Scents of Marcona almonds fill this luscious vin jaune, a soil-driven wine that puts its limestone pallor ahead of anything else. Its intensity builds with air, the salty mineral character mouthwatering, calling for an aged Alpine cheese
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant scent of black cherry, spice, herbs and beechwood. Lighter styled, with earthy flavors of cherry and raspberry, and an array of savory spices and herbs. The savory and fruit components compliment each other and the wine picks up interest over time in the glass. Drinking well now, with easygoing, fine-grain tannins, and a bright, uplifting finish.
Exotic Asian spices and moody, brambly black fruit play at the center of this full-bodied vineyard-designate from a high-elevation site. Citrus, fresh-grated nutmeg and bright acidity make for a savory yet completely succulent experience that’ll remain memorable long after the bottle is gone. Editors’ Choice. —V.B.
More restricted and tense than the 2013, and more aristocratic as well, this starts out with floral notes of white roses, orange pith and lime pith, presented with red-wine intensity. Earthy and sleek, this opens with air to briny minerality, while remaining tightly clenched. A touch of sweetness fleshes out the structural grip, hinting at the roseate flavors that should develop with bottle age. This has the energy to last.
Year's Best Rhone
This strikes an appealing balance between red raspberry flavors and barnyard scents, the earthy notes wrapping into the fruit to create a densely textured wine. It's firm and slightly herbal, a pleasingly rustic Châteauneuf.
A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot, this wine speaks to power, offering juicy, velvety texture around brawny components of leather, coffee and black plum. Concentrated and intense, it needs time to open in the glass before pairing with thick cuts of meat. — V.B.
This is a massively dense, extracted and dry wine, entirely varietal and brooding in style. Tobacco and leather form its core, with the fruit elusive and pushed backward. Smoky oak penetrates the thick walls of tannin, forming a combustible, lengthy finish. — V.B.
High-intensity and reflective of its mountainous heritage, this 100% varietal wine is elegant and velvety, despite its thick tannin structure. It offers equal components of berry pie, black pepper and cardamon. Smooth on the palate, it’s ready now, well made and in balance. — V.B.
Succulent in red cherry and cassis, this wine has a surprising level of depth and grip. It finds its way with integrated tannins, soft layers of caramelized oak and a brightness of fruit and acidity. —V.B.