of berry, spices, black olives and black pepper, this is refined in flavor, pure and profound. (W&S 6/07) Morandé USA, Atlanta, GA
 

 
92  I  Morandé $36
2003 Maipo House of Morandé
Sweet aromas of cinnamon and raspberry layer over ripe fruit and mineral flavors. This feels generous yet tense, a stylish blend for game. (W&S 6/07) Morandé USA, Atlanta, GA
 

 
92  I  Santa Ema $19
2004 Maipo Amplus One
Rich with exotic spices, sweet red cherry and mulberry flavors, this wine's tannins keep it balanced, instilled with energy. (W&S 6/07) T.G.I.C. Importers, Woodland Hills, CA
 

 
92  I  Santa Rita $56
1999 Maipo Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon
Attractive dry cherry, cinnamon and chamomile aromas make this firm and sweet, to serve with aged goat cheese. (W&S 6/07) Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, FL
 

 
Argentine Reds
94  I Caro $42
2003 Mendoza
Lafite Rothschild and Catena joined forces to create this monumental blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon. It opens with a cascade of toffee, chocolate, sweet spices and vibrant red fruit flavors; with air, mineral and tobacco scents join in. The tannins feel as lean and tense as the muscles of a marathon runner, with the ability to hold the wine for the long haul. (W&S 6/07) Pasternak Wine Imports, Greenwich, CT
 

 
93  I Bodega J & F Lurton $75
2003 Mendoza Chacayes
This malbec-based blend shows the power of the '03 vintage in the Uco Valley. It's a solid block of flavor, its black fruit enhanced by mineral and violet scents, supported by lamb-worthy tannins. (W&S 2/07) ExCellars Wine Agencies, Cambridge, MA
 

 
93  I  Bodega Noemia $142
2003 Patagonia-Rio Negro Valley
One of the rising stars of Patagonia, Noemia crafted this malbec with fruit from vines planted in the 1930s. It's impressive in the depth of the fruit, the ripe flavor refreshed by vibrant acidity, as cool as Patagonia. (W&S 10/06) Vias Imports, NY
 

 
93  I  Bodega Weinert $36
2000 Mendoza Cavas de Weinert
From select vineyards in Luján de Cuyo, this blend of malbec, cabernet and merlot is earthy and firm with tense tannins, and at the same time radiant with juicy red fruit, gentle and refined. (W&S 6/07) Broadbent Selections, San Francisco, CA
 

 
92  I  Bodegas Caro $20
2005 Mendoza Amancaya
This blend of malbec and cabernet from 50-year-old vines has a deep core of black and red fruit enhanced by a refreshing acidity and muscular tannins. It will gain in complexity and charm with age. (W&S 2/07) Pasternak Wine Imports, Greenwich, CT
 

 
92  I  Bodega Weinert $23
2002 Mendoza Malbec
Dusty and mineral, fruity and meaty, this malbec is full of complexity and charm. Its luscious tannins and refreshing acidity enhance a foresty character in the fresh red cherry fruit. (W&S 6/07) Broadbent Selections, San Francisco, CA
 

 
92  I  Catena Zapata $45
2004 Mendoza Adrianna Vineyard Malbec
From one of the highest vineyards (4,870 feet) in the Uco Valley, this leads off with intense notes of fig, mulberry and chestnut, then builds into a profound, ample and tannic malbec. (W&S 6/07) Billington Imports, Springfield, VA
 

 
92  I  El Porvenir $50
2004 Cafayate Valley Laborum Malbec
This has an intriguing, seductive aroma of cinnamon, dust and meat. From ten-year-old vines planted at 5,741 feet, it's both voluptuous in fruit and austere in tannin. For the cellar. (W&S 6/07) Global Wine Imports, Bernardsville, NJ
 

 
92  I  Navarro Correas $21
2004 Mendoza Alegoría Gran Reserva Ltd. Release Malbec
With air, this reveals a meaty, spicy heart of dried cherry and ripe strawberry flavors and a round, full texture. It's approachable now with venison, and should also age well. (W&S 6/07) Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, FL
 

 
92  I Terrazas de Los Andes $45
2003 Mendoza Afincado Las Compuertas Malbec
A hot vintage in Mendoza caramelized the fruit in this opulent malbec, the sweetness intensifying the round texture. Strong tannins provide balance and strength, a match for lamb. (W&S 10/06) Mot Hennessy USA, NY
 

 
92  I Terrazas de Los Andes $16
2004 Mendoza Reserva Malbec
A tough and substantial red, this wine's black cherry and pepper aromas fight for supremacy with the oak, while its core of ripe fruit supports the dense, young tannins. It's built for the cellar. (W&S 10/06) Mot Hennessy USA, NY
 

 
92  I  Valentín Bianchi $18
2004 San Rafael Famiglia Bianchi Malbec
At first, this malbec feels rustic and black, but with air it reveals more opulence. Its ripe red fruit is supported by an impressive tannic architecture. Give it time to evolve into something more refined. (W&S 2/07) Quintessential, Napa, CA
 

 
92  I  Viña Cornejo Costas $10
2005 Cafayate Valley Don Rodolfo Malbec
A subtle and spicy malbec, this offers medium-weight strawberry and cherry flavors supported by firm tannins. It's impressively refined for the price. (W&S 6/07) Cabernet Corp., Novato, CA